Los Angeles, CA

Today was the first day of the last leg of our west coast journey……..Los Angeles!!! We woke up to the sound of the crystal blue waves crashing and we were instantly in the best mood of our lives. This was the day we would be reunited with our long lost friends Justin and Ian. Justin had recently relocated to Calabasas for school from New York and inspired the entire trip. We figured if we were flying out west to visit him we might as well stop at as many spots along the way…and that is exactly what we did. Ian was our buddy from New York City who we coordinated to meet up with in LA. So perfect!!! At this point, we were only 3 hours from the Los Angeles area so we started heading south towards Malibu. The early morning drive down the Pacific Coast Highway was a dream….one beautiful beach after another and another….it was the best morning of my life. Was I awake? Was I dreaming? I still do not know the answer.
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The first beach we stopped at was Zuma Beach in Malibu. The instant my toes touched the sand they were the happiest toes in the whole wide world. The sand was so soft!!! We enjoyed this moment and then headed to connect with our buds. Justin is a wonderful dude. He really thrives in any environment and we could tell immediately he had found his happy place living in Los Angeles. I mean, how can you not love a city where the weather is perfect every day with so much beautiful nature at every turn. It was beautiful to see the three “brothers” united!!! Justin took us to grab some delicious seafood and classic California views at Paradise Cove. This is where I discovered my eternal love for Malibu. I looked out into the open endless sea surrounded by rocky cliffs and the softest sand in the land and it was an instant love affair.
IMG_1289 IMG_1296 IMG_1298 IMG_1439 IMG_1309 IMG_1313 IMG_1314United at last, we jumped in Justin’s car and we were guided by the best tour guide ever to the Santa Monica Pier. At that moment, it was surreal to be walking down the Pier. I felt as if I was living in a movie scene where something dramatic was about to happen. So many amazing movies were filmed right where we were walking. So much history and so much beauty. We walked all around the Third Street Promenade in downtown Santa Monica. Just to see so many amazing musicians was super inspiring. Any person that has the guts to live their dreams are an inspiration. And Kalyde was doing exactly this (video below)! Just jamming and loving life!!

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The daylight was coming to an end and we needed to catch the sun set on the west coast so we ventured over to Venus Beach!! The vibe at Venus Beach was unmatched to any place I had ever been before. The creativity and artistic vision of its people truly manifested its streets. This partnered with the beautiful backdrop of sunset created pure magic.

IMG_1350 IMG_1356 IMG_1354IMG_1359We woke up on Day 2 and decided to do some hiking at Topanga Canyon in Calabasas. I never realized how desert like parts of the Los Angeles area were and it was really cool to see the diversity in this sense. This particular hike was more intense then any of us anticipated because the majority of the trail was a very steep hill and it was a very humid day. We didn’t make it very far …..but you didn’t have to go far to be blown away by the views. To the west we could see past the Santa Monica Mountains to the Malibu coast and to the east the Pacific Palisades. The name Topanga was given to the area by the Native American tribe at the time of discovery,  meaning “a place above”. And this name held true.

That evening we spent time drinking some delicious brews and celebrated my birthday….again! This group of people (in the photo below) are beautiful. Inside and out. Good friends are few and far between and it was so wonderful to enjoy just being together!IMG_1423 IMG_1425 IMG_1426 IMG_1430 IMG_1438 IMG_1436IMG_1598IMG_1614-1IMG_1612

So today was the day, the last day of our journey. We strategically scheduled a red eye flight which made it nice because we got to enjoy our entire last day in full! It was hard to believe such a beautiful time was coming to an end, but we tried to not think about this and appreciate every last moment we could until our departure…

The day began driving through Beverly Hills before we connected with our friends to walk around Marina del Rey. This spot was so peaceful. Beautiful homes were settled along the marina and it was pure paradise. Boat after Boat just sailing along without a worry in the world. We watched the boats pass for awhile and then made our way south towards Manhattan Beach.
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Manhattan Beach was love at first sight. It started as an instant crush and then grew into real love as we explored around this perfect little beach town. I actually believe it was a sign that I must one day live there, because its called Manahttan Beach (and I live in Manhattan)….I mean, come on!!! Destiny once again hit me in the face like a brick wall saying HELLO you belong here. This is the part of the story where it is hard to write because this is where our journey comes to its end. And breaking up with California entirely was brutal. The only thing that got me through this heartbreak was knowing that one day, I would return and love it all over again.

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Author: Christen

As a writer by nature, my goal is to inspire and connect with other kindred spirits by sharing my journey through storytelling and photographing my experiences on this blog. I always come from a place of understanding positivity, so please feel free to add to the conversation and share your story too!

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