Thursday, April 25, 2013

Los Angeles, Day 5 & 6, Birthday Trip Part III

beverlyhilton collage

We stayed at the Beverly Hilton while in L.A. The only word that comes to mind to describe it is glamorous - old Hollywood Glam. Even the parking garage was glamorous - as we walked to the elevators, the "paparazzi" welcomed us. On our first night, we were a bit exhausted from the drive, so we relaxed by the fire, ordered dinner and enjoyed an old surfing movie out by the pool. 

The next day, we made our way to Santa Monica where we did some shopping and took in more of the Pacific Coast at the Santa Monica Pier. While we were shopping, my husband found a rooftop restaurant where he unknowingly had a drink with the star of HBO's show True Blood! Unfortunately, he had to leave before the girls and I made it up there. 

hollywood grid colloage

hollywood collage
We knew the premiere of G.I. Joe was happening at the TCL Chinese Theater, so we made our way to Hollywood. We went back again to Hollywood the next day to do the Walk of Fame, to see the hand/footprints in front of the Chinese Theater and then show the girls Hollywood and Highland. We sought out a few of our favorite actor's/singer's stars. As well, we couldn't leave without a photo with Shirley Temple's handprints ... she is a long time fave! 

urban lights Collage

After a brief stop to the La Brea tar pits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, we shot a few photos at the Urban Lights art display in front of the museum. Across from the museum, food trucks lined the street for lunch. We wandered over and found the Boba truck. It is a gourmet tea truck that offers Boba, a chewy and slightly sweet treat, at the bottom of your tea. I ordered Swiss Peppermint Green Milk Tea with Boba. It was ahh-mazing! 

milk tea collage

The photos in the right bottom corner of the collage above are from my birthday dinner at Il Cielo. It is an incredibly beautiful restaurant frequented by movie and television actors. Everything about it was fabulous, from the food to the atmosphere. When our waiter found out we were from Pennsylvania, he told the owner who then came out to our table and spoke with us for 45 minutes. After our dinner, he gave us a tour of his gorgeous restaurant. They have hosted over 200,000 weddings.  They are a frequent site for Academy Awards parties and movie premiere after parties, the most recent being the Lincoln Premiere after party. He told us that Nancy Raegan frequents the restaurant and use to come weekly with Merv Griffin. He said it was Frank Sinatra who first put their restaurant on the map. One other snippet of info - he said the home beside the restaurant use to be a beauty salon and it is where Marilyn Monroe first colored her hair blonde. What a fun evening!! 

griffith observatory collage

On our last evening in L.A., we made the trip up to the Griffith Observatory... and we are so glad we did. The views of the city were breathtaking. We had a "closeup" view of the Hollywood sign and watched the sunset. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. On our way to the airport, we snagged a few photos on the Beverly Hills sign. 

My husband planned the most perfect trip. There was not a snag in our itinerary. I often tell him he could be a personal trip planner! :) We saw so much throughout the course of a week,  I couldn't have had a better birthday. 

If you missed the first two parts of our trip, you can find San Francisco here and the Pacific Coast Highway here

I know it's Thursday ... but better late than never, right?
Happy WW!


Live and Love...Out LoudThe Paper Mama

Friday, April 19, 2013

Green/Nature | Nurture Photography


green grassDSC_5330



green vinesDSC_5300

green leavesDSC_5268


green branchDSC_5250withquote

I can't put into words either, how happy I am that Spring is finally here! Trees are flowering, the grass has become green once again and birds are singing. Seeing all this green is such a welcome sight. After a long season of bareness and brown, it is exciting to see new life breathed back into the earth.

Just a short and sweet post this week - today is going to be a bit crazy. My sister is getting married tomorrow! I am so happy for her and her very soon-to-be husband and am looking forward to celebrating with them tonight and on their big day tomorrow! If you missed our wedding prep, you can view their engagement session here, the large engineer print artwork I did for their engagement party here and photos from my sister's bridal shower here.

Linking up with Kristi, Rebecca and Alicia for their Nurture Photography Challenge, Lisa at The Long Road to China and Melisaa at Serendipity is Sweet.

Have a wonderful weekend!


the long roadFriday Photo JournalNurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pacific Coast Highway, Birthday Trip, Part II

PCH Collage -1



pch collage -2


pacific 3DSC_3626 blog

pch collage 4

sihouette of me
(photo credit: my daughter addison - taken on her Ipad Mini.)

silhouette 2
(photo credit: my daughter addison - taken on her Ipad Mini.)

pch collage 3

moe freedomeditDSC_3846

(All collage templates from Birddesign. Almost every photo taken is SOOC. 
Yes, the colors were just that vibrant!)

For the second leg of our trip, we traveled down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to L.A. I can't even put into words how amazing this trip was. The mountains, cliffs, ocean - all of it was breathtaking. Believe me when I say, we stopped every couple miles for quite some time to just get out, breathe the Pacific air, take in the views and of course, take photos. If this isn't on your bucket list, it needs to be. My husband and I are already planning another trip, but the next time, we will take at least three days to drive it. There is just so much to see along the way. 

We stopped in Big Sur, which is the area where Bixby Bridge is. During one stop, we saw some whales feeding! I caught the tail of one as it rose up out of the water. I still get incredibly excited when I think of it. That's something we never even expected to see. 

Down the road we stopped at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. We hiked along a trail and saw many Redwoods. They truly were incredible in size. 

The Elephant seals in San Simeon were just plain fun to watch. We could have stood there for hours watching and listening to them. We spent the night at Moonstone Beach, just a skip away from San Simeon, where the beach was literally covered with moonstones. I wandered down to the beach myself one morning. It was mild out and the fog was still low. All you could hear was the sound of the waves breaking against some rocks and the shore. It was so therapeutic.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have taken this drive. And even more grateful to my husband for all the hours of planning he did. The natural beauty was even more amazing than I could have ever imagined! 

If you ever get out to the west coast, you must make this trip! If you missed the first part of our trip in San Francisco, you can click here to see some of our photos. 

Happy WW! 


Live and Love...Out LoudThe Paper Mama

Friday, April 12, 2013

Turquoise/Splash | Nurture Photography

This prompt forced me to think a little bit and get creative, but the weather was fabulous this week and allowed me to get outside for the first time in a long time! When looking around our garage for turquoise, I found the sidewalk chalk. These days, it doesn't get used like it use to as my girls are getting older, but it does make an appearance on occasion.  turquoise sidewalk chalk - 1 copy
Turquoise chalk - 2 copy
Turquoise chalk - 3
                  50mm, f2.0, 1/500, iso 500, frames by Fuzzimo,
                        texture Cafe Script by RH West 

Turquoise springDSC_4988

I also took a little bit of time to set up my tripod outside. I recently had fun practicing some slow shutter speeds in San Francisco as we walked across the Golden Gate bridge. I slowed it down and caught the motion of the cars on the bridge. You can find one of the photos in this post I did earlier this week. 

I decided to practice fast shutter speeds and freezing motion this week. I used my 50mm lens and set a fast shutter speed. It was actually a lot of fun catching different splashes. I ended up with a lot of photos to choose from. No worries ... I narrowed it down to four. :) 
splash framed - 1


splash framed - 2


50mm, f2.0, 1/2000, iso 500, frames by Fuzzimo, texture Edith by Kim Klassen

I can't tell you how happy I am that Spring has finally sprung here! We had temperatures in the 80s earlier in the week. Rain moved in yesterday and its raining today, but the grass turned green overnight. And ... you know what they say, "April showers bring May flowers"!


the long roadFriday Photo JournalNurture Photography Challenge - Spring 2013 Edition
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