Wanderlust: Los Angeles

You may remember my love affair with California from my first trip there here and here and it hasn't ended since then. So this past April when I saw that a film photographer I love was hosting a photography workshop in LA I knew I needed to make it happen and get my butt back to California. And the love is still just as strong this second time around.

Oh but California
California I’m coming home
— Joni Mitchell

California feels like home. Don't get me wrong, you all know my love and allegiance to Maine, but California always feels like it's wrapping me up in a great big hug and I never want to leave. My friend Beth tagged along on this trip and in addition to the workshop, we packed in all the things and traveled all along the coast. In a GIANT soccer mom minivan to be exact. Nothing says hip West coasters like a minivan. Here are a few of my favorite things from this trip! 

Griffith Observatory
Everyone I talked with before leaving the trip said I had to go to Griffith Observatory and they were 1000% right. Somehow we managed to time our visit with sunset (hello photographer's dream!) and the views are just breathtaking. Being able to look out on all of LA and the Hollywood sign while the sun slips behind the mountains was beautifully relaxing. The night we went they had free moon and Saturn viewings which was the coolest. Seriously, seeing the moon so magnified through the telescope was incredible. You could actually SEE the craters! 

Venice Canals
In case you haven't noticed a theme yet, the light in California is magical. It probably sounds crazy but it really is different than the light in the Northeast. We explored the Venice Canals at sunset one evening and it was so cool to see all the little homes nestled along the waterways as people come and go by foot and boat. You can walk all the way from Marina del Rey down to Venice Beach along the canals and to say I had house envy would be an understatement. I wanted to live in all of them!

Laguna Beach and Pirate's Tower
This one has been on my bucket list for years. I don't even remember how I first came across Pirate's Tower at Victoria Beach in Laguna (probably Instagram?) but ever since I saw that stone tower jutting out from the cliff against the ocean I just knew I needed to go there. We timed it again to hit the beach at golden hour and it was so worth it. I picked my way across the rocks and turned the corner upon the tower as the sun was going down in the distance and I kid you not a WHALE peeked up to the surface as I stood there in awe. I love California. 

Highlights of the week are below and workshop photos are coming soon! What do you love most about California? What's on your bucket list?