Travel to Claremont

I often say a day off from work is like fine gold, the value is greater than a normal weekend. Something fun must be done with the time.  Staying home and relaxing would be like missing an opportunity to invest in a great stock.

In California the biggest drawback is traffic, so what ever is done has to be done early in the day otherwise you’ll get stuck in traffic as if you did go to work. Christina text me in the morning and we made the decision not to go to LA due to traffic, but she remembered a great little city on the way to LA called Claremont.

Just like traveling in a foreign city you really don’t know what to do, there is no plan just the time to discover something new. To my surprise, my favorite coffee Augie’s, has a new location in Clermont. We grabbed a coffee and explored the bookstore next store.

I told Christian the story of Gus and I looking for a record shop and ended up at a private home studio. Of course we didn’t knock but the adventure to find this address was pretty funny. I looked up local record shops, and to my surprise there are a few in the area. It was great to learn Claremont’s downtown was becoming another cool places to hang out in.

I enjoy visiting new places to get me out of my comfort zone. It gives me a chance to see people who are different to me. I often look for the same places to visit but it’s the walk to A to B that I enjoy most, the conversation with a friend or the people watching I do along the way. The Record stores, coffee shops and bookstores are usually excuses to get out and experience what I’m looking for; life happening.

Eye on LA – Disneyland!

When I lived in Australia I use to brag about being from California. The first thing people would ask me was if I lived near Disneyland. When I said yes I would invite them to come visit. To my surprise many have taken me on that offer, even 10 years later!

Peita’s life time dream as a little girl was to visit Disneyland. Because I’ve been a million times, seeing Disneyland through fresh eyes is so much fun. Gus filmed and edited our adventure at Disneyland.

Photos: Night Photography

When it comes to night photography, playing with lights and the shutter speed can be fun. Right now you can buy sparklers, cheap neon lights and other things to create images you wouldn’t be able do in daylight. My favorite effect is the ghost like images.

Doing LA right

Having an authentic LA experience is no easy task. If you ever find yourself in this city, you will see there is too much to do in one day. With bumper to bumper traffic you have to do LA right otherwise it can put you in a bad mood. You must be prepared to have no plan. The trick is letting the city come alive to you.

I usually have an idea of some things I want to do. With my friend in town from Puerto Rico, it was my job to make the city feel like an old friend to him. Over time I have gathered up a few places I like visiting in LA.  I packed my new ipad mini to test out the camera, my gps and we were on our way.

First stop, Griffith Observatory. This is one of the best spots to see the city of Los Angeles. There is lots to do inside but being outside is the most rewarding.

Next we made out way to pick up a friend. She was staying in an area where there was a cool cafe and record store I knew of. We parked by her place and took a walk down the street. This gave us all a break from being in the car and a chance to relax.

For dinner, I recommended pizza. If shared, its cheaper for everyone. I knew of this place in Silverlake that made Chicago deep dish. As we waited to be seated, we placed our order so our food can cook while we wait. We ended up having a good time outside the restaurant, laughing and telling stories.

Later that night we went for a drive downtown to see the old buildings. During the day this would be a mistake, driving across town could take hours, but since it was pass 10pm, it was safe to make the drive. We got there in a few minutes.

After, Joanna mentioned her love for ice cream, lucky there was a place in Silverlake that was open pass midnight. We drove back to where we came from and made out final stop for the day.

As the driver of this trip I wanted everyone to have a good time without worrying about what to do next. It was my opportunity to share some of my favorite spots in LA. Its a city that can stress an outsider out but once you make friends and spend the day with them, the city will no longer feel like a stranger.

A Day with Friends

Let the day unfold before you, enjoy the company that surrounds you. Don’t worry about the details but appreciate them. Make up things to do in a new city, have a cup of coffee, take a walk, but more than anything remember to have fun. Life changes fast, delight in the people around you.

Alta Coffee, Newport

Huntington beach

Sgt Pepper’s Dueling Pianos

Audio: Old Family Photos

audio player not available for mobiles

Intro

Photo 1 – My Grandfather

Photo 2 – The Funeral

Photo 3 – The Older Sister

Photo 4 – Baby Boomer Generation (my mom: the fourth child)

Photo 5 – I Felt Sorry for Him

Story – The Dishes (my mom: the top left)

What Did She Teach You?

What Do You Stay About Family? (my mom: the second child on the bottom)

What Happened When She Died?

What Would You Say To Your Grandchildren? (photo: older brother)

A Stranger’s Photo Album

Sometimes when I’m at a stop light I’ll watch everyone in their cars passing by. I wonder what their story is, who they are, where they are going.

A while back I bid on a family album that I saw at a local antique shop. There were photos dating back to the early 1900’s. I was curious to see what else was in the album. For twenty bucks I bought a family’s history.

From what I could tell, the photos where from the life of a women names Aldo Vigo. And now I, a stranger, will remember her.

Family Photo

Wedding

The Rings

Wedding

At Beach with Son

Son

Mother and Son

Grandmother and Grandson

Some other cool photos in the album.