Sunday, May 19, 2013


When I was younger, I don't think I really paid much attention to when particular plants bloomed and flourished. Growing up in Sydney, I loved the abundance of frangipanis, bougainvillea and jacarandas. Sadly, frangipanis don't appear to be a popular choice in Los Angeleno gardens - I rarely see them - but if there's one thing I've learned to count on, it's that April in L.A. brings explosions of fuschia (bougainvillea), followed by even larger displays of purple trees (jacarandas). It's like a piece of home.

How about these 1920s Spanish Colonial Revival bungalows? I don't live in one, but most of the neighbourhoods in my area are chock full of these, and I adore them. I wonder what style of homes in Seattle will have me drooling equally?

A few weeks back, I went for a hike along Runyon Canyon with a girlfriend while both girls were at school... and it just about killed me. Partly due to declining fitness levels (after my main weight loss last year, I switched my cardio workouts to yoga classes), but I also think it was because I simply hadn't hydrated myself enough beforehand (I also woke up the next day with a killer sinus infection, which may be why I wasn't feeling so great either).

We got there around 10am, and the temperatures were already in the high 20s (ÂșC), with little to no shade along the main trails. In an effort to avoid major traffic at the southern end, we unwittingly made the mistake of starting at the northern end - ie at the top, off Mulholland Drive. It was easy cruising downhill... then we had to hike uphill to get back to the car. I was too ashamed to admit it to my friend, but I was this close to vomiting from the heat and dehydration. Lame, right? Adding further to my shame was the sheer amount of 'beautiful people' along the way - barely breaking a sweat, it seemed. Botoxed armpits? Who knows. My friend and I were talking the entire time so I didn't take a great deal of photos, but the views were pretty amazing. The Hollywood sign was much clearer than the below photo shows.

There's an outdoor shopping centre/mall only a short drive from home, and because of its proximity to the main library, its green lawns and kid-friendly activities, large Barnes & Noble bookstore, and Pinkberry frozen yoghurt, I go there fairly regularly. Such a mall rat, I know. But check it out:

It's a little like if Disney made a shopping mall. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are piped through speakers in the trees and there are regular choreographed fountain shows. An old style trolley car does a loop, which the Faery and Miss Pie can never get enough of riding on. Ding ding! 

And notice those multi-storey buildings? All apartments. The residents' pool is fancy schmancy, and I only know this personally because I have a couple of friends who live there (the pool shots I posted last month were taken there). One of these friends is the same friend I hiked with, and we've recently (in lieu of hiking) started going to the free yoga classes held on the lawn at the mall.

Doing downward dog and looking at that Tiffany & Co. store upside down each time was, well, surreal. I had to sneak in a photo right at the end of one of the classes. Incongruity aside, it's been enjoyable to do yoga outdoors for a change (under the dappled shade of a jacaranda - even better).

The above shot is one I had to throw in here, simply because I like it. It was taken on a road that runs parallel to the road I live on, just a block away. You know, I still don't understand the physics of these palm trees. How the hell do they stay upright?

As for the above hedges, it made me smile when I stumbled across it on a walk last week. Did the gardener forget his ladder one day? Did the owners fire the gardener half-way through the job? Are the owners paying homage to Dr Seuss? Tim Burton? Or do these hedges simply grow faster and more more wildly from the top? Who knows, but I'm all for whatever makes me smile.

The girls and I are flying to Seattle for the upcoming Memorial Day (and long weekend) so the countdown is on for when we all get to see J again. Five more sleeps...


  1. I love these pics! The pink and purple against the blue sky is just heavenly.

    That is some shopping mall ... the local Westfield compares rather unfavourably. It seems like you could live your whole life there without having to go too far from your front door.

    Your walk sounds amazing but bummer about feeling so shite during it. I think you're right that the sinus infection might have had a lot to do with that. The landscape is amazing ... I just love it.

    I'm looking forward to seeing more of Seattle than what I know presently. I just know you'll find some interesting bits to show us. Hope you enjoyed the visit with J!

  2. Isn't this time of year so lovely? I could take photos all day long.

    This shopping mall is a whole new level compared to Westfield. To be honest, I prefer good old Westfields. I think the non-stop Sinatra and pals would get tiring after a while, especially for those who live there. Still, it's easy on the eyes. Malls here in L.A. lack the convenience of shopping centres in Australia - they have no supermarkets, no banks, and no post offices - purely recreational shopping, as opposed to somewhere that you can get a few proper errands done, then reward yourself with a coffee and some window shopping.

    The visit with J was great, and went too quickly. Very excited to be flying up in a couple of days, and relaxing a bit up there. We've even booked a babysitter for one evening!

  3. Oh, I can't help but swoon at that mall. Oh, aesthetics!

    I think whenever we end up buying a house, I need to plant bougainvillea in abundance. Gorgeous. I don't see much of it here in Melbourne - maybe the climate isn't right?

    I was sweating just reading about your hike. And to be taunted by the beautiful people as you suffered? Only in L.A., baby!

    In other news, I would totally by a coffee table book of your shots....


    1. BUY! Not by. Aaaaggggghhhhhhhhh!

    2. The same mall company has a very similar mall over in Beverly Hills (The Grove), with a permanent farmers market adjacent to it. I hear the market is fun for a bit of celeb-spotting, so I've been meaning to head over and check it out for fun, since about forever. Realistically, I have about a week of spare days to make it happen (like most things these days, it won't happen child-free...)

      And thanks for the props, love!