LA: Where I went and What I did

Today is going to be a simple travel post. I have a lot of deep posts in the pipeline at the moment but I want this blog to be a good mix of tough stuff and fun light posts. As I promised in my first post this blog is definitely not all about cancer! Cancer is a part of my life but so is traveling and eating good food and dressing cute. This is the travel portion of my LA post. Stay tuned and subscribe for LA food and outfit posts.

Where I went:

I arrived in LA a day early, thanks to Hurricane Harvey, so on Saturday morning we got up and walked around the campus of The University of California Los Angeles. UCLA’s campus is beautiful. I particularly enjoyed the sculpture garden and the wonderful nature that is around the campus.

Me in a tree. Location: UCLA
Location UCA
Interesting trees and architecture mark the UCLA campus. Location: UCLA
Rose Bushes in front of a building on campus. Location: UCLA

Later that day we set off for Malibu. Where we sat under Nobu Malibu and enjoyed their view while still being poor. Malibu was my favorite beach I visited in LA because it was so peaceful. Things were quiet so you could just enjoy the sounds of the waves and the sea breeze.

Location: Malibu, California

The next day we went to a church plant that my friend attends, then spent our afternoon in Santa Monica. I liked the pier, and the beach was nice but it was so crowded. If that is your scene then Santa Monica is for you. If not I suggest driving a few miles north on the Pacific Coast Highways. The pier though is fun and worth visiting.

Under the Pier in Santa Monica
Under the pier in Santa Monica. No filter. Location: Santa Monica Pier, California
Channelling Baywatch in Santa Monica. Location: Santa Monica, California

At the end of the night, we watched the sunset. Despite the hordes of people around us it was impossible not to find yourself filled with a bit of wonder at the beauty of the west coast

Location: Santa Monica, California
Until the sun comes up (or in this case goes down) over Santa Monica Boulevard. Location: Santa Monica, California.
The spots I was seeing after this were totally worth it. Location: Santa Monica, California.

When I returned to Santa Monica for a morning surf lesson it was slightly quieter. I enjoyed getting to actually plunge into the cold waters of the Pacific, thanks to the wetsuit. My surf instructor Matthew was excellent and I would highly recommend the Santa Monica Surfing School.

Inside the Surf Van. Location: Santa Monica, California
Me with my surf board. Not looking cute but definitely feeling accomplished. Location: Santa Monica, California
Surf van lifestyle. Location: Santa Monica, California

After my Surf lesson, I rented a bike from Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals. From my spot in Santa Monica, I biked down to Venice Beach. The ride wasn’t long but it was scenic, and the breeze made for a wonderful experience. If you are going to do this though I recommend sunscreen. I kinda failed on that one and am still paying for it as I type this.

Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals. Location Santa Monica, California.
My bike. Location: Santa Monica, California

When I got to Venice I stopped a few times to take in the sights. The skate park is like a free show that you can just stop and enjoy for a few minutes.

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Among the skater community, it seems that pant sagging is coming back. Location: Venice Beach, California
The talent of many of the skateboarders at Venice Beach was a sight to behold. Location: Venice Beach, California

Venice also had a Snapchat Spectacles store. As a certified basic girl, I had to stop of course. I definitely loved the spectacles but the price tag was a little hefty for me so I sadly had to pass on them.

The Spectacles vending machine. It is kinda adorable. Location: Venice Beach, California
The Snapchat Spectacles store front with a guest appearance by my rental bike. Location: Venice Beach California

After my stops in Venice, I biked back to Santa Monica Pier to get a bite to eat then turned in my rental bike and went back to my friend’s apartment for a very needed shower.

The next day I was determined to see some art. I discovered that UCLA’s art museum, The Hammer was within walking distance so I set out unsure of what to expect. When I got there I was pleasantly surprised. The atmosphere of the courtyard was an open aired, peaceful, urban oasis. It also contained the coolest chairs I have ever seen (this video isn’t mine but it shows what I am talking about). The architecture of the building was stunning. Unfortunately, they were setting up several new installations so much of the museum was closed. The permanent collection was open though and was amazing.

My favorite painting here. Van Gogh’s Hospital at Saint-Remy
Interiors at The Hammer. Location: Westwood, California
Claude Monet’s View of Bordighera. Location: Westwood, California
Window at The Hammer. Location: Westwood, California
Entry artwork by the Japanese artist Tabaimo. Location: Westwood, California
Entry artwork by Japanese artist Tabaimo. Location: Westwood, California
The Hammer Museum. Location: Westwood, California
The coolest rocking chairs ever. They spin around and are so much fun. I sat in one for 30 minutes just rocking and spinning. Location: Westwood, California

After leaving the museum, I decided to walk to the nearby botanical gardens.  The Mildred E Mathias Botanical Garden was a nice place to stroll through or to relax out in nature.

Flowers at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California
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Flowers at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California
Flowers at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California
Walking path at the botanical garden. Location: Westwood, California

After going to the botanical garden my friend and I went to dinner and then I had a 5:20 AM flight to catch the next morning back to Houston.

With love,




LA in Pictures

Wednesday Wisdom: They’re Just Not That Into You

Dress: Topshop Necklace: Madewell Location: Wynwood Walls Miami, Florida

Have you ever had a friend who made you feel like a burden? A friend who made you feel like you should feel grateful that they took the time out of their day to respond to your text or meet you for coffee? Or a friend who was only there when it was convenient for them. Have you had a friend that’s mostly around when they need something but disappear when you need them?

Spoiler alert: They’re just not that into you.

I think a lot of us fall into this trap. We have a person that we like and consider a friend, or in some cases a potential boyfriend or girlfriend and we will do anything for them. I’m guilty of this for sure. But I am learning that sometimes you need to evaluate who your true friends are in life to protect yourself a little. I have found myself in so many “friendships” or “pseudo relationships” with people who barely cared about me at all. I would do anything for these people but eventually, I had to realize that they would seldom lift a finger for me.

The levels of effort we were putting into our friendships were vastly different. I was there pouring everything I had into them. Making myself available whenever they wanted or needed. They weren’t doing the same, however. I was prioritizing people who barely thought about me at all.

A good example of this was a “friend” I had in high school. I would hear people say negative things about her and I would defend her endlessly. I wouldn’t believe a single one of the rumors because she was my friend and I liked her. It took me until the end of high school to really look at that friendship though. I realized that I was there for her whenever she needed. Any favor, homework, crisis management she needed I was right there. But she wasn’t there for me. We only hung out when she needed something from me. It was never just for fun. Never because she liked me. I was doing everything I could for this girl to try to make her want to be friends with me, and she didn’t care at all.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the only time I’ve done that to myself. Friendships like this can leave you feeling worthless and stupid. I spent so much effort on these people and even the best of me wasn’t good enough. Eventually, you realize you’re either being used or they are friends with you out of pity and you feel miserable. Even worse is the fact that quitting the habit is so hard. You care about this person and you wanted them in your life. Accepting that they don’t want you is difficult and painful. In some cases, you are almost addicted to them. There was a reason why you stuck around through all the garbage before. You cared.

So how do you fix this? It’s not easy. If you think you are strong enough for the clean break do that. But personally, I have found that phasing these people out is the best way to do this.

Make a rule for yourself. Something like “I will only contact them once a month” or “I won’t talk to them/see them unless they make the effort to talk to me.” Put the ball in their court. This allows them to have the chance to miss you. Maybe they will wake up and realize how valuable you are to them. Or maybe you will get to see just how little they care.

This clarity hurts but is helpful in healing. Hopefully, as you slowly phase them out of your life you will begin to crave their presence in your life less and less. It isn’t a perfect solution but cutting these people out of your life who are only bringing you down will help you in the long term.

Right now you are allowing them to define your worth and are left feeling inadequate. You deserve to be loved, cherished, and cared about. You deserve friends who are as enthusiastic about you as you are about them. Don’t let people who don’t appreciate your value make you miserable. If you have a person or people in your life that fit this description give it some serious thought.

You deserve real friendships and real relationships. If they want to talk to you they will. In the meantime focus on loving yourself, growing closer with friends who value you, and making new friends who will love you for who you are, not how you can benefit them. Trust me I’m still rereading my own advice. It isn’t easy but it works!

With love,