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Category Archives: California

A Peek- Ryan and Mari in Long Beach, CA

Jason and I are at WPPI as we speak! Our trip out west has been a blast so far- we road tripped over to LA to see a friend, and to spend the day with Ryan and Mari, who’s wedding is at the Museum of Latin American Art next month. Getting a private tour of Long Beach was quite excellent- Ryan and Mari showed us some excellent antiquing opportunities, coffee shops, wine bars, and- of course- the beach.

We look forward to seeing you guys next month! And, a recap of WPPI is in order as well for this leg of the journey.

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California- Joshua Tree and Harmony Motel

Indeed, just like U2’s 1987 album, Jason and I ventured out to Joshua Tree.  Aaaand! Got to stay in Harmony Motel (yes, we are slight dorks, and you can thank Jason for any pop culture knowledge that goes into the blog) 🙂

I, on the other hand, am a bit of a risk taker- so much so that it would have been helpful to know that the gas station we passed in Mecca, CA was the last one we were going to see for 66 miles.  But! Alas, we were 40 minutes away from sunset, and at the edge of Joshua Tree National Park– and we powered through. (well, actually coasted, thankfully most of the national park is downhill going north to 29 Palms)

On our journey, I was hunting for the famous ‘Joshua Tree’ though discovered that there is none, as it is another name for the Yucca Palm.

Eh? Eh? Recognize the Harmony Motel sign? 🙂

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California- Bombay Beach and Slab City

The second we landed in LAX around 11pm, we picked up our car rental and made our best attempts to get out of dodge asap. With the thoughts, of course, that there is no midnight traffic jams in LA.  Thankfully, we were 90% correct. 🙂

So it was our first day in SoCal- and there we were, in the middle of nowhere. 187 miles from LAX, and far far from any 3G service. It was amazing.  On our drive down the coast of Salton Sea, we stumbled into a fantastic little community called Bombay Beach, with the population varying between 60 and 200 depending on the season.

What is the Salton Sea you ask? Well, it is the largest lake in California, and was created by accident back in 1905 due to an engineering mistake by the railroad companies when the Colorado River runoff flooded into the basins of California- submerging the town of Salton over the course of 2 years.  After a few decades, and the lake still there, realtors made vast attempts of turning the lake into a resort town.

Due to the loads of agricultural runoff being dumped into the lake, the lakes salt levels rose drastically- now at around 4%, and followed up by scores of dead fish washed up on the lake, and the tourists quickly retreating. All in all, the resort town was quite short lived and abandoned…. which makes for fantastic post-apocalyptic photo-ops.  We’ll have to head back and get a few sunrise shots of this amazing area.

On the bright note- the Salton Sea played a big part in the stabilization of the once threatened population of the American White Pelican. (As you can see bunches of them in the distance below) 🙂

The minute we stepped outside it felt as though we had a heatwave of a smack in the head.  Thankfully, it was 115 degrees of dryheat- which beats muggy weather anyday.

So you see all of that lovely sand?  If you take a closer look, much of that is actually crushed up fishscales and bones the closer you are to the lake. Yeeesh. That called for me to run back to the car and grab some closed toe shoes.  After that, we stumbled into the wonderfully amazing and airconditioned SKI INN. We had no idea what to expect when we walked in the door…

We entered the bar covered with $1 bills from visitors past, and greeted by a lovely gentleman by the name of Wendell.  The man behind the bar, as well as the 2nd owner of the place- he chose Bombay Beach for retirement and loves it.

The lovely lady to Wendell’s left was as though she emerged from a cartoon- green flyswatter and all. She had fantastic aim too. And Brian, on the right, handed us a dollar to decorate and tape to the ceiling.

Oh, and not to mention, 115 dry heat makes for the most amazing $2.50 pint of fat tire.  Served in a handled mason jar? AWESOME.

While we were outside, we ran into a few fellow travelers, Undergrads on break from UCLA- and they told us that Slab City- Salvation Mountain was only 20 miles down the road.  Yes!  Remember the movie ‘Into the Wild’ about Christopher McCandless, he ventured out to Slab City as well.

When we arrived, Leonard Knight- artist and dweller of Salvation Mountain wasn’t home, so we will have to venture inside next time.

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Jennifer and David’s California Ventura Beach Wedding!!

Now for Jennifer and David’s amazing and long awaited Ventura Beach Wedding Post!  It was an amazing tropical palm tree contrast to their heroic early spring engagement shoot. I loved everyone from Jennifer’s dress, to the palm trees, to the wedding colors perfectly matching the palm-filled SoCal wedding location.  Aqua and Orange indeed! 🙂 Jennifer’s family and friends were fantastic as well, with the array of conversations to be had, from her lovely sister being pregnant, to David’s dad’s trip to Yosemite. And- we can’t forget to mention David’s friend Tim, who has a passion for hamburgers. (Our new favorite being In-N-Out- AWESOME)

If Jennifer wasn’t an art teacher, I would say she should be a researcher, with her amazing finds in Ventura Beach, and the reception being held in the courtyard of Tutti’s off Main. (Not to forget to mention- they have an array of amazing lemon and lime trees!) Enough being said- on to the wedding!

If you look ever so closely at the bouquet, you will spot a picture of an adorable little doggy!

If you only knew that she is 4 months pregnant.  Amanda- you are the tiniest pregnant woman ever! Kudos! 🙂

Tad bit of info from David- Ventura has one of California’s oldest piers.  In case you were wondering why it looks so awesome.


See? Check out those trees! 🙂

Jennifer and David- you guys are gorgeous! I wish you two many beautiful babies and the best of luck in the rest of your future and your move to Michigan.  Cheers!

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Hello from California!

We are off in Ventura Beach getting ready for Jennifer and David’s wedding today!! 🙂 Stay tuned- more to come from Salton Sea, 29 Palms, Ventura, and Joshua Tree.

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