Los Angeles

Visiting Malibu Wine Safaris

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I’ve been wanting to visiting Malibu Wine Safaris after I saw someone posting about it on Snapchat. I love animals and knew I HAD to meet the giraffe. Luckily, they had some openings over Memorial Day weekend and I was able to check it out!

The trucks that take you around the property

I took the Giraffe Tour ($95) which is a little over 90 mins and includes 6 tastings. They start out by taking you to see the animals. They have alpaca, zebras, horses, and the main attraction — Stanley the giraffe!

IMG_7896My sister feeding the alpaca

IMG_7904The zebra with big chompers!

IMG_7909Stanley the Giraffe!

After seeing the animals, they take you to two different locations on the property for tasting of 3 white wines, then 3 red wines. They also provide crackers and spreads to munch on. Along the way, you get to see the beautiful property and artwork the owner has displayed. My favorite part was just taking in the beautiful views!

IMG_7933Beautiful Views!

I absolutely loved the Malibu Wine Safari and hope to come back and try another tour sometime. It was a relaxing and beautiful way to spend a Sunday with my sister!

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The Little Mermaid at the Hollywood Bowl

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The moment I heard about The Little Mermaid at the Hollywood Bowl, I knew I had to go! Such a great cast and one of the best animated musicals of all time, I was in!

IMG_7947View from our original seats

It was actually one of those nights that everything was going wrong. The lot we wanted to park in was full, so myself and friend Erika had to find other parking, then walk to the shuttle. We ended up getting to our seats right as the show was starting, to find our row was already full! The ushers deliberated for a bit, then re-seated us right by the stage! It was a bad situation that turned out to be a good night.

IMG_7952View from our new seats!

The orchestra played live to the movie, including a few solos along the way. I was interested to see how they would stretch the time as The Little Mermaid is less than 90 mins, but I was surprised to learn they added in some of the Broadway songs, along with an intermission in the middle. John Stamos really stole the show as Chef Louis, his song was amazing. Sara Bareilles was equally great as Ariel. Jodi Benson even came out at the end to sing “Part of Your World.” Overall, it was amazing to see everything live under the stars and I hope they continue these shows in the future.

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Visiting The Broad Museum

One of the hottest tickets in Los Angeles right now is for The Broad, a new contemporary art museum in downtown. Though it is free, reservations are often sold out for months. Luckily, I had a friend with some extra tickets and was able to check it out this weekend.

If you have reserved tickets, you arrive within 30 mins of your allotted time and walk right in. Otherwise, there is a stand-by line which I hear is a 30-60 min wait. One of the biggest attractions is the Infinity Room which was a 6 hour wait when I was there. You enter in your phone number and the app will text you when it is your turn. We were long gone by our appointment time, haha.

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All of the art is from Eli and Edye Broad’s private collection and they made the museum free to make art available to the masses. The size of some of the installations are quite impressive, they even have some Andy Warhol pieces which I was excited to see. There are 2 floors to the museum, so don’t plan to spend more than a couple of hours exploring. Photography is ok and almost encouraged (no flash) which is rare for a museum. They even had their own Snapchat filter!

Loved this Jeff Koons piece

Overall, I think The Broad is definitely worth checking out for its impressive collection of modern art, especially if you can get tickets and see it for free! Just don’t bring a drink into the museum, you might get yelled at like I did :)

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Visiting the Rose Bowl Flea Market

Visiting the Rose Bowl Flea Market has been on my LA bucket list for awhile now. Given that work has been slow, I’ve been trying to check off some things I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.

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The Rose Bowl isn’t exactly located in Los Angeles, it’s in Pasadena, a north east suburb. The flea market is held every second Sunday, rain or shine. It costs $8 after 9am for admission (it’s $15-20 earlier) and parking is free, although there is preferred parking for a fee. The vendors usually start packing up about 3pm.

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I was frankly overwhelmed by the size of the place, I just kept wandering and somehow ended up back at the beginning after awhile. There were a wide abundance of second-hand clothing and furniture vendors and a small amount of artists. My favorite part was the people watching, there was a wide range of different shoppers to scope out.

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IMG_7786Overall, I think it’s definitely worth checking out. Especially if you have a free Sunday, why not take a stroll around?

Outdoor Movie with the Rooftop Film Club

With the nice weather in Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that outdoor movies are so popular. Though, I’m finding that laying on blanket looking at a far away screen is becoming less and less appealing to me, not to mention the overly crowded venues. I was pleasantly surprised when a friend invited me to the Rooftop Film Club recently. It definitely brings a more luxe and comfortable experience to the typical outdoor movie.

IMG_5952Upon entering the venue, there are vendors offering drinks and gourmet burgers for sale before the movie starts. Once the ticket office opens, you can pick up your headphones and blankets. Popcorn and candy is also available for sale.

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As you can see by the above photos, there are chairs for everyone! Plus with the headphones and blankets, it made for a very comfortable experience; no need to worry about getting cold or not being able to hear the movie. The movie I saw was one of my favorites, When Harry Met Sally.

IMG_5956I highly recommend the Rooftop Film Club, I hope that more venues follow suit with these comfortable outdoor movies. Plus, being on a rooftop in Hollywood was pretty cool :)

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Completing My First Triathlon

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This past weekend I completed my first triathlon as part of the Paramount Pictures team! It was a lot of hard work but such a great experience.

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon is 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 4 mile run. My training consisted of weekly swimming, strength training, spinning, and running. Eventually, I would go out to Malibu on Saturdays to try out the course and practice swimming in the ocean. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such good shape in my life!

I was really anxious the day before the race, I had trouble sleeping. The 3am wake-up time didn’t help either! In the end, it didn’t matter how much training or preparation I had, I just had to go through with it. Now, knowing what I’m getting into, I’m determined to try the race again to improve my time.

The best part about this experience was being part of a team and all the great people I met through work. Even though I’m not the fastest triathlete ever, everyone was super supportive and made going to each work-out worth it! I went into this wanting to get over my fear of swimming in the ocean and my teammates stood by me reassuringly during my first ocean swim.

I keep telling everyone to join a triathlon team and give it a go. You never know how far your body can go or what you can accomplish until you do it!

Bootie LA

The name may sound a little odd, but Bootie LA is the best dance party in LA! It’s a weekly mashup party where guests can dance the night away for the small fee of $10.

The night I went to was Katy Perry/Taylor Swift mash up night where they featured music from both artists. It was my first time going to Bootie LA at The Regent in downtown and I loved the venue. Lots of space, parking, full bar, and good air conditioning. Bootie is also at the Echoplex in Echo Park some weeks and that venue is so hot and sweaty! I recommend The Regent over Echoplex.

IMG_4231-meThe crew!

My favorite part about Bootie LA was all the interesting people. Everyone shows up in crazy outfits and the stage has various dancers to entertain the crowd. I could just watch the dancers all night! They had a guy in a Starbucks uniform come out at one point and someone dressed as a power ranger. There was even an aerial dancer! There was also a photo booth and airbrush tattoo artist for fun.

IMG_5543Aerial Dancer! (Excuse my crappy cell phone photos)

I loved DJ’s choice of music for this night. It was awesome to hear the whole crowd singing Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Word of caution for Bootie LA – make sure to dress in something light like shorts and a tank top — it gets hot! Also, wear close-toed or old shoes, your feet will probably get stepped on. Otherwise, be yourself and dance the night away!

 

CicLaVia

Recently, I kept hearing about these CicLaVia events in LA, where they would close off streets and allow people to cycle through the city. I finally was able to participate this past Sunday!

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CicLaVia strives to remove the cars from LA streets to connect the community. By removing the stress of traffic, it makes the streets safer for people to enjoy and explore the area.

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My route went from Culver City to Venice. Honestly, I never make it out there because it’s super far, but having the convenience of a bicycle made it worthwhile. I was able to visit some parts of the city I’d never been, such as Abbot Kinney and the Venice Canals. Also, it was fun seeing everyone enjoying themselves on bikes and getting cheered on by onlookers.

IMG_5515Bad photo, but if you look closely, the bikes go all they way down the boulevard!

Overall, I loved CicLaVia and would definitely do it again. The route was perfect because it ended with a fun walk along Venice Beach. I was sad that I was out of town when CicLaVia came to Studio City, but I definitely hope they come back to the valley again. I already marked my calendar for their next event in October!

Making Your Commute Better with Audiobooks

With all the different types of entertainment today, it’s really hard to make time to read. I’m always trying to stay up to date on all the latest TV show, movies, and entertainment news; reading always seems to take the back-burner. When I started my new job earlier this year, I decided to make the most of my 30 minute commute by trying out audiobooks.

IMG_0346Can’t wait to start listening to this one!

In 4 months, I’ve already been through 8 books! I didn’t realize how much time I spent in the car! I’ve found that I like books read by the authors best, especially ones that are celebrity memoirs. It’s always a good start to my day to hear a funny story or two. Listening to these books also make any long commutes to see friends or family more bearable.

Here’s two options I’ve discovered when it comes to audiobooks:

1. Audible – Amazon’s audiobook service and app. The books can be $20-30 each! If you sign up for a plan and pay monthly, it’s $14.95 each month. This gets you a credit for one book. If you choose to buy any additional books, there is a discounted rate. You can find basically any book you want and read reviews about it. Though, if you go through books quickly, it gets pricey.

2. Overdrive (through LA Public Library) – I was talking to someone about Audible recently and they were like “Why don’t you just use the library?” Who would’ve thought?! I signed up online, got an electronic library card, and downloaded the Overdrive app. Basically, you can browse the library catalog online and check out the audiobooks. It’s all free and your check outs will sync to the app on your phone. Though it’s cost efficient, I’ve found that it’s hit or miss with which audiobooks they carry. Also, you might have to wait a bit for a book to become available.

I’ve been utilizing a marriage of the two systems, which is working great! I’ve knocked out so many reads on my Amazon Wish List. Here’s a few books I’ve listened to that I recommend:

  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe – If you’re a film buff like me and love hearing about the movie industry, this book is for you! Rob reads it himself and it was amazing to hear him tell about his beginnings as an actor, his darkest times, and finding love. I’m excited to listen to his 2nd book soon as well!
  • Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – I found myself laughing out loud constantly listening to Jenny’s stories. In the reviews, I read a few times people saying not to listen to this while driving because you’ll be laughing too hard! So true!
  • Still Foolin’ ‘Em by Billy Crystal – Another great comedic listen. Billy talks about his days starting in stand-up, transitioning to films, family life, and growning old. Some of his stories are read to a live audience. I believe this audiobook was nominated for a Grammy, so you can only imagine how good it must be!
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris – I’ve always wanted to read a David Sedaris book, so I thought this was finally my chance! He reads with such sarcasm and wit, that you genuinely feel engrossed in his stories. His minor frustrations with everyday occurrences were something I related to and laughed along with!
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler – This was my first celebrity audiobook and the one that got me hooked. I really think hearing the book read by Amy herself is the best way to experience the book. Although I read Tina Fey’s and Mindy Kaling’s books on paper, I’m sure those ones would’ve been twice as good if I listened to them like Amy’s.

Tip: Under no circumstances do I recommend listening to Carrie Fisher’s book, Wishful Drinking. I think it was the worst reading I’ve heard, she sounded like a crazy person throughout!