Tag Archives: photos

A Birthday Trip to The Getty Center

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For my birthday Darin and I finally took a quick afternoon trip up to the Getty Center. We’ve been saying we’re going to check it out since we moved here – it’s only about a 15 minute drive, and it’s free. ($10-15 for parking, though, but you get to take a totally rad tram ride with great views of the 405. So worth it.) We finally made good on our promise, and realized it was a mistake not to come here more often.

The Getty was really beautiful – the art/sculpture collections and architecture were gorgeous – but we definitely didn’t set aside enough time to visit. We managed to see half of one building’s art collections (there are at least four main buildings, for those of you good at math that’s somewhere around 1/8th of the collections), and then resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren’t going to get in enough exhibits, so we went off to explore the grounds. The grounds, it turns out, are reason enough to visit. And Holy Hera – those vistas!

Behind us is all of downtown LA, Santa Monica, and the waterfront.

Behind us is all of downtown LA, Santa Monica, and the waterfront.

We were so blown away by the vistas that we decided to share a few, saving some of the more incredible ones for when/if you visit the Getty yourself. (Also, we were way too stupefied by the more amazing views to remember to video them.) So sit back, relax, and watch us guide you through two incredible views in just over a minute. We apologize for the mumbly, whispering audio. We didn’t want to look like total nuts raving about the views into our phones. Pretend we’re conspiring with you, instead of just crazy.

For those of you who have yet to come out this way, I highly encourage you to visit the Getty. You honestly can’t beat the price or the views. If you’re already out here, call us up and we’ll go together!

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Filed under Author: Jack

The Great Bin Hunt

Our bathroom was designed by a man. I know this because there is a glass sink/counter that is impossible to keep clean, and open storage areas that showcase all of your clutter.

Who would see this and go "Yes, that's the design for me!"?

Who would see this and go “Yes, that’s the design for me!”?

As some of you may know, I’ve been looking to reduce this mess-tastic scenario by purchasing lidded, opaque storage bins. If you know that, then you also know that I’ve been looking for over a month with absolutely no luck.

Places that disappointed: Target, Pier 1, Michaels, World Market “Cost Plus”, Bed Bath & Beyond, our local Goodwill, and many online shops (Amazon, The Container Store, and more).

Then I discovered there’s an IKEA in Burbank. I forced Darin to take me there post-haste. Naturally, he was thrilled.

I didn't want to go alone because I knew I'd never get out with money left to my name.

I didn’t want to go alone because I knew I’d never get out with money left to my name.

After finding our way through the labyrinth to the area where you can actually purchase things instead of gazing at the showrooms with reckless wallet-abandon, we finally found the holy bin grail.

IKEA BLADIS, our hero!

How sexy is that bin!? It’s black, and even has a handle to pull out of the storage area. We bought two, along with some other things because you obviously don’t just go to IKEA and leave with the bins you needed.

Here we are in triumph.

Here we are in triumph.

And here's Darin at Hooter's, because I let him choose dinner after dragging him through IKEA.

And here’s Darin at Hooter’s, because I let him choose dinner after dragging him through IKEA.

I got the bins home and am happy to report that they have acclimated well to their non-Swedish surroundings. They fit in the spaces well and look like they’re the right color. I’m so pleased to come to the end of this bins saga.

Damn, those are some sweet bins you might say.

Damn, those are some sweet bins you might say.

This is how I found the bathroom when I went to take photos.

This is how I found the bathroom when I went to take photos.

Also, while out hunting for bins I was able to score these adorable little succulents at Michaels for the equally non-functional, clutter-baring shelving above the sink. (They’re artificial, because there’s no natural light in the bathroom at all.)

They were like $8 or so, and they make me happy.

They were like $8 or so, and they make me happy.

Here's Konan checking them out like the sassy cat she is.

Here’s Konan checking them out like the sassy cat she is. She’ll probably try to eat them later.

Cats - they're so vain, you can't take a single home photo without them.

Cats – they’re so vain, you can’t take a single home photo without them.

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Filed under Author: Jack

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve

On Saturday Darin and I took a trip over to the 225-acre Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in Encino.

Ringed by mountains, rivers and streams, the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve is haven of rest for wildlife and humans alike, a welcome oasis within an urban setting. It is here where the visitor of today can get a sense of what this part of the San Fernando Valley might have been like before agriculture and urban settlement forever changed the Valley floor.

It was an incredible trip for many reasons: It’s very close to us (less than 4 miles), the place is huge so it feels unpopulated at times, there are lots of activities going on, and there was – as the name suggests – tons of wildlife to see. Oh, and it was free!

Click any photo to enlarge & view slideshow. Hover for info.

10/10 will visit again soon.

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Filed under Author: Jack

Our Botched Scouting Trip

Our scouting trip really didn’t turn out like I’d hoped. We had planned on meeting up with a Realtor and being shown apartments for rent in the Sherman Oaks area all day Thursday, but found out the night before that the Realtor wouldn’t be getting in touch until 3. (This was the result of miscommunication by Darin’s new company and the Realtor.) We decided to make the best of a set-back and set out to walk the area.

We walked down Ventura Blvd, took a tour of Darin’s new office, and then just kept on walking. The goal was to get a feel for the neighborhood as best we could. We saw a lot of things we liked, some we didn’t, and we were super warm the whole time.  Here are some of the highlights of cruisingVentura:

A martini bar for when the guys come visit.

A martini bar for when the guys come visit.

A wine shop (and flower stand!) with really funky signs.

A wine shop (and flower stand!) with really funky signs.

Some kind of drive-in style restaurant that looks like it would have great food.

Some kind of drive-in style restaurant that looks like it would have great food.

A Goodwill!   Yeah!

A Goodwill! Yeah!

An anime/comics/games shop, which we'll probably frequent.

An anime/comics/games shop, which we’ll probably frequent.

A shot down Ventura Blvd, to get an idea of the overall scene.

A shot down Ventura Blvd, to get an idea of the overall scene.

A seemingly-endless billiards hall for Mitch.

A seemingly-endless billiards hall for Mitch.

Once we’d had enough of Ventura, we took the side streets back and creeped on all the housing around the area.  We eventually ended up back on Sepulveda, then hung around, got lunch, etc.

3:00PM rolled around, and it turned out the Realtor wouldn’t be showing us any places.  We were pretty disheartened, but decided to go back out on our own and call some of the places we saw earlier with vacancies.  (We totally wished we would’ve known we were going to need those numbers when we were walking earlier!)

We did a lot of this.

We did a lot of this.

And a lot of this.

And a lot of this.

Hoping to get into a place like this. (This one has no vacancies, sadly.)

Hoping to get into a place like this. (This one has no vacancies, sadly.)

We got in to see two vacant units, and one other property.  Sore and a little peeved, we met back up with some of Darin’s coworkers and had some food and drinks at the super legit Blue Dog Beer Tavern. With all the tasty noms and beers sloshing in our bellies, we headed back to the hotel and debated staying a few days more. However, United didn’t offer Darin a way to change flights online, and the phone wait-time was quoted as 60 minutes (seriously?!), so we gave up and went to bed.

While the trip didn’t go how we had anticipated, at least we’d seen the neighborhood. (It felt a little like Milwaukee’s Brady Street on crack.) I liked the weather, the varied little shops, the greenery on the side streets, and the walkability of the area.  It’s also right off the 405 and 101, so access to other areas should be okay. I wasn’t a fan of one panhandler, one crazy man on a bike, some of the smaller/less-reputable looking shops, and lack of bike lanes.

The apartments weren’t what I expected. I had assumed that they would be newer, but in fact the ones we saw were built at least as early as the 1970s. However, they were pretty spacious (as they should be for those prices, geez!) and the managers were courteous. The buildings we toured were similar to apartments you could get in, say, Milwaukee – old, but not terrible. There were definitely some nicer ones available, but at a steeper price.  We made need to re-evaluate how much we’re willing to pay.

After all that craziness, we woke up on Valentine’s Day, ate breakfast and took a town car to LAX to spend the day romantically travelling on separate airlines for 12 hours.

Our quick Valentine moment before heading our separate ways.

Our quick Valentine moment before heading our separate ways.

We did manage to catch a glimpse of a sky-writer starting “Happy Valentine’s Day” in the sky.

HAP...

HAP…

Ahh, big-city romance.

Another scouting trip might be in the cards for us, now that we know what to expect (and what not to). At least we got to see the area, though.

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Filed under Author: Jack