Tag Archives: pics

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.


Filed under Author: Jack

Procrastination Station: Home Tour

Everyone has been at us to give a tour of our place, and we swear we’re going to do it soon! There’s just been so much to do, and tonight my parents are coming to visit, so undoubtedly you’ll have to wait a few more days.  That said, please feel free to head on over to this fantastic listing that has a slideshow of the property.

Here's the entrance!

Here’s the entrance!

While the interior unit photos are way off, it’ll at least give you an idea of the building we’re living in and the sweet amenities at our disposal (like a pool, workout room, hot tub, and more!). We’ll get an actual tour of our condo as soon as we’ve got some more substantial free-time. We can’t wait to show you!

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Filed under Author: Jack

Jealousy Fodder for My Northern Friends

On Sunday Darin and I took a trip over to Malibu to Point Dume State Park.  Here are some photos to make you all upset that it’s still snowing where you are.

We had an incredamazing time, but it wasn’t as warm as we’d hoped. (Maybe 70 and windy? I know, our lives are tough.)

After Point Dume we searched for a place to eat on Google and ended up heading down to eat at The Sunset in Malibu, where we learned a valuable lesson about looking up the menu of a restaurant before going there. I ordered a salad ($9) and a side of Mac and Cheese ($7) and Darin had Fish & Chips ($17) and two beers. Yeeeesh. I wasn’t exactly the quick, cafe-style linner we were hoping for. It was more of a lofty little place with airy open windows, a ton of seafood on the menu, and a seriously eclectic clientele. (Some guy got really excited and told me I looked like Claire Forlani from Meet Joe Black, so we left.)

At any rate, if you’re looking to do a bit of hiking, see some neat rock formations, relax on a beach or two,  view the native flora/fauna, and only want to drive 42 minutes from our place then Point Dume is for you!

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Filed under Author: Jack

Scout Trip 2: Scout Harder

On Sunday Darin and I again flew out on separate flights to LA.  My trip turned into a mega-hassle, having been mysteriously booked a flight with two layovers.  One of my connections got hella-delayed, resulting in a 4-boarding pass, 1-ticked off Jackie trip.

Paper trail of frustration.

Paper trail of frustration.

Darin got a whole day to work, and once I arrived we just went to bed.

Dorks at The Grand leasing office.

Dorks at The Grand leasing office.

Nine AM was our first showing at The Grand, right next to Darin’s future office, where we weren’t horrified, but weren’t impressed either. We didn’t get to see the actual unit up for rent – just a model – and the unit we would’ve rented had a balcony that only got about an hour of sun a day and had a pretty sad view overlooking more balconies. The common areas were also in need up updating. We left feeling like the only way we’d rent The Grand was as a last resort.

The nonsense Galleria outdoor mall and its "roof".

The nonsense Galleria outdoor mall and its “roof”.

Darin left to go to a meeting, and I wandered around The Galleria – an outdoor mall with no real “roof”.

As soon as D was finished we bought him some new shoes at DSW in the Galleria. (It took way too long – he was a total woman about it.) On the verge of passing out from starvation, we headed over to Mel’s Drive-In for a very delicious lunch.  We talked about our high hopes for the AMLI, our second viewing.  (Our original noon appointment had cancelled, so we were waiting for our 2:00 at this point.)

Walking up to Mel's

Walking up to Mel’s

The interior at Mel's

The interior at Mel’s

Darin and his milkshake, which brought quite a few boys to the yard.

Darin and his milkshake, which brought quite a few boys to the yard.

After Mel’s we headed over to the AMLI – a huge grey and purple-ish behemoth of a building right on Sepulveda.

That's the AMLI - right on Sepulveda.

That’s the AMLI – right on Sepulveda.

I absently remarked at how it wasn’t very welcoming and made me kind of uncomfortable, but we went ahead with the tour. The unit available was a “first floor” interior unit, which apparently translated to “kind of underground and really dark”.

This was taken during our 2pm tour, on the actual "balcony".

This was taken during our 2pm tour, on the actual “balcony”.

Take a look – that’s “afternoon sun” out there on the subterranean patio.

Other features included a super tiny workout room that I would never use, a small pool in the shade, and oh yeah – a horribly depressing lack of windows. AMLI was even more saddening to us than The Grand had been, and was immediately removed from the list.

shoe swap

Shoe swap.

We were disheartened at our search so far to say the least, and with only one showing left at five, we were at a loss. Darin was also hurting from his new shoes, and decided to remove them and return them.

After the shoe swap we headed over to Whole Foods (across from the AMLI) and got some ice-cream type desserts. Eating our feelings lessened the pain a little.

Stress-relief noms. Note that Darin's is bacon flavored.

Stress-relief noms. Note that Darin’s is bacon flavored.

As depression kept creeping in we decided to regain our mental stamina by hitting the hotel pool. It was a good idea. Maybe even better than good.

The hotel pool cures all apartment-hunting woes.

The hotel pool cures all apartment-hunting woes.

Refreshed and ready to go with lower expectations, we headed out to our last viewing – a privately owned condo on Cedros.  Darin encountered his spirit animal on the way there.


Darin and the cheetah statue of destiny.

Once we got to the condo we were pleased at how normal it looked: not pretentious like The Grand, or dungeon-inspired like the AMLI. A quick tour told us all we needed to know, and we found our place! (Link to the original Craigslist posting.) Since a tenant was currently occupying the space I wasn’t able to take any interior shots of the unit, but I was able to get these quick shots of the property:


Darin waiting outside the main entrance.

The common area included a nice, clean-looking pool.

The common area included a nice, clean-looking pool.

And there's our future balcony!

And there’s our future balcony!

The unit itself was up-to-date and well-lit. While I’d never really call a one bedroom “spacious”, if there was such a thing I believe this place would be it. The balcony is street-facing, so none of this sad, interior view stuff. Appliances are included (there’s in-unit laundry!) and there’s a nice gated parking garage with a spot for our bikes. It was everything we wanted, and the guy renting it was really, really awesome. So we’re signing the application ASAP. Finally contented, we went out to celebrate. Cheers to our new place!



(Seriously goofy cheers face.)

(Seriously goofy cheers face.)

Mission accomplished!


Filed under Author: Jack