Los Angeles Trip with Jann

Jann & I at the Getty
Last week Jann and I took off to Los Angeles, four days of fun, inspiration and really good food! The reason for the trip is that Jann was asked to create something for an event to support the Edible Schoolyard and she came up with a beautiful tea towel (yes, I am going to see if I can get some for Nonchalant Mom... not sure yet!?). So there we went, off to California with the perfect excuse!

It has taken me some time to write about our trip because in some way there was a big shift in my mind and I wanted to sort it out before I went on and on about this wonderful place.. tinsel town! We were pretty sure it was going to be a great trip when we arrived at the car rental place and after we stacked our things in a big 'not so fun' car, around the corner swung a VW and our guy smiled at us and said... "yes, you can have it..." just like he knew. So there we were, listening to our GPS lady, we both had never used one before, it's so FUNNY to drive and not know where you are and just blindly listen to someone tell you where to go! She took us straight to Abbot Kinney.. just where we wanted to go.. imagine that! We parked and hoped out and gave ourselves a cheer... we were in LA!

This was the beginning of the longest day ever (well it really began in NYC so that's even longer). We walked up and down the street and went in when we wanted, but why do we keep smelling skunk? My favorite store is still Tortoise!  So we made a visit, I had a psychic reading (why not.. this is LA after all) and then Jann called her friend Clive, boy can he talk, and I tell you it's not easy being in between two South Africans reminiscing! I don't know why but I felt as though I was there too... We wanted to go to Axe (my favorite place, hands down, anywhere in the world) but they had a fire in the kitchen, so it was closed... But we found a new lovely spot called Gjelina on the advise of Jamie from Lost & Found, but we couldn't get in for one and half hours, so we walked down the street and into a poetry reading (poetry with music, what's that a poetry jam?) and then along the way we found a Paul McCarthy opening at the brand new L&M gallery, don't click this link if kids are nearby, but if you want to see what we saw... then by all means click here (there is movement in the piece and the heads spin around and actually look at you if you scream with laughter as we did). So now it's 11pm (2am for us!) and we haven't eaten anything but nuts and apples on the plane! Starving, we beg for our table at Gjelina and they feel sorry for us and let us in... That and the fact that Clive is STILL talking... Clive ordered plates and plates of food and we just kept eating, it was so amazingly delicious! grilled escarole with an anchovy vinaigrette... absolutely to die for... everything was so fresh, clean and easy and did I say incredibly tasty... we couldn't stop talking about it and Clive was still going! At 1am we are on our way out and there is that smell of skunk again, and Clive finally tells me that it's pot... pot is practically legal and just as he says it we walk by a guy with a giant Jamaican style doobie (they are going to have to add that word to spell check soon!) outside a dispensary... there you go... it's practically legal, and we see signs of it all weekend. So when you smell skunk... it's not! ha!

Clive, snakes Alive... thank you for an incredibly memorable night and the most delicious food I have had in a LONG long time!

in the back room of Tortoise General Store
Mohawk General Store / Amsterdam Modern

It's 2 am before the GPS finds our home for the night... who KNOWS where we were, but we were certainly in LA! When we woke up in the morning we were in a very sweet neighborhood called Pacific Heights.. perfectly cute, but we needed coffee... so off we went as fast as our little GPS would take us to a place we were told to go for an $8 cup of coffee... Silver Lake's Sunset Junction. Now... it's my SECOND favorite place to go... just after Abbot Kinney. We found a wonderful store called Mohawk General Store and ended up staying and somehow we kept coming back! I'm crazy for this stereo... I've always wanted one and this one just seemed perfect, like a lot of things in this store!

interior of Mohawk General Store

Where ever we went we are inspired by indigo (see it there on the left).... it just kept popping up, even in conversation, we found a friend of a friend, Britt Browne, she's fantastic! There was talk about an indigo dying weekend class... I'm sure this will be impetus for another LA trip! We saw vintage Japanese indigo in second hand shops (for thousands of dollars!!), shirts, scarves and even pants... it's was everywhere!

entering heaven... I mean the Getty

For the second half of the day we decided to go to HEAVEN... I mean, The Getty! It's like heaven isn't it?... all that white way up in the sky like that and then you take that white tram up there... I was waiting for George Burns to come on the loud speaker and welcome us! And there we were lying around on the grass in heaven. We did manage to take in a show or two of photography, one room of photojournalism was so moving it was kind of hard to leave, I learned a lot that day! Our date for dinner was with Julie (from Verre, who's jewelry I sell on Nonchalant Mom - click here) and her lovely husband Brody, who is going to bring Nonchalant Mom into the modern age by putting me on Facebook! (he has invented, is that what you say?), an amazing tool that helps you look amazing on Facebook, click here... coming soon...

The next day we woke up and went to see Gurumuk at Golden Bridge! We thought to ourselves, why not? When in LA go and see Gurmukh, I read her book in my second pregnancy and birth, it's called Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful... I love her and her teachings are so simple and yet so strong. My sister had met her and told me that she is the most beautiful women she has ever seen! She was right... She started the class off with a chant that echoed deep within me and by the end of the class I was lying on my back in savasana and wheeping like crazy... I'm not sure why, but it felt great and like a light entered my heart. She talked about so much, she talked about not holding back and just moving on, no matter what obstacles come up in your life, it's important to learn from them and move to your next step. We rolled on the floor like penguins trying to get up and when we were done it felt amazing! Then we ate a beautiful lunch... you must go to the Golden Bridge if you find yourself in LA.

Later this week I will write about the rest of the trip... It's the BEST part if you can imagine that... Coming soon... (sorry I'm tired and I know it's going to be a long post, because it was so interesting and fun!)