Los Angeles explored: Hollywood and Venice Beach

First of all, I would like to say what an honor it is to be Freshly Pressed AGAIN, for the second time! I didn’t think lightning could strike twice.  Hallelujah!

As an introduction – below are are a selection of photographs from my recent trip to LA/Vegas and San Diego. Not that I need much of an excuse to take photographs anyway. If you like what you see,  check out these links to my photographs from Laguna Beach, San diego and the beautiful flowers there, and universal studios. Watch this space for my Vegas (I ♥ Vegas) and Grand Canyon explored series coming up soon.

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The mexican city – in downtown LA.

Inside the oldest house in LA!

The restaurant from Rush Hour! I loved that movie.

Hollywood starwalk.

At Grauman’s chinese theatre

The Rockwalk at Sunset Boulevard.

Eeek, so exciting! My claim to fame.

Inside LA ink. They asked me not to use my flash inside the store. I am such a rebel with my flash photography!

Venice Beach. My favourite place in LA!

Found some local bboys.

Befriended the local bboys 😛

An amazing little art store. I love this artist’s work so much, and I would love to collect a few pieces to display in my home one day.

Our in-the-car photoshoot while we waited for everyone to hurry on up! Devaki was practicing crossing her eyes.

Los Angeles Explored: Universal Studios

One of the things I enjoyed the most in LA, was our trip to the universal studios. It was a great day out for the whole family. I went on all the rides, got totally SICK of the “special effects rides” because they all made me want to puke, and met the character celebrities like Shrek! The studio tours were incredibly fascinating and entertaining, giving us a real glimpse of what happens behind the camera and the kind of work that goes into creating the future of the cinematic experience. The 4d King Kong experience in the largest 4d studio was phenomenal and by the end of the day, I had just about enough of special effects.

It was a great day out! 🙂 One of the most enjoyable during our time in LA.

This is where stayed. We stayed in suites in Anaheim  🙂

And every morning, Devaki and I indulged in a little narcissism.

Ishaan drinking coke from the can with gold lettering like a total champion.

As we entered the Universal Studios.

Here I am looking a little bedazzled, but enjoying my Johnny Rocket’s Mocha Fudge milkshake. Johnny Rocket’s have the best milkshakes! And Krispy Kreme have the best donuts in the world. Krispy Kreme donuts are my kryptonite.

Universal Studios!

Group shot! The kids were so excited to meet shrek, but probably not as excited as me 😛

But Shrek was mean! He kept doing this everytime they took a picture.

We went on the universal studio hollywood studios tour. It was so worth it! We got to see all the live movie sets and studios and it was very, very cool. We all payed double the ticket price (regular admission: 70$, fast pass: 140$) to get fast pass tickets. This was a very worthwhile investment to really enjoy the park. We had to wait for a max for 20 minutes for a ride, show or attraction (and even this was rare) and because of this, we were able to really enjoy all the attractions. It was crazy hot that day, and I can’t imagine having to wait in the lines that had around 3 hour wait times to go on a ride that lasted about 2 minutes. I think part of the reason we enjoyed the rides, tours, and shows so much was because of the short waiting time. If we had to wait the full 3 hours, I think we would have found it a really big disappointment. So, moral of the story – GET THE FAST PASS. IT’S WORTH IT.

Part of the movie sets – mediteranian-esque homes.

On the set of Desperate Housewives! Marie and Michelle : Be jealous.

The set from the movie War of the worlds.

This is a real airplane they wrecked for the movie. It is so impressive to hear all the set-making and special-effect procedures that happens during the pre-production of a movie. They go into so much detail to make it as real of an experience as possible.

As you can imagine, it was incredibly hot. The park had numerous “cool zones” around the grounds, where was a giant fan spraying cool water vapor into the crowds. It was a welcomed break.

The streets of the park were themed. This one was a french themed street!

Yep. This happened.

This is the lowest section of the park.

Me and my new boyfriend.

This guy was so creepy! I actually got goosebumps (of fear) when he pretended to bite my neck!

Not that I have ever followed american basketball (yet), but if I do, at least I know which team to support now. I am such a tourist.

No, seriously. I am such a tourist.

Z’omg! Bubba Gump Shrimp – from the movie Forrest Gump! So exciting 🙂

My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.

And ain’t it true.

You can take the ipad away from the kid, but you can’t take the kid away from the ipad.

Los Angeles Explored: Laguna beach

I’m back, and more inspired than ever. I realize now that if I am ever lacking blog inspiration, all I have to do is tell myself that I can’t write in it for about 1 week, and by the end of this week, my brain is just overflowing with new ideas, concepts, realizations (and photography) to share with you.

Get ready for a plethora of photography posts from the “Explored” section of my blog! I seriously took so many photos on this trip that it is incredibly difficult to pick my absolute favourite and share them with you- but I will do my best.

This is Los Angeles – Laguna Beach. Explored.

I took this photo in our hotel room in Bellingham, where we stayed the night before  our flight to LAX the next morning. The kids fell asleep after the 4-5 hour drive, and they both looked so cozy and snuggle-licious in the late night lamp light.

 Sleepy head wrapped up in the covies with “Rabbi” her bunny. Devaki and I had a discussion one day about languages and she said “I speak 3 languages. English, malayalam (our mothertongue) and rabbit.”

One thing I know for sure is that life gets a little bit easier when this guy is asleep, believe me 😀 His father said to me “Malu, you don’t know this yet because you don’t have children, but when you do, life gets a little bit more complicated. Just a little bit.” Amen.

Experimenting with the ambient lighting and my shiny legs 🙂

I made sure to pack the essentials. I finished both books, barely wore the sunglasses (sunglasses look ridiculous on me), and used up the highlighter pen. I like to underline and highlight interesting things I read in books so that I can revisit them later. It’s kind of dorky but it feels great.

And we are away! I really love airplane photography now – I can’t believe I never really did it before. What I would love more is to take pictures of the passengers on the airplane (sleeping, staring, reading really interesting things, on their laptop, listening to music, cuddling, holding hands, talking, arguing) but that would be too awkward.

Los Angeles

Downtown L.A. I think cityscapes and skylines are very pretty.

Landed and ready for our vacation! the LAX airport was undergoing major construction, or a “facelift” (there was a billboard that said: “This is L.A. Even the airports need facelifts.”). You always hear about LAX in the movies and the news so I was expecting some bang for my buck, but I was a little disappointed. All I got was open ceilings, wires and huge pipes.

But hey, it’s just an airport.

This was pretty neat.

It was lovely and hot hot hot in L.A – with its subtropical mediterranian climate. I watched three children playing with water hoses, and water slides and water guns at the corner of their neighbourhood.

That evening, we explored Laguna beach. It was pretty and a nice place to visit for a couple of hours (unless you’re one of those people who can spend an entire day on the beach) but I did not think it was as awesome as you expect it to be (yes, after it was on the MTV show laguna beach :P). Venice beach was much cooler!  There wasn’t many people on the beach, yet there was so much traffic getting there, and trouble parking. Apart from a couple of  photos of the known backdrop (as above), it was fun to just play in water and sand with everybody 🙂

Little hands in the sand.

It was Ishaan’s first time in the ocean!  He was nervous of the water, but gradually became braver and braver.

Hey, doesn’t this remind you of Kamloops (Aberdeen in particular)? Seems to me that Kamloops may be the upcoming slightly less glamorous L.A of Canada 😛

I just thought this was TOO cute. Devaki and my brother were playing in the water, and she was scared and my brother was brave – so she kept clinging onto him and hugging him for support – but he just felt so awkward that every time she tried to wrap her arms around him, he would just hold her at a bit of a distance. Oh, kids!

A classic beach shot. How could I not?

🙂 Happy memories!

Ocean hair.

Of course, no day at the beach is complete without gelato! Yes please.


Before I leave you for now, I want to share a message with you. 

No matter how difficult, challenging or heartbreaking the road is that you are on now – no body can promise you a fairytale ending, or that things will happen exactly as you expect them to unfold, but I sincerely hope you can find comfort and assurance in knowing that at the end of this road, what you will get is a chance to catch a glimpse of yourself – and that to me, will make everything worth it.