Destinations Magazine

Guest Post Series : Why I Live Where I Live

By Simonea
Guest Post Series : Why I Live Where I Live
If someone would have told me 14 or 15 years ago that I would be living in the Los Angeles area, I never would have believed it.  It was truly never on my list of places that I would want to live.  Don't get me wrong - I am a California girl all the way but LA - no way!!  haha...  
Until about 14 years ago that is.  I was newly separated after a 20 year marriage and had gone down to the Los Angeles area to meet some of my girlfriends that I met on the internet (gasp!!) :)  These girls literally walked me thru some very difficult times in my life and I am forever grateful that they came into my life.
With my new found freedom came a lot of road trips down to LA - thru these very friends I met Alex and after a few years of being in a long distance relationship with lots of plane rides and road trips - we decided that to really give our relationship a go - we'd need to live in the same city.  Here we are going on 14 years together - 11 of those years living in the Los Angeles area and I tell you - I absolutely love it here.  
I live in the San Fernando Valley which is just a 20 minute ride over Laurel or Coldwater Canyon to Hollywood and a 20 minute drive over Topanga Canyon to Malibu. The weather is beautiful most of the time - here in the Valley it gets extremely hot in the summertime, so Alex and I usually head to Malibu for a day of lunch, dinner and drinks or we head out to Ventura to visit friends (both nice beach towns)
  I've lived many places including Portland, Oregon, Cannon Beach, Oregon, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands but I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lived there most of my adult life.  My whole family still lives up there including my two children.  I take many trips up there during the course of the year. 
Each time I go up there I appreciate the beauty that Northern California has to offer especially San Francisco - I appreciate it far more now than when I was younger - such a beautiful and fun place to be!
What I love about where I live in the Los Angeles area is that there are so many things to do and a lot of them are free or very inexpensive.  One of my favorite things to do is to go on walks and bike rides - by the ocean, down to the Venice Canals, thru the quaint pockets of  neighborhoods from the Valley to Marina Del Rey.  Hiking with my girlfriends on Fryman Canyon and Runyon Canyon (which is always a great celebrity sighting place - if you recognize them without make up that is.)  There is so much beautiful nature here in LA to enjoy!
There is also an endless supply of small theatres if you love plays and musicals (which I do), a lot of improve comedy clubs, and small cafes and venues for musical acts too - famous and some just starting out.  Always great fun with a group of friends!
If you're into the movie and television aspect of Los Angeles, here are a few must sees:
The Grauman Chinese TheatreWalk of FameUniversal StudiosThe Hollywood SignRodeo Drive Below is a list of some of my favorite places in and around Los Angeles:Descanso GardensWill Rogers State ParkGriffith ParkThe Getty VillaLake ShrineThe Venice CanalsAbbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice(a lot of cute shops and restaurantsespecially Gjelina - get the butterscotch pudding!)Huntington Library & Botanical GardensThe Farmers Market at the GroveThe Rose Bowl Flea Market
Third Street Promenade in Santa MonicaThe Country Mart in BrentwoodAroma Café in Studio City(my favorite people watching place)Venice Beach (for a special dose of "WTH" everyone coming to LA needs to visit  Venice Beach - it has very unique" perfomers on the boardwalk.Years ago, there was a lady in her 80's in a bikini with a young drummer accompanying her as she sang "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly - from the 60's).Quite the sight!
As much as I love where I live - I would also enjoy living in two of my favorite cities - New York and London for at least 3-4 months.  I don't know if that will ever happen so I will just have to cherish the times that I do get to visit those two fabulous places (which is very soon!)
(*this photo is special to me, as it was taken a few years ago in Malibu - after a few of my friends and I had a nice brunch together and a long walk on the beach.  It was a wonderful day and the last time we were all together, as one of my friends passed away a few months later.)
Cathi writes the blog Every Day Adventures of a Curious Gal.
Note from Simone...."Why I Live Where I Live" is a new blog series which I am going to be featuring over the next few weeks.I have always been interested in where people live & why they live there, if it's a temporary or permanent home or if they have a plan to move somewhere else....What brought them to where they are now, a plan or just chance....and if they can see themselves staying there forever.Is another city or country their dream home?
I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to answer these questions & look forward to hearing what they have to say....I also asked them to choose just one instagram photo to accompany their post, a photo that in some way sums up their post, their home & their town/city.
If you would like to participate in this series & be featured on my blog, feel free to email me :)

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