January 15, 2011

An L.A. Love Story


We spent the last two days of our very fun, very brave eight-day road trip with baby in Los Angeles, which I fell deeply, inconsolably in love with. I'd never been before.

Coming home on the plane today, I felt heartsick. I can't remember the last time I felt that way coming home from a trip. I felt like I was leaving behind a great love, not knowing when I might see him again. And he's not even, like, a love that people approve of. Lots of people say lots of nasty things about L.A. but I don't care.

This wasn't totally unexpected, my feelings for Los Angeles; I like to keep up with celebrity culture and I greatly prefer warm weather and the general happiness that accompanies it. But I didn't expect to get such a feeling from this city. Today, as our airplane tilted upwards into the sky, I looked out the window, down at the long, skinny palm trees and the curving coastline and all the rest of it. I thought: If only I wasn't married to this sweet man and mother to this sweet little baby, I would just pack it all up and move out here. I would live in a crummy old apartment and eat canned pork and beans for dinner and take public transportation. I haven't felt like that about a city since I felt that way about New York. I got over the New York thing, and I will get over this one. I'm an adult after all.

It's just that we had a really lovely last two days. It was sunshiney and 75 degrees, and we walked everywhere -- along the beach in Santa Monica, on a Laurel Canyon trail choked with eucalyptus, down Robertson Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. We hired an angelic, patient sitter named Andrea and went for cocktails at Bar Marmont. We stayed in a perfect art deco hotel with a nice bathtub. We ate lobster and burgers and Pinkberry and pastries and lots of pretty salads. And Tessa even slept until 6 a.m. both days.

That's the funny thing about traveling. You never know how a city will hit you. The other funny thing about traveling, I think, is how changed you can feel afterward. I met so many people and saw so many places that I feel like I have a whole new palette of colors to paint with now. I'm tired, but I'm inspired. Truly the best way to feel after a long, magnificent trip.

Tessa's first time at the beach

She loved it. She ate sand and kicked her feet in the water. 
I promise I comb her hair. 

Love this picture!
... and this one, too. 



Our turquoise hotel in Santa Monica.





Gotta eat and run. I've missed Tessa's highchair so much. It's necessary. 
Drool ... 
Up on Laurel Canyon.


Santa Monica pier


6 comments:

  1. I loooooooove these pictures. Tessa looks so happy playing at the beach. I particularly like the photograph with Nekos holding her, where she looks all contemplative. So precious. <3

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  2. Ellen-
    When you write I can see myself in the experience you write about. I can also feel your emotions--- you truly have a unique gift... I am looking forwarding to reading more and seeing where God leads you-- Faye

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  3. I totally feel you. It's so powerful when you love a place so much you wish you could just pick up and move there. Love all these pics sooo much and it was great to see you.

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  4. I LOVE THESE PICS! these are the best of all. You can see the sun and happiness in all of your faces. That is what the West does to me too. I feel you. Your trip made me drool and made me homesick as well. Thank you for sharing!

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  5. i feel your pain. i too love l.a. and miss it greatly. last time i visited was in 2007. i have dear friends there but just don't seem to make it over there any more.
    if cali wasn't so far away from portugal (where my family lives), it's where i would want to live.

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