Ok, so some of you who are tuned into the more spiritual side of things (and Instagram) might know this already, but Mercury is in retrograde from now until the end of the year. Yay. (That's sarcasm.)
Mercury in retrograde lends the universe to feeling a little more chaotic. Technology tends to quit working like it should. Communication definitely breaks down. And you have more of those "WTF are people doing/thinking" moments.
BUT Mercury in retrograde is also a great time for things like creativity, dreaming, brainstorming, and creating in general. So there's that.
Last Thursday I took a day trip to LA and man, was Mercury felt. It started with a plan going completely awry thanks to the serious (and crazy) wildfires and the day ended with me showing up to take a yoga class (that I was super excited about) at Wanderlust Hollywood - only to find out they had cancelled all of that afternoon/evening's classes to hold an event (without emailing or telling anyone - major communication breakdown).
All of that being said. I still managed to have a great day in LA - so here are some of my favorites.
One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was go on a mini architecture tour. Little known fact, I wanted to be an architect for a very long time and I have a small fascination with architecture. So when I realized that there was a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the middle of a park in LA that I had never been to, that went on the list. And that quickly led me to wanting to visit one of his son's houses as well.
I made my way to Barnsdall Park and got to see the Hollyhock House. Even thought it is fenced off and currently being renovated - it was beautiful.
From there I took a drive into the Los Feliz hills to search out the Ennis House. This one is much tougher to get to. The drive is windy, narrow, and steep - and surrounded with beautiful, giant mansions the whole way (so fun to look at) and then you turn this corner and BAM the Ennis House is staring out at you. It literally took my breath away. There wasn't a great way to park and get a better look (you could if you walked or biked) but man, was that drive worth it.
Lastly, I sought out the Sowden House (by Lloyd Wright - Frank's son). This was literally on a normal street. You could park and walk right up to the gate.
This whole architecture adventure reinvigorated my love for architecture itself. Now accepting applications of other cool places to see.
The major win and surprise of the day came in the form of beautiful gardens at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. In my quest for cool architecture, I came across Greystone and was stoked to discover that the surrounding landscape and gardens are open to the public (even though the mansion itself isn't). It was the perfect oasis in the middle of LA. A beautiful, large open space with gardens, fountains, statues, a koi pond and so many small hidden paths. Beautiful views of both the house and the city were aplenty - and on a Thursday afternoon it was almost empty.
Do yourself a favor and go. It was so perfect and peaceful.
The other part of my day trip excitement was food (duh) and one of the main stops on my list was the newly opened Eataly. A few things - 1. I totally forgot I've been to the Eataly in Boston (I'm an idiot). 2. I definitely didn't know Eataly in LA was in a mall - until I had to park there. 3. Wow. Overwhelming.
The Eataly in Boston was set up so much more smartly - spread out, easy to navigate, easy to meander through. I felt like Eataly LA was kind of the opposite. Tall ceilings but a warehouse-y feel that was loud, crowded, and difficult to take your time moving through. It felt rushed and like people were impatient. So I guess it felt like LA.
Either way, it's a fun experience if you do go. And yes, some of the food is amazing.
SALT AND STRAW. SALT AND STRAW. They saved my evening after finding out the yoga class was cancelled. I took myself over to the location on Larchmont and indulged.
Their December flavors are ridiculous - peppermint hot cocoa, a grapefruit eggnog, gingerbread cookie dough, and apple brandy pecan pie to name a few. The clear winner was apple brandy pecan pie. And to my surprise (and delight) they still had sweet potato casserole on the menu from Thanksgiving!
Also to my delight - the lovely guy told me that the Little Italy San Diego location should be open BEFORE CHRISTMAS! There is a Santa after all.
Long drives call for good podcasts. It was tough to pick just one... but this week goes out to:
Radiolab for their episode titled Super Cool.
I won't ruin it for you. Just listen.