A Weekend De Papo

When my dad told me he was visiting at the end of August, I peed myself. I was so excited beyond words, obviously... not only for my sake, but for his too. I get my adventous drive, exotic taste and vagabond spirit from my Pap. Very committed to building a career and more importantly, a family - he hasn't ventured too far from home in the last 25 years. I knew I had to make this trip packed full of all things California and one to truly be rememberd.

When I asked him what he wanted to do he said, "Whatever Stef. San Diego seems cool." haha, what a help. But countered with his adventurous side, my dad is very easily entertained and content in most situations. He would have been just fine hanging out in my little bungalow watching foreign films on netflix all day. But that wasn't about to happen with the beach at my front door and Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County in my backyard.

First things first, dad's gotta eat. We caught up on life while eating burnt bacon and cinnamon rolls, downed to 2 cups of coffee each and raved about my mushroom and onion garnish.

Next things next, dads gotta nap. Because dads nap! After a little two hour slumber he was ready to conquer the world.

Laguna Beach, only 30 minutes south of Newport Beach (my home town) was our first stop on the list and a MUST SEE for any out-of-towners. I enjoyed hearing my dad "ooh" and "ahh" at the beautiful coastline. Sharing joy + new experiences with the people in my life are truly one of my favourite things.

That night we dined at Natraj Cuisine of India, a tiny little restaurant right on the Pacific Coast Highway and caught the sun setting on our drive back north to my place in Newport.

The next two days were a beautiful, messy whirlwind! I say messy because we didn't really have a mapped out plan, which was also, beautiful. I knew my dad wanted to see San Diego but I hadn't really explored there too much myself, so we just spent the day driving down the coast hitting every little beach town SD has to offer. Stopping at a taco joint for lunch in Encinitas and then ending up in the city a few hours later. We hadn't planned to go to the Midway museum, which was America's longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century - but it was more than perfect, because I don't know many other people who would enjoy walking around an old Navy ship all afternoon with me, besides dad.

The next day was his last day and of course, the LA day... I had to show him the essentials, the Venice boardwalk + Hollywood; two crazy, beautiful, must-see places that you can and want to pass through pretty quickly. And we did... after getting our quirky fix at the boardwalk, I took him to a much subtler side of town; Abbot Kinney Ave. We stopped at the Butcher's Daughter for lunch, a sleek vegetarian cafe diner adorned with beautiful plants and flowers and everything hipster. 

We spent quite a while on this cool little strip, going in and out of shops and gazing at the gorgeous, hip, people who call this place home. Including, Dad's first celebrity siting, Michelle Rodriguez, strutting down the street with her motorcycle helmet in tow. He was cooled out about that... "that was cool" he said.

After Venice we made our way to Hollywood, and with a quick drive past the Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Blvd sidewalk stars, we headed toward the Observatory to watch the sunset. I had actually never been, so it was exciting to experience something new that I had heard so much about with someone I love so much. And it was another thing Dad and I would so enjoy together. We gazed at the sites this place had to offer, nestled on the side of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, and geeked out on all the science behind the high-quality Zeiss and solar telescopes. The sun set there on the last day and we headed home soon after. 

BUT NOT before a stop to In N out... our last supper together. We found ourselves a seat in the chaos, shared a table with a cute couple and ate and enjoyed our classic burgers with excessive amounts of spread together. I made sure not to forget a hat for my dad. I made him wear it.

He loved it.

AND I LOVED HIM :) & that was our time together in Southern California, memories I'll never forget and if you can believe, my love has grown for Papo, so sappy... but so true. 

Daddy's girl signing off here.

xx

Stef

(Below you will find snapshots from our epic weekend via my nikon point and shoot !)

desert dreams

Always inspired by nature, the desert's colors, textures and beauty have always made my heart sing -- here are a few shots caught on film. From Utah to California.

BOTTLEROCK ROADSHOW

Nothing beats the pulsing of live music in your veins, the warmth of the California sun on your skin and the smell of true, authentic homegrown wine.

Napa Valley, California; an oasis for wine lovers everywhere, is also home to Bottlerock Music festival, a widely known gathering of people looking for some good booze, good eats and some good serious tunes. I traveled up north last weekend for the show to tag along with Stevie Scott in order to capture her performance with Machineheart.

People gathered as the band member were getting things set for the show! After an amazing but exhausting travel Friday and Saturday up the coast and sleeping in my truck, I was actually ready for a nap (says my body), but my everything in my spirit was excited for this show! Stevie was whisking around in her beautiful Stevie Nick inspired, white flowy top and the guys were preparing for sound check while I was making sure all my cameras were loaded with film, catching a few behind the scenes here and there. When Stevie busted on stage with a hop in her step in her bare feet, the crowd went wild for a sudden slap in the face of energy that both her and the boys brought without a hitch.

The set list was amazing; it included their single Circles as the closer and also a little rendition of Britney Spear's Hit Me Baby One More Time; that was a crowd favourite to be sure! I split my time between stage and pit, capturing every rock and roll moment that I could. "She has an amazing voice!" I heard someone yell to his friend as I made my way across the front of the crowd. And it was true, Stevie's voice was silky-smooth and rang through the air like perfectly tuned bell, capturing every one's attention; their insane energy kept people wanting more and well prepared the Bottlerock goers for a full day of good booze and good tunes.

(I also ventured around the festival, grabbing shots of other bands getting their jam on; Jamie N Commons, Jamestown Revival, The Lumineers, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers)

 

WEST COAST BEACHES

Southern California is known for it's glitz, glamour and grit of LA, but also offers a wide range of amazing beaches up and down the coast. The active culture and colorful lifestyle of SoCal are what draw people in, the beaches keep them here. We might be slightly biased, but this part of the country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While the North has it's majestic ocean views and beautiful thick forests, Southern California offers a warmth, vibe and lifestyle that cannot be matched. Let’s start from the top:

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

El Matador is the northern most beach we feel needs to be highlighted. Located in Northern Malibu, it's green mossy rocks and beautiful sandstone are what put this place on the map for photos and epic sights. There are several beautiful rock formations and caves to explore, as well as the occasional tide pool. The clear blue water juxtaposes the cliffs that meet the sand, making El Matador a serene escape. This beach holds a special place in our hearts as it was the location for our first ever Amuse campaign in Spring of 2014! 

First Point / Surfrider Beach is known for one of the best waves in Southern California. Surfers, ranging from beginners to locals that have surfed this wave for years, come from all around to take part in the action. Conveniently nestled beside the Malibu pier and the Santa Monica mountains, a weekend at First Point is a must.

ORANGE COUNTY

Laguna is known for it’s gorgeous beaches that you MUST see for yourself. Thousand Steps, Victoria beach, West St. Beach, and Table Rock are just a few of our favorites. Turquoise water, succulent covered cliffs, tide pools, and caves are a few of the things you’ll enjoy when visiting Laguna beaches. This beautiful, quaint town sits sweet and snug on the hilly coast of Orange County; with houses big and small, and colorful restaurants and shops that line the ocean, Laguna is a great place to spend a day.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

San Diego a gem in Southern California; it's a big city that actually feels more like a small beach town. So much character, so many beautiful spots, and lots of tacos. Sunset Cliffs is a quiet, natural park located in Southern SD. It’s an awesome place to see some the beautiful ocean line and relax. Moving North to La Jolla, the beaches are a bit more touristy…but rightfully so; it’s coves, tall palm trees, insane views, and clear water are paradise for surfers, divers, paddleboarders, and sightseers alike. All the way up the coast through, Del Mar, Encinitas, you can’t go wrong with these beaches. Check out Blacks Beach where we shot our Fall 2015 campaign along the amazing cliffs sitting high above the surf.

Belize ; Gem of the Caribbean

Unpolished, unpredictable and unrecognized, San Pedro, a gem of the Caribbean, is full of excitement and beauty. I had never traveled alone internationally and this was my first time journeying south of the North American Border. Needless to say, I was nervous and vulnerable. The overwhelming welcoming culture; unpolished, untamed streets and jungles of Belize were refreshing. It all reminded me why traveling is and will always be my number one love.

I stayed at the Las Terrazas resort for the week; a beautiful, primped resort to be sure, with white curtained cabanas, a salt water pool and golf carts for rent! That was actually my favorite part. Having the freedom to cart in to the chaos of the city of San Pedro was a treat. Not to mention, the crystal clear Caribbean waters and the warm air that coated me like a soft blanket; I was in heaven and four days wasn't enough.

life in film II: b&w

Film truly captures the reflection of what it would like if my inner soul guts could take a picture.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, the art of 35mm film is my first love (specifically b&w). Not much gets me more excited than knowing there are tiny little images of real, raw moments projected on a piece of film just waiting to be exposed, and then seeing how they actually turn out after witnessing them happen through a view finder weeks before. The curiosity doesn't kill me, it makes my heart come alive. 

I forgot about this roll of film actually; but it's by far one of my favorites to date. Nothing beats traveling to beautiful places that bring you life & being with the people you love. Below are a few captures from the Gibler's engagement weekend in Big Sur and a few of downtown LA with Al & Hannah.

Check out Kelsie Mae's blog of a recap of her year + weekend of love on the Central Coast.

 

humans in the photos: 

(Kelsie Mae, Taylor, Laura + Nathan, Courtney, Wes, Mark Hoppe, Aaron + Chloe, Al + Hannah Ray) 

christa jayne x amuse society

Okay, okay. This has been a long time coming.

You guys, this is a special post for me. This girl, Christa Jayne (aka Cucumber - aka she calls me Stardust - aka we donned ourselves some random names during a scandalous rendezvous bachelorette weekend in Joshua Tree - aka that's where we fell in love) -- wonder of a woman gave me the honor of documenting her in her own rad pad in the middle of Hollywood one Friday evening. i really just wanted to hang out with her sweetness and show the world what dreaminess follows this girl around so i decided to make a post. i realize there are like a huge amount of photos in this post but i had a hard time narrowing down the shots; i loved them all. Especially the last series of photos in which i told her to put on an Amuse Society sequence dress and sit on her white couch, at the exact right moment for the exact dreamiest light ever - exactly; she is glowing.

Christa Jayne, with a heart of gold, is boss lady at her own online vintage boutique - Fashion or Famine  - please do yourself a favor and check her site out... i mean who doesn't love vintage levi and the raddest throwback rock band tees ever? NO ONE, OKAY? 

We ran out of time and light, but next series I do on this girl will feature her high top vans and short board skate board dance moves; no doubt.

SHE'S THE COOLEST.

xx

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