Intermission III: An Oscar-Worthy Trip to LaLaLand

The final week of a great trip is always tough. Each day seems to pass quicker than that preceding it, and the list of things to see and do inevitably grows longer as one becomes better acquainted with their surroundings; immersing themselves further into the fabric of a place.

This is how it went for my sister, Katya, and I in the last few days prior to her departure. We packed it all in: Universal Studios, LA downtown (we needed to drive by the Cecil Hotel, currently making crime story worthy news), Malibu, as well as a side trip to San Francisco. We made pit stops at all of Urth Caffe’s locations, scattered over different parts of LA, and managed to catch some spectacular sunsets either from the car, or from a prime vantage points.

Though the trip may have started with tourist spots at the forefront, it finished with talk of a UCLA transfer. I couldn’t have been prouder – Katya had successfully transitioned from wide eyed tourist to enthusiastic traveler. Here are some highlights of the final days in LaLaLand, and beyond.

At The Getty Villa, Malibu

At The Getty Villa, Malibu

Seated Hermes, Greek God of travel and commerce

Seated Hermes, Greek God of travel and commerce

Malibu Pier

Malibu Pier

City lights from the Griffith Observatory

City lights from the Griffith Observatory

Sunset from the Griffith Observatory

Sunset from the Griffith Observatory

Lombard St, San Francisco - the world's windiest street

Lombard St, San Francisco – the world’s windiest street

Painted Ladies houses line Alamo Square, San Francisco

Painted Ladies houses line Alamo Square, San Francisco

My sis and I making heart shadows

Me and my sis making heart shadows

Sea Lions at Pier 39, San Francisco Wharf

Sea Lions at Pier 39, San Francisco Wharf

 

Views from Sausalito -  joined to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge

Views from Sausalito – joined to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge

Me and my sis - meeting of the minds as we look over the view from Sausalito

Me and my sis – meeting of the minds as we look over the view from Sausalito

Golden Gate Bridge via iphone

Golden Gate Bridge via iphone

Sis taking pics

Sis taking pics

Panorama via iphone

Panorama via iphone

San Fran's Filbert Street at night

San Fran’s Filbert Street at night

Francis Ford Coppola's, Cafe Zeotrope

Francis Ford Coppola’s, Cafe Zeotrope – in San Fran

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My sis with The Simpsons, at Universal Studios

My sis with The Simpsons, at Universal Studios

Sunset views of LA's downtown

Sunset views of LA’s downtown

Tree line from Elysian Park, near Echo Park, LA

Tree line from Elysian Park, near Echo Park, LA

Farewell cake made by my husband for my sis - Raspberry baked cheesecake accompanies by prosecco topped with those red berries

Farewell cake made by my husband for my sis – Raspberry baked cheesecake accompanied by prosecco topped with those red berries

Happy New Year Wishes ~ an autobiographical Inspiration Post

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions. Over the years, I have found that a good quote will give me perspective to whatever situation I may be facing at the time.

Closer towards the end of this year, I started this blog so that I could share stories about what I love to do most – travel; to inspire others through writing. Along the journey, my husband bought me a camera so that I could further document my experiences, visually. And with that – another passion was born. The gift was as much about learning a new art as it was about cultivating a new character trait: patience.

Capturing everyday moments in NY is so much fun. Near Radio City Music Hall

Writing and photography have brought me a lot of joy over the past couple of months. I didn’t realise just how much until I started compiling photo-essays and sharing them with others. In turn, I am so grateful to the supportive blogosphere and the talented authors and photographers behind their inspiring posts.

Whether armed with a list of resolutions or not, I hope the following quotes will inspire you for the New Year. All photographs, except those credited to Antony Schuster, are my own.

Wishing you all a very safe, healthy and wonderful 2012!

Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Tom Peters

Wise words featured in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it.” ~ David Guy Powers

Global support at Ground Zero

“A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day.” ~ Proverb

Golden Gate Bridge clouded in fog, San Francisco

“For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock

Mount Rushmore in Pennington County, South Dakota

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ~Andy Warhol

Warhol monument in Union Square, NY

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gide

The shores of Sydney, Australia

“The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” ~ Ivy Baker

The pier at San Clemente beach in Orange County, CA

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” ~ Plato

On the walls of the New York Public Library, NY

“From small beginnings come great things.” ~ Proverb

St Louis Gateway Arch, Missouri

“The journey not the arrival matters.” ~ T. S. Eliot

Street Scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” ~John Lennon

Love on display at The Guggenheim Museum, NY

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which those who dream only by night may miss.” ~ Edgar Allan Poe

At the Monaco Montecarlo Railway Station, Principality of Monaco

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, or a new country.” ~ Anais Nin

Our May wedding day in Sydney, Australia ~ Photograph by Antony Schuster

“To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.” ~ Pablo Neruda

Family Love in Sydney, Australia ~ Photograph by Antony Schuster

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” ~ Alan Cohen

One of my first outings with the Nikon in Park Slope, Brooklyn

“I took some time out for life.” ~ James L. Brooks

Near Radio City Music Hall at Xmas, NY

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

"Gran Elefandret" by Miquel Barcelo in Union Square, NY

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” ~ Goethe

Vista of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~ Brian Littrell

"Holiday Under the Stars" at Time Warner Centre, Columbus Circle, NY

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” ~T.S. Eliot

A treasure trove of time - The New York Public Library

“Drink and be thankful to the host! What seems insignificant when you have it, is important when you need it.” ~ Franz Grillparzer

Drinks with family and friends in Sydney, Australia ~ Photograph by Antony Schuster