I ♥ California

Palm Trees at the Rose Bowl Flea Market

Every year Todd asks me what I want for Christmas, and every year I say “Same thing as last year please!” Because for the past several years Todd has given me a trip to Palm Springs for Christmas. My friend Leslie gets the same great gift from her husband. We got back from this year’s trip just last week, and now I’m writing about it, like I do every year…

Like always, we stayed at the Ace Hotel, which has become a familiar home away from home. But even though it may seem like we take the same vacation every year, every year ends up being very different. Different people join us, and we do different things. This year there were five moms on the trip and we split our time between Palm Springs and Los Angeles – three days in Palm Springs, three days in L.A., six days away from reality, and six days of bliss. 

Every year, however, we do consistently rave about how much we love California.  Going there in February is the perfect contrast to the Seattle winter gloom. California feels so wonderfully warm, dry and brown, with beautiful cacti, succulents, joshua trees, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Palm Springs was the lazy first half of our vacation. Although we did swim, and we did expend plenty of energy talking about all of the silly things our husbands do (and don’t do), followed up with an agreement that we all have pretty amazing husbands, who were, after all, taking care of the kids (and dealing with Valentine cards!) while we were sipping cocktails poolside.

For the second half of the trip however, we put on some miles, walking around different neighborhoods in L.A. in our flip-flops. We got an airbnb house in a great neighborhood called Echo Park, perched on top of a really steep hill, with a great view of the city, and a great spot just down the hill to grab coffee and breakfast.

On Sunday we spent most of the day at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, something I have wanted to do for years, and it lived up to all of my expectations. It’s huge and there is so much great stuff! I felt like I went a little kooky buying so much, but really I got some incredible bargains (really!), and as they only take cash, I could only go as far as my wad of cash would take me. It was so much fun talking to the vendors, bargaining with them, feeling like I was getting such great deals on my new cowboy belt, salad tongs, necklace, linen tea towels, buttons, and treats for the kids. Oh, and we had a celebrity spotting – Emily Henderson of HGTV!

Then for the next two days we cruised around Venice Beach, the Silver Lake neighborhood, Manhattan Beach, and West Hollywood. We ate some amazing food and talked a blue streak about everything. I was incredibly inspired by all of the beautiful boutiques and galleries. Everything was styled and presented so perfectly, and I took tons of pictures of tags, labels, packaging, displays, pillows, linens, and more. I’m really excited to sort through it all and see what inspires me for my own branding, my pillows, and for SuzanneHarrisonHome.com.

I got home around 10pm on Tuesday night, and the kids were waiting up for me. I was so excited to see them, and they jumped into my arms and gave me huge hugs (even though they’re way too big for that!) and it felt great to be home. Walking with Miles to school the next morning, I loved listening to his constant chatter, telling me all about their ski weekend and everything I’d missed. Then I went for a run down to Golden Gardens, so thankful to be back in my wet, green, lush, beautiful home, surrounded by evergreens, fresh air, mountains and water. Ahhhhhh…..

Here are a few photos. Notice the lack of clouds? Incredible.

Swimming Pool at the ACE

The Rose Bowl Flea Market

Bikers with Surfboards in Venice Beach

Venice Beach Shopping AreaAbundance in California
Leather Pillows at Heath Ceramics in LABeautiful Leather Furniture at Heath Ceramics in LAView from the Observatory in LAManhattan Beach from the Pier

4 thoughts on “I ♥ California

  1. Another great posting! How we enjoy these. A friend of mine, Sandra Chavez, says she really enjoys them too, but she says she would appreciate a reply to her comment.

    • Thanks mom! And I’ve really appreciated Sandra’s many great comments. I reply to every comment I get, but she wouldn’t get my response emailed to her unless she clicked the box ‘Notify me of follow-up comments by email’ when she leaves a comment.

  2. Great recap of our fabulous vacay!! It was an absolute blast! The Seattle contingent is awesome and I love being a part of it. Thank you so much friend, you’re the best!! Xo

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