It’s been a while since i’ve done an Operation Window Seat post, timing hasn’t been quite right on a lot of my recent flights… but yesterday when i woke up on my LHR to LAX flight, it was just gorgeously snowing somewhere over central california… take a peek on the next page! (And on a side note, the rear facing biz class seats are kind of strange, no?)
Entries tagged with: california
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Today has been kind of amazing in socal, 70 degrees and sunny in LA, and the perfect day to cruise down to San Diego to meet up with Mercedes-Benz AMG… came down a few hours early wanting to skip rush hour and get some work done… but it’s hard not to relax when you pull into the world of Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe. So between conference calls and emails, how could i not share this HOUSE of a “room” i just checked into? So very california bungalow; comfy, cozy, and far too much space to have to myself! And truly, the perfect weather for what looks like it will shape up to be a glorious weekend to drive around with the new CLS 63 AMG. Take a peek inside my bungalow on the next page…
In light of the launch of NotVentures and the recently unboxed MacBook Air… impulsively hopped a flight to celebrate ~ deciding to take a quick overnight trip up to SF… which resulted in some gorgeous midday cliche sunny california weather both yesterday and today! Exciting news ~ NO problems at all with 11” MacBook Air going through airport security in my bag!!! And it’s a breeze to pack, and starts up so quickly… perfect for quick work on the plane and at the airport… perfect to toss into a bag that doesn’t scream “laptop!”. And beyond that ~ being a gorgeous day, both ways, with incredible views, i’d be remiss not to give you another Operation Window Seat post! So mesmerizing watching the patterns that show up when looking at the world from above… and getting some literal distance and mental perspective… take a peek at my awesome mini-vacation on the next page!
I feel like such a tease. I keep showing you parts of Oakley HQ, but not the insides… well not the normal insides, just the secret bar so far. And since these are in fact their real offices with 1500 people or so… there is a lot of work going on, and the majority of it confidential… so for everything i CAN show you, just know that there were probably 10 things i was dying to take pics of to share with you… whether they were prototypes, new designs, renders, sketches, or even amazing future wall tiles that i’m still lusting after… BUT that being said, take a peek at how awesome the architecture is, a peek down memory lane of Oakley’s history, the ejection seats CEO Colin’s waiting room… and his mine… camouflage covered cubicles… a few allowed sketches… the GI Joe looking guy dropping out of a helicopter on me when i looked up… machine gun in the hallway… AWESOME diorama’s to put your childhood shoebox setups to shame… and a bit more.
On Oakley fun facts: Did you know the name came from that adorable dog up there? And you can see the original 70s acorn logo from their bike grip days on the next page too!
Ok, so i have been calling One Icon, Foothill Ranch - Oakley HQ, but part of me feels like i should be calling it Oakley’s Secret Lair. or Oakley’s real life video game set of a compound (it’s very steampunk industrial massiveness)… or… yea, you get the idea. And since its friday, and closing in on Happy Hour in my time zone… next up i had to show you their SECRET BAR!!! Seriously, its behind a secret panel, in a secret location, that i promised not to share… so long as they let me show you some of the awesome lustworthy details of their bar… like the Marais stools i loved (which so happen to be on sale at DWR today)… the floor plan of the Secret Lair etched into the glass table… the walls covered in signatures and notes of what i imagine are Oakley folks and friends… their amazingly design taps (made by Oakley designers of course)… SO ~ if you happen to find your way over to Oakley, see if you’re lucky enough to go have a drink in their inner sanctum… the ER. Or perhaps you can have a top secret meeting in there, amongst the buzz and humm…. oh, i’ve said too much. Good luck finding it! See the few pics i got permission to share on the next page…
So, today was incredibly inspiring. Popped down to Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch ~ and was quickly overwhelmed with everything from the beautiful view on the drive into the space… to the entrance… to the design studios… architecture… ejection seats… history… future… and secret bar… but, lets start outside. Between the Helipad and the Tank out front… POMEGRANATES! Tiny clementine sized pomegranates growing on the more adorable bushes lined the pathway between. And i was tempted to climb on the tank… but didn’t, and in retrospect, i’m now extremely curious what those little pomegranates taste like. But before we get inside the building… take a peek at at the fun outside Oakley.
Laguna Beach ~ so many surf brands have their home base in the OC ~ and recently so many hotels with special designer suites ~ but somehow i never heard about the Casa Surf Project over at La Casa del Camino until now! The hotel is perched less than a block from the beach, has an old spanish styled look and feel… and somehow the smell and hallways remind me of college… something frat house-y about it? Or maybe that was the crowd too… fascinating thing about the Casa Surf Project is that they gave 10 brands and their designers 10 suites, and let them have their way with it - “Action sports icons like Billabong Men’s and Billabong Women’s, Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space, Lost International along with Riviera Magazine and Glaceau have teamed with Southern California’s finest designers to create the Casa Surf Suites with a portion of the proceeds from each room donated to key charities for the first year.” I love the moroccan inspired Lost room… how far they took the decor, and the furniture choices… you have to see how fun the lights looked at night! And the way they really customized the walls… so beautiful! Billabong and Quicksilver are my other favorites ~ see more pics on the next page, and see full information on each suite here!
Looking down out this huge concave window in my Hotel Vitale room, has been strangely mesmerizing and inspiring to stare out of… from the spiderweb mess of bus cables to the curved arcs of the road and diamond of the cross walk and just watching the traffic/people flow through it… it kind of looks like a math or physics diagram…
Anyhow, Hotel Vitale has been one of my favorite spots to hide out in San Francisco since i moved out of this city… and while i’ve been in quite a few different rooms, this is definitely one of the most unique. I sleep better than usual in their beds… this room has a nice tub with a view… and this ridiculously large window! As well as the usual nice huge desk space to work at… and chaise to lounge on. Take a peek at a few pictures of the view in both day and night, as well as a peek at the room!
I'm jealous. Above is a pic of what my dad just told me is the "US-Spec AMG SLS for us to play with on the drag strip, slalom course and time trials." So, while i was traveling, my dad (i blame my jetsetting inclination on him) took off to the Laguna Seca Raceway up in Monterey for the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy. He got to drive the brand new AMG SLS and was lucky to be one of the first to experience the new AMG Driving Academy launched in the USA. 16 cars were specially flown in from Germany to accompany the 20 full time cars availble for the course. Luminary driver/instructors included: Tommy Kendall (USA), Bernd Maylander (F1 pace car driver) and Susie Stoddart (Mercedes DTM team driver from Europe). Basically i came home to emails of his incredible adventure... from giddy stories about how mindblowing the drives were (teasing me how much fun i would have had going 160 around the track in one of those beauties) to tales of the chef grilling alongside the track for lunch to inside looks at the stunning carbon fiber drive shaft to the amazing friends he made on the trip and stories he heard... bottom line? The course was totally worth it, and he'd do it again in a heartbeat... in fact, there are 5 levels of courses happening around the US as well as Europe... i think he's caught the bug, since he's already dreaming about Sweden. I think i might have to try and convince him to take me along next time! But for now... i've convinced him to let me share his pictures with us ~ take a peek on the next page to see the experience!
There is also the amazing carbon fiber wrapped car that looked amazing ~ pics to come of that one soon!
Don't mock. It's friday night. I know. It's friday the 13th even! And honestly, as many events and people are convening in LA for a combination of art events, MOCA anniversary, and so much more this weekend ~ after that endless travelfest the last month and a non stop week since i touched back down ~ i couldn't help myself when a few fun folks said "Ok!" to having our own top secret brainstorm session where we'd clear the weekend and meet up in Palm Springs. So after a delicious (intellectually and nourishingly) breakfast meeting at Chateau Marmont, i hopped back in the car and drove east... running super low on sleep and high on ideas, i stumbled into the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, and into Room 214 with only my laptop/camera bag and purse... and have been sucked into photoshopping and before i wander back out to feed myself and see whats going on with the wedding folks right outside... i just had to share this little oasis with you. Stepping in, life slowed down, mind felt clearer, body felt calmer. And the welcome card tells me "Life is not about surviving the storm, but learning to dance in the rain." Wise words to live by ~ so let's dance? I have a feeling there will be much more to share this weekend... the Ace family always does manage to get me so inspired with their attention to details, great design, and just awesome experiences...
I was heading to Petaluma from the Broad Summit ~ and just as i was getting out of Sebastapol i did a double take, pulled the car over, made a u-turn, and popped into California Carnivores in hopes it was open (it was late afternoon on a sunday) ~ and it WAS! And it is AMAZING. Apparently it is the "largest carnivorous plant shop in the united states"!!! AND omg. wow. you HAVE to see how stunning (and huge) this place and their plants and their kiddie pools filled with more plants in the process are... Good news is that they are carnivorous plant obsessed, extremely informative, super nice, and you can order online and they will ship anywhere in the US (he was even describing their intense packing process for shipping, and after hearing about it i'm confident to order more soon!) ~ but for now, i couldn't resist and currently have a box of 4 in my car... SO beautiful. They are so incredibly inspiring, take a peek at the pics of many species i have never seen up close before!
On unexpected discoveries, next time you're up in wine country california style ~ California Carnivores is a definite stop not to be missed!
Ok, this one is going to sound a bit weird, i probably should have looked things up on the internet before i scared myself at the Desert View Tower & Boulder Park... b/c now that i've had the time to sit and search i totally wish it hadn't been super windy and SUPER creepy when i stopped by... to be fair, we're cruising along the 8 in the middle of the desert, suddenly from sand dunes it turns to crazy mountains of boulders, and then i see a little castle tower, and we decide to pull off and go see what's up... pulling off, we head up what we're warned is a dead end (really early on!) but keep going to see what's up there, pass a creepy abandonedish feeling rusty trailer park, with an underpass with giant scarecrow like branches (think giant blair witch twigs) with hoodies and clothes on them blocking the way... then we see a very desolate tower with a few pretty old cars in the lot. Really it all looked super spooky! But according to the internet its a fun place where kids run around on boulders.... Anyhow, now that i've done my research i kind of want to go back... but with a large group of friends, since the place really gave me the chills! Check out the pics from the place and a few other random roadtripping pictures from Tuscon to San Diego on the 8 yesterday!
Rumor has it i've been a bit of a workaholic the last few months, and lacking at indulging my inherent wanderlust... so today was supposed to be a quick drive up to SF from LA with dan, but one thing led to another and it became a spontaneous roadtrip/adventure - leading to everything from lunch in a danish town (solvang) - trying danish pancake balls (aebleskiver) - feeding ostriches and emus - a giant tree stump turned treehouse/pirateship on the side of the road in a tile/bricklaying yard - 1797 Mission San Miguel Arcangel - driving by Hearst Castle - seeing beaches filled with elephant seals - cruising up the coast through state parks on cliff hanging roads to big sur - stopping off to admire the view constantly - buying 99 cent chips for $1.79 (cliff view markup?) - seeing otters playing so far below they looked like tiny dots - sunset in Big Sur - martinis and dinner watching the sun fully disappear - and now i'm in Monterey Bay in a luscious king sized bed overlooking Cannery Row and the ocean as i try to get this post up as my photo excuse as to why the posting and editing was a bit quiet today.
Tomorrow ~ Monterey Bay Aquarium and then back to regularly scheduled working... but for now, catch up on the roadtrip in pics first (as well as a full map of where i've been and where i'm headed)?