So There's That

the writer meets the photographer

Day Three around San Francisco | The View from Coit Tower & North Beach

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

This is the final post in the series “Three Days Around San Francisco”. Before I was in the fourth grade, my parents packed the car with me and my two sisters, and left Southern California for a road trip to San Francisco. Between the usual visits to extended family, we spent a day driving around the City. They say that our most vivid childhood memories are the ones that are emotionally intense, which would explain my clear recollection of us kids sitting the back seat of our station wagon (this…read more

Day Two around San Francisco | Neighborhoods

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

This is the third post in the series “Three Days around San Francisco”. On my many walks around San Francisco when I lived there in the 1990s, I would often stare with envy not at the gorgeous apartments, their luscious interiors, epic views and smart, sharply dressed inhabitants. No, I would stare with envy at the bougainvilleas. They are a beautiful, wild, haughty, untameable plant native from South America and happily growing in Mediterranean climates everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except my backyard. Whether in any of my many Bay Area…read more

Day One around San Francisco: Sausalito

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

This is the second post in the series “Three Days around San Francisco“. We were technically traveling to San Francisco for work, so we rented a car from San Francisco International Airport and drove to our first location in Sausalito. My many years living in and around San Francisco told me that it was not wise to drive through downtown San Francisco on a Friday after afternoon. Hordes of commuters were leaving their office jobs and assaulting several bridges, a subway tunnel under the bay, bus and rail lines and…read more

Three Days around San Francisco

Written by and Photography by Charla in Travel

The bride and groom posed for photos, full of jubilation, surrounded by friends and family, and laughing while the photographer clicked away. They managed one more photo when the boat they were on pushed into choppy water and a huge – huge – wave splashed over the bow of the dinner cruise yacht they were on. The bride and groom, drenched as if they had fallen into a pool, cheered even louder. The rest of the party scrambled to get back inside the boat’s dining room. And Charla grabbed her…read more

Carl + Jane | Grand Teton Wedding Elopement

Written by and Photography by Charla in Celebrations, Travel

This is the final in the series “Four Days in Yellowstone“. After what seemed like an endless drive, we turned off the main two-lane highway onto a dusty road in the middle of nowhere. We nearly missed the sign that said “Schwabacher Landing”, the place where Carl had planned for us to visit all along. We left our car in the dusty parking lot and trudged past an artist painting the mountains, a dad and his kids with fishing poles, and a few other tourists smiling at our eyebrow-raising group:…read more

The Goodland Hotel | Santa Barbara Getaway

Written by and Photography by Charla in Spaces, Travel

The olive green record player in our hotel room was our first clue that we were in a different, hipper place. Or was it the wood paneled station wagon outside? Or the the shiny silver Airstream trailer? The Goodland Hotel in Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara, was offering icons of my childhood as the new hip. Any minute now, I thought, they’ll be playing 80’s music. Sure enough, tunes from the 1980’s were thumping outside thanks to the hip DJ entertaining a crowded pool on a hot summer afternoon…read more

Engaged on the Urban Wine Trail | Santa Barbara Getaway

Written by and Photography by Charla in Celebrations, Travel, Wine & Dine

It all started with the wine tasting. Downtown Santa Barbara is full of wineries and tasting rooms, which we tried to work through even though it was close to closing time. Most of the tasting rooms were closing by 6pm, but we arrived at 5:30 and weren’t ready to end it yet. Walking up State Street, we saw a sign that beckoned “Wine Tasting” and followed it into a side alley lined with closed shops. Then Charla stopped. “Casa de la Guerra!” she said, pointing to a small door leading…read more

Simmzy’s Pub | Belmont Shore

Written by and Photography by Charla in Long Beach, Wine & Dine

Just a few days away from the longest day of the year and the start of summer, we celebrated the end of school by walking to Long Beach’s epic Second Street, the relentlessly beating heart of Long Beach’s Belmont Shore. A few years ago I lived in the heart of The Shore, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean and even fewer steps away from Starbucks and the newly relocated local bookstore Apostrophe Books. More on that in a minute. But I visited my Starbucks with pride. After many years…read more

Oven Roasted Chicken | Amazing Crispy Chicken Skin

Written by and Photography by Charla in In the kitchen, The Simple Kitchen, Wine & Dine

Even the leftovers looked good! This recipe is a keeper. At various stages throughout my overly long college career, there were few things that obsessed me as much as roasted chicken. It may have started from the time that I “borrowed” my mom’s yellowed 1967 edition of Julia Child’s famous tome, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. There it was, right on page 240: “ You can always judge the quality of a cook or a restaurant by roast chicken.” The romance of something so simple and so basic leading…read more

Urban Living | Downtown Long Beach

Written by and Photography by Charla in Long Beach, Spaces

One the greatest pleasures I discovered as a foreign exchange student living in Europe was living in an urban space: multiple floors of housing above retail stores, markets, restaurants, cafes, all connected by a transportation network of roads, rails, sidewalks, and bike paths. It happened here too. Crossing downtown Long Beach’s Ocean Avenue on a recent Saturday afternoon, we caught the last rays of a burning orange sun defiantly slicing through the canyons of tall buildings, our very own “Manhattanhenge”. Downtown Long Beach is an urban planner’s dream, a creative,…read more