To be perfectly honest, I am a Nor-Cal girl through and through. I have never enjoyed myself while I was in Southern California, except when I was in Disneyland. But the strangest thing happened while I was living in Edinburgh… I actually missed Los Angeles. I was caught off guard by these emotions, could there possibly be something in Los Angeles that I hadn’t considered before? Something that I might find enjoyable? Lets find out!The journey down Interstate 5 is dreadful, even with a full car of people, so driving it alone was near maddening. The endless stretch of dry grass, tumbleweeds, and the occasional orange grove grows old after a few hundred miles. It is one of the fastest ways to drive down to Los Angeles, but it is not the prettiest. There are more and more rest stops and fast food havens being built every time I make the journey south, they even have an In N Out or two! There is also the dreaded, but dearly loved Apricot Tree. If you are a foodie, this is definitely not the stop for you…but if you are a retro lunch box enthusiast or enjoy really bizarre gift shops, then DEFINITELY take the time to stop by and stretch your legs. The walls are lined with old lunch boxes and thermos cups, they are amazing! I have a nostalgic attachment to this place, and it will always have a spot in my heart next to the Milk Farm sign. The Apricot Tree is located right before the Grapevine, back in the way it was one of the only stops before you head up up up and down down down into the Los Angeles County.ATTENTION: If cute seaside towns and cliff side vista points are what you are seeking on your Great Californian Roadtrip, I recommend Highway 101/1. It is a beautiful stretch of highway that runs along almost the entire coast of california, from San Diego, straight up into Oregon. It is a much longer journey, but definitely worth the time, if you have it. The first stop I made once I climbed over the Grapevine, was to visit my best friend of over a decade, Grant. He just moved to Koreatown after a year at sea on a cruise ship. I haven’t seen him since I moved and was barely able to talk to him while he was on the boat and I was in school, so it was really amazing to finally be reunited. We walked around all over Koreatown, and unfortunately I didn’t take very many pictures at all. Except for this terribly composed shot of the Catalina Liquor store. I LOVED this building…the colors and the neon signs were so retro and fabulous. I have always been drawn to old neon signs, I just think they have such a beautiful history and I can’t even imagine what they have seen over the years.
So lovely! I wish I was more pro-active about documenting all the beautiful signs I saw while I was on the road, I am stupidly embarrassed by looking like a tourist, which I know is just silly, but I always try and snap sneaky pics in passing rather than just ignoring my embarrassment and taking some really lovely shots, I am an artist after all! I shouldn’t have to justify my obsession with documenting things! Maybe I’ll look into getting a Instax or something… then I can have instant satisfaction and be able to have a fun little way to document things other than my phone. (my SLR is too heavy and expensive to carry around with me every day)