I Heart Cali.

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Our Family Holiday. Los Angeles, California July 2014.

Dougal, Texas, Jagger and I embarked on a little family trip to California this year – auspiciously, we arrived on July 4th!  As we settled into our house in Venice Beach that night, we saw the fireworks lighting up the sky above! It was a special experience arriving in L.A. that day with so many proud, patriotic Americans roaming the streets and in celebration.  It was a  feast for the eyes walking through the streets of Venice, seeing cactus’s on every street corner and in peoples gardens with the stars and stripes flowing behind  –  yep, I was definitely in America.

We stayed a few days in Venice, which for me, felt a bit like home.  I absolutely loved it! The radical souls that paraded around the streets had a distinct lack of self consciousness, this real sense of freedom to be who they are!

Then we ventured up to Santa Monica. We visited the Santa Monica pier everyday and ate and shopped on the blvd. Our food highlight was “M street” cafe which had the best maple bacon we have ever tasted. Since then, Dougal has scoured cookbooks and the internet for the best maple bacon recipe …finally making our own back in Byron Bay the other week! yeah!

The next adventure was a little side-‘work’-trip to Palmdale on the edge of the Mojave desert to do a photoshoot with one of our long time fave models, as well as Aussie photographer Ali Mitton and stylist Chloe Chippendale (we’ll be dropping that shoot at the end of November for Summer so stay tuned!!) It was pure magic out there in the desert! Surrounded by nothing but dust and Joshua trees, and the dry mountain landscape of the California desert.  My eyes started stinging by the end of the day because the heat was so extreme! There were even moments that the camera fogged up from the heat! There is nowhere to hide when your out there. It’s wild and raw.

Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena was a bit of a highlight for me, shopping wise and vintage wise (bucket list – tick!) I shopped for 4 hours straight in the summer heat, and didn’t even blink an eye lid! I was just in pure heaven, surrounded by the best vintage treats America has to offer! I’d asked our followers on instagram to give me some hints on the best vintage shopping and so many of them had said Rose Bowl – and they weren’t wrong.

Next stop, Palm Springs which we loved… I was in cactus and palm tree heaven!

Then to Joshua Tree.  We hopped in the rental and drove into the desert.  It was almost a little bit scary. Nothing but mountains and desert. Seemed so surreal that we had only driven 2 hours from the ocean and we were in the middle of the desert. And just because I couldn’t help myself, I dragged Ali Mitton and Chloe Chippendale out to Joshua Tree again to do another shoot. (Can’t wait to show you this shoot!)

Joshua Tree stole me heart instantly! I felt at home once again. I was in total awe of the landscape.  It was like nothing i had ever seen in my whole life.  The cafes, op-shops, saloon bars, and hotels were so old American style and felt like i was walking through a movie! I totally fell in love with the aesthetic of the American desert – I mean from all our shoots you can see we’ve always loved this aesthetic, but to be there in the heat of it all was so magical.  This was without a doubt the highlight of my whole Californian adventure.

Over the next week we motel hopped all over the state! Topanga Canyon, Malibu, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and then back to my home away from home Venice Beach.  Hitting Abbot Kinney on our very last day, which was a street i fell in love with!  My dream would be to open a Spell boutique there one day!!

Thanks Cali for giving us a great adventure! We had the best family holiday… and yep, already planning our next family holiday there…

xx Spell, Dougall, Texas and Jagger. (the little troopers!)