Enjoy the View

(Suggested listening while reading this post: "There's So Much Energy" - Cloud Cult. This is what shuffle pulled up on my iTunes while I was writing, and it's the perfect, soaring soundtrack for the experience I had on Sunday.)

There are certain days that remind you why simply being alive is an exhilarating experience, and Sunday was one of those days.





topanga canyon


A couple of months ago I started a group on Facebook and named it Adventure Club. I'm obsessed with exploring the greater Los Angeles area (and beyond), but I didn't really want to do it alone (though I have enjoyed my solo spontaneous drives through random ritzy neighborhoods in Beverly Hills). I invited all of my LA friends to join and encouraged them to invite others. The group has been growing, but the adventures were rather slow in coming to fruition. It's easy to dream; more difficult to follow through.

Until Sunday.





topanga canyon


A group of intrepid explorers strapped on their tennis shoes and adventure pants and struck out into the wild yonder, otherwise known as Topanga Canyon Park.





topanga canyon


Topanga Canyon has several trails to choose from, and we decided our one criterion was that we wanted to go up. I was excited at the prospect of panoramic ocean views, and our friends Mike and Jes had already tried going down into the canyon, so they were ready for something new. The day started out chilly and cloudy, so we weren't sure what to expect, but I shouldn't have worried (because I did for a bit), because the clouds turned out to just be silly old marine layer (I still love the fact that the ocean affects the weather here), and they gradually burned off as we made our way along the winding path up into the hills.









topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon


I don't think any of us really knew what to expect once we got to the top. We kept catching glimpses of the ocean and the coastline as we passed by different valleys and peaks, but I still wasn't prepared for the scenery that awaited us as we rounded the last bend and crested the hill onto the overlook.





topanga canyon


It took my breath away.





topanga canyon


Are you aware that even though "it's a small world, after all", especially with the internet and our constant connectedness to one another, the earth itself is actually quite...massive? It's easy to forget. But being able to sit atop a hill - not even the tallest hill in the area, mind you - and look across miles of land and mountains on the left and then gaze at the seemingly endless ocean melting into the horizon on the right is a pretty damn good reminder. It makes me feel tiny and finite, in the best possible way. And sharing that kind of experience with friends only makes it ten times better.





topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon


Another panorama attempt:


Uuuugh, I'm so close, you guys. Can you spot the flaw? It's not immediately obvious, but you'll probably be able to pick it out. Think: random jutting. Then again, maybe it's not that noticeable. It's still a pretty spectacular view either way, no thanks to me.

Our grumbling tummies eventually got the best of us, and we tore our eyes away from the view to head back down to the trailhead. All in all, it was about a six mile hike. Not too shabby.






topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon

topanga canyon


We filled our bellies at Duke's in Malibu (this place only has valet parking, and none of us really knew what to do...it was humorous). We ate on the patio, which hovers above the rocks right next to the ocean, and watched surfers and a paddle boarder enjoy the waves while a pelican floated nearby. I had fish tacos and a tropical cocktail. For the millionth time, I must reiterate: Outside. In January.













high surf

malibu

malibu

fish tacos

fish tacos

duke's malibu


Afterwards, we paid the valet, feeling oh-so-fancy all the while, hopped into our cars, and zoomed back to Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down and our sunglasses on.






pacific coast highway

pacific coast highway

palm trees


I hereby declare the first official Adventure Club outing a success.

A few things I'm diggin' right now:

:: The cutest hockey fight you ever did see:



:: A literal interpretation of Party Rock Anthem on MS Paint. I love this song forever and always. Make sure you get to the "get up, get down, put your hands up to the sound" part.

:: 30 ways to live your life out loud. I know I said I wasn't into the whole millions-of-items lists, but this is a good one.

Happy Tuesday, and don't forget to




topanga canyon