A California weekend | Travel photography

Last November, I happened to see an Instagram post about a reggae festival in Long Beach, CA called One Love.  The lineup of bands for the Saturday show was too good to be true, I knew my husband would love to go.   He makes me listen to reggae music DAY IN and DAY OUT!  (Insert eye roll emoji plus a heart because I love him)  I suggested that we take a long weekend to see the festival, and he was so excited!  I was just happy to go somewhere warm in the middle of our terrible Chicago winter.  This was my first time in California, and it was so beautiful with a laid back vibe.  We flew into LAX and got a rental car to take us to Long Beach.  I loved walking around taking photos, the passerby were probably laughing at me setting up this shot!
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I really loved being surrounded by palm trees!  I know they appeal to us because everything is dead and covered in snow in IL, but they are also associated with vacation, and are just so FANCY!
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While we were exploring Long Beach, we visited a cool place called the Long Beach Beer Lab, where they make beer and bread. My two favorite things!  Their menu is vegetarian, and we both really enjoyed our sandwiches on some delicious fresh bread.
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After the beer lab, we went to Ballast Point tap room right on the Alamitos Bay in Long Beach.  The property is amazing, and the outdoor patio and sunset was such a great experience!  We stayed here pretty much all night and have never seen a taproom like this.  Sara Hilton Photography_0602.jpg
Saturday was the festival, it was held right on the water at the Queen Mary events park.  We had a great time, but it was so crowded and it was also a very long day of standing.  We were there for 10 hours and our biscuits were burning before we left slightly before the end of the final band.  I hate that I never can bring my camera to these venues, cell phone photos just can’t compare!  So sad.  We walked all the way back to our hotel, and it was sort of an adventure when my phone made us go the wrong way!  We got to enjoy the view of the festival grounds from the bridge on the way back.
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On Sunday, we met up with my best friend from high school, who happens to live in LA.  She is a musician, and played in this awesome group called ‘The Love Uninhibited Orchestra‘ at a huge farmers market.  We enjoyed some food and watched the band play 70s love songs in honor of Valentine’s Day. Sara Hilton Photography_0604.jpg
After, she showed us places we would’ve never found without her help.  Mainly, these amazing canal homes that were each more amazing than the last.  They were all on the water with little boat slips and kayaks, and they were ALL different.  What a dream for two people who love architecture and design!  I cannot thank her enough for being our tour guide!
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I was so in love with the tropical plants, I wish I could have things like this at our house.
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We later went to a very fancy shopping district in Venice that had amazing street art and so much to see. Sara Hilton Photography_0599.jpg

travel photography
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By the time we got to Venice beach, it was pretty dark.  It made for a pretty magical visit though, with the clouds and city lights in the background.  So glad we got to see it, even at night! Sara Hilton Photography_0601.jpg
The boardwalk area next to the beach was closing up at the time, but we saw so many characters and cool grafitti walls.
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My travel photography is not nearly as pretty as it was in Colorado last year, but I’m looking forward to practicing at our next destination!



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