Hot Guys, Hot Girls, and California Dreams.

On Sunday afternoon I went to go see the new Oliver Stone film Savages and I haven’t stopped thinking about since. If you ignore the fact that the plot of this unabashedly lurid movie is completely over the top & questionably violent at times, the film has a lot going for it:  Homegrown Talent (it stars BC boy Taylor Kitsch who grew up in my Mom’s hometown), strong female characters (Salma Hayek as a ruthless female drug-lord) , Weeds star Demian Bichir (hubba hubba) and Benecio Del Toro as a crazy-eyed villain who’s now been added to my list of “fictional characters I would hate to run into in a dark alley.”


 It also brings together a bunch of things I’m into – hot guys, hot girls, violent drug cartels and steamy threesome scenes, served up with a side of shoot-em-up-action. Who doesn’t enjoy a sun & surf -menage-a- trois- meets -drug- running- action- flick in the summertime? However, it’s the imagery of the film captured that has really stuck with me:  the sun, the surf, Blake Lively’s boho-chic wardrobe, everyone’s sunkissed skin and the shores of Laguna Beach. When I walked out of the theatre it hit me why I liked the movie and was so excited to see it: It’s about California!

It could also be that I just really like movies with scenes like this.

As some of you already know, I’m obsessed with all things California and have been for as long as I remember. As a teenager I’d lie on my bed reading and re-reading Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat series which are set in a magical, sparkle filled version of LA where punk shows and Jayne Mansfield film retrospectives reign supreme, often daydreaming about what it would be like to grab a shake at Oki Dog or a sandwich at Canter’s Deli. When I was working in my corporate office job, I’d come home and watch back to back episodes of Veronica Mars, wishing I could actually go visit the fictional Neptune, California. I’ve also read Armistead Maupin’s San Francisco based series Tales Of The City, at least 8 times. The idea of California as a mythical place took hold early and never let go.

From old Afred Hitchcock films like Vertigo,  movies about girl gangs in LA,  the show Californication, to my weird obsession with the original 90210 series, I’ll pretty much consume any story-line that takes place in California – even if it’s bordering on terrible. Except Entourage. I refuse to watch any story that  involves a character named “Turtle”, unless he’s teenage and mutant. Raise your hands if you’re with me.

I’ve been to Northern California before, however my California obsession really took hold when I visited Los Angeles for the first time in 2010. We stayed at a 1960’s motel near the beach in Santa Monica, ate fish Tacos on the pier, hung out in Venice Beach (Hank Moody’s stomping grounds), and consumed my body weight in cheap Mexican Food. Although I nearly had an asthma attack from the pollution while shopping on Melrose, I still loved every minute of it.

Hanging out on the Santa Monica Pier

Lately I’ve become obsessed with reading California based blogs like Cupcakes and Cashmere, This Time Tomorrow, and my #BiSC buddy  Kinsey’s blog. I love California girls, California guys and even faux California guys (oh hi, Taylor Kitsch) My obsession with all things California, has clearly reached ridiculous proportions.

I want to go to there: a Mid-century home with a pool in Palm Springs. Vacation anyone?

I’ve learned that almost everyone has that place, the one that captures your imagination and owns a piece of your heart. One of my best friends loves and dreams of New York City, another has a love affair with all things Parisian, and one of my friends can’t imagine ever living anywhere other than the Pacific Northwest where she was born and raised. California reminds me a lot of where I grew up, except warmer, brighter and with palm trees. While my friend dreams of Brooklyn brownstones, I imagine my dream home as a chic bungalow with a palm tree out front and a pool in the back.

On the beach in Santa Monica

My obsession with living in California is obviously a fantasy at this point. As I’ve learned, sometimes your fantasy doesn’t live up to reality. However, I’d like to find out for myself someday.

A short trip to California in the near future is definitely in order. Until then, I think I need this print for my bedroom.

Photo found via Cupcakes &


Where does your heart live? East Coast? West Coast? Barcelona? Tibet?  Please share!


  • If you liked the movie Savages, you might want to read the original novel by Don Winslow.  Stylishly written, it was one of the best crime novels in 2010.  (I haven’t seen the movie yet to know how it compares.)  I’d also recommend two of his other novels “The Dawn Patrol” and “The Gentleman’s Hour” which are crime novels set in the surf community of San Diego.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for the book recommendations Raymond! Those sound right up my alley. I actually went and checked them out in the bookstore after I read your comment. They didn’t have the two you mentioned but I managed to snag his new book (the prequel to Savages) and found the others on Amazon.

  • If you ever need a traveling companion, I have the same love for California. Must have been the FLB….

    • Anonymous

      I’ve always wanted to drive down the coast to California (preferably in a vintage convertible, ha!) This is something I definitely want to make happen in the not so distant future. I’ll keep you posted if my daydreams start to turn into reality. We’d make good road-trip buddies right?!

  • I fell in love with San Fran when I went there in 2009. NYC holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve never been to Greece or Italy, but I have a distinct inkling that my heart lives there. 

    • Anonymous

      I love San Francisco too! Greece is probably one of my favorite places on earth. I could see you falling in love with it too.

  • I developed a love of southern California and the west coast back when I visited family in LA as a young teen.  I think I’m best suited to live there or New York.  I know, complete opposites.  Or so I hear – I haven’t made it to NYC yet, but think I’d fit right in.  My daydreams include NYC and Europe but I always end up back to Southern Cali, Nappa or even Hawaii.  lol

    • Anonymous

      I love NYC! It’s fun and exciting however, I’m not sure I’d be able to live there longterm. I’d love to spend a few months there working & exploring though.


    Stop reading my miiiiiiiind D:

    • Anonymous

      I want to go to Barcelona SO BAD. Have for several years….

      • Honestly, Simone, it might just have been the greatest experience I’ve had in my travels so far 🙂 I probably wouldn’t party as hard NOW as I did when I was 22, but shoot. AMAZING city.

        • Anonymous

          I’ve wanted to go there ever since I started watching Pedro Almodovar movies (which are often set in Barcelona). I want to go see all of the Gaudi architecture (oh & go to the beach!)

          • I apologize for the crappy photography, but it was a 2005 trip and I was NOWHERE near as decent with a camera then as I am now, but I had a great time there climbing the Cathedral, going through the numerous alleys and exploring, and just having tapas, tapas, TAPAS!!!

            I partied till 6 in the morning, got stopped by the cops, got let off from going to jail for public drunkenness due to being Canadian, and spent a full day passed out on the beach. EPIC TRIP.

  • The Man and I were thinking about seeing that movie. Your endorsement is making it more of a priority. I’ve been lucky to live in a lot of places (NYC, LA, Boston, Barcelona, DC, Hong Kong, etc.). DC is home, but I hope that CA is in your future! Love the print! xoxo

    • Anonymous

      I really liked the movie but it’s not for people who can’t handle violence in movies – some of the scenes are a bit gory (unfortunately) I haven’t lived in as many places as you – just BC and Toronto. The Pacific Northwest will always be home to me but I’ve always dreamt of going a bit further south 🙂

      Thanks Stef! xoxo

  • I used to love New York, and then Paris, but since I visited Amsterdam so many years ago, it’s completely captured my heart. Funny enough, I’ve never imagined myself a west coast girl, and although I live on it now, I still don’t have *that* much of a desire to visit California. Maybe one day I will and I’ll fall in love 🙂

    • Anonymous

      It’s funny I actually thought of your blog as I was writing this because I know you love Paris! As much as I love NYC and enjoyed visiting Paris, I think I’m just a coastal girl at heart. Given the option, I’d still choose the French Riviera over Paris and Santa Monica over NYC’s skyscrapers. I think it must be in my DNA 😉

      California isn’t for everyone however, it’s worth a visit. I would definitely suggest starting with San Francisco & some of the smaller places like Carmel or Santa Barbara because they have a totally different vibe than SoCal.

  • Anonymous

    COME VISIT ME! We can vacation at my parents house in Palm Springs and visit all of the lovely beach front restaurants of San Diego. I’ll take you on a most excellent California vacation. 

    • Anonymous

      OMG. I really, really, REALLY want to come visit SOON. All of that sounds amazing. I will email you about this 🙂