Category Archives: memories

Quintessential Things to Do in LA

Well, it’s almost that time.

Seems in less than a month, I’ll be back at school and teaching technology to my middle schoolers. I can’t say I’m exactly ready. But then again, I still have a whole month to soak in the LA summer (all while avoiding the crazy Valley summer temps).

Margaritas and Cheap Trick from the cheap seats with my baby #mamatoldmeyesshetoldme #LALifeWhile I have had the chance to read plenty of books this summer (I think I’m at 22 or 23 at this point), and I’ve attended some fun outdoor events, there’s still so much I want to do before heading back.

This post came to my attention earlier today and it reminded me that I’m not an LA local. And while I may have been here for 13ish years now, there’s still so much I haven’t seen or done.

So I figured it would be fun to maybe make a list of what I’d like to do around LA before Labor Day.

So here you go, In no particular order:

    • Getty Museum + take one of the guided tours
  • Getty Villa – I’ve yet go visit since they opened it a few  years back
  • Evening cocktails on a rooftop – not the night clubbing kind, more the mellow kind
  • Something yummy from Grand Central Market – I hear Egg Slut is amazing
  • Photo the Chandelier Tree
  • Photo from to top of City Hall
  • Friday night at LA Live (think we’re doing that next weekend)
  • Visit Griffith Observatory – haven’t been since it opened
  • Overnight trip to Santa Barbara
  • Iconic photo of downtown with the park bench – been waiting for a smog-free day for this one
  • Get my swim on – I feel weird if I don’t get to a pool at least once each summer
  • Visit Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens
  • Visit the Lake Shrine Temple
  • California Science Center
  • Hammer Museum – I’ve been for concerts (same with the Science Center), but not for the actual museum
  • Rooftop Japanese garden at the Kyoto Grand
  • Japanese Garden in Van Nuys
  • The Bradbury Building
  • Summer night event at Grand Park downtown


I guess I’ll keep adding to the list as I think of more things. And I’ll be sure to cross off the stuff I finally get around to doing.

A few of these DTLA things I had put aside for my 2-week Federal jury duty time. But it turns out I never actually got called in for that. Oh well.

And yes, I realize that most of what I want to do is museum related. And logically, it makes more sense to wait until school starts back up again. And pretty much, the ones that aren’t, are mostly photo ops for me. But it’s my list. So I get to decide what goes on it and what gets done.

What’s on your summer list – something you’ve already done or something you’d still like to do?

Imperfect 365: How I See the World

If you’ve followed me (here on this blog, or elsewhere in the social world) for any amount of time, you know that I love taking pictures. Mind you, not enough to actually pick up my husband’s Nikon Dwhatever and actually learn how to use it. But my iPhone has been keeping me quite happy.

This year, I decided to participate in an Imperfect 365, photo-a-day challenge. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it. I think I’ve missed only two days in the 6 months we’ve been doing it. Though not that the school year is nearly over, I’m not certain how easy it will be get my daily shots in. I mean, I might actually have to leave my apartment (egads!!)

I wanted to share a couple of my favorites that I’ve taken this year. And if you want to follow along on Instagram or check me out on Flickr, you’re more than welcome to.

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

A photo posted by Katy (@katytafoya) on

Prince: Opening Night at the LA Forum

I should start by admitting that I’m not a huge Prince fan.  Like most folks my age, I’m a fan of his more known hits from the 80’s, but I can’t say I know much beyond Purple Rain.  But I was given the opportunity to join my husband at Prince’s opening night show (show 1 of a 21 day stint).  You can read his review of the night here, over on Soundspike (FB).

A couple things stood out that night:

  • $25 is a damn great ticket price!  Especially to see someone as awesome as Prince.
  • At 50+ Prince is still one damn fine entertainer – plenty of costume changes, lots of dancing, and some funny quips.
  • I had no idea he was such a strong guitar player (he’s the only guitar in his band – kinda wish he played more).
  • Be prepared for the show to start late (but wait it out in your seat so you’re not responsible for it starting even later).
  • Be prepared for the show to run LONG!  Our show was over 3 hours long and had 6 encores!
  • Wait it out until the very, very, very end…no matter how many times the band leaves the stage and the houselights come on.  They will be back.

I’m really glad I went.  Even if I’d have spent $150 for the show I’d have been glad I went.  It really was amazing.

My suggestion…get a hold of one of those $25 tickets (again, he’s doing a 21-day stint, so I don’t imagine he’ll be selling out each night).  Take your nosebleed seats and enjoy the show.  The minute you see people starting to leave after what they think is the encore, start working your way down to the floor.  Before the show is over, I have no doubt that you’ll be up close and personal with the man himself.

Bonfire At The Beach: A SoCal Must

Bolsa Chica Bonfire 05.03.08_0072.JPG

Yesterday was a first for me.  It was my very first bonfire at the beach.  And it was as cool as I always imagined it would be.

It was our youngest niece’s 14th birthday.  And instead of sweating it out in the Inland Empire like we typically do, they opted for a day at the beach.  You better believe I was behind that!  And while I’m not a huge play at the beach and frolic in the waves kinda gal (long story…but it has to do with being a Jersey Girl and hypodermic needles and raw sewage visiting our local beaches), I was all over experiencing this California bonfire tradition.

We’ve driven past the Bolsa Chica beach many times and I’ve always been in awe of the bonfires.  Turns out, it’s one of the few beaches that allows bonfires in the greater LA area (here’s a list of CA beaches that allow fires).  What makes it such a cool experience is that they have the concrete firepits already there and waiting for you.  You still have to bring your own wood (or buy wood from vendors).  But other than that, it’s all good.

Being that close to the ocean, and the ocean breezes leads to some might cold temperatures and quite a bit of smoke and wayward ash.  But it’s so worth it if you ask me.  Though I can’t imagine what it must be like in the winter months.

We got to the party late (fully intending to just experience the bonfire part of the event), after the sun had already set and the fire was roaring hot.  Which was great, because it was freezing (even in late July).  Luckily we still had jackets and a blanket in the car (especially considering I dressed for summer cute and not beachy cold).

I even thought ahead to pick up the ingredients for some s’mores.  Too bad the fam forgot to bring the sticks – LOL.  We managed to make a couple using the BBQ fork, but with that roaring fire, it wasn’t easy.

Oh well, maybe next time.  And I’ve no doubt, now that the nieces and nephews are getting older, that there will be a next time.

Photo: C o l i n

The Vacation is Officially Over

It was a very laid back kind of vacation. We’d been to the Mendocino coast quite a few times before, but this was the first time we went in the winter.  The best part of the whole visit, since we’d been so many times, there wasn’t any sort obligation to do anything vacationy.  Very cool. And it made for a very relaxing time.

We needed something that was pet friendly since we drove up and brought the little guy with us.  We found a lovely cottage that not only had it’s own kitchen (nice) and allowed dogs…the Cottages at Little River Cove.

I must say, this place rocked!!  It was a compound of nine cottages (some one bedroom, some two bedroom) with a central courtyard.  It wasn’t right on the bluff, but on a clear day, we could see the waves crashing below.  With the beautiful large windows, you could see it all – well, on those days when you could actually see through the fog.

And since out cottage had a kitchen, we were able to have some meals (snacks) in and didn’t need to go out for everything.  Though I have to say, nothing beats enjoying some good wine and cheese fireside.

We also made sure to stop by our favorite restaurant in Healdsburg, Zin.  This place has never let us down.  Everything we’ve ordered has been awesome.  And of course, the wine is always good 😉

I think this was easily our best vacation ever (though last year’s trip to Ireland was quite awesome, just not quite as relaxing).

So now the vacation is officially over and it’s time to get back to work *sigh*

At least I have the memories.

Chritmas Trees: Live or Artificial?

I think the last time I had a live Christmas tree I was in high school back in New Jersey.  Though come to think of it, I believe once we moved, we went to a large artificial tree.  So it must have been even longer still.

Since moving in with my hubs, I’ve been using a smallish, table top artificial tree.  I figured if the cat decided to attack (or climb, or pull down, or whatever) that it would cause much less havoc and damage.  Last year we didn’t even decorate since we were away for early November and then I had to focus on the 50 Days of Giving giveaway promotion when we got back.

Since then, I’ve been toying with the idea of either upgrading the size of my artificial tree (as the cat has been leaving it alone from day one). Or maybe going real this year.  But now that we’re talking about moving next summer when classes let out, I’m not so sure I can bring myself to making the big purchse.

Enter the folks at Living Christmas (they’re located in Redondo Beach).  I’ve mentioned before that it turns out you can rent just about anything…well, now you can even rent a LIVE Christmas tree!  They carry different sizes and species.  And all things considered (if you go real on a regular basis), they’re not all that expensive.  Very cool.

And if you want a chance to win your live three this year, then head on over to and enter her giveaway. I’d wish you good luck, but well, I know I’m going to win it this year!! 😉

And speaking of giveaways…don’t forget to enter for your chance to win $60 worth of grub at NORM’S

My Trip to Ireland Remembered

This time last year we were heading home from our 10-day trip to Ireland.











My apologies…in my rush to get something (let alone something relevant) up on time for my NaBloPoMo post, I wound up using a tool with a pretty crappy randomizer that apparently sucks in a HUGE way.  I’ll fix it tomorrow.

I just gave up and posted some pics manually.

It Was Long Ago and It Was Far Away

There are just some songs that the moment you hear them, you raise the volume and start singing and dancing regardless of where you are or who might be watching.

Yesterday, I was reminded of this joyful experience not once, but twice with Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light. The first time, it popped up in my iTunes shuffle mix. The second time, I was driving home from an event and it came on the radio (man, was my volume up today when I got back in my car). Then today, I was reminded of my college days with an old Housemartins video I stumbled upon in a graphic artist’s blog.

Thank the Powers that Be for YouTube…

Paradise By The Dashboard Lights – Meatloaf

I will say, I’ve noticed that if you’re not just the right age, you could really care less about Meatloaf and this awesomest of awesome songs. My husband, a music fanatic, had never even heard this song (or thought enough of it to remember it) before I played it for him (at full volume, of course) – then again, he also didn’t know that Meatloaf played Eddie in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  His younger sister also hadn’t heard the song when I had it played at my wedding. My younger friends at the wedding also didn’t recognize it. So my totally inaccurate, non-scientific theory is…if you’re not between 38-43, this song means nothing to you.  And that’s a shame if I do say so myself.

Happy Hour – Housemartins

He Wants To Do WHAT With My Feet?!?

A  Pedicure & New FlipFlops - What More Could You Ask For?
They say the ideas just flow while you’re in the shower.  That’s certainly the case when it comes to thinking of something to blog about.

So I was in the shower scrubbing the great outdoors off my feet (ah, the joys of walking barefoot in the summer…you can’t do that without the risk of getting a dreaded goat head stuck in your foot in NM!), when I was reminded of an ex-boyfriend. I figured if the fabulous Miss Attitude can have her Meet the Exes Monday, then today would be a fun day to share – even if it’s not a Monday.

I can’t remember his name, and I can’t remember all too much about him.  To be honest, we weren’t dating all that long.  But I do remember that he worked on some top secret flying stuff (this was in NM where the largest employer is the military, remember).

And I found out after we were dating that he loved him some feet. Oddly, while we were dating, I thought he was quite the boring, straight-laced guy.  It’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it?

About two years or so after our dating period, he found my profile on one of the online dating sites and dropped me a note.  He was still quite boring, but it was nice hanging out again and catching up.  It was very small worldish, when I found out that he’d bought a house at the opposite end of the (very, very long) street from where my good friends live – on a mountain top basically in the middle of nowhere.  Seriously.

Right about this time, I was moving out of my small apartment and into my friend’s house.  He volunteered to help me move across town – gotta love a man with a pick up.  It was during one of these trips across town that he told me how happy he was that we met up again.  It was also during one of these conversation that he told me about how much he always loved me feet.

I’ll be honest, this freaked me out just a bit.  He never really went into details, but I got the idea that if I’d let him know that I was okay with it, that he could have done some interesting stuff with my tootsies.  I’m still not exactly sure just what that was.

I did ask him though why he never did anything about it (I love me some foot massages).  He explained that I was always running around barefoot.  I guess he was hoping for more of the stinky foot stuck in shoes all day and not my dirty, loving the land, look at my pretty pedicure kind of feet. Though come to think of it, I think he was also into the stiletto wearing, walk on me Misstress may I have some more sort thing as well.  But I’m not certain.

If I recall correctly, he was never heard from again after sharing that secret.  Too bad, I think about him every time I talk to or visit my friends atop that gorgeous mountain in New Mexico.  If I remembered his name (I’m so bad with names) I’d Google him.  But I don’t.  So I can’t.

Have you dated any guys (or gals) with weird fetishes or requests?

I’m Happy in a Love Like This

taken the night of my going away party in Jan '03

taken the night of my going away party in Jan '03

My husband I met 8 years ago this past Memorial Day weekend.  I was out here in LA at a party, sort of a grad school graduation gift to myself and well…there he was.  We dated, long distance for the first two or so years.  During that time, each time we got together, no matter what state we were in, he’d make me a mixed CD.

Earlier today I was cleaning up the kitchen and found one of the CDs he made back in September ’03.  By this time, I had already made the move here to LA and we were deep into making our wedding plans.

Listening to this CD today, you can most definitely tell where his thoughts were.  Every song is a love song.  In fact, one song we used as our first dance.  Another song we used for my walk down the aisle. Yet another that we used for one of our readings (as read by his ex-girlfriend and her husband, our dear friends).

Some need gold and some need diamond rings
Or a drug to take away the pain that living brings
A promise of a better world to come
When whatever here is done
I don’t need that sky of blue
All I know’s since I found you, I’m happy when I’m in your arms
Happy, darling, come the dark
Happy when I taste your kiss
I’m happy in a love like this*

This CD is the perfect mix of some of my favorites and some of his.  Many songs that to this day still bring tears to my eyes.  In fact, I remember getting teary eyed as we listened to the mix.  Just beautiful.

There’s nothing special about today.  It’s not an anniversary of any sort.  Not even of our first date (that would be in two weeks).  It’s just a regular day and nothing to celebrate.

But on this day, I’m reminded of one of the many, many reasons I love my husband. Baby, it had to be you!

Cheesy, but true.

You may now resume your regular blog reading.  My apologies for the mushy love stuff.

*Lyrics from Happy by Bruce Springsteen