Category Archives: photos

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?

Still Grieving

Back in January, shortly after his 15th birthday, we found out my little dog, Griffin was sick.

I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much.

We knew he wasn’t feeling well. And we knew, at 15 he was quite old. We knew once he turned 13 or so that pretty much any day could be his last.  In fact, our last big vacation with him, up to Mendocino, we said we knew that that would be the last one he’d go on with us.

Happy Birthday Griffin

So we made the most of that trip. And we made sure that any trip we took without him, we always had someone staying back at the apartment with him.

morphine makes it better

goodbyes are never easy

Almost two months, to the day, we found out that his brother, Charlie was also sick.

Sweet CharlieFor some reason, there weren’t as many tears. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t as sad. I think it was honestly easier to say good-bye to him since were weren’t dealing with emergency room visits. And again, we saw how skinny he was getting. We weren’t really surprised.

Here’s one of the sweet shots I got of Charlie before we took him in to the vet. I love this photo.
Saying Goodbye to Charlie

Here’s a photo we took a couple days before we said good-bye to Griffin. We knew once he started letting the cat snuggle that he must not have been feeling well. But at the same time, this is such an adorable photo. It really shows how close they were. Where one went, the other went.
Griffin and CharlieNow, months later, we’re both still grieving. But things are getting easier.

And we’re starting to talk about getting some new, fuzzy little ones. Not today. Not tomorrow. But soon.


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

Living the Tranquilista Lifestyle: The Artist Date

As part of the Tranquilista Lifestyle course I’m taking, we had the assignment to plan a solo artist date.  It could be anywhere (even your own home) that either inspires creativity or is just, well, artistic.  For some of the ladies in my group, that meant browsing in a bookstore, gathering new art supplies, taking time to actually be creative, going to a movie, writing in their journals or spending time outside in nature just soaking it all in.  So basically, anywhere where you can be inspired for about an hour or so.

I chose to visit a local museum.

I’ve lived in LA for nearly 8 years now.  Many of those years, I either drive by the Autry (or as I call it, “the cowboy museum” – which by the way, turns out isn’t a very accurate description at all), the Norton Simon, the Getty or LACMA.  I’ve been to both the Getty (the building itself is absolutely amazing!) and the Autry, so I decided to try something new.  I’ve always wondered about the Norton Simon, so that’s where I headed.

I knew nothing about the Norton except where it was located.  I headed out around noon figuring I’d get in an hour or so and maybe check out the visiting Divine Demons: Wrathful Deities of Buddhist Art exhibition.  Turns out, I never did get around to seeing that exhibit. Actually, I never made it to the other half of the museum (the American side…not really a fan of early American art).

The first thing I noticed when I walked up to the museum were the statues…Rodin statues at that.  Then inside, you see a Henry Moore.  When you start on the gallery to the left, you are overwhelmed by the Degas statues.  I mean TONS of Degas statues, resting throughout.  There were also a few Degas oil paintings, pastels, etc.; who knew he was such a dabbler.  I sure didn’t.  I’ve always loved his ballerina works so I was in heaven.

I should say here that I happen to love, love, love impressionism (and I’m also a fan of some cubism when you get down to it – not that I’d ever see myself owning anything that modern and funky, but I digress).  One of my fondest memories of art (in this case, Monet), was seeing one of his water lily paintings for the first time (I think I was at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, but I could be wrong).  Being able to see a Monet up close, and then step back to see the image is just amazing.

My mind doesn’t work that creatively, so I can’t even begin to imagine how someone can paint nothing but dots at close range that later turn into a larger image when you just step back a few steps.  Just wow.  So being in that front room surrounded by works by Degas, Renoir, van Gogh, Pissaro, Cezanne, and so much more.  I just loved it.

And I loved how at the Norton, all the paintings are covered by glass (a glass that you can barely see) and you can not only get right up close to it without setting off any sort of sensors (unlike other museums I’ve been to), but you can also take photos.  I can’t recommend this place enough.  Especially when you get outside and view the sculpture garden.  Again, just beautiful.

I’m going to stop here for fear of this getting to be far too long of a post (especially with all my photos).  But let’s just say that my artist date didn’t stop at the Norton Simon on Friday…it continued through the entire weekend (but that’s a future post).

To see more photos from the museum, feel free to check out my Flickr set.


One of my favorite pieces - a Degas pastel. It's actually made up of six pieces of paper to give more space and allow for "movement".


Some of the many Degas bronzes. But see that Monet right there in the middle? That's my favorite!


I wish I'd paid closer attention to the artist here - I just loved the couple.


And who does love lotus blossoms


This little girl was sure enamored of them


This Henry Moore reminded me of what I must've looked like when I fell the the other day - though I wasn't naked!


Finished my official artist date with lunch at the local Le Cordon Bleu student-run cafe

Here’s a teaser from my Sunday night.


Herbie having a casual conversation alongside his many awards.

I took this photo towards the end of the night when a few folks were still hanging about.  I loved this shot because he was just casually leaning against his collection of awards having a totally casual conversation with his piano guy, Pierre (he’s French…and single…and funny as hell!)

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.

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.

The Fires Are Gone

Or at least the fires are gone in our neck of the woods. Meaning no more nuclear, mushroom cloud and ash all about. It was a pretty big fire. I think the biggest one I’ve experienced since living here (though not the closest).

The view from my front yard a week into it.

The view from my front yard a week into it.

According to the news, the Station Fire has burned over 160,000 acres and is still, two weeks later only 71% contained. And of course, as sadly seems to be the case, it was arson. The estimated cost to fight this fire is over $77 million.

You can still see the smokey cloud as you head out towards Pasadena, but it’s nice to know that everyone I knew in the affected areas are safe and back in their homes. Driving up in La Canada still smells quite bad and many of the small businesses are really suffering.

Sadly, this is just the beginning of our fire season. We need some el Nino rains ASAP.

Michael Jackson’s Final Resting Place

It was rumored some time last week that Forest Lawn would be where Michael Jackson would be laid to rest. As early as Friday, the paparazzi and the news vans have been parked, ready and waiting. Now that it’s been made official, the crowds have descended upon our side of the Hollywood Hills.





I’m sure the crowds will be massive after the memorial service starting this evening. Hopefully, the family will opt for an unmarked grave much like Humphrey Bogart. Otherwise, I’m sure it will be some crazy Jim Morrison-like gravesite.

Whale Watching in Marina del Rey

June Gloom finally lifted today. So having the first beautiful day of June, I demanded (no really, I did indeed demand) that we head out to Marina del Rey to visit the breached whale that’s visiting.

He’s on his way north to Alaska and has decided to take a bit of a break, call it a vacation, if you will here in LA. He’s been there for a couple weeks now, just hanging about. The authorities aren’t too worried as he appears to be in good health and is quite playful. Though they are concerned with just how close some of the boats have been getting.

I only took a few pictures because I realized early on that 1) I can’t see a damn thing on my screen in the bright sun so I don’t know what I’m even pointing at and more importantly, 2) whales aren’t easy to photograph – they move around, they’re always in a different spot and well, they’re not on the surface for too long. So only the bottom two photos actually caught the slightest glimpse of the little guy.

It was a fun day though. And once again, while I remembered to sunscreen my face and decolletage, I left my arms and neck untouched. And um, yeah…sunburn. Go figure.