April 12, 2016

My First Trip to California!

 

I’ve traveled up and down the east coast countless times. From New York, to the Carolinas, to Florida, New Orleans, the Mid-West and East coast is home, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t traveled out west as much as I’d like. BUT…I’m making progress! Last year around this time I pushed further west with my trip to Vegas for WPPI. Then last October Emily and I flew out to Scottsdale, AZ for the United retreat!

We had a blast traveling to those places, but one destination seemed to keep eluding my wishlist of travel destinations…California. I have so many photographer friends that live there, but yet never visited! When I booked a wedding for this year and found that the couple lived in LA I decide it was time to get out of Ohio and finally cross California off my wishlist!

Right after the Rising Tide Society leadership retreat in Charleston, SC I boarded a plane headed for the west coast! This time it was truly the west coast! My flight landed in LA around 7:30pm, I picked up my sweet rental from Sixt Rentals, and I was on my way to explore!

The first night was pretty uneventful as I checked into my hotel, ordered a pizza, and relaxed the rest of the night. The fun began the following morning…After waking up at 5:30am (8:30am on the east coast) I got a good workout in at the LA Fitness across the street. After I showered and packed up I was on the road headed for Venice Beach. A couple weeks before my trip a friend had told me that this was where Snapchat was headquartered, so I wanted to check out where all the magic happened!

Once I got the beach I’d have to say I was a little disappointed! The beach was completely covered by fog, and you could barely even see the Pacific Ocean. I strolled down the beach around 10:30am, and most everything at this time was still closed so needless to say there weren’t many people out. I began walking towards where the map on my phone was saying Snapchat’s headquarters was. I walked a little over a mile to find that…(drum roll)…Snapchat’s headquarters was vacant and boarded up! Later I found that they had moved to a space in LA!

Despite the disappointments earlier in the day, my experience got much better as I left Venice Beach and headed towards Santa Barbara. My friends at Agree.com, PASS, and Shoot and Share had recently moved into a new headquarters there and I decided to go up and visit them! They have been such an incredible vehicle for change in the photography community, and I am nothing but excited for everything they’re doing!

The drive up to Santa Barbara was absolutely breathtaking! I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my friends in their new offices, worked a little bit on some new ideas I had thought up for Social, and grabbed some good food later that evening at an amazing Mexican restaraunt where we met up with some more friends!

The remainder of the trip I stayed in Burbank, CA with a friend who showed me all around the hills of Hollywood, Studio City, and other various areas! The trip was absolutely inspring, and kinda gave me the itch to move out to Cali some day! Here’s so pics of my adventure! 🙂

How nice are these views and this headquarters?!!

My BMW 228i for 9 days! I only got to put the top down for half the trip…I picked the cold week to go…

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  1. Jim Dahlstein

    April 14th, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Hey Andrew,
    This is Mr. Dahlstein, your 4th grade teacher from Asir Academy! Wow, so coincidental how I found you. It was really great to see all your old photos from Asir. It certainly brought back a lot of memories. I was especially pleased to know you made your way out to California, but bummed I didn’t get to connect with you.
    Mrs. Dahlstein and I live in San Gabriel, a suburb of LA. We’re about 20 minutes from LA/Hollywood. We both teach 6th grade math/science at Huntington Middle School in San Marino. We have two kids, Annelie (18) she was in Asir the first two years, and James, 17.
    I clearly remember your bright spirit and keen mind. So glad to hear you’re doing what you love, and always know you have a place to rest your head in Los Angeles.
    Cheers,
    Mr. "D"

  2. Andrew Smith

    April 18th, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Hey Mr. Dahlstein!

    It is so great to hear from you! I am so glad to hear that everything is going well for you guys. I really wish I would had known you were out in California. I would have loved to meet up!

    I actually plan on coming back out in the next couple months, and we will definitely need to meet up this time! If you want you can e-mail me at my personal e-mail ars1211@gmail.com. I hope we can work something out! Take care!

    Andrew

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