For the last 7 years, I’ve been lucky enough to call Huntington Beach my home where I lived a few blocks from the water. It’s everything you imagine it would be…amazing weather, casual atmosphere, walkable errands, and gorgeous landscape at every turn. Orange County, in general, is a such a beautiful place to live (and work). With the exception of the 405N fwy around 3:30 p.m., there are rarely any traffic issues, streets are wide and perfectly paved, and everything is predominantly new. It’s an easy way of life. But, something kept nagging at me and calling me back home.
One of many celebrations at my favorite spot in OC, Pelican Hill, Newport Coast.
After two years of thinking about it, I finally moved back to Los Angeles! Sort of feels like it all happened overnight, but I had in fact been contemplating the move for a while now. I never meant to settle down in Huntington Beach, but I definitely fell in love with that place! It was a land of new beginnings for me, and in the same token became a place of refuge while I recovered from my divorce. The memories, friendships, and roots I planted in Orange County will remain with me forever – a permanent home in my heart and spirit. Okay, enough of the sappy stuff – let’s talk about the madness of moving! Oh, and why…
While I masqueraded as a beach dweller for several years, I’m actually a real solid city girl. I grew up in a small suburb outside of downtown LA, went to school at Cal Poly Pomona, earned my BA in Business from Whittier College, and dreamed of living in NYC from the first time I saw Felicity. S/O to Keri Russell! I actually interviewed for jobs in New York City when I was in my early 20s. My family even threw me a mock going away party thinking I was actually moving to New York. Ha! I chickened out. Totally lame! Still wish I took that opportunity. Kids – learn from your Aunt Jackie.
My first Broadway show with my Aunt Juliet and Cousin Jessica.
Most my friends and family live in the Los Angeles area, in all the same places I galavanted as a teen and then later in my 20s. I have the fondest memories of growing up in La La Land…from joy riding around Malibu, cruising Sunset Blvd, pushing our way to the front line at clubs in Hollywood, to hiking Angeles Crest and hanging out past my bedtime laughing the night away in all the surrounding cities. Every single corner of Los Angeles County holds a warm memory in my mind and in my heart. Short story, I once waitressed at this “LA Celebrity Hot Spot” a couple blocks from The Beverly Center…I only lasted one month, but I got to wait on stars from Entourage, Friends, and a couple “movie stars” too. For a girl in her 20s, that was a fun gig. Another gem for my mental quilt!
Moving back to LA was always my intention, I just needed it to be the right time. And, wouldn’t you know it, the universe aligned itself with my intentions and made everything fall right into place. Out of the blue, I found myself entertaining a job offer I simply could not refuse. I’d have the opportunity to be the Director of Marketing for a nationwide leader in lending, working side by side with some of the country’s top sales and leadership folks, and the ability to work remote as I see fit…the stuff corporate dreams are made of! So I accepted – and immediately started looking for places to live!
INSERT Tupac “To Live and Die in L.A.” song lyrics…
I spent a lot of time in Pasadena and Glendale growing up, so I always figured I would move to one of the those cities. When I started looking for apartments, I quickly decided that I need to live someplace with a high Walk Score, lots of friends/family (for week night happy hours of course), and ample shopping options. Narrowing all that down gave me one very distinct solution. GLENDALE. It’s considered one of the safest city’s in the U.S., has tons of shopping and entertainment, lots of housing, and a beautiful mountain scape for walks and jogs. It was the best option for an immediate need – and I found the KE-UT-EST “Three’s Company”-esq apartment building. It’s got a super retro charm and a pool – what more could a gal ask for? Oh ya, and great CLOSETS!
My neighborhood is a quiet, tree-lined street nestled right at the foot of the mountains, walking distance to a sweet little area called Kenneth Village, plush with cafes, restaurants, and a bakery that’s got goodies to die for! My place is also walking distance to my best friend of 37 years! How can you beat that?
Moving day was emotional. I was leaving a place that was exceptionally good to me. A home near my mom (my best friend and confidant), ten minute walk to the ocean, and a way of life that was comfortable and full of love. Okay, so I only moved 46 miles away, but it feels like another state! And, in traffic, the commute between cities feels just that. But, I’m extremely happy, and feel this new chapter is refreshing for me. I’m doing things I haven’t done in years and I feel the immediate personal growth. While I miss my mom and the cool ocean breeze, I feel like I made a step in the right “life direction” and I’m proud of that.
Stay tuned for more from LA – I’m planning a home decor post soon! I’m excited to share some of my furniture shopping adventures with you!
Thank you all for the continued love and showing of support and all the outreach…love you!
XOX – Jax