Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.”– Sandra Day O’Connor
Connection. Isn’t it the key to everything in life? As our world gravitates to the virtual, I’m grateful for those moments offering an authentic personal connection. There’s nothing more beautiful than creating new relationships and developing intimate bonds with another. One of my greatest delights in the Fashion Blogging world is in getting to know the stories behind the images. One of my first Instagram connections was with the lovely Belinda, @mademoiselle_paris. My eye was drawn to her artfully curated gallery while her charming demeanor and sparkly personality pulled me back day after day. Over time, we transcended a virtual friendship and began getting to know one another.
I was thrilled when Belinda told me she would be traveling to LA! As she lived across the pond in Germany, this was no ordinary visit and I couldn’t wait for her arrival. We had been messaging each other for weeks and I was counting the days. It was Indian Summer in LA when Belinda touched down with her lovely beau, Fabian. We met up for a quick bite in Santa Monica and made fast friends. Belinda greeted me warmly with that smile that could launch a thousand ships! We discovered we were kindred spirits and quickly began conjuring up plans for a fabulous outing.
Later that week, my doorbell rang, and Belinda arrived with her charming boyfriend, Fabian. We hung out for a bit while I gave them the fifty cent tour. Belinda walked into my office while Mike, my Photog, was working away editing a few photos. She promptly exclaimed, “Well, this is where the magic happens!” Soon after, proclaiming, “Everyone needs a Mike!”We all laughed as there was definitely some truth to that. I’ll be the first one to tell you that the genius is in the editing. With that, we decided to quickly change into our looks courtesy of the lovely Blvd. in Manhattan Beach. One of my favorite local boutiques catering to the beach lover in you, Blvd. carries everything from your favorite Rails plaid shirt to bikinis and cover ups. I chose a Rails top with the coziest leggings by David Lerner while Belinda selected a pair of flannel overalls by Capulet to compliment her top. I tossed her a Michael Stars hat from my collection and threw one on as well. Given the sunshine, we each brought along a pair of our classic Raybans. I threw on my Emilia short booties from Asos, one of those affordable treasures I found combing the site recently. A choker for each of us and we were ready to roll!
We set off in the Jeep and headed down to Palos Verdes for a picturesque tour of the South Bay. The Palos Verdes Peninsula is truly otherworldly. Magical, with vistas at every turn, overlooking majestic cliffs framing the Pacific Ocean. We laughed most of the way and we ready to make our own magic together! We pulled into the Wayfarer’s Chapel as it’s a dreamy place for shoots. As it was a weekday afternoon, we were a little surprised to find a wedding taking place. The Chapel was closed but that didn’t stop us. Belinda and I headed over to the gardens to begin our shoot. I proceeded to show Belinda my best catwalk strut, throwing in a little head toss for good measure, when we both promptly erupted in the biggest belly laughs!
It was time for more fun and with the lovely Terrenea Resort down the road, we were quickly off on our next adventure. Located on the shores of Palos Verdes, Terrenea is one of the most beautiful resorts along the coast. The beach there remains public and is quite the hidden little gem. We made our way down to the beach and began climbing on the rocks. Fabian joined Belinda in playing with a meditation sculpture in the rocks. We sat and enjoyed the scenery and some beautiful contemplative moments before heading back up and taking some fun pics along the way.
I happened to mention the wild peacocks that roost in Palos Verdes and saw Belinda light up which meant we were off on our next adventure. I’m a bit of a peacock nut which made it an easy decision to see if we could find some friendly peacocks. Carefully climbing the windy streets, we quickly spotted a couple of roaming peacocks. Trying hard not to scare the little critters, we cautiously tiptoped over. In luck, the curious peacocks stayed close by while we came in for a closer look. Crouching down, Belinda and I glanced at each other, and smiled at our good fortune. Mission accomplished. Time for a high five and back in the Jeep for our last hurrah.
I had loaded up the car with balloons to celebrate with my beautiful new friend. We drove over to the cliff where there’s a lovely pagoda and waited to share the beauty of the sunset with Belinda and Fabian. Jumping on the roof, we had a few giggles, before the sun began touching the horizon getting ready to light up the sky. Jumping down, it was time to focus on the nightly show by Mother Nature. The South Bay is known for it’s sunsets and tonight’s wouldn’t disappoint. Fabian and Belinda shared a touching moment before we all headed for a well deserved dinner at my favorite haunt in downtown Manhattan Beach. The Downstairs Bar is a tiny little bar/restaurant with a charm all of it’s own. We enjoyed a delicious dinner including my favorite savory salmon sliders, followed up by a side of crispy french fries. It was a beautiful end to a truly magical day. We shared lovely deep conversation, getting to know one another on a deeper level. Belinda is hilarious and her laughter is infectious, and of course, her accent is so damn cute! She’s one of the most beloved posters on Instagram and she won my heart. It was hard to pull away but Belinda and Fabian had a full day at Catalina Island beginning at the crack of dawn, so it was time for a painful goodbye. I can’t wait for her next visit across the pond and thanks for the memories! The sun definitely shines brighter with this beauty around. Cheers Belinda. It was lovely.