Out Of Office Reply (Summer Vacation)

As you read this, Andrew and I are busy traipsing around the Grand Canyon, where we’re camping for the week. Temperatures in the canyon are currently in the “tropical” 110 – 115 degrees range, so I’m anticipating a pretty substantial water-weight loss over the next few days, and a killer tan at the very least.

Assuming we make it out of the canyon alive, we’re planning to ease back into civilization by spending a few days in mellow Las Vegas before heading home in time for the 4th. Needless to say, things will be a bit quiet on the blog-front this week…


Note: I find that the optimal time to take a vacation is approximately two days after you’ve started a new job. Bosses love it.



Enjoy the week, friends. May your commutes be mild and your offices boss-less. Happy 4th of July!




Question: In your opinion, should I be more worried about the July-in-Arizona heat, the steep downhill hiking trails, or the scorpions? All of the above?


Baldwin Hills Stair Hike

Hello and good morning.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend that left you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the week ahead. Andrew and I had a fun weekend that started with some happy hour drinks at Oldfields on Friday night.

Happy Hour at Oldfields


Saturday started off slow, but ended up being a productive day. We spent a couple hours inside a magical camping store called Adventure 16 (Outdoor and Travel Outfitters) making some final purchases for an upcoming camping trip. The store was magical in how un-REI it was.

Adventure 16

It felt like being inside a giant log cabin, and had little camping displays set up, along the lines of ones you’d see in a natural history museum. There were signs around the store warning that they’d be closing early on Sunday because the whole staff was going camping. They’re really walkin’ the walk there, if you know what I mean.


I also baked a cake! My first cake, in fact. A double decker.

My first double decker cake

I’ll be sharing more on this cake at a later date, but the two most important things to know about it are: 1) it was a great-tasting lemon raspberry yogurt cake, and 2) it was a hilarious Pinterest fail from an aesthetics standpoint. More to come…


Baldwin Hills Stair Hike

The highlight of the weekend for me was discovering the Baldwin Hills stairs. They’ve been recommended to Andrew and I on several occasions, but we’ve never been able to figure out where they are until now. (They’re not difficult to find once you actually pull up google maps.)

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Baldwin Hills has a pretty cool scenic overlook that you can access several ways. You can drive to the top, hike along a 1.25 mile zig zag dirt path, or you can take the stairs.

Baldwin Hills Stairs

A round trip stair climb is about 2/3 of a mile, and many people do several rounds. There’s a nice open spot at the top where you can check out the view or do some body weight exercises if you feel so inclined. Andrew and I took the stairs up and the dirt path down two full times.

View of the city from Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

I’m glad we finally found the Baldwin Hills stairs. It’s certainly a popular spot; there were tons of people, but crowding wasn’t an issue on the stairs at all. There’s a gazebo that I know you can reserve near the overlook for ceremonies and events because I vaguely remember looking into it when we were planning our wedding a couple years ago.

Baldwin Hills gazebo spaace

One other nice thing about hiking Baldwin Hills is that there is a visitors’ center near the top (apparently it’s rarely open) with restrooms that are always unlocked. It’s a nice feature for those who drink a full cup of coffee right before starting the hike.

How was your weekend? What did you get up to? LA locals – have any of you ever done the Baldwin Hills stairs?