LA travel blog

Airplane wing shot with clouds Los Angeles just might be the closest thing to home for me. Not that I really know what "home" means.

To sum up my childhood: we bounced around from city to city, spending 1 to 4 years in each place. The progression went something like Tucson-Puebla-Tucson-Orizaba-Tucson-Oaxaca-Orizaba. So for me, thinking outside the box happened in the form of staying inside of a box of some sort. And Los Angeles had just enough to keep my gypsy-nomad tendencies at bay for 12 entire years.

Arriving in LA as a visitor is a new experience for me. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. It's like I wanted to run around, go everywhere, do everything and visit everyone. But at the same time I was just as happy basking in the perfect sunlight, reflecting and appreciating, pondering and planning. It turns out I hadn't actually idealized LA in my absence. It just rules.

I'll let my pictures do the rest of the talking for me... If my math doesn't fail me, these pictures are worth more than 38,000 words!


A estas alturas, prácticamente puedo decir que soy de Los Angeles. Aunque en verdad soy más como la India María: "Ni de aquí ni de allá."

Para resumir mi niñez: íbamos de ciudad en ciudad, pasando de 1 a 4 años en cada una. La progressión fue algo así como Tucson-Puebla-Tucson-Orizaba-Tucson-Oaxaca-Orizaba. Asi que para mi, viajar no era ningún riesgo. Viajar era lo más natural. El riesgo, el gran desconocido, era quedarme en un solo lugar. Y Los Angeles logró captar mi atención y calmar mis tendencias semi-nomadas por 12 años.

Llegar a Los Angeles como visita es algo nuevo para mi. Y estaba casi que no sabía que hacer. Con ganas de hacer todo, de ir a todos lados y saludar a todo mundo. Pero al mismo tiempo estaba 100% satisfecha absorbiendo el sol como lagartija, reflexionando y apreciando, meditando y planeando. Resulta que no había idealizado a LA mientras no estaba. En efecto, es la neta.

Pero bueno. Dejaré que mis fotografías cuenten el resto de la historia... Si no me fallan las matemáticas, ¡estas fotos valen más que 38 mil palabras!

Tile mural at LAXBen tile mural LAXCorrosion pattern Superholly Cabello lavanda o morado claroCourtney monkeying around on big booksRooftop Pool at LA loftHappy beautiful big smiletanning at the rooftop poolKoreatown muralbrick building historic districtBeautiful painting of Mint Hair girlSpeedometer Mini Coopergirls jumping Runyon CanyonPalm trees and bougainvilleathird street promenadeSanta monica bar lavender hairBen watching the sunset over the beachSunset and Palm TreesBen and Holly happy in the jeepBeach daySun starts to go downIroha SushiAlbacore with crispy onion Irohathe BEST baked crab rollCreeper in the bushesFriends at Cici's parking lot!three best friendsCici's pumpkin pancakesCustom Hotel LobbyCheers with friendsCustom Hotelgirls jumping on the bedFour palm treesHolly and Ben in the sandPaddleboarding in Marina Del ReyHolly and Vivian paddleboardingPaddleboarding silhouettesPaper Airplane art piece at LAX

The Beatles of Houston

Houston Beatles Statues What to do on a sweltering Saturday in soon-to-be-September? Head out on a mini-excursion to feast our eyes on elongated editions of The Beatles, of course! It’s crazy that these 36-foot-dudes have been practically living in our backyard this whole time and we’d never heard about them before! John, Paul, Ringo and George can be found in a semi-abandoned lot near the former studio of the great artist and sculptor David Adickes, along with an ever-changing collection of president heads and busts he’s created throughout the years. Yes, it’s technically private property—but visitors are welcome to mosey and meander between Lincoln, Roosevelt, Clinton and (a rather small-headed) Obama. Ah, art. Bold, bizarre, beautiful art. Our day continued with seafood and drinks at local tremendously trendy hidden gem Julep (‘hidden’ as in hidden from us, not from the rest of Houston, apparently!) where I learned that oysters can in fact be tolerable, and was gently reminded that, indeed, I still haven’t developed an affinity for bourbon.


¿Qué se puede hacer en un sábado soleado a semanas de septiembre? Salir de mini-excursión para conocer a los Beatles de concreto, ¡por supuesto! Lo más loco es que estas estatuas de 11 metros han estado viviendo prácticamente en mi jardín todo este tiempo, ¡y yo ni en cuenta! Puedes encontrar a John, Paul, Ringo y George en un lote semi-abandonado cerca de lo que solía ser el estudio del escultor y artista David Adickes. Conviviendo con ellos están docenas de cabezas y bustos de presidentes que ha creado a lo largo de los años y están en constante rotación. A pesar de que que es propiedad privada, puedes sentirte con la libertad de divagar y deambular entre Lincoln, Roosevelt, Clinton y Obama (Un Obama singularmente no cabezón). Los Beatles entre cabezas de presidentes, ¿Quién lo iba a pensar? Y es que así es el arte. Atrevido, absurdo, y hermoso. Nuestras aventuras continuaron en Julep, un bar escondido pero muy al día donde consumimos cantidades razonables de mariscos y cocteles. Allí aprendí que los ostiones pueden llegar a ser tolerables, y recordé que sigo sin desarrollar una afinidad por el whisky americano.

Carseat in front of Beatles

Monkeying Around


Hanging on the tractor

How many ex-US-presidents do you recognize? / ¿Cuántos expresidentes de EU reconoces?

Beatles Statues Houston

Obama Bust

As you can see, it really is a free-for-all / Como puedes ver, hay libertad de hacer lo que se te antoje

The Beatles statues in Houston

Walk up a nearby flight of stairs and suddenly the view changes! / Sube unas cuantas escaleras cercanas y el panorama cambia

The classic Mint Julep at Julep / El clásico Mint Julep en Julep

rings:madewell / anillos:madewell

Wrought iron tabletop

Julep with friends

Oysters at Julep

Sealed with a kiss! / Sellado con un beso

Estatuas de Los Beatles en Houston

holly wears - top:madewell, shorts:american apparel,  boots:steve madden, hat:goorin bros, sunnies:madewell


Photos by: Benjamin Vargas, Holly Tuggy and Sylvia Maldonado

Growing up

Image Growing up: it’s a funny thing that happens to us all. We can deny it, we can fight it, we can try to hide it, but we can’t stop it. And sometimes I wonder why we struggle so much with it. I personally prefer to embrace it. I wouldn’t go back, not for a second! Today I am stronger, wiser, and fiercer than yesterday (I added the ‘fierce’ part solely to avoid sounding like a Britney Spears song).

As far as style goes, we all go through phases and we all evolve. I don’t believe that there are set ‘rules’ for what you can and cannot wear based on your age (look at Betsey Johnson!), but I do recognize that some things have worked better for me at different times in my life, and others work better now. Plus, my tastes change.

So while I most certainly don’t rule out stores like Urban Outfitters, I also don’t find any pieces sucking me in and begging me to buy them like they used to. Lately I am consistently drawn to Club Monaco and BCBG. Oh, who am I kidding with ‘lately’, it’s been about 7 years of this madness. Today I decided to play up the part of the “mature business woman”. Because when I wear this outfit you KNOW I mean business!




top:club monaco, belt:american apparel, skirt:club monaco, tights:american apparel, shoes:BCBG, bracelet:tiffany & co,

photos by Benjamin Vargas