Walking L.A. by Erin Mahoney Harris

Did everyone have an amazing weekend? How beautiful was LA’s weather?! It’s so hard to believe it’s January. You all better have been out enjoying it.

I must announce that Erin Mahoney Harris (writer of Walking L.A.) liked Life Absorbed on facebook today. This is huge for me, as friends of mine could tell you that this book has been my bible for the last 12 months. For new readers to the blog I must explain that in 2011 I came up with a list of new year resolutions with my number one goal of completing all 38 walks from her book. I completed them all and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It got me to explore LA, it helped me lose weight, it reconnected me with old friends and helped me start new friendships, and it changed how I live my life. I know you’re probably thinking Im giving too much credit to a book, but by setting that as my goal it really got me through a rough time by keeping me focused. It opened my eyes to how I was living my life and made 2011 my best year. So Erin Mahoney Harris, I thank you for making 2011 awesome. For those of you who don’t own this book, buy it (HERE). And if you are interested in following my 2012 goal, purchase Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming (who was inspired by Erin’s book) and L.A. Bizarro by Anthony Lovett and Matt Maranian. While I doubt I’ll visit every place in the L.A. Bizarro book by the end of 2012, I do hope to finish all 42 walks from Secret Stairs by the end of the year.

Teaser for upcoming posts this week: I went ROCK CLIMBING! A spooky girls night up in the Hollywood Hills! Exploring Beechwood Canyon (Secret Stairs #34)! And this Thursday I will try trampoline dodgeball!

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LA Walk #1 Castellammare: Pacific Palisades’ “Castle On The Sea”

This past Sunday I ventured out to the Pacific Palisades for what I was expecting to be a chilly ocean-air walk. Turns out that the end of November in Los Angeles is gorgeous. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees. If you are new to the blog, then I must explain that I have the goal of completing all 38 walks from the book Walking L.A. Second Edition (by Erin Mahoney Harris) in the year 2011. I’ve got a month and a couple days to finish my last 5… I’m so close I can taste it. Anywho, back to the Palisades.

The walk takes you through a beautiful neighborhood where everyone has views of the water. This walk also introduces a new area where you can park, walk over a bridge and be at the beach without having to pay a ridiculous amount to park (SCORE!). It was such a nice day, I couldn’t resist the ocean and had to put my feet in.

One thing I must point out about this neighborhood is that everyone was extremely friendly. Most people along these walks are polite, but considering it was such a ritzy neighborhood and it would have been very easy for people to be suspicious instead of gregarious. One woman drove by and slowed to wish me a happy walk. Very sweet people.

One eerie tale that the book notes is that actress Thelma Todd died in this home (that you pass along the walk) in 1935 from carbon monoxide poisoning, and it’s never been determined if it was suicide, an accident or foul play. Suspicious.

If you buy the L.A. Walks book and do walk #1 (or decide to explore the Castellammare area) be sure to visit a nearby hike in the Topanga State Park. One somewhat quiet (aka secret) hike begins near this neighborhood. Take Paseo Miramar (off Sunset) until it ends. Park along the road and begin the hike on the fire road. This hike begins among mansions and takes you into the mountains with stunning views of the ocean. This hike is a challenge and on hot days, beware of snakes, but this hike is unlike anything else and worth doing. P.S. Bring a camera.