Southern California Coast: Day 1

November 19, 2012

Since I passed my drivers license test, Toyota has always been my ride of choice.  For over a decade now, I have been a loyal and devoted fan, thus it felt like fate when I discovered that I was selected as a member of the Toyota Women Influencers Network (TWIN).  Not only would I further develop my relationship with this extraordinary brand, but there would be travel involved as well!  My inaugural trip for TWIN brought me to Toyota’s headquarters in Los Angeles.  I found myself back in California on the following trip, however this time I would be exploring the Southern Californian coast on a road trip in various Toyota vehicles.

The trip began at the luxurious Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel.  I have been to Los Angeles countless times, though never to this part of the city.  I could not imagine staying in a more perfect hotel for my first visit.

Thankfully, I arrived early in the morning, so I had an entire day to enjoy sunny Santa Monica, though I did not wander too far, as the hotel’s pool was impossible to leave.

Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, California

Our reunion dinner was held at the breathtakingly beautiful Huntley Hotel Penthouse.  If you happen to be in Santa Monica you must have a cocktail there at sunset.  Located on the 18th floor, this restaurant serves contemporary cuisine amidst a glamorous atmosphere and if often frequented by celebrities.  If you stay for dinner, make sure to reserve in advance one of the intimate cabanas that comes with its own chandelier for an unforgettable dining experience.

My fellow colleagues of TWIN and I were deep in conversation about how excited we were for the adventures over the next few days, when I heard someone gasp.  A Harvest Moon had appeared above downtown Los Angeles.  I had heard how magnificent they are, but it is one of those things that must be seen with one’s own eyes to truly appreciate.  I took it as a sign that only good things were to come.

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of Toyota.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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38 thoughts on “Southern California Coast: Day 1

  1. Katie @ Domestiphobia

    Seriously? Your photos just keep getting more and more incredible! And that restaurant looks amazing. And the MOON! Is that real?! I looove Southern California. I’m more a fan of San Diego than Los Angeles, but I’ll take the weather either place. 😉

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      Awww thank you so much sweetheart, that means a lot to me! That restaurant was the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever been to. Without a doubt!!! And isn’t that moon outrageous? I’m soooooo sad that I couldn’t get better pics, but the window from the restaurant had the worst glare. Boo! I much prefer SD over LA as well!

  2. Emily in Chile

    Santa Monica is paradise. I always say that if I were going to live in LA again, I’d need to be making millions to afford to live and work on the westside and never have to deal with the traffic or less attractive parts of the city.


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