Instagram Hotspots at the LACMA


2015 / Movie Locations / Spring Travel / West

lacma_urbanlight_thecarsonstravel_06Fun fact about me: I love symmetry and my favorite color is white. The first time I saw a photo of the Urban Light art installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art I had a freak out about photographing it one day!


Urban Light was installed in 2008 by artist Chris Burden. All of the street lamps are restored from the 1920s and 30s. It’s become quite the “Instagram Destination” and a popular place for portraits and style bloggers. You might remember it from this scene in the Ashton Kutcher & Natalie Portman film No Strings Attached.


I wanted to see the lamps in both daylight and at night, but unfortunately we didn’t make it back in the evening because we were too tired from exploring all day, ha! But since we weren’t there at an ideal light time we had plenty of moments to capture clean photos without people in them.


Though, this goofy face kept popping up! :)

lacma_urbanlight_thecarsonstravel_14 lacma_urbanlight_thecarsonstravel_08Attitude ;)



The only other thing I wish I would have done was get a better perspective shot of the lights by going across the street or stepping further back to see the collection as a whole. Next time!

Another cool installation outside the LACMA is a contemporary art piece called Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer.

lacma_urbanlight_thecarsonstravel_12The suspended boulder weighs 340-tons and is 21.5 feet high! It was a big ordeal getting the boulder to the LACMA campus in 2012, which is documented in a film that I did not know about until reading about the installation online for this blog post!

Because we had basically one day to see LA we didn’t actually go inside the museum, so I hope the next time we’re out there we’ll have time to do so. But clearly the grounds have lots of cool things to see, so I think it’s well worth the stop even if you don’t have time to go inside! And it will make your Instagram feed really popular for a day, haha. My second most liked photo ever is of Urban Light.

See what else we were up to in LA:

The Sun and Stars Over Hollywood

Under the Sorting Hat! Harry Potter and Batman museums at Warner Bros. Studio

Warner Bros. Sound Stages & Sitting in Central Perk!

Inside the Warner Bros. Backlot!

See new posts when they’re published - Follow The Carsons Travel on Bloglovin’!

A Calm Morning in Coronado


2015 / Spring Travel / West

On Saturday morning of our three-ish day trip to San Diego we decided to get an early start. Trae got up at sunrise to go for a run along the beach. I didn’t get up quite that early, but he did see some amazing views that I wish I had experienced with him.

coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_42 coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_43There was a complimentary shuttle from our hotel that would take guests to the main hub of Coronado. We took the shuttle at 9am to jump start our sightseeing. The first thing I wanted to see was the historic Hotel Del Coronado!

coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_04“The Del” was built in 1888 and has housed many celebrities and U.S. Presidents. I associate the hotel with Marilyn Monroe’s film Some Like It Hot.


When we arrived, we went through the main entrance to get the full experience. We walked straight through the hotel to the beach side. The inside of the hotel is super dark. Lots and lots of dark wood. It was kind of creepy, actually! Here’s an aerial view of the area for perspective purposes:

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 3.32.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 3.33.37 PM

I am kind of obsessed with how this hotel looks in the background of beach pictures. It’s just so grand!

coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_31coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_37At first I was so wrapped up in photographing the hotel that I forgot we were next to the ocean for the first time in probably four years! As we expected, the water was c-o-l-d!

coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_21 coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_19coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_29 There are gold flecks in the sand!coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_28coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_13coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_14

We noticed that the lifeguard hut (what exactly are those things called?) near us was numbered “3C.” If you guys didn’t know, Trae is actually named John, but because he’s the third John in his family he goes by Trae. And obviously our last name is Carson, so the 3C seemed fitting for a photo op.


I ended up using the hut as a steady place to put my camera for a timer photo of Trae and me together!



After our beach adventures we walked back to Orange Ave to browse all the cute shops. The lack of crowds surprised us at first, but then we looked at our phones and realized it was only 10:15am. Right about then we saw a gelato shop and decided it was never too early for gelato!



We popped in to a few clothing shops, gift shops, and a cigar shop at our leisure, but I mostly enjoyed the pretty foliage and Spanish architecture styles we don’t see much of at home.IMG_0159

coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_40 coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_01 coronado_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_33Our afternoon was a bit more lively – we took an uber to North Park for coffee and beer. Of course! :) Sharing that next!

More from this San Diego trip:

You Can Be My Wingman Any Time

Good Times at Modern Times

When to Splurge & When to Save on Accommodations

  See new posts when they’re published - Follow The Carsons Travel on Bloglovin’!

You Can Be My Wingman Any Time


2015 / Spring Travel / West


The morning of our first “free day” in San Diego this past March, we toured the naval aviation museum USS Midway.

Trae’s late Uncle Ralph retired as a Commander in the Navy. He loved hearing the stories Ralph had to share; particularly the one where he crashed his plane in 1956. Trae had been eagerly awaiting to tour an aircraft carrier to help put Ralph’s experiences into perspective, so we were very happy that our time in San Diego provided us the opportunity!


We arrived late morning to start our tour. It was really crowded and really hot, so I would recommend wearing a small cross body bag, sunscreen, and a hat! The tour starts on the Hangar Deck where all the touristy things are like flight simulators, movies, and a gift shop. This is where you can pick up complimentary audio tour devices, though, so get one of those!ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_21ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_22 ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_24

We decided to see the Flight Deck first because we had somewhat of a limited schedule (we had to be at a formal dinner that night). The audio guides came in really handy here because I had no idea what the difference was between any of the planes. There were three different spots along the deck where docents would speak. They would talk about the process of taking off from and landing on the flight deck, with each guide going into specific detail about each.ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_08ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_11 ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_14

Speaking of docents, we found all of them on the flight deck to be extremely kind and eager to share their knowledge and answer most likely “dumb” questions. Trae got into a long discussion with a retired pilot. He explained the uses of several different planes and Trae asked him if there were any Demons (the plane that Ralph crashed) that we could see (there weren’t).

ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_10ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_06ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_12ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_07After perusing the planes for an hour or so we discovered there were tours of the Captain’s Bridge! There was a line, but fortunately it wasn’t too long of a wait. And it was in the shade! :) Once the tour started, we found ourselves climbing up very narrow ladders. It was much like the USS Missouri tour in Hawaii.ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_23ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_03 ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_04

Unfortunately our captain’s bridge tour was cut short because a woman in the group ahead of us passed out. It was so hot that it was seriously hard to breathe in these small spaces! There was no way to get her back down the tight quarters so they had to lift her out, causing the shut down of the captain’s bridge tours for the rest of the day! Craziness.

At this point we were getting pretty tired from being in the sun so much so we decided to look at the last couple of planes on the flight deck and then grab a late lunch.

ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_05Here’s the F-14 Tomcat, aka the Top Gun plane! Top Gun was actually filmed in San Diego, but we didn’t have enough time to go see the locations :( This site has some great comparison pictures of the locations though.


We couldn’t leave the museum without sitting in an airplane, so up we went into a T-2 Buckeye (I believe?!).

ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_18ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_19 ussmidway_sandiego_thecarsonstravel_20

I think we were at the museum about three hours total and we didn’t even tour the other decks! We really could have been there all day!

More from this San Diego trip:

Good Times at Modern Times

When to Save and When to Splurge on Accommodations

 See new posts when they’re published - Follow The Carsons Travel on Bloglovin’!