A Golden Birthday in the Golden State

A Golden Birthday in the Golden State

by Anjelica Jardiel

I was a Los Angeles County girl until uprooting myself and moving to New York 4 years ago.  I can’t say I miss LA on most days, but what I do miss is the California coastline. I turned 30 on August 30th, and my mother is retiring to Las Vegas, so to celebrate my golden birthday and honor my last trip home to the sunshine state, I visited some of my favorites.  



Cinespia is a summer special for movie buffs.  Every Saturday from June until September, classic and cult films are screened on a big white wall in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (a unique locale where hundreds of movie stars of past decades are buried). Palm trees line the grass, and people spread out their blankets and picnic snacks and get comfy. A few of this year’s films included The Fifth Element, The Princess Bride, Buffalo ’66, Superbad, Ghost World, Coming to America, and Romeo + Juliet. There’s also a badass photo booth styled like a scene in the film at every event.

Tripper Tips: Arrive early, and take an Uber or Lyft, because parking is a bitch.  Doors open at 7:15, and the movie starts at 9:00pm but we arrived before 6:30pm and had a pre-picnic picnic.  No matter how hot the day is, LA nights always get chilly, so bring a jacket.


La Piedra State Beach    

The windy drive to Malibu from the 101 freeway is notably gorgeous and will forever hold a piece of my heart. La Piedra State Beach sits along PCH, farther north than the more well known Malibu beaches like Zuma and Matador. It’s about a quarter-mile hike down from the parking lot, which is $3 per hour, or $10 for the day, from sunrise to sunset. When I was in art school, I shot a mermaid scene here, because of the privacy and the rocks. It’s a bit more active these days, and the path is less treacherous, with a ladder added by the shore.  Keep your eyes peeled for dead bees along the water (we saw plenty, and my friend stepped on one), very telling of the perilous condition of our planet.   


Malibu Orchard

This was a new one for me. I seized the opportunity spontaneously, because this yurt was booked for months every, single day, except my birthday itself.  Owned by photographer, artist, and world traveler Bibi Jordan and her husband Bruce, the organic Malibu Orchard is an artful oasis tucked in the powerful but delicate Malibu Canyon. 


Daily, from 5pm into the night, Bibi spends her time cooking dinner, hosting and entertaining guests who can stay in one of the three properties—the Yurt, the Safari Tent, the Zen Lodge, and the soon-to-be Tiny House. All meals are organic and prepared from scratch, served on a rooftop deck with a moon-side view, at an additional cost (which is totally worth it and comparable to other prices in the area).  Breakfast is an available option, as well. Some of the vegetables and fruits are grown on-site, and other ingredients are sourced locally. Selections from her menu are made before check-in. 


Centrally located on the property is a refreshing shared mineral pool, hot tub and outdoor shower. We spent our night after dinner laying poolside, staring at the stars and silhouettes of the canyon.


The Universe works in perfect synchronicity. It’s no coincidence that my mother and I hit major life milestones at the same time. My nostalgia allowed me to savor the sites and bask in the vibes. I kept my eyes and heart wide open. My California dreams are made of experiences like these.