trips to malibu & topanga, in photos.

Every Saturday is adventure day for Max & I. California is so beautiful. I’m still getting used to the flowers and plants here; visiting DC earlier this month felt like home only because I knew the flowers and trees there, hah. (Also, ten points of Lauren-love if you can tell me what kind of cactus I’ve photographed below.)

Wishlist: National Audubon Society Field Guide of the Western Region.

Below are photos from two weekend adventures: Malibu Creek State Park and driving around Topanga Canyon.


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  1. KF says:

    These are mindbogglingly gorgeous. <3 (That is a word, btdubbs. I can't believe it is, but it is. Well according to Google at least.)

  2. Mattie Chatham says:

    Prickly pear! Gosh, I miss CA’s flora and fauna, especially the valley oaks.

  3. Ahhh! Sparkly flip-flops! By the way, what brand is the white nail polish that you used?

  4. beautiful beautiful
    and that snake is terrifying.

  5. Amanda says:

    Yes, it is a prickly pear and you really can eat them. 🙂

  6. I love hiking around Malibu. So pretty. And your pictures make it seem even cooler!

  7. Nics Cahill says:

    Lauren, these photos are very cool – I like the tones, and the edge they have. The one of you looking at the ocean is really great.

  8. Mmm says:

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos with us. I’ve been really inspired by your blog and your eye for beauty. Btw, I hope you do not mind me using one of your pictures as my desktop bg?

  9. Misti Janisch says:

    I think the cactus is an ocotillo actually– prickly pear are much shorter and kind of look like mickey mouse ears! I have never seen an ocotillo bloom, for it is usually dead looking when I see them.
    I am from Minnesota, but my parents recently bought a house in Arizona. I have had to go to many different botanical gardens and greenhouses with them when we planted cactuses in our yard!

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      This is so interesting! Now I just googled “prickly pear” and “ocotillo” and I don’t think this is either one of them. Hmmmmmmmmm.

  10. Greta says:

    Your photos are just beautiful.
    I have never been to Malibu Creek State Park and it is now on the must do list.
    We do most of our hiking in Orange County–there are a lot of wonderful hikes down here.
    There are also some great hikes around Pasadena–year round waterfalls even!
    Anyway, at first glance I thought that was a prickly pear for sure. (you know you can make jam from the fruit of a prickly pear and you can pickle the leaves and eat those too)
    It’s definitely not an ocotillo.
    But those narrow leaves make me think it is something called a cow’s tongue prickly pear cactus. It’s a relative of the prickly pear.
    Google it and you can see if you think I’m right.
    Thanks for the inspiration for a new hiking destination!
    Love from,

  11. Greta says:

    Also, this is a great hike near Malibu.
    Since you won’t be hiking with 3 year olds, you can do the full loop.
    I imagine this hike gets really crowded on the weekend, so I’d go early.
    But it is beautiful!
    Here’s the link with my review of the hike:
    Hope you can give it a try.
    Love from,

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      loved your post and pictures!! those flowers are gorgeous. (and your kids? adorable.) we’ll have to hike that!


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