We sailed to Gozo island, a small island that is part of the country of Malta. The myth is that Gozo is the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey. We had a lovely seafood lunch at an al fresco restaurant on the bay. It was secluded, rural, and like something out of a movie. With a place so tranquil and simple, the locals seemed so carefree.
We took a speed boat out to Gozo island, the Blue Lagoon, and to the enchanting caves and cliffs.
It was all somewhat surreal how bright and blue the Mediterranean Sea was and how it varied. We zipped across sapphire waters into a tranquil lagoon of neon turquoise waters. Looking over the boat, the water was so clear you could see fish.
Jumping off the boat and swimming in the clear Mediterranean Sea was such a dream. Everything was rather whimsical and had me feeling like a mermaid.
We stopped in the Blue Lagoon where many folks would take their boats out to post up with a few beers. An ice cream boat even cruises around the lagoon much like an ice cream truck does in a neighborhood, selling ice cream to buzzed boaters. How does such an amazing place exist?
Our last stop on the boating trip was this beautiful grotto in the cave where they filmed The Count of Monte Cristo. Swimming inside the grotto was so dreamlike. We climbed to the top of the cave and prepared ourselves for some cliff diving. Just a year ago I had conquered my fear of heights. It didn’t phase me to be 100 feet high, but to jump off into open water? Brianna jumped first. “That’s like a solid four seconds in the air,” our friend said before going in afterwards. It took me about ten minutes of hesitation and freaking out before I made the leap. I jumped and it was exhilarating and amazing and it… hurt. Pain. Searing pain. I landed hard. I landed wrong. A last minute moment of fear had me landing on my ass and it burned. The ruthless water slapped me like a smack onto concrete.
I later learned I fractured my tailbone. However, I firmly have no regrets. The bumpy ride back on that speed boat was painful but it was still worth it.
While our hair whipped back and forth, swirling in the wind, Brianna announces “this has got to be one of the best days of my life.”
Here’s to making the leap.
From Paris, we flew to a little gem of an island called Malta. Just south of Sicily, Malta is one of Europe’s smallest countries.
It’s funny how life works. One day while Brianna was visiting my apartment, Lauren stopped by. We all got to talking about how we were all going to embark on a summer Euro trip. Brianna was spending three months in Italy and Lauren and I would spend about a month hopping around. We had no idea where we were actually going to go, just that London was where we’d start. When you don’t obsess over making plans, sometimes serendipity will take care of you. Lauren mentioned how she would love to one day visit Malta but doesn’t know anyone there. Brianna chimed in enthusiasm that she had family friends there and we should join her for a visit.
And just like that we all met up in one of the world’s most beautiful countries.
The Louvre Museum was overwhelming. We couldn’t get to all the exhibits but checked out our favorites - Classical Art and Egyptian Antiquities.
A week in Paris can change your life.
My old friend Aurielle was one of the very first models I shot in Los Angeles at the beginning of my career. Fast forward five years and we’re in Paris shooting for my series entitled Model Diet.
It all felt quite surreal as I ascended the stairs to Aurielle’s flat in St. Germain. I watched Aurielle grow as an artist and have been with her during some dark times. She always felt like there was something for her beyond LA or New York. Seeing her content and at peace in a city far from home was enlivening.
Her roommate Lucile sat perched on their wide window sill smoking a cigarette. The view outside was whimsical.
As we sat on a bench by a fountain, a familiar face approached us. It was one of the Wasted employees. He joins us on the bench and we ask him what’s a must-see in Paris but he’s not sure. He’s not Parisian, he’s from Normandie. Only eighteen, he was trying to figure out how he would move to Paris to become an established fashion designer. We learn that we met him on his first day working at Wasted and it was just a trial. “I hope I get the job.” He crosses his fingers and clenches his teeth like the weight of the world could match the weight of his hope.
When I ask for his name he says “Arty. It’s like ‘party’ but without the ‘p’” he explains in his lovable French accent.
"Do you like to party?"
He says not like he use to. “I am eight months sober.” He talks like an open book, proud. He tells us he’s been clean from coke and dope and how he can be around it without doing it. No one pressures him but he admits it can get hard when he’s the only one sober. “All my friends, I see them…” He presses his finger down on a nostril and exaggerates an inhale. He laughs. He’s happy-go-lucky and he’s grateful.
He shares with us the story behind his tattoos. He’s drawn all of them. He’s an orphan, an artist, a liberated gay guy, and a gypsy. The writing on his arms translate to There, all is order and beauty, luxury, calm and pleasure.
"What inspired you to become a fashion designer?"
Arty thinks for a moment and says “I have nothing. No skills, no parents, no school, no degree. The only thing I have is my drawing.”
He smiles with certifiable dignity like the weight of the world would never match the great weight of his passion.
Wasted is a Parisian brand inspired by modern youth and the music movement of the 90s’. Everything is printed on site in Paris. Lauren and I stumbled upon this shop and got to chatting with the lovely artists and employees of the shop. The brand has some pretty rad headwear and tops. I had to snag a couple things naturally. It was cool to see some fresh passion-driven fashion from this independent brand in Paris. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of LA.