Andrew Bongiorno

Los Liones Trail & Bursting the Plastic Fantastic Bubble of LA by hiking California – Hike #4

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Los Liones Canyon photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet). https://hotndelicious.com/
Los Liones Canyon photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet).
https://hotndelicious.com/

Los Liones Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, California, is just the best!

One of the most important things when traveling the world over and learning about a new city or country is to hang out with people who actually live there and do what the locals do. Find your people and soak up the local culture. 

When deciding whether to spend most of my 90 days in the USA in New York or Los Angeles, the factors that I used to weigh up my decision were the culture (I felt like New York would be a better fit for me), weather/climate, opportunities and friends/networks.

Ultimately the weather and my friends/networks played a BIG factor in me deciding on Los Angeles as opposed to NYC, but one of my concerns was getting trapped up in the plastic fantastic lifestyle of Tinsel Town, like I did when based in Dubai whilst working with Emirates Airlines. I needn’t have worried.

Sure, if you’re keen to party all the time (and I had my moments), there’s something on every single night of the week in Los Angeles if you want it; a killer stand-up comedy scene at places like Nerdmelt Showroom, The Comedy Store or Hollywood Improv, world-renown live music venues like Sayers Club, Whisky A Go Go and Viper Room, a vast array of restaurants/bars and because a vast majority of the population work in the entertainment industry, there’s always launch parties, awards ceremonies or drinks and networking meetings to get to.

My focus for this trip was to enjoy LA, but it was also imperative that I knuckle down into my new freelance Australian social media contracts that I was working on remotely, to get a feel for California and start building some networks.

I also didn’t want to get trapped up in meaningless acquaintance-style friendships partying 5-7 days a week like some of those I made in my Dubai days, ’cause I’m at a stage in my life where things are really starting to take shape and I’d rather pour the majority of my time and money into something more tangible, that makes me truly happy.

As regular readers will know from my hiking articles so far on Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood and Hollywood Peak, I balanced my nights out in LA watching live comedy, catching up with friends or watching the NBA Finals at my local sports bar, with some of the best hikes all around Los Angeles.

And no, I’m not just talking Runyon Canyon, where all the beautiful people hang out and talk shop – I loved chatting with friends who live in LA about their favourites hikes or seeking out new ones to try together. It’s a wonderful way to strengthen friendships and get away from the bubble of Hollywood, that it could be so easy to get trapped up in.

One such trail I discovered recently with my friends Sam, Bec and Cat was Los Liones Canyon, a short drive past Santa Monica Pier to the start of the Santa Monica Mountains, a coastal mountain range in Southern California, parallel to the Pacific Ocean, with over 500 miles of trails offering the perfect escape from the urban jungle.

We hiked for a solid 2 and a quarter hours, with an array of wildlife in the area including a bunch of lizards & one solitary sleepy snake, who was struggling to get off the trail, and as the “May Gray” (yeah, that’s a thing) started to wash away from the SoCal skies about halfway through our hike, we were left with stunning, sweeping views of Santa Monica, the whole of greater Los Angeles and it’s seemingly endless beaches…

Ultimately it’s become abundantly clear to me through Californian experiences like these, that while LA is definitely Hollywood and Tinsel Town it is so much more. By trusting your gut instinct, doing a little research and approaching the exploration of cities that are brand new to you with the right mindset, you can choose your own adventure and it’ll change your life. This 90 days in Los Angeles, California was the right decision for me.

Happiness!

Article & travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).

Want any suggestions for all the cool Cali hikes to check out next time you’re in Los Angeles? Check out my photography below, stayed tuned on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog, hit me up on Twitter, check out more of our USA travel photography on Instagram or via email info@hotndelicious.com. I’m more than happy to share my faves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet entrepreneur podcast!

Our recent Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast guests include Twitter Australia Managing Director, Karen Stocks, Australian comedian & TV presenter, Wil Anderson, Jules Lund, Gotye, Aussie actor Daniel McPherson, Nazeem Hussein & many more.

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter@hotndelicious 
Instagram
@hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:

For photography, blog & social media business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.

Dan Wilkinson is a social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more and is the founder of entertainment, travel & lifestyle biz, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Social media strategy, monthly content calendar creation, community management, specialised team/staff social media training, creation of social media systems/ways of working and speaking engagements for your business, brand, conference or event.

As an award-winning, highly experienced social media professional, Dan Wilkinson has worked with a range of international brands, spoken at Social Media Week – Miami and has had two campaigns from the past year now featured as global case studies on both the Twitter Success Stories and Instagram Business Blog for his work at SapientNitro, working with brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer and more.

Dan recently wrapped up his position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro in Australiato pursue freelance social media contracts, influencer/public speaking opportunities and further build his own brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Andrew Bongiorno. The Boy From Oz, Robert De Niro & the life of Tinsel Town | Podcast.

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'Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet' kicks it in LA with actor Andrew Bongiorno from The Boy From Oz.
‘Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet’ kicks it in LA with actor Andrew Bongiorno from The Boy From Oz. https://hotndelicious.com/

DOWNLOAD PODCAST – #81 Andrew Bongiorno (actor – The Boy From Oz).

 
 Andrew Bongiorno, star of the sold-out, twice-extended West Coast USA production of award-winning Broadway musical, The Boy From Oz, was born in a small country town like myself, has lived in many different cities/countries around the world and is striving for a life and career that dreams are made of.
 
Bongiorno AKA Bonge is an Australian actor who’s TV/film credits over the past 4 years in the USA include NCISNCIS: Los Angeles, Ben Affleck‘s latest Warner feature Live By Night and for the past six weeks he’s been starring in the lead role in the The Boy From Oz.
 
For those of you not familiar, The Boy From Oz is an Australian musical that’s already been a massive success on Broadway including 5 Tony Awards nominations including Best Musical and Australia’s very own Hugh Jackman winning Best Actor in a Musical.
 
The Boy From Oz focuses on the extraordinary life of legendary singer/songwriter Peter Allen, from his birth in 1944 and humble beginnings to his meteoric rise to fame as an international star. The story covers Peter’s life and career in Australia and the United States, as well as his relationships with the legendary singing stars Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.
 
Studying the same 3 year acting degree as Hugh Jackman & taught by the late Oscar nominee writer of The Boy From Oz – Nick Enright, Bongiorno has been living in the USA for the past 4.5 years and in today’s podcast we discuss what it’s like to be living & working as an Australian actor in Los Angeles, meeting & being starstruck backstage by Robert De NiroE & Turtle from Entourage, some of the amazing hikes on offer in the Santa Monica Mountains that surround Los Angeles, his earliest ever memory in Papua New Guinea and much, much more.
 
I often talk on my podcast about one of the keys to success being to surround yourself with individuals who inspire you, no matter what industry you work in and for me, Andrew Bongiorno, AKA Bonge to his friends, is one of those.
 
Like The Boy From Oz, this inspiring podcast is all about following your ambition, living your dreams & life to the fullest and it is a bloody ripper!
 
I’m proud of you, man. Let’s get amongst it! 
 

CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast exclusive interview with Andrew Bongiorno (actor – The Boy From Oz) in full via iTunes.

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

 
Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter 
https://twitter.com/hotndelicious
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hotndelicious/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
https://www.youtube.com/user/HotnDeliciousRecords
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:
For social media, photography & influencer business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.
 
Dan Wilkinson is founder of travel, entertainment & lifestyle biz/brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet and one of Australia’s most experienced social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more.

 

Los Angeles Hike #2 – Hollywood Peak – California State Parks.

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Hollywood Peak - Travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet). https://hotndelicious.com/
Hollywood Peak – Travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet).
https://hotndelicious.com/

Wicked hike the other night!

It’s been a hectic week or two at Hot & Delicious HQ with a couple of brand new clients in Australia and the UK on board and I only had a 1/2 day off last week, so this hike up to Hollywood Peak from Griffith Observatory is EXACTLY what I needed!

I’d seen Hollywood Peak from Griffith Observatory and shot sunset silhouette photos of its majesty before, but hadn’t had the chance to scale her heights… and boy am I glad I did! With sweeping 360-degree views of the city of Los Angeles, Downtown LA, the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park below, this climb (and it is a climb in parts – you can also take the easy, winding route) it the perfect place to spend a Californian sunset.

You can either Uber/Lyft/public transport it to Griffith Park and then hike up in 2 stages (about 1.5 – 2 hours one way) to Griffith Observatory then Hollywood Peak or drive/Uber to Griffith Observatory and then hike/climb the rest of the way up the top to Hollywood Peak.

Smashing way to clear the head and man… when you hit the top… Glorious!

Article & travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).
Map to Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood Peak.
Map to Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood Peak.

Want any suggestions for all the cool Cali hikes to check out next time you’re in Los Angeles? Check out my photography below, stayed tuned on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog, hit me up on Twitter, check out more of our USA travel photography on Instagram or via email info@hotndelicious.com. I’m more than happy to share my faves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet entrepreneur podcast!

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter@hotndelicious 
Instagram
@hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:

For photography, blog & social media business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.

Dan Wilkinson is a social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more and is the founder of entertainment, travel & lifestyle biz, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Social media strategy, monthly content calendar creation, community management, specialised team/staff social media training, creation of social media systems/ways of working and speaking engagements for your business, brand, conference or event.

As an award-winning, highly experienced social media professional, Dan Wilkinson has worked with a range of international brands, spoken at Social Media Week – Miami and has had two campaigns from the past year now featured as global case studies on both the Twitter Success Stories and Instagram Business Blog for his work at SapientNitro, working with brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer and more.

Dan recently wrapped up his position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro in Australiato pursue freelance social media contracts, influencer/public speaking opportunities and further build his own brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Lake Hollywood Park. A Hidden Hiking Gem in Los Angeles – Travel blog & photography.

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Lake Hollywood Park hikes with Aussie actor Andrew Bongiorno.
Lake Hollywood Park hikes with Aussie actor Andrew Bongiorno.

Lake Hollywood Park. Truly the most spectacular views of the Hollywood Sign that I’ve seen in LA yet!

One of the most challenging parts of spending an extended period in a new city is networking and meeting new people…

This is not an issue that I’ve had in Cali. I already know a bunch of peeps here including my close friend and Aussie actor Andrew Bongiorno, who’s currently playing the lead role in the West Coast premiere of The Boy From Oz! musical. An absolute champion and on ANZAC Day we hit one of L.A.’s most spectacular and underutilized hikes.

Lake Hollywood Park. Picture perfect blue skies & practically the place to ourselves… BEST! ️

Article & travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).

Stayed tuned on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog for more travel stories & wicked Cali hikes, hit me up on Twitter, check out more of our USA travel photography on Instagram or via email info@hotndelicious.com. I’m more than happy to share my faves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet entrepreneur podcast!

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter@hotndelicious 
Instagram
@hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:

For photography, blog & social media business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.

Dan Wilkinson is a social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more and is the founder of entertainment, travel & lifestyle biz, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Social media strategy, monthly content calendar creation, community management, specialised team/staff social media training, creation of social media systems/ways of working and speaking engagements for your business, brand, conference or event.

As an award-winning, highly experienced social media professional, Dan Wilkinson has worked with a range of international brands, spoken at Social Media Week – Miami and has had two campaigns from the past year now featured as global case studies on both the Twitter Success Stories and Instagram Business Blog for his work at SapientNitro, working with brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer and more.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Escape to LA – Venice Canal District, California – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

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Escape to LA - Venice, California. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group)  https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – Photographic travel diary series.

Escape to LA – Venice Canal District, California. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

So here I am 12 hours after finding out that my brain scans are clear for another year and I have got another twelve month leave pass.

Grateful, relieved and happy to find out that I’m tumour-free for another year, I’ve spent some time today reassessing where I’m at, where I want to be and what makes me happy – reflection of previous goals I’ve set myself, flashbacks to watershed moments and memories of experiences that have changed my life for ever.

1 such trip was to LA and Texas last year shooting photos and providing social media for a series of international Australian music industry showcases called The Aussie BBQ. I’d returned from the Middle East in 2006, with grand plans (some might say delusional :p ) of being a rockstar living in the USA within 6 months. Flash forward to 2013 and I finally land in LA, not as a rockstar but a photojournalist of questionable technical proficiency, but a keen eye for a the money shot and social media skills to boot.

Upon landing into LAX, Andrew Bongiorno, one of my best mates and an Aussie actor who’s been living in LA for a few years picked me up from the airport and we cruised straight down to Venice Beach for breakfast and a stroll down to Santa Monica Pier. It wasn’t my first adventure to Venice, but this trip was under different circumstances… on my terms… and paid for through my hard work and a tenacious, relentless driving passion to love what I do for a living.

Captured this shot in the Venice Canal District on zero sleep after flying 15 hours across the planet and I can’t describe the happiness I feel as I stumble across this photo amongst a swag of others from my trip to Los Angeles, Austin and Houston last year.

My heart soars knowing what’s possible and following on from the Calling All Cars post 2 weeks back, following your dreams is a way of life and this moment in time has got me thinking about what my next steps are.

I’m floating on the sensations of the delirium and joy that come flooding back as I look at this snapshot of my life and clarify exactly what I want in my mind.

DW

Listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.