Last week I had the opportunity to spend four wonderful days in Southern California. My best friend moved out to Santa Monica a couple of years ago and I’d been hoping to visit her for quite some time now.
Charlotte was supposed to go with me; however, Marty surprised me with some last minute news: I could head to California on my own! He had arranged for my two cousins to watch Charlotte while he was at work and he would watch her in the evenings. I was not expecting this at all but was so excited for some time to get away on my own. Although I was a bit anxious to be away from Charlotte for four days; I knew she’d be in good hands!
I’m so grateful to Marty for allowing me to take this trip; I didn’t realize how much I needed the time away. Kristina was a wonderful host and put so much consideration into our daily schedule. I just love that we’ve been able to maintain our friendship despite living across the country from one another.
What We Drank:
Coffee. Coffee. ….and more coffee.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Blue Bottle Coffee (though I’ve drawn the conclusion that maybe I should’ve ordered something other than an iced black coffee) but I loved Philz Coffee in Santa Monica. Each drip coffee is made-to-order.
Turkish lattes (a delectable blend of espresso, milk, and ground cardamon) at Blue Daisy were a bit sweet for breakfast but I’d highly recommend for a dessert!
What We Ate:
-One word to describe the food in California: fresh. We did a lot of eating on this trip and there was only one meal I can remember not living up to expectations.
– If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area I highly recommend sushi at Sugar Fish. The sashimi was so tender and fresh. I love that they serve the rice warm, too.
– Kreation Organic Kafe = amazing! We actually went there twice. Both times we ordered the ‘Amazebowls’ (which I’ve been recreating at home all week) made up of coconut milk, kale, spinach, mango, pineapple + almond butter.
What We Did:
– My friends husband works for Riot Games and was able to give us a tour of the building. I’ll admit that my first reaction to hearing about the tour was somewhat lackluster; however, it ended up being one of highlights of my trip. Talk about an amazing campus. I’d compare it to photos I’ve seen of the google or Facebook campus – no joke.
– We spent the majority of our time outside. On my second day we went hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains. Hiking on the west coast > ‘hiking’ in Ohio. There really is no comparison. Temperatures were close to one hundred degrees (with very little shade) during our 3,111 foot climb but those views made it worthwhile. Tip: watermelon is better than Gatorade when trying to replenish your system.
– The Getty Museum. Strolling around museums is one of my favorite things to do on vacation.
– Culver City Stairs. On Friday morning we got up early and headed to the Culver City stairs to get in a good workout. We hiked up the stairs and then ran about a mile and a half to the bottom a couple of times. Such a great workout and it only took about 45 minutes! I wish there were hills like this in Columbus.
Other Memorable Moments:
-I made sure to meet up with the lovely Kate while visiting. It was a short visit but I’m so glad we were able to make it happen. We met up for coffee at Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles; I felt like I could’ve talked to her for hours (it’s just unfortunate that so many bloggers live so far away.) I know I’ve said it before but I feel like so many of us could be such great friends in our everyday lives.
-We decided to get our eyebrows waxed after our hike and came out to our car only to find a cat that had gotten stuck up in the engine!! Thankfully the cat was okay and eventually climbed out but the details make for one memorable story.
-On my last night we went to a 1920s era bar in Venice. During Prohibition the bar masqueraded itself as a grocery store with a speakeasy in the basement. Nowadays the bar has jazz nights, dancing and burlesque shows. I absolutely loved the ambience (the preservation of original decor was beautiful) and I sipped in a Moscow Mule for the first time (LOVED the intense ginger flavor!)
I’m not sure when I’ll make it out to California again but I’m so looking forward to it!