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!

10 thoughts on “So Cal.

  1. For starters – how cool that you were able to enjoy an nice long weekend alone with your best friend. It looks like you guys ate/drank & had an absolute blast. I don’t know what it is about the Middle East (and having UK friends) but I’ve definitely turned into a huge coffee drinker. As much as I love caribou, it’s always nice to enjoy a nice coffee at an actual non-chain shop.

    & secondly – I love the new blog look!! It’s quite sleek, Momma!

  2. That sounds like such a fun time!!! Long distance friendships aren’t easy but they can definitely work! My bestie actually just move from Columbus to Virginia Beach so now she’s much closer to me! It’s awesome to be able to meet up for dinner dates halfway between our cities!

  3. Several years ago my brother moved from the Midwest to Westwood in LA! Visiting him really opened my eyes to the California life. Alas, I am the black sheep of the family while he sits in his Jacuzzi and watches the sun go down 🙂

  4. Loving these pictures of LA!! You packed so much goodness into four days! I so enjoyed our time together. I couldn’t agree more…we would TOTALLY be friends if we lived closer. I could have sat and talked for hours. Until next time, my sweet! xo

  5. Wow!! What a wonderful trip! BTW love the new set up of the blog! So nice 🙂 …I’m glad that your hubby and cousins were able to watch Char so that you could have a little R&R time! Looks like you had a blast! Such nice pictures! Love that you drank so much coffee (I’m a HUGE coffee lover!!) …and your eats look delicious! Such a blast 🙂

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