My California Dream Part II

*finally gets to highlight "road trip through California" on goals list*

Wow. What a trip. I soaked up every freaking minute of it. We sweat, ate, laughed, cried, meditated, grieved, walked, climbed, drank, and enjoyed every part of California we visited. Honestly, it was a dream road trip in many ways. We had lists of things to do and places to eat but no itinerary. We went with the flow, did what we wanted, when we wanted and it was amazing.

I wanted this trip to be equal parts adventurous and equal parts relaxing. As I mentioned in my Part I post, a big part of this trip for me was to allow myself to process and grieve the loss of my dad. I definitely allowed myself to open up and really start to process just how much I'm hurting without him. I know he was there with me every step of the way, I even came across a couple Monarch butterflies <3

The second half of the trip was just as good as the first and the sun finally decided to come out (I needed a tan to show for my 2 weeks in California, obviously). So here it goes - round 2 of our trip and all the awesome spots that came along with it!

Hermosa Beach

Explore: Pier Avenue, the beach, The Point (El Segundo)

Sweat: Hip Pilates, Poise Fitness, F45 Hermosa Beach

*Quick Tip: Poise Fitness & F45 Hermosa Beach have FREE intro-week passes if you have a local address

Food: Sage, The Source, True Food Kitchen, Pressed Juicery

What We Ordered:

Sage: Buffalo Cauliflower (the best I've ever had), Tempeh Sausage Florentine, Chia Seed French Toast

The Source: Bulletproof Coffee, Cacao Almond Buttercup Smoothie (- stevia & date, + cold brew & protein), Pink Smoothie Bowl (+ paleo granola) - best smoothie bowl I've had

True Food Kitchen: Kale Guacamole, Ancient Grains Bowl

Pressed Juicery: Size 2 Chocolate + Vanilla Swirl + raspberries, cacao sauce & almond butter

Special props to our host Kara & Ricky - thank you for showing us the best places to sweat, eat & explore in Hermosa, we'll be back :)

Venice Beach

Explore: Abbott Kinney, Rose Avenue

Sweat: Gold's Gym, Muscle Beach

*Quick Tip: Gold's Gym is a $25 day pass 

Food: The Butcher's Daughter, Erewhon, Kreation, Plant Food + Wine, Great White Venice, Foursigmatic Shroom Room

What We Ordered:

The Butcher's Daughter: Marinated Olives, Vegetable Crudite, Pad Thai, Carbonara & the Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with Salt Caramel Ice Cream (the best dessert on the trip)

Erewhon: ALL THE HEALTH GOODIES YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE. They have an awesome smoothie & coffee bar, as well as a make-your-own-salad station & legit all the snacks you could want

Kreation: Egg Whites + Chicken + Veggies + Quinoa Bowl (can't remember the name) & they have place mats to colour for adults - amazing.

Plant Food + Wine: Artisanal Cheese Plate, Kimchi Dumplings, Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Lasagna, Coconut Cream Pie (f*cking amazing) & Tiramisu

Great White Venice: Iced Turmeric Latte

Shroom Room: Hot Cacao Mix with Reishi

Santa Monica

Explore: Ocean Avenue

Sweat: The Santa Monica Stairs (there's two sets - both are equally as brutal)

*Quick Tip: Go earlier in the morning to avoid lots of people trying to do the stairs

Food: Bulletproof Cafe, Moon Juice, Cafe Gratitude

What We Ordered:

Bulletproof Cafe: Vanilla Bulletproof Coffee, (sampled) Keto Ice Cream

Moon Juice: Moon Dust (going to put these in smoothies & such), Smoothies, Coffees & Elixirs all looked amazing

Cafe Gratitude: Didn't get a chance to eat at this specific location, but their whole menu is awesome

Finally, before I wrap up this blog I want to give a special shout-out to my road trip partner-in-crime Tiffany O'Connor. Without you, this trip would not have been nearly as memorable. Thank you for waking up early despite not being a morning person. Thank you for cleansing each new space with palo santo even though it looked like you were about to torch the place. Thank you for sharing my love for vegan soft serve and not judging when I ate Pressed Juicery for dinner (twice). Thank you for making me more mindful of how fast I eat (I am 100% related to Dante, obviously). Thank you for letting me cry as I thought about my dad. Thank you for challenging me to stretch more after workouts. And finally, thank you for being the big sister I never had (for those that don't know, Tiffany is my big brother's girlfriend) ... Dants, you have great taste.

I will most likely write another blog post about California (I know, you're probably going to be sick of them), but I definitely figured out some travel tips and tricks I'd love to share.

Much love my homies,

Alena