Posts tagged My Tiny Travels
My Tiny Travels #7: Los Angeles

August was a whirlwind. I moved out of my parent's house and into my very own space. My roommate and I have been slowly creating a home out of our little place. The weekend after I moved in, I packed up my little weekend bag and made my way to LA. 

It had been a really rough Friday. I had received some bad news early on in the day and was still taking it all on as I headed to the airport. Real talk friends, I was totally the girl full crying at the airport. Thankfully, my plane was headed in the direction of all my favorite humans. So it was into the arms of loved ones I went. While it wasn't the most exciting or adventurous weekend, it was so cathartic and definitely, the space I needed to be in. 

My dear friend Neil picked me up from LAX, and we headed to Silver Lake -- home of the bougie coffee shops, unreal vegan restaurants, and many a wide brim hat. Once in Silver Lake, I was getting rather hangry, and demanded to be fed. Now, I have zero shame in telling you all this. But of the three days I spent in LA, I ate at Flore every single one. Please open a location in Sacramento so I can give you all my money. Their breakfast burrito is every vegan's dream: tempeh bacon, cashew cheese, potatoes, tofu scramble. (Insert praise hands emoji here)

After I fully stuffed my face with the most delicious seitan tacos, we returned to Neil's to catch up and watch my all time favorite movie: The Princess Bride. I cannot count how many times I've watched that movie.  I've also read the original novel it was based on, and if you've never considered opening it, you're sorely missing out. William Goldman is an absolutely brilliant author. It's so incredibly clever and well written. 

Now I didn't just head to LA all willy-nilly. The big, most wonderful reason for my visit was to see the ultimate sob queen, Adele. My college roommates and I had been planning this trip since last November. It was a great opportunity to see an incredible artist, but it was really just an excuse to catch up with my Summer '13 girls. 

As has been well established by now, I have a thing for walls. Bright walls, patterned walls, monochromatic walls -- basically if it looks hip as hell I'm into it. Silver Lake is covered in walls that just demand to be photographed. My absolute favorite was this piece, painted by Dallas Clayton a children's book author and illustrator.  

Saturday morning in Silver Lake was spent eating Flore, wandering the streets in search of wonderful walls, and a quick stop in the market down the street from Neil's place. After purchasing some dainty pieces of jewelry, Megan and I headed into downtown LA to meet up with Tanya.

Downtown LA is probably pretty cool? I'm really not sure. We spent all of 30 minutes wandering around, but it was mostly spent in front of three really eclectic walls. 

We hopped into a cab to meet up with the rest of our crew over in the Art District for a few beers at Angel City Brew. 



A few beers, some wine, and a delicious Mexican meal later, we headed into Staples Center to begin an evening of laughter, music, and few tears. Okay, maybe more than a few tears. It was Adele after all. I have a few frames taken of the show, but we were so far from the stage, you wouldn't really care to see it anyway. Just know that she is an absolute angel, both vocally and as a human. For someone who creates such a heartbreaking music, she's the total opposite in between songs. There are very few other artists that create incredible art and are absolutely hilarious on stage. 

The following morning, it took us a while to get moving but we eventually found ourselves back at Flore to feast on all the vegan eats. Food coma or bust, we needed to head for coffee immediately. Luckily Silver Lake is inundated with amazing coffee shops. The previous day we'd wandered into Intelligentsia, so for our Sunday pick me up with strolled into the opposite direction towards Alfred Coffee & Tea. At the time of my trip they were doing a promotion with the dating app Bumble. Every coffee sleeve had a cute pun on it. Check these out. 

With the remainder of our Sunday, we headed over to Neil's Mom's house for an early dinner. His mom is the actual coolest. She's an author and has just a released her newest book, "Harley and Me". I have it sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read. I promise to get to it one of these rainy days. 

Less then 48 hours from when I arrived, I was in a car traveling back to the airport. It was exactly the kind of weekend I needed -- surrounded by my favorite humans, important conversations, and magical music. 

My Tiny Travels #6: Napa/Sonoma

This summer's heat was brutal. What the heck sun? Why you gotta be so hot? Though I suppose it's something we expect living in Sacramento. Mildly rainy winters, disgustingly hot summers. I'm sure somewhere in the world there is someone who appreciates the sweltering summer, I, on the other hand, am a fall girl through and through. Yes, I am basic. But I don't care, there's something lovely about the autumn breeze, the falling leaves and layering up, that really pleases me. Though I am firmly against this ridiculous notion of putting pumpkin into a latte. Hard pass on that one. 

As the weather here begins to cool, I should probably recap my quick travel in July. In an effort to escape the heat, and to celebrate my Mom's birthday we hopped into the car and headed to Napa for the shortest day among the vines. 

Our first stop in Napa was the Oxbow Public Market. It's a frequent destination anytime the family heads to wine country. They have this restaurant there called Kitchen Door. It's so Instagram-worthy. Have a look: 


After an amazing lunch, we headed off in search of wine. My friend had told me about this winery/castle in Calistoga so naturally, we had to go there. We pulled up to Castle Di Amorosa, and it's actually the most stunning place. I'm sure there are hundreds of people that get married there. While it definitely had that Italian vibe to it, I could only think of the castles in Windsor and Kent that I visited in England.  Did I pretend like I was back there? Hell yes. All the castles, all the time, please. 

We wandered through the vineyards, the castle's walls, and eventually headed downstairs to taste the wine. They keep all their wine in the cellar, and in order to get to the tasting room, you have to wander through dusty, empty bottles. It was a bit crypt-like down there. The wine itself was pretty great, and while I'm typically a cabernet kind of girl, their rose´was worthy of the ultimate basic swoon.   

Pressed for time, we sped off towards Sonoma. My dad was desperate to get to Enkidu's tasting room. We had opened a bottle of theirs a few weeks prior, and it was fantastic. In a fashion very typical of my family, we got lost on the way and just barely made it in time to purchase wine. 

The owners of Enkidu recommend we head in Glen Ellen to the Girl and the Fig's sister cafe: The Fig Cafe. Apparently, Glen Ellen is a very tiny town, and they have a similar bridge to the opening credits of One Tree Hill, so you can bet that I sang Gavin Degraw's "I Don't Want To Be" the whole way across it. The Fig Cafe was excellent. It's just this little tiny place, but their food was all farm to fork; and they had figs everything -- the walls, the food, the drinks, even the soap in the bathroom was fig. 

We  sufficiently stuffed our faces with delicious eats, rolled ourselves back to the car, and returned to the heat of Sacramento.  

My Tiny Travels #5: San Francisco - Matt Corby & S.F. MOMA

When I told you we had a lot to catch up on, I was serious. It's been months since I popped into San Francisco on a random Wednesday in June to see Matt Corby play at the Fillmore. 

I rushed out of work with my backpack and a quick snack so I could hop on the 3 o'clock train to the city to meet up with some friends from High School. These two lovely ladies had been my concert buddies for years. We sat outside the shittiest venue in Sacramento many times waiting for shows, trekked to San Francisco a few times as teenagers, and we once spent a day in Six Flags waiting to see our favorite artists. I had texted them the week prior to see if they wanted to catch the Australian prince live in their city. Clearly the answer was yes, and after we grabbed dinner we headed to the venue. 

Let me tell you a secret friends, at concerts I always, always try to get close to the stage by moving to either side of the stage. If you get there early enough, you can usually get pretty close to the artists. It's no use trying to push your way through the center, those folks have that area locked in. You're not moving much, and if you push through you may become public enemy #1.  This method has proved solid for countless shows. Trust me. 

Just as he was the first time I saw him, Matt Corby continues to have the voice of an angel, and the stage presence of a scared spelling bee champion. To his credit, I think he's all about the process of the music, and doesn't necessarily care about live shows. He's not dull in the slightest, but he doesn't inherently rule the stage the way some artists do. But musically he can't be faulted. His voice is rich, and the way he can belt it out is astounding. He even broke out the flute solo. If you ever have the chance, I highly suggest catching one of his shows.


After the show we headed back to my friend's place, and stayed up late catching up on all the life we had missed. 

Luckily for me, I work for an amazing company that doesn't mind if I take a day off to spend sometime in the city. As my friends all woke up and headed to work early, I rolled out of bed (well, their futon) and snapped some pictures of their beautiful, super Instagrammable apartment. Then I headed out for the day's adventure. 


My first stop was the Mill on Divisadero. I was told to order the toast but failed all those who told me so, and just ordered a latte. And boy, oh boy, was it a delicious latte. I sat outside for a while before the San Francisco chill got to me. I crawled back into the warmth of the coffee shop to one of their picturesque marble tables. After taking an obscene amount of photos (I mean... obviously), I sipped on my coffee and tried to figure out some semblance of a life plan. Clearly that's working out well for me.... jokes on jokes folks. Though I did hear the older couple next to me remark on how everyone in the coffee shop was wearing black and on their phones. Am I ashamed to admit I was definitely one of those people? Nope, not in the least. All black, always. 

Slightly caffeinated and bemused, I moved on to another coffee shop whose name escapes me. But they did have a great nitro brew. I tried to finish reading Girl Boss, but quickly realized that the significant amount of coffee, and severe lack of food was probably not in my best interest. Off to Herbivore I went (s/o to Tanya who found this gem with me many years ago before a Mumford and Sons concert). After downing their delicious vegan eats, I headed to the newly redesigned MoMA to cry about art, per my usual lifestyle choices. I mean, they have a giant Mark Rothko. It's both unnerving and calming at the same time. I basically sat in front of it for a good half an hour in happiness. 


The rest of the museum was stunning. The walls were covered in some of my favorite artists. Each floor brought new delights, and some funny sights. I saw a squad of guys with massive cameras getting those Instagram shots (I feel you boys, I feel you). After exploring for a good few hours, I sadly had a train to catch. I powered walked those 20 or so blocks to the bus station, only stopping at the most glorious marble atrium on One Samsome Street. Then it was back to Sacramento I went.

My Tiny Travels #4: Capitola

You know those days where you just need to get out of town? This was that Sunday for us. We packed our backpacks and headed out for a mini road trip.

Teresa and I have been friends for twenty-two years. Isn't that insane? We met when we were barely old enough to have a full set of teeth, and yet I bit her. The next day she bit me back, and we've been friends every since. I kid you not. Our mom's are the best of friends, and we joke about our days in daycare all the time. Our friendship has crossed states, countries, and the world. I'm so lucky to have her in my life. I hope you have someone in your life that has been there for every big moment. Friendship is an incredible thing. 

So now that you have the context of our friendship, let me tell you about our ridiculous trip to Capitola. The morning began with flashing lights and a speeding ticket.

Yes, I was pulled over for speeding.

Yes, I am an idiot.

Yes, I'm still bitter about it. 

After driving with the speed of your favorite cautious granny, I finally made it to Davis. Teresa helped me feel better about my stupidity and took me to Temple to ease my anger. We grabbed coffee and I forced her to stand in front of a wall (the first of many that day). 


Then we hit the road. Luckily, she prefers to drive, so I could sulk in my ticket shame. We made it to Capitola in a few hours and headed straight for food. We desperately wanted to go to Margaritaville. But there was an hour wait so we headed for the brightly colored walls of Capitola Venetian Hotel. I'm a sucker for bright walls, and so we had a mini-photoshoot. Teresa definitely didn't appreciate the amount of pictures we took, but like she's gorgeous so #sorrynotsorry. 

We finally ate some tacos and then proceed to wander all around Capitola. When we felt like we'd seen it all, we decided to head to Santa Cruz for some more coffee at Verve. 


Talk about the hippest coffee spot ever. They have these beautiful dangling lights there, the cutest baristas, and fantastic coffee. We were both heart-eye emoji over the whole thing.  We wandered around downtown Santa Cruz and then decided our time there was done. 

Our journey home was complete with early 2000's girl pop. I'm talking Hilary Duff, Aly & Aj, Ashlee Simpson, and Hoku (Do you remember her big song from the Lizzie McGuire movie?). I think we have some more day trips in our foreseeable future. 

My Tiny Travels #3: Santa Barbara

At an ungodly hour on a Friday morning in April, I quietly gathered my bags and snuck out of the house. I had a good 6 hour drive (if not more) ahead, and the best time to start the drive was clearly at 5am. I stopped in midtown Sacramento to pick up my travel buddy, and we began the arduous journey to our old stomping grounds. 

As the sun began to rise we passed the time singing old Disney and Motown songs. The roads were fairly empty, and I was convinced into taking a pass through some hills right next to a beautiful lake. We stopped in Pismo Beach to say hello to my travel buddy's parents. And then finished the drive singing ridiculous songs we'd almost forgotten about.

Upon arrival in Isla Vista, our first stop was Freebirds. We were starving and had been craving the I.V. staple for months. After inhaling nachos, we parted ways and I headed to my favorite place in all of Isla Vista. CAJE. I spent so many hours of my undergrad years drinking their soy honey lattes, writing papers, and catching up with friends there. I even wrote a 5 page paper on their lattes for my creative non-fiction class, oh so long ago. 

I met up with my former roomies, and the weekend went from there. In all honesty I failed dramatically at documenting our weekend because I was just so happy to see my friends. But it consisted of delicious food, alcohol, and my favorite faces. The drive home Sunday, was long and sad. But I was ready to be back in Sacramento. 

I love Santa Barbara, and all the amazing friendships and memories that were formed there. But I don't think I could live there again. The beach vibe was just a little to slow for my big city heart.

Here's all of four pictures I took that whole weekend.