Santa Cruz, CA: Travel guide

Ocean view Hi there! I’m so excited to share with you my travel guide to Santa Cruz, California. As you may know, back in November Paul and I went to Santa Cruz on a road trip. We only spent about three days there (two nights), but we got a good feel for the city. This trip will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s when we got engaged.

We had both been to Santa Cruz before but not together. I visited once on a road trip up the coast with my sister Katie and our aunt Grace.

I hope to go back again sometime, so I included a short list of places I want to go next time.

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How to pack for a California road trip

how-to-pack-for-a-california-road-trip

Packing for a road trip in California can be a bit tricky. I suppose that goes for any destination or road trip but I know this to be true from much experience on California road trips. The weather can be quite varied, especially if you’re going from inland to a beach city or the mountains, and so on.

I did so many trips up and down California when I was in my formative years that I’ve lost track of how many exactly.

I remember my middle sister and I going on our trip with or parents to see the Sequoia National Forest when I was a surly pre-teen. I went up to Sacramento twice to visit family around the same time period. My family went on several trips to visit my brother in Washington when I was in junior high and high school. Most were by plane, but I once road-tripped it up with my parents in a car.

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Santa Monica: Restaurant guide

Santa Monica Restaurant Guide.png

Since moving to Santa Monica, I’ve had a few visitors and people ask me what’s good to eat. There are lots of great places and I haven’t come close to trying all of them, but I do have some favorites that I want to share with you. I though it would be helpful to break it down into neighborhoods or types of meals.

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Quick Trip to Encinitas

encinitas trip

Last weekend my family and I went to Encinitas (way south of Los Angeles, north of San Diego) for a good 24 hours. I really wish I had taken more pictures. No point in dwelling on the past though.

Here are some fun things we did that I wouldn’t mind doing again.

  • Lunch at Burger Lounge in Del Mar (Saturday)
  • Walked around the Del Mar shopping center
  • Lounging in the hotel pool and spa
  • Dinner at Encinitas Fish Shop
  • Walked around the San Diego Botanical Gardens
  • Lunch at Milton’s (Sunday)
  • Beach time in Oceanside on the way home

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Exploring Beverly Hills

Right before I wrote out the title for this, I put Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” music video on, but immediately got their song “Beverly Hills” in my head.

🎸 Where I come from isn’t all that great 🎸

🎶 My automobile is a piece of crap 🎶

🎸 My fashion sense is a little whack 🎸

 🎶 And my friends are just as screwy as me  🎶

I’d say that’s about accurate for myself. Except, I don’t actually have a car. But the gist of it is totally relatable!

So guys, the thing is, I went to Beverly Hills today for a job interview. I know for sure that it was in Beverly Hills. After it was over, I walked about a mile to a bus stop, taking photos on my new iPad along the way.

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August Adventures

almost there

August was a super chill month for me. Honestly, I got too lazy. I kind of fell of the face off the planet in August. Really, I went to Boise for a week and a half, and while I was there I stopped updating this here blog.

It felt like I was gone for most of August. My aunt and I took a road trip from the LA area all the way to Boise, Idaho. We went up the middle of the state (don’t ask me freeway names, I didn’t drive), stopped in Berkeley for two days, headed east and stopped in Reno for about 24 hours, and then made it from there to Boise in a day. That’s a lot of being in the car. Can you tell? We made the most of it though! Road trip snacks and car games are actually a few of my favorite things, so I wasn’t too bad off.

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What I wore to Coachella

Coachella fashion 1

If you’re at all interested in fashion, you’ve probably seen galleries of “The Best Outfits at Coachella” and recaps from bloggers on what they wore. Besides the typical flower crowns, cutoff shorts, crop tops and big sunglasses, style runs the gamete.

As a first-timer, I thought I had an idea of what to expect. I knew I would see plenty of white people wearing big headdresses and lots of shirtless dudes trying to cool off from the unrelenting Indio sun.

Side note: I was surprised that people of all ages were in attendance. There were families with babies and toddlers as well as couples who looked to be in their 50s.

So, after reading a dozen articles on what to wear to Coachella I packed a whole week before and then threw more stuff in my bag the day of. My goal was too look cute and stay cool, without looking like a character.

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My first Coachella experiencce

Coachella cuties

I had so much fun going to Coachella with my boyfriend and his sister this past weekend. We left on Friday afternoon and got back Monday. It was cool seeing some of my favorite bands with the biggest music nerds I know. We even saw a few celebrities! Jaden and Willow Smith along with Kylie and Kendall Jenner were standing behind us during Ellie Goulding’s set. That was pretty cool. It’s hard to pick a favorite moment or favorite band. Aloe Blacc, Solange, HAIM, Lorde, Frank Turner and Arcade Fire were all good.

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LA, I love you

at the bus stop

Whenever I’m coming into the city I feel like I’m going on an adventure. It also feels like coming home in a way. I’m home in the big city of Los Angeles, even though I grew up in the suburbs. I come from urban sprawl. I come from a city about 20 miles from LA in LA County. I’m an LA County kid at heart as opposed to being from the Inland Empire or Orange County. It’s not like that really means anything, but it might if you’re from around here.

As a kid, I would love it when I would get to go into the big city. Downtown has always been a favorite area of mine, for better or for worse. Sometimes my dad would take me into the big city with him when he needed to go to the LA Law Library or the court house. A few times I went with my mom and her family. Sometimes we would all go as one family. One of my favorite memories was going to Olvera Street with my mom, aunts, cousins and grandma on my mom’s side.

Last Wednesday I went by myself into Union Station by Metro and explored the city a little. I actually explored it more than I intended to because my phone ran out of battery three times. I don’t know my way around well enough without Google Maps and it’s a good idea to have a working phone, so I had to stop to charge it at two different Starbucks and an Italian restaurant. It was a little scary being just slightly lost in the Fashion District. That’s when I found the Italian restaurant. I got to see The Last Bookstore that day and take a bus to Santa Monica to see my guy so it all worked out.

book tunnel

My grandma hadn’t been to Olvera Street since that time we went when I was about 10 years old, until yesterday that is. My aunt and uncle spontaneously decided that they would take their moms to LA via Metro and I hopped along for the ride. My aunt and uncle got on in Rancho, I got on in Covina and the grandmas got on in Baldwin Park. It was quite an adventure!

restaurant at Union

cielito lindo

shoes

Wherever you live, I hope you love it too. If someone says they’re going on a spontaneous adventure and you’re not doing anything, why not hop along for the ride?