Guest post from @HeatherDewey
Hello from Southern California. Every time I travel here, I wonder why I am not living by the beach. Then I remember that traffic is worse than Portland and the mountains are masked by smog. But California does have sunshine, which is more than I can say for Portland with the impending ice storm, so at least for a few days the scales are tipped for LA. This is Maika’s first week sans work and there couldn’t be a better time to head out for a little girls trip. I am writing this guest post from a Le Pain Quotidian and just read in the intro to their cookbook: Life is good in the slow lane. Grow vegetables in your garden and give them a chance to to ripen to perfection. Take the time to bake your own bread. Live simply and embrace the slow. Venice Beach and Santa Monica were a great respite for us. We have laughed and gossiped and caught up and planned and met new friends. We were active, but not on a schedule. Isn’t that exactly how a vacation is supposed to be? Here are a few of our favorite places:
> On every trip, we try to find a breakfast spot that is THE ONE. It’s a place we can go each morning. A place that is walking distance from where we are staying, has an inspiring environment and great food (and as of late, fresh cold pressed green juice!). From here we plan, do a little work, and fuel up for a day of walking, sightseeing and shopping. The next time you are in LA (or in NYC), make your way to The Butcher’s Daughter http://www.thebutchersdaughter.com/, what we fondly refer to as Stumptown meets Pressed Juicery meets Anthropologie. We recommend a table on the patio out front (perfect for people-watching), the avocado toast, soaked organic muesli, and juices no. 4, 8 and 11. And, plan to stay a few hours.
> The beach walk from Venice to Santa Monica is a just shy of 4 miles, all flat and if you get tired you can take a break on the beach, a local cafe or rent a bike for the rest of the trip. It the perfect way to work off the grilled vegetable & lobster salad at Ivy at the Shore, the cauliflower pizza at Malibu Farm or fish tacos at James’ Beach.
> Abbot Kinney has all our favorite stores, boutique & local leisurewear brands, papery and vintage shops. We spent a better part of one evening and one morning on Abbot Kinney, walking from Venice Boulevard to Westminster Avenue.
Bring your sneakers to Venice Beach and Santa Monica (or maybe your rollerblades). Enjoy the sun, fresh seafood and veggies, and begin planning your next trip as soon as you get on the plane home.