beach baby, beach baby there on the sand...

California was....awesome! It was my first visit and I kind of fell in love. I was a) surprised at how cold it was, b) in awe of the foreign (to me) plants and wildlife, and c) seriously impressed with the food and beverage selection. We went to Santa Monica first, where we stayed with a friend who works at Rawesome (a raw meat and dairy market) making raw chicken salad (I tried it! It was good!), raw coconut concoctions, raw bison burgers, and nut milks. We did lots of biking around and walking on the pier. Here I am playing on the rings at the beach:

Our friend took us to lots of gorgeous and tantalizing farmer's markets. One of them spanned about 5 blocks and had hundreds of vendors! This is so very unlike anything where I live... These herbs are from one of my favorite booths.

Ruben ate strawberries and raw avocado honey for breakfast the next day:

We also ate at the Library Ale House and though I don't remember a whole lot about the food, I had the best beer of my life (this one). Seriously, I don't even like beer, but I am STILL craving this one. Of course no one in our entire bioregion sells this. I've already checked.

Then we said our goodbyes, rented a hybrid, and headed up the coast. Here I am in an herb garden in Cambria:
We took the scenic Hwy 1 all the way up to San Francisco. It was so beautiful, and our camera broke on the first day of the drive. Torture!! So, no more pictures of the trip. We tried to burn everything into our memories, though.

We spent a night in Big Sur and ate twice at the amazing Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant. I highly recommend that you stop here should you ever find yourself in the area! I had a wood fired pizza and snacked on delicious olives while sipping wine and staring out at the green mountains. This was a PREMIER EXPERIENCE of my life...not sure if I can convey my contentedness and joy that evening. Something about the view, the food, the weather and the company. Anyway, we came back for breakfast, which was a very good decision. We had pop tarts, chocolate croissants, and a delicious banana strudel. We hiked around the state park, carved a heart into a bench, and gawked at Pfeiffer Beach.

Next, we went to Santa Cruz where I had an appointment with a homeopath, and we met up with one of my oldest friends for a snack at River Cafe, which I totally loved. This place is seriously cute, with delicious food (we had sweet peas with spicy tofu skins, and lavender sugar cookies...not at the same time) and only two kegs on tap (one beer, one kombucha)! I loved it and wish we had stayed longer so I could have eaten there again.

In San Francisco, the highlights for me were eating at Sushi Ran (actually in Sausalito) and Magnolia. There were lots of places that I wanted to eat (hello Zuni Cafe, Boulette's Larder, Tartine, Chez Panisse, Greens, and Ubuntu) but that just weren't in the cards for us this time. I may have been a bit overzealous (nice way of saying obsessive) in the planning of the food aspect of our trip. What can I say? I like to eat.

I was kind of overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the City, but our friends showed us around and we had fun walking around the parks and shops. Also, I finally get what the big deal is about the golden gate bridge!

We stayed our last couple of nights at Cavallo Point, where a childhood friend of Ruben's is a chef. It was crazy nice, and we got to do a spa treatment, and I remember saying to Ruben, "Why don't we do this ALL THE TIME?!?" We got to experience a 10 course meal with wine pairings one night, and a 3 hour brunch out on the porch that looks out over the bay the next day. Really incredible and totally not our normal style of staying/dining. Thanks Tim for hooking us up!

And, finally, the Heath Factory Store. Yes please. We have $200 worth of gorgeous ceramics heading our way. Happy Birthday/Christmas to us!

Ruben lost his wallet at the airport on the way home and we almost weren't able to get on the plane. Now I'm wondering...would that have been such a bad thing? Bye for now Cali, and thanks for the hospitality. We're already saving for vacation #2.


  1. Those baskets full of fresh herbs are so lovely, I can only imagine how it smelled to walk by!

  2. Thanks for the heads up on Rawsome! ... I will check it out!

    As far as the soaked granola goes... I think soaking for 24 hours might be good... and if it's warm (over 80, I think?) it's best to keep it in the fridge I hear.. so come this summer I will definitely have to do that. My granola came out pretty good! I LOVE the texture.. the sour yogurt taste was a bit much, but I can get over that... mmm... Cheers and happy eating :)

  3. ok seriously.. isn't the Big Sur Bakery incredible!! I'm craving it now!!

  4. The outdoors and the fresh veggies and fruits look so scrumptious!! I need to do more of this. Thanks for visiting my blog!!