A Few Days in L.A.: Hiking, Healthy Foods Spots, & Beach Time
It’s crazy to think that last year at this time I was traveling the coast of California. Where does the time go? It truly feels like I blinked, and a year had passed. I wanted to share the final few days of the trip spent in L.A. because even though it was a very chill visit, we ate at a few good places that I think you’d like if you’re ever in the L.A. area. I’ve had the travel bug these past few months, so writing this blog helped me relive a little of the California trip.
After Caitlin and I spent the past week traveling the coast, we were pretty exhausted by the time we arrived at my brothers in Los Angelos. We were excited about spending a few days relaxing at the beach, going on a few hikes, and eating delicious food.
When we first arrived at my brother’s, we took some wine and snacks down to the beach to catch the sunset. It was one of the most relaxing parts of the trip. That’s one thing I’d love if I lived near the water. There’s nothing like ending the day with sounds of the ocean, a beautiful sunset, and that fresh breeze.
The next morning, we headed to Bondi Harvest, which is now called Blueys Cafe & Market, for breakfast. This spot is super casual, and you’ll get the California surf vibe you’ve always dreamed of 😉
Bluey’s Cafe & Market
For breakfast, I had their gluten-free avocado toast with eggs on top. This was the perfect pre-hike breakfast.
Of course, the coffee was the icing on top of it all.
The Hollywood Hike
After breakfast, we headed out for our Hollywood sign hike.
We did the Canyon Drive Trail Hike, which is about four miles round-trip and takes about two and a half hours to complete.
I’ve done this hike a few times, and you’ll want to bring water since it’s dusty and sunny, bug spray, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a leash for your dog. We saw several coyotes out running around.
The views are so gorgeous!
It’s crazy to think my hair was blonde this time last year. It was fun, but I’m sticking with brunette from now on.
Made it to Hollywood!
One of the best moments of my life was at Cafe Gratitude after our hike. It wasn’t because of the food, oh, and the food was amazing, it was because of who sat down next to us. My brother and I grew up watching the movie Major Payne every night for years. I’m not joking when I say that we can quote every single line of that film. I spent every Wednesday night watching My Wife and Kids. It was one of the best shows on television, and sometimes I’ll catch the reruns on t.v. to this day. So when Damon Wayans sat down at the table next to us, my brother and I looked at each other and just lost all the color in our faces. Caitlin was confused as to why we were being so weird. Literally, I didn’t know “starstruck” was a real thing. He asked us how our appetizer was, and my brother literally picked it up and offered it to him (the waitress had just set it down, and we hadn’t even tried it.) We never blew our super fan cover because we didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. Do you ever hear those Hollywood stories where people saying, “oh, that guy is a real jerk in real life?” Well, I can honestly say Damon Wayans is a real-life sweetheart. He was personable, friendly, and down to earth. We didn’t want to be “those” people and ask him for a photo, so we just let him know we were big fans as he got up and left. This may mean nothing to you, but it was probably the best moment of 2019 for my brother and I. I mean, getting engaged and building a home was amazing, too 😂
Oh, and if you’re wondering…
I ordered the tomato bisque soup with the caesar salad & coconut bacon and a ginger and kale lemonade. The food was delicious. My brother ordered the black bean burger but said he couldn’t remember how it tasted because he ate it too fast. He was still in starstruck mode 😆 But, I did have a bite, and I can, in fact, confirm that it tasted amazing!
We all split a slice of vegan key lime pie. The sugar spike was needed after our moment of weakness.
I don’t know how they make their desserts so good, but wow! I’m not even a big key lime fan, but I’d eat this over again.
Rise-n-Grind Coffee & Juice Bar
After lunch, we stopped on Hollywood Blvd for coffee and a stroll. This was Caitlin’s first time in downtown L.A., so it was neat to see the stars and walk around some of the shops. I want to go on one fo those Hollywood tour buses next time I’m in L.A.!
After a much-needed nap, we got dressed and ready to go out with T.C. and his girlfriend for dinner.
We had dinner at the Blue Plate Oysterette.
Abby picked this place out, and she was spot on when she said we’d love it. The spot was so cozy out on the patio, and they gave us cute blankets and sat us by the heaters.
Blue Plate Oysterette
I will not do oysters, but everyone at the table raved about them. There’s your review. 😆
I ordered their mahi-mahi fish tacos with guacamole, tartar sauce, and french fries for the table. I don’t know what has gotten into me the past few years, but I’ve turned into a fish taco lover. I would 100% come back to this place again! When all of the restrictions are lifted, and the world is safe again, Kyle and I are making a trip out there.
After dinner, we walked over to Elephante to sit out on the balcony and have a drink. Santa Monica is a cool spot.
Still, on a jetlag schedule, I was up at 5 am with my coffee and book.
Caitlin and I went on a small run (when I was on a really good running schedule 😢) the early morning before having breakfast and going to the beach.
After filling up on oats, we all headed down to the beach to play sand volleyball with my brother’s friends. Luckily, we were fresh out of our sand volleyball league, so we weren’t too rusty.
The water was still pretty cold, but it felt good after playing in the hot sand for hours.
I never fail to bring cookies to the beach.
Caitlin and I got cleaned up and headed to True Food Kitchen before her flight.
True Food Kitchen
I started with a skinny margarita😋
We split the arugula, asparagus, and strawberry salad with almond ricotta.
One of the BEST meals I’ve had…
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the spaghetti squash casserole! I even ordered it in D.C., and it tasted just as good. It comes with crushed organic DiNapoli tomato, caramelized onion, zucchini, and almond ricotta cheese.
I totally forgot to take photos (but I did film it in our California vlog) our vegan ice cream and espresso shots to end the dinner!
After dropping Caitlin off at the airport, I headed straight for a nap, and then woke up to my brother singing into my vlog camera after a few rum and cokes. It’s on the vlog, and it’s pretty funny. After jamming out, I went straight to bed!
The next evening, we had dinner with Abby!
We made salmon with aioli, vegan broccoli salad, and roasted vegetables. 😋
The next morning, I got up and had coffee, ate some yogurt, and packed my bags for my flight later that evening.
My brother and I ended up doing a 4-mile run on the boardwalk, which was awesome! He’s an incredible runner, but he stayed at my pace, which was nice. I needed that workout before my red-eye flight back home.
On our way back, we stopped at Java Jo’s for coffee.
We stopped into the Source Cafe to pick up a few quick bites after our run. We were HUNGRY and needed something to hold us over until lunch.
We had their almond balls with almond, almond butter, flax, nibs, maple, vanilla, rolled in granola. OMGOOOODNESS.
My brother and I headed to Sage Plant Bistro for a late lunch. I’m glad we went for a run in the morning because we were ready to stuff our faces!
We started with the three cauliflower wing platter. It had gluten-free tempura spicy buffalo, sweet and sour, and bbq wings. Just WOW! It reminded me of the time my brother, and I had the best cauliflower wings in Colorado!
Sage Plant-Based Bistro
We also had their chili ‘cheese’ fries. These were OK compared to the wings. They had fresh cut fries topped with house-made black bean chili, ‘cheese,’ garlic aioli, & habanero cream ‘cheese.’Just when we thought we were full, we had our pizza come out! It as a gluten-free buckwheat pizza with marinara and vegan cheese.
We stopped at Kreation on the way back so I could get a couple of snacks to bring to the airport since I had ten-hour travel ahead of me. Luckily it was the red-eye, so I slept most of the time.
The plane ride home was smooth, and I spent most of the tie reflecting on one of the most amazing trips of my life.
If you haven’t checked out my other blogs from California, make sure to do so! 😊
Questions for you
- Where do you want to travel to?
- How do you like to ‘relax’ when you’re on vacation?
- What is one food you’ve been loving lately that you used to dislike?