West cooooooast! I took it by storm over the past few weeks in a whirlwind road trip including friends, food, and some fantastic scenery.
Why don't you do the equivalent of looking at my vacation slides, 2015 style, by reading on?
I started out in sunny Santa Fe, beaming in my zippy little Fiat (a rental). First stop? Santa Cruz.
I brought a few parcels to the post office on my way to the freeway...but soon enough I was on my way! (P.S. This is what I do to most of my packages. Just in case you're thinking about ordering something from my online store).
The way to Santa Cruz takes you through some amazing landscape, but you'll have to trust me because I took no photos. Bad blogger!
Important: on my way, I stopped in Flagstaff, and I am so glad I did, because I found this dress. Could it be more perfect? I think NOT.
I probably should have bought this bag, too, but it was kind of pricey.
When I got to Santa Cruz, I will tell you the truth. Even though there are more artisan ice cream shops per capita there than anywhere else I have ever seen, I skipped Penny Ice Creamery. I also skipped Linda's Sea Breeze Cafe and all of the other bakeries I liked there. Why? So I could spend time with my bff Phil. We got some Hawaiian food, enjoyed cocktails, then went and saw Ex Machina. No dessert. Totally sweet experience.
The next morning I grabbed a coffee at Firefly Coffee and hit the road for the longest day of driving ever--to Seattle. 14 hours!
On the way, I stopped for some ice cream at J's Ice Cream Parlor in Redding, CA.
I was wearing an appropriate shirt as you can see (pardon the chest shot, please).
I arrived in Seattle pretty late, but I was super psyched to try out the pastries from Pocket Bakery, a pop-up, the next day. We had a truly awesome gougere, biscuit, and cornflake cookie.
Then, I got to spend some quality time with my bffs Ramon and Nicole, and their adorable baby, Lady Paloma (her real name -- so badass!).
I also walked by my old store. This is what it is now.
I tried the tomato, which was interesting and really brought out the sweetness of the tomato (which is a fruit, btw) but a sample was enough. I got the cheese flavor. It doesn't sound delicious necessarily, but I need to tell you it WAS.
Then visited my mural at High 5 Pie.
After that, I went back to Nicole and Ramon's and we checked out Chuck's, a neighborhood spot.
The next day, I finished my writing, enjoyed some tasty eggplant salad from PCC, did a bunch of yoga, and then checked out the new roastery by Starbucks. I was delighted to see that they served my espresso with a mini cookie (a tradition I fell in love with, in Bali).
Oh, and treated myself to some Old School Custard. I was also a guest speaker at the School of Visual Concepts, about being a working illustrator, which was a great experience.
The next morning, we had a lovely breakfast at Wandering Goose--my favorite is their "Big Trouble" special, which consists of a mega biscuit stacked sky high with peanut butter, bananas, and honey. It's the beauty pictured at the top of the post. With the warm, gooey peanut butter, dense biscuit, and the sweetness of the banana and honey, this is basically bliss on a plate. Or as Wandering Goose says,
The next day, I was unexpectedly gifted...no, not a cupcake, not a cool t-shirt...but a pug! Long story but suffice it to say that I was really happy to have this unexpected companion, fat as she was. Say hi to Olive.
Because you might not be able to tell from that previous photo: Olive is FAT. She's a little cherub.
I set off with the next stop being Ashland, OR. I had intended on a brief stop in Portland but because of Le Pug that didn't end up happening. Oh well. In Ashland, I met my friend Linn and made a bunch of new friends! We had some food at Standing Stone.
then the next morning, we tried out the pastries at Mix and they showed me the co-op (the unofficial town center). Oh, and we went to the park and played on the swings. Um, I should tell you I was wearing this, I suppose.
I got a salted caramel tart and a lemon bar.
Up and away, next stop Monterey, CA! Once again, I thought I might stop in San Francisco but with Olive in tow, it didn't make sense, so I kept on going. Here was the sunset I enjoyed.
In Monterey, There, we devoured our sweets from Mix and I visited with Erin, an insanely talented friend of mine. She's an illustrator and an extremely skilled gardener. Look, this is her backyard. Isn't it idyllic?
I also met my new bff, Estelle.
The next morning, we all got bagels in Carmel, I took a baby music class with Estelle, and we drew some pictures. Then I was off to LA! Whew! Fast! On the way, I stopped for a naughty treat at Starbucks: the caramel bar. It was pretty good, I must say.
In LA, I visited with my little sister, who has this view from her house.
We watched an awful movie and talked, and then it was time for bed.
The next morning, I got to see my friend Nicole, who you may know because she is kind of famous and runs Baking Bites, the blog. I met her horse...
and ALSO A MINI PONY!
MINI PONY! (yes, it bears repeating)
Then we went out to breakfast with my friend Jenn, to a place called Bea Bea's. They had dishes like this, just FYI.
It was great to see Jenn...
and Nicole (check out her website here)
Oh, and I should mention that Nicole and her partner, Rob, also just released a book of Tiki drink recipes (I know--so cool!). Rob and Nicole signed one for me!
I began my trek back with minimal stops this time. Whew! Not enough sweets, but plenty of sweetness. It was a beautiful trip, and I feel so lucky to have so many awesome people in my life.
Happy late Spring!