Tuesday, January 13, 2015

LA Day 2

Our travels in LA continued the following day as we woke up decently early (like 10 am) and headed to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach was at the top of our list, so we decided to head that way on our first full day. It's so funny how every desired location in SoCal seems to be a 15 minute drive away, (or 45 min if you get stuck in traffic). As soon as we drove under the "Venice Beach" sign, we looked for a place to stop for breakfast.

I have seen Gratitude Cafe featured on multiple blogs and websites, so when I noticed the familiar tiles and furniture, we agreed to stop in.


We started off, as we do every brunch, with coffee. At Gratitude Cafe, you can choose to order with affirmations instead of nouns. So for instance, I told the waitress: I am light and she brought me a latte and repeated You are light, before setting it down. Although admittly a little bit corny, I actually really apprciated a restaurant taking a different approach to ordering and turn it more into a positive lifestyle habit.

After we ordered our food, a crepe for him, a quinoa and avocado breakfast taco for me, the waitress then had us tell her one thing we were grateful for that day. It truly was a great and refreshing way to start the morning.


Everything at Gratitude Cafe, as most place in LA, was vegan and the ingredients were so fresh my taste buds were dancing with flavors of cilantro, mint and coconut. Yummm.


After brunch, we walked down to the beach. 

Venice Beach is one of the largest beaches as far as sand property I've seen in America.  The sand stretches for miles and miles, and for a Friday it was pretty empty at 12 pm. I have a feeling that Southern Californians don't appreciate the beach as much as us North Easterners do when they visit because they have access to beautiful weather all time. Which is a shame, but at the same time I had no issue spreading out in the sand without another group piling their beach gear right next door.


Dipping my feet in the Pacific.

The temperature of the water was pretty warm than you would think for September but after heating up in the 100 degree temperatures all summer long, it was nice to dive in.


Walking along the boulevard and past all the tourists, and local bums was a sight to see. 

The weather is amazing, pretty much all year round, so it seems that some people choose to live their lives on the beach in makeshift homes under tiki umbrellas. Most of these people were older, seemingly without a care in the world. Some were painters, some were musicians, but they weren't panhandling, just having a laid-back time.


After laying out and relaxing on the beach for a few hours, we decided to grab a snack and walked up Abbot Kinney Blvd.

The houses right off Venice Beach were the type of homes that immediately made me want to move to California and never look back as so many people have done.

Rows and rows of the most unique homes, painted in every color of the rainbow. This aqua blue house was one of my favorites. Contrasted with the dark purple of the local bougainvillea flowers really did it for me.



Succulents, are another native plant to Southern California that seem to grow like weeds. It's really not fair they get cacti, palm trees, bougainvilleas AND succulents.

Abbot Kinney Blvd was like a little SoHo right in the heart of Venice, with blocks and blocks of restaurants, galleries, shops, bars, coffee shops and juice bars. I stopped at a LF and although it's a complete mess when they have their blow out sales (those who have been can empathize), I scored the most adorable pineapple dress and a pair of shorts for $40! Great deal, and I got to take a little bit of the LA style back to NYC.



A Venice sunset I took about a million pictures of., and the tippy tops of a row of palm trees.


I warned you I am obsessed with the architecture out here. 



We headed back to the beach for the sunset and to grab a drink.


While sitting on the beach watching the sun meet the horizon, I began to clap and two Brazilian women sitting next to me joined in saying how happy they were that some Americans also applaud the sun for all the heat and resources she provided us with that day.

-Stephanie


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