What’s Good LA?

Hello, it’s me.  A girl trying to call herself a blogger who is also now back to her base in California and not sure what to do about a weekly post.  That’s not entirely true as I always seem to have ideas bouncing around – I even have oodles of ideas for throwback NYC posts.  I simply just don’t know when to dedicate the time to write.  It might help if I didn’t scroll on my phone at night and instead drafted up a post or two but alas, I’m only human and still breaking into a routine.

It’s only been two weeks but I’m still smiling from the love that I received my last couple of weeks in NYC.  I saw my favorite people, ran my favorite routes, ate some fun foods, and just left on good terms, which is important to me.  A lot of people asked whether I would miss New York and if I was sad to be leaving.  Well, yes I was sad to leave but I was excited to create a new life, find myself in a new role and new job, and explore the west coast.  We cross paths with people and live in places that have a profound impact on our lives but nothing lasts forever.

^^ Going to miss all of these gals + more people unpictured.  Beyond grateful for the surprise picnic or surprise guests because let’s be honest, I’m very difficult to surprise.  Somehow I’m just naturally curious and figure things out.  But I did not know that friends like Ali would show up and it meant the world to me, especially since she hasn’t been feeling super hot 😦 . Also make note of her parting gift – a stuffed animal llama who together we named Ellie Fwelling.

So what’s been going on over the last couple of weeks? Driving, driving, running, and driving 😉 I really have no room to complain because that’s LA and I agreed to this situation. Plus, it’s sort of fun to create new routines and I’ve seen so much more of the landscape by taking side roads to and from the office.

IMG_6054

People love to talk about their commute.  I’ve just gravitated from the subway lingo to the freeways.  For example I used to take the L to the Q to NP and then A to the L home from work. Now I just use freeways and because I’m a Southern California gal, I put THE in front of every freeway name.  My commutes have varied every single day, twice a day but so far I’ve taken the 2 to the 110 to the 5 to the 10 and I’ve taken the side streets to the 110 to the 2.  Most mornings range around 70-90 minutes (sweet spot on 80-85) and unless I’m staying late (which may be the case), evening commutes are about the same.  Wednesday was skewed since I drove 20-30 minutes to November Project and then 15 to the gym and 45 to work.  The worst part of that one was that I couldn’t find an accessible coffee shop on my side of the street.  Every time I passed a Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, there was either no parking space or it was on the other side of the street.

IMG_6118

^^ Long run views along the coast in Santa Barbara.  I’m blessed to have family that live in such beautiful places and now that I’m back with access to a car, you’ll find me living it up by the water or the mountains.

Podcasts – Do you ever find yourself annoyed by some voices early in the morning?  See, I have a not so “sunshine and butterflies” attitude at times 😉 Anyways, I finally discovered Mike&Mike while living in NYC.  They host from 6a-9a EST and it was perfect for walking to the gym or even the occasional solo morning run.  Well, now I discovered that their podcast is available that same day and because it’s in podcast form, it has WAY fewer ads (condensing an hour show into 36 minutes).  Winning.

I’m going to be so sad when it ends in a couple of months 😦 . It seriously makes my morning commute enjoyable and I like to think I’m gaining retaining sports knowledge.

I did test out the TODAY SHOW on SiriusXM but unfortunately for them, they will not gain a loyal member since I cannot stand the reception cutting in and out every other sentence.   So, any suggested podcasts?  I’ve gotten “The Daily” and been recommended Headspace.  I have yet to actually download/purchase those but any tips would be greatly appreciated.  Something interesting and potentially educational?  Or just entertaining.

Social Media – I used to be WAY better about responding to people via text message.  It really only has been a week or so but I’m finding that it’s a work in progress.  Anyone who has messaged me and I haven’t responded in my timely fashion, my apologies.  I’m doing my best to commute close to 2-3 hours and that means no texting.

^^ Labor Day Weekend adventures on Mount Baldy.  I’m debating a full post (<< something I say a lot) but if you want the short and sweet version, it was a great hike but actually taking the right path would have been helpful.  It took us 5 moving hours to cover 9ish miles and we definitely got lost.  The picture on the right?  We were totally not supposed to be scaling down that but had already committed.  Yolo?

Blogging – I’ve gotten a few questions about blogging in the last week or so.  I’m not sure where I stand.  I love Instagram and I really don’t want to be on my computer outside of work hours.  It’s bad enough I still sit in front of a screen for 8 or so hours and then sit in the car for upwards of 3 hours a day.  But, I do have some fun thoughts for posts and maybe when I get my personal computer back on wifi (<< another problem) I’ll throw some up there.

This weekend I signed up for a 24 hour adventure race called Questival, brought to you by Cotopaxi, an adventure gear brand with the appropriate moto “Gear For Good”.  Even better and quite possibly how I became attracted to the brand in the first place is that their logo is a LLAMA!!!  Now don’t ask me why I’m obsessed with llamas because I have no clue.  They are just so darn funny and I’m sorry if we as a society mix up alpacas with llamas.  The entire animal group is a hoot.  (Shout out to everyone who has sent me funny llama pictures and clothing ideas with the llama logo. Special shoutout to Ali who gifted me Ellie Fwuelling).

But back to this festival thing.  It looks extremely cool – you and up to 5 other teammates adventure around your city completing challenges that could include anything adventurous to philanthropic.  My only hesitation is the sleep aspect since I 1) don’t function well on little sleep and 2) know little sleep will affect me beyond Saturday and instead into the next week.  Time to live a little and suck it up and have some fun (but of course be safe!  Cotopaxi will not send out any notifications between 1a-5a but I think my sister and I will be a little generous with those hours…say 11:30p-6a?)

Other than that, I’m getting into the swing of running, making my way at the November Project LAX Tribe, and hanging onto my sister’s running club.  I’m serious when I say hanging on because a large majority of those folks are speeeedy.  Maybe if I hang on long enough, I can PR 😉

Alright, that’s all for now but I hope to put together some posts about NYC, some of my favorite food spots as well as odds and ends from California.

“Do what you love and love what you do”

Advertisements

Hominy Grill ~ Charleston Brunch #2

This little thing we like to call brunch is way more popular across the country than I actually realized.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that I never truly “brunched” growing up.  We were always so busy going from soccer tournaments to softball games to USC tailgates and football games and the list could go on and on.  Basically, going to brunch has been a whole new experience for me.  So obviously we made it happen not once, but twice.

IMG_7942Just down the road from where we were staying is the ultimate brunch (and dinner) affair – Hominy Grill.  It’s the place to go for biscuits or shrimp and grits or even a cup of jo’ and some eggs.  But let’s be honest, eggs are no fun when you only get to eat here once in your life.

IMG_7941Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, SC 29403

IMG_7948IMG_7950Like many other popular brunch spots, you will arrive, only to find a wait.  Simply put your name in and consider ordering a beverage (or two) and relax.

IMG_7953 IMG_7955 Just a few appetizers for the table ~ 1) Fried Green Tomatoes (a MUST in Charleston apparently)  2) Plain ‘ol Biscuit 3) Slices Housemade Banana Or Pumpkin Ginger Bread two slices

IMG_7957

 Charleston Nasty Biscuit with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese & sausage gravy

IMG_7959 Daily special of Buckwheat Pancakes w/ Peach Yogurt Butter

IMG_7958

Shrimp & Grits! with sautéed shrimp w/ scallions, mushrooms & bacon over cheese grits

IMG_7956

Double thumbs up my friends.  We were quite impressed by the food and the folks helping us out.  I mean, our server practically almost pulled up a chair to swap stories with us, explain the menu, and make sure we were doing alright.  All the food recommendations were spot on – make sure to order the fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits – and we left very well fed.

Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, SC 29403
~ Menus ~ Recipes ~ Information ~

Labor Day in Review ~ Charleston, SC

If you have ever have the grand opportunity to visit the south, you will understand the charm that just seems to flow through the streets, greets you on every corner and brightens your day as you walk around.  The people are sweet or at least sweeter than in the uppity north east or sometimes stuffy Southern California – both places which I adore.  I even loved their enthusiasm surrounding football and how some vendors at the Rainbow Market even closed early for their beloved game day.

Well, I’ve always had the desire to travel up and down the coast, or rather set food in every single state and of course holiday weekends are prime opportunity for that.  Last year I took a couple days off and flew out to San Francisco and Seattle, which some may think as silly since I lived near SF for a good four years.  This year my friend Lindsay and I had been chatting about South Carolina and decided to make it happen.  We had our other friend Laura, who does live in SF, fly out to meet us, and even brought one of our other roommates along to explore!

IMG_2262

No matter where I travel, I ALWAYS pack my running shoes.  No matter if its running, walking, or jogging, getting an early jaunt in helps start me on the right foot.  Plus, #runtoeat right?

IMG_2263

IMG_2265I swear, I was taken in by the Southern drawl and the fact that everyone greets you as you run along in the morning.  I discovered a loop that took you from “Battery to Beach” and decided to make it a daily jaunt (ok, just two days but beautiful views each time)

IMG_7816IMG_7835We arrived late on Friday night and after a quick Uber ride to our place, practically crashed into bed.  It was quite a shock arriving into the South Carolina airport as there was nothing and I repeat nothing, around.  Such a stark comparison to the airline digs in Los Angeles and New York.  Hey, even the airports in Hawaii had more to them.  Although, I have to say, the humidity was quite on par with Hawaii.

IMG_7831

Brunch at Butcher & Bee – more to come on that later – but moral of the story is always ask for a biscuit or better yet, have your huevos rancheros ON A BISCUIT!

IMG_7856 We weren’t able to rent a car thanks to the funky rental car hours (who requires that the car be returned by Saturday at 1pm??), but Uber was pretty much available 100% of the time we needed it, fairly inexpensive, especially when split among the group, and allowed us to wander to our hearts content without worrying about parking and so on.  Well, with a short Uber ride later, we were dropped off at the Rainbow Market to walk around a bit.

IMG_7858IMG_7850

I’m a complete sucker for t-shirts and souvenirs.  Wandering the market was almost bad news bears for me and by the end of the weekend I ended up with a new pair of earrings (only $7!!), a recycled candle that smelled divine, a Southern Proper t-shirt, and a few different ornaments for the Christmas tree.  So many of the vendors wanted to chat with you, which was different from New York for sure!

IMG_2187

IMG_7864IMG_7874IMG_7868

IMG_2209Why of course the rest of the day we spent walking.  I could have walked myself silly that weekend with all the gorgeous houses Charleston has to offer.  Walking and running is my favorite way to see a new city because you get to earn all those extra tasty treats and it helps get yourself acclimated to the weather, time zone, and the layout of the city. Plus, I’m not sure about you, but I always end up stumbling upon something I wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.

IMG_7886 IMG_2195IMG_2210Accurately named “Rainbow Row”, a southern twin of San Fran’s “Painted Ladies”

IMG_2206

^^ Can you tell I’m obsessed with light blues and shades of turquoise?

IMG_2211^^ We shall call this the non-glamour shot.  Caught by my roommate Gaia, I look like a hot mess.  😉 See, not all perfection, trying to document everything between my eyes, my iPhone, and my camera.  Also carrying countless souvenirs…

IMG_7881

IMG_2213 ^^ We’ll call this the ultimate glamour shot, fit for social media distribution 😉 (taken multiple times, reviewed, perfected)

IMG_7892 IMG_7894 (1)IMG_7895IMG_7897Strolling along the waterfront, gazing and drooling over all the historical and oh-so-Southern architecture.

IMG_7900 IMG_7901IMG_7911IMG_7914 Some of the upscale shopping where we did some heavy duty window browsing but refrained from dropping any sort of money.  Internal win!  I figure it’s better to pick up souvenirs from mom & pop shops, places that are unique to the area and things you can’t find at home.

IMG_7915 IMG_7918 IMG_7920Since we filled up on brunch, the next option was a quick cookie and coffee break at King Street Cookies.  Opting for the 1/2 Bakers Dozen, we each got to sample a little bit of everything.  Who said you couldn’t make sugar a meal?

King Street Cookies
370 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401
~ Mon – Thur 8am-11pm ~ Fri 8am-10pm ~ Sat/Sun 9am-10pm ~

IMG_7907

IMG_2214Drinks at the Belmont ~ Adorable old fashioned bar with creative cocktails and where classic black & white films are shown on the sides of the walls.  Dinner was at Xio Bao Biscuit – absolutely delicious and oh so affordable.  We had planned to go to FIG but didn’t really think through the whole reservation thing and dropping in with 5 people, just didn’t seem like the way to go.  So to Xio Bao we went and what a lovely end to the day it was.

IMG_7909IMG_7853

Charleston, you have been oh so kind to us.  Stay tuned for some delicious eats and two more South Carolina jaunts!

“To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Anderson