We spent October 2010 to March 2011 living in Los Angeles & I have to admit my heart swells when I think of California. It’s funny because here in Portland when I randomly share with a stranger let’s say, at the grocery store that we’ve recently returned to P-town from LA they lok at me with sympathy, sigh & with a heavy heart ask, “Aren’t you so glad to be back?” Which, of course always gives me a giggle- and I get it- I know LA can just be awful for some people. But southern California is where I met Andy, where I fell in love, where my child was born, where I still have family and friends and on and on and on. Truly, California makes my heart burst with love. While we were there we were busy but I did keep a running tally of favorite places that I went to because I wanted to remember it & I wanted to be able to recall happy & comforting places in the midst of the nightmare we were in during our stay. But let me say again, there was always love for the places & the people- probably more than ever because we needed so much & so many amazing people provided for people I love. So grateful. So let’s start my California list with…

Cafe Gratitude•••• The LA location opened in the final weeks we were there so I jumped in the car as often as I could to emerse myself in the gratitude attitude & food. Eliot & I even had the pleasure of meeting Jason Mraz once during lunch.

DetoxMarket• I only made it to the Detox Market in Venice once but I think it’d be a perfect place to get a special gift of chocolate, olive oil, or any delightful thing they’ve currently got on the shelves, really.

Freecity•• oh, too too expensive but super fun because they sell raw vegan milks & Kind Kreme ice cream and bright pins & buttons which are like the only affordable things in there anyway.

Sushi & Kushi imai – never made it!

Au lac•• Oh Chef Ito, you have a joyful heart & Eliot &  I loved coming to see you & eat your delicious food. Thank you for the penny charm, it’s very dear to me.

Cru- didn’t make it this time but they recently changed chefs soooo, who knows? Not me, yet!

Juicy ladies•••••••••••••••••••• I was at Juice Ladies so much I can’t even count. This place was down the road a bit from where I was living and it was my go to vegan paradise in the valley. Seriously.

Hidden Treasures••• Located in Topanga Canyon- one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to is one of my favorite stores. Filled with odd & pretty everythings!  Love it here. Made it 3x.

118 degrees- maybe next time but I’ve had their take out at Whole Foods & I’ve liked it.

Cambria• One stop here on our way to LA. It’s where we were married almost 12 years ago. Sacred spot.

Long Beach- wanted to see my friends new house, didn’t make it.

Erewhon• only one time! And I can’t believe that because it’s like an epic natural food store and if you know me… well.

Raw••••••• Juliano’s Planet Raw is a staple in my raw vegan brain & heart. From the medicinal salad to the chocolate shake I am hooked.

Rawvolution • oops, only once but it was yummy!

Marc Jacobs•• I love going to Marc by Marc in LA because, for example I bought a super comfortable & adorable pair of bright red rain boots there for I think $30. Score.

Kind kreme ••••••• I miss Kind Kreme. They opened while we were living there & I think they’re fab. All the sweet stuff & savory stuff too. Drooooooooooooooling.

Tarina Tarantino••• Again, this is kind of a must do when I’m in LA, even if I don’t buy anything it’s about the experience, the pink sparkle experience.

Betsey Johnson outlet• My favorite kind of trouble. I bought two perfect dresses here before my birthday & they are amongst my favorites without a doubt. And a steal!

Beaches•••• no explaining needed, right?

Santa Monica•••••• ❤ ❤ ❤

Helen• My sweet friend, saw her once.

Shaunna• My oldest friend, we met when we were 6 & 7. Saw her once.

Hugos•••• A story for another post happened at Hugo’s. Great food.

Stairs• Wait, I had to have gone here a few times but only marked it once? hmmm. Love the stairs in Santa Monica, they hurt so good.

Sally • massage friend who met me for vegan lunch & dessert. She’s unstoppable!

Allison – didn’t get to see her.

Life food organic !!!! Didn’t make it except I tried their milks at Freecity, mentioned above.

Sun power••••• LOVE the kale salad here. EPIC.

Bhavantu an Ojai boutique I loved but they closed in December. Before they were gone for good I was able to shop one last time for California-yoga-fashion goodies & then for Christmas my husband surprised me with a dressform- in my size from the store!

Native Foods••••••••••••••• This might make me cry. Days that I went to UCLA medical center I also went to have comforting Native Foods food. Days I went to Disneyland, also, Native Foods food. It’s special food. Come to Portland, sweet Native Foods.

Montana Ave• Favorite part of Santa Monica, right after the beach, of course. Every Picture Tells A Story is here & the street is full of pregnancy & baby Eliot memories for me.

Disneyland***** As much as we could we went to see Mickey & friends.

Shojin•• What amazing food & people, just wish it wasn’t such a pain in the butt to get to, oh LA.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo What more can I say?