Our road trip was a long distance crammed in a short period of time, and one of our fears was that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the time we had both along the way and in the cities we were stopping in. Even though it could have been stretched out for a few days longer, we really were able to enjoy our time! We first stopped in Redding, California to stay with my cousin and her husband over night and then made our way down to LA. We had a few more stops on the way home in San Francisco and Portland, but the way down was more of a straight drive through. Luke had done this drive a couple times before but apart from spending a couple days in LA years back (flying in) I never had experienced California, and certainly never driven through it!
We were initially meant to run in the LA Marathon during this trip, however I unfortunately (or maybe fortunately…) hurt my foot during our last prep run in Redding, Cali. It was kind of disappointing, but we had so much other stuff to pack into our trip so it ended up working out!
URTH CAFFÉ | ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE
When we arrived we were able to have lunch with our friends from JUSTICE RISING and after spent some time roaming around the Art District. This really cool coffee shop URTH CAFFÉ caught our eye and we were super intrigued with their exterior design, their popularity, and how organic and sustainable they are. They sell both 100% organic tea and coffee, use all natural ingredients in their food, and even the plastic cups they sell their cold drinks in are compostable (something I think is mind blowing and so cool; every plastic should be created compostable/biodegradable). Apart from their caffés located across Southern California they also sell their own coffee, which is considered as being the first coffee roasting company in America to offer exclusively organically grown, heirloom coffee. You can buy their coffee online or in store!
GROCERIES APPAREL | FACTORY TOUR
Luke and I had the privilege of visiting Matt (co-founder of Groceries Apparel) and taking a tour of their factory located in LA. It was super informative and exciting to see locally made garments, and learn about the production process of their clothing, from start to finish (apart from the fabric creation and dying). We did a review and feature on them that you can read HERE.
THE ART DISTRICT
Our friends told us to do a bit of a wonder around the Art District and we stumbled upon this great exhibition of “Jason Rhoades. Installations, 1994-2006” the ‘Tijuanatanjierchandelier’. Now without ruining the explanation in my own words I’ll quote the description I pulled from the wall of the exhibit on our way out.
“A network of glowing chandeliers, ‘Tijuanatanjierchandelier’ (2006) represents a multinational interchange where cultural, economic, and political borders merge. Imposter handbags, sombreros, Moroccan lights, and maracas, among other souvenirs and trinkets, intermingle with 176 neon Spanish and English slang terms for female genitalia. To create this floating universe, Rhodes took shopping trips to two analogous border towns: Tijuana, Mexico and Tangier, Morocco. In mixing up trinkets from these cities, which are located almost 6,000 miles apart, Rhoades exposes some of the cultural myths and stereotypes perpetuated by globalization, which has stripped cultural objects of their original function and meaning.”
To read a bit more about the artist (if it at all interests you) here are a couple links to some posts I read when trying to find out about this creative art exhibit!
THE ALBRIGHT | SUSTAINABILITY ON THE PIER
Recognized as the first sustainable business on the Santa Monica Pier, ALBRIGHT is a delicious family owned seafood restaurant where you can get the tastiest fish and chips as well as several other amazing dishes made using sustainably caught seafood and locally sourced ingredients. They focus on sustainability and green initiatives which include working with the Flores Grease Company who picks up their old grease and converts it into biofuel, furnishing their restaurant with refurbished or remanufactured furniture, using energy saving equipment in their kitchen as well as using natural light during the day to illuminate their restaurant. All these initiatives (and more) contributed to The Albright being awarded the Sustainable Quality Award for Stewardship of the Natural Environment (SQA) from the City of Santa Monica. I loved the laid back feel this place had and you can’t beat the location. We went there on a Saturday and the line up was kinda long but well worth the wait!
We were able to see old friends, family and visit a lot more places during our trip and although it was short we really enjoyed our time!