Hey everyone! The time has finally come where I continue on with a flashback of my road trip. So as you know, Rodney and I moved to his home state of Georgia back in 2013. Being a west coast girl, I just had to move back to Seattle. So, we marked our calendars for September 2016. Being the person that I am, I insisted on having as many experiences as possible during this road trip. This specific route took us through 10 different states,all full of fun sites and yummy food. This second half of the road trip is all west coast and I was hyped to see what their was to offer. Luckily, I had a close friend in LA that could help keep me on track with my planning.
Throughout this post, I will highlight some of the exciting, touristy things we did and of course talk about the food I experienced! Although I try to stay on subject with just dessert and tea, I think it is worth it to talk about ALL food this time around, right? So, grab a good cup of tea, and your bucket list, cause here goes nothing!
Have you read part 1 of this cross-country road trip? It takes you from Georgia to Phoenix, Arizona. Check it out here!
Between Phoenix and LA
Points of Interest:
- Rad Coffee
- A coffee shop in Upland, California that is dressed in punk-rock and serves fun-named drinks. Through all the grunge and grit in the decor, it is nice to see that they offer organic, and vegan options. Next time I get a chance to stop, I will try their DIY teas! And yes, that Pour-Over set up is on a skateboard.
- Cabazon Dinosaurs
Points of Interest:
- Abbot Kinney Festival
- On a beautiful southern California day, it was great to be able to hit the streets of the Venice area and be around the locals. So before we hit the beach, we had to go to the famous Abbot Kinney Festival! Throughout Abbot Kinney Blvd., we saw many beautiful vendors, live performers and food trucks (my favorite,) and even a kitty adoption truck (?) Although I didn’t get to shop the strip like I wanted due to large crouds; I did get to enjoy some yummy carne asada fries on the side walk, while admiring an inspiring artist hard at work on their chalk art work.
- Venice Beach
- Soon after the festival, we set out towards the beach. This is one of the ways I sold Rodney on spending extra time in southern California. We both love the beach so much that sometimes we can spend the whole day laying out in the sun. So of course, we spent a lot of time walking down the board walk weaving through almost every shop just to see what they had to offer. Of course, I had to stop and see a physic for the first time, just to see what its like. Then as we got further down the board walk, we heard music coming from the beach. So we decided to head that way, and realized that the big crowd on the beach was actually a drum circle. In order to get closer to the drum circle, we were welcomed by country flags sticking out of the beach. It was breath taking!
- Venice Canals
- After a long morning of driving, and a long day of exploring the area, it was finally time to head to the hotel. But first, I made it a point to search for the Venice Canals before the sun sets. So I set up GPS, and we headed towards the canals for some pictures. When we found them, I was in awe. Not only does it make you feel like you are in a foreign oasis, but it also feels so romantic when you watch the sun set and the residential lights flicker on. If you have ever thought about visiting Venice, Italy; then you have to visit Venice, California too.
Oh boy, oh boy, who let me loose in this city? I think this is the stop that Rodney loved the most, but also lost his mind the most. When I say I am a wanderer, I mean it. In this city, I kept wandering off, getting distracted by all things pretty, gritty, shiny, and colorful. Take me to a city that embraces all cultures and communities, and I will want to experience them all. Or at least try. We hit a museum, Little Tokyo, Venice, malls and all.
Points of Interest:
- Little Tokyo
- When I tell you Rodney was in hog heaven in Little Tokyo, let’s be honest, we both were. This is another place that aided in convincing Rodney to spend extra time in LA. Although I am the one that loves travelling more; whenever it comes to Japanese culture, Rodney is all over it. He loves everything about the digital and animation world in Japan. While on the other side, I love everything about the architecture and food of Japan. So needless to say, we went a little wild here. Rodney did some shopping (finally) and I just admired the architecture and tasted some treats (mochi!!)
- Grand Central Market
- Let’s just say that it took me about 20 minutes to decide where I wanted to eat from. This market is a world known heaven for foodies alike. Best part about it in my opinion, is that it represents Los Angeles well in the fact that it is one big melting pot. You have to check it out.
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- By the time we figured out which bus to take, and how to get in, it was time to close. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the whole museum, but we did see the giant rock and the beautiful lamp display outside. This is one place that has been replaced on my LA to-do list for this summer.
- Olvera Street
- Finally, before we head home to rest, we had to stop at Olvera Street for some Mexican culture. Throughout this alley way, there are beautiful buildings, many interesting vendors and of course, food! My favorite stop was full of Mexican culture that emphasized candles, incense and decor. Then of course, I had to stop at Mr. Churro for an apple stuffed churro.
Pacific Coast Highway
Points of Interest:
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Ya’ll, it was imperitive to me to be able to take this highway from LA to San Fransisco. Of course, it would have been much quicker to get to San Fransisco by taking I-5, but that would not be as fun. I wanted to be able to experience this drive while I had the chance. Let me tell you, it was worth every long hour. Although the windy roads around the hills on the edge of the earth (as Rodney would call it) are very nerve- racking, the views on this highway are phenomenal. Unfortunately, we did not stop as often as I would have liked during this drive, it was still very enjoyable and should be seen by everyone.
- This town is the cutest town I saw throughout our whole trip. While planning my road trip (see the Pinterest board here,) I did a lot of research on this town because I thought we would be here for a bit. In my opinion, it was a little hard to research and I think the biggest reason is because they don’t do street names! Ain’t that neat?! This town seems to really keep itself a mystery to be explored by the visitors lucky (and brave) enough to make it there. The only thing I can really say about this town to sum it up is that it looks like a picture from a fairy tale book. You must visit it!
Points of Interest:
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- As soon as we made it to San Francisco, we headed towards fisherman’s wharf. Although it was a breezy, foggy day, I knew that it would be worth it to be near the water after a long car ride. So, of course one of the first things I had planned was to take a cruise around the bay. The specific cruise I chose was to go underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatrez. It was so beautiful and informative (The cruise I took). It as nice to see views of San Francisco in a different angle, and I also saw the signature sea lions!
- Bay Boardwalk
- Beautiful, everything I expected and hoped for. My favorite part was finding a tea shop in a market, and finding the Biscoff store and trying their signature cookie butter latte-yum! (Look out for a cookie butter latte dessert coming soon!)
- Golden Gate Park
- Oh yes, I had to make it to the Golden Gate Park. When I researched this park, I was blown away from the start. Not only is it a normal park, but there are multiple sections of the park. To start there is an area when you can see the Golden Gate Bridge; there is also a rose garden, the California Academy of Sciences, a music concourse that holds free concerts, the Japanese Tea Garden, and much more.
- My favorite part was the Japanese Tea Garden. When you first walk towards the garden, you are greeted by a beautiful entry way.Throughout the garden, there was beautiful statues, architecture, zen gardens, bamboo, asian trees, koi ponds, and of course a tea house. My favorite moment was when I got to try my first red bean donut and some jasmine tea, while overlooking the koi pond.
Points of Interest:
- Downtown Sacramento
- Wow! The last city that I planned for was Sacramento and we really treated it like the last city. We took the two days we had there to truly relax and rest before we got home to my family. So, we decided to take a simple stroll around Downtown Sacramento and grab some lunch. Not only did I find a yummy sandwich place, but I also found a cute tea shop and a spice shop.(Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the shops I went to except for the All Spicery, luckily I do remember that all the shops were in the same area of the All Spicery.)
- The All Spicery was an amazing spice shop that had such a wide variety of spices, herbs, flowers, and all. I left with some dried Hibiscus. You can see how I used some recently here.
- Rick’s Dessert Diner
- Let me tell ya’ll, not only was this place full of fun decor, but it had so many options for dessert. I ended up with a yummy piece of cheesecake-yum! It is a place that has to be seen to get the true understanding of it.
Do you live in any of these cities? Did I do your city justice? Let me know what I may have missed out on in the comments below!
As always, all pictures are my own and are not permitted to be used by anyone else. All experiences and opinions are my own, nothing has been sponsored.