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Monday, April 7, 2014

The Los Angeles Edition

I'm not one to make spontaneous travel plans, especially those in which I leave my husband behind, but by the third consecutive snowfall in February, I pulled the frozen stubs, once believed to be my fingers, out from my gloves and texted my friend in L.A. one thing: Do you want a visitor??

I hadn't been to L.A. since I was a child.  I had no up to date perception of the city, and it seemed like everyone I knew had such strong opinions about the place.  It was time to see for myself.

The morning I left New York was one of the coldest and blustery of the entire winter.  Moments after I got off the plane, my gracious host Wendelin (college roommate and eternal soul sister) had to run to her office in Santa Monica to finish up a few things before taking some days off.  Santa Monica, you say? No problemo. While she worked, I did this.

Did you know that air travel makes your feet swell?  Just look at those puffy piggies.    

We strolled through the Santa Monica farmers market.  The citrus in California is phenomenal; so sweet and delicious.  I saw Pink there (the recording artist, not the color); she was massaging produce with the rest of us!

I educated myself on the west coast yoga scene while sunning my ankles.  I visited a cute Santa Monica studio called Yogis Anonymous.  The vibe was super chill and welcoming, and the class had a nice balance of challenge and relaxation.  For my next One Hungry Yogi: Los Angeles Edition, I plan to stay much longer and visit a different yoga studio every day...stay tuned!

How could a health food loving yoga teacher not embrace Los Angeles?  The juice bars and yoga studios are as frequent as New York bodegas or... bums with visible butt cracks.  I treasure my health food stores and vegan restaurants in NYC, but as far as conscious eats go, L.A. got us beat.  It's not really a fair fight, they've been at it longer than we have.

I'd like to have a month in L.A. to try everything on the menu at Cafe Gratitude.  This is their version of pad thai made with kelp noodles.  It was divine, as was their dish ware.

Just look at this mouth watering lunch!  Seared tuna, baby kale salad with olive oil, lemon, and parmesan, roasted veggies...all organic, and I think I paid something like $11.  Um New York, why don't we have a Tender Greens???

I will dream about this sandwich. It's the tuna melt from Mendocino Farms.  I am ruined for gluten free bread after tasting the twice toasted slices of nutty perfection that enrobed this heavenly sandwich.  This sandwich was as massive as it appears, and I nearly finished it.  We worked up man-sized appetites after hiking Griffith Park.

I felt magical, healthy, and vibrant in L.A.  Maybe it was all the green juice, maybe it was the sunshine, perhaps it was reuniting with a good friend...probably all of the above.  But I gotta say, the time change didn't hurt either.  When does one ever enjoy a time change you might ask?  The three hour difference left me completely ready for sleep at 10:30pm and awake and refreshed at 6:30am.  For me, that is ideal, especially on vacation.  Morning is my favorite time of the day, and I never want to waste a minute of it.  The conversations you have with friends over mugs of hot tea when your eyes are still a little puffy are my favorite conversations of all.

My trip was short, but the consensus is: I Love L.A.

Don't look so sad New York; you'll always be my one and only.  But L.A. ...she may have to be my mistress :)

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