As most of my social media followers know, my mom came and visited for a long weekend over Mother’s Day. We both didn’t even realize the visit fell over Mother’s Day until about 2 weeks before. It was perfect timing! The visit was a bit spur of the moment… I had been in kind of a funk and just one thing after another was happening, my bike was stolen, I was having some issues with thyroid disease, and just other daily life stresses. When my mom first mentioned coming out, I said she didn’t have to because I knew I was going to be home for a wedding soon, but then when she said, “No life is short, I’m coming ”, I was like yes, you are so right! Life is short, and even though this trip was only 4 days, it was 4 days I got to spend with my mom, and during a time when I needed it the most.
So to start the trip out on a good note, my mom’s first flight was late because of plane issues than the second one was delayed, so she got here at about 12am! I don’t know about you guys, but I swear my mom or I can never have a flight go as it is supposed to. There is always some issue with the plane, or a delay, cancellation etc! I know stuff happens, but I’m hoping my next flight home goes as planned. So because of her getting here so late we just went to bed, which was totally fine since we wanted to be well rested for the weekend ahead of us.
Saturday morning we woke up and went on a walk. It was the perfect cool, crisp morning, still in the 60’s. Haha sorry yes I now use the world cool for mid-60 degree weather. We went to my favorite smoothie/juice bar/café called Beaming. We got one acai bowl and one porridge bowl. My mom is still working on the correct pronunciation of acai, but I think she may have it down…maybe. 😉 The acai bowl is topped with their homemade granola, which is honestly the best granola I’ve ever had, and some raspberries and blueberries. From several options at the porridge bar, we chose the green matcha chia pudding topped granola and strawberries. We shared those two, and of course had to share one of their legendary cookies made from almond butter and applesauce! Later in the morning we headed over to Starbucks for some coffee and ended up talking to a random guy we met for an hour and a half. He’s an author, a writer for Law & Order, and gave my mom a copy of his most recent book and signed it for her! If you know me, you know I am extremely talkative and outgoing, and I love starting conversation with random people, my favorite of all time being Lyft or Uber drivers haha. It is crazy when I think about all the different people I have met here and where they came from, what their career is etc, and I haven’t even lived here a year! After meeting our new friend, we shopped around a bit, and then headed back to my place to get ready for the evening. We had dinner at a beautiful, well-known restaurant on the ocean called Ivy at the Shore. We splurged a bit and got some foo-foo drinks, a banana daiquiri for Mom and a raspberry mojito for me. We split a margherita pizza and some chips and guacamole. Kind of an odd combination, but hey it was deeeelicious! The pizza crust was thin and light, and the guacamole as fresh as it comes. After dinner it was still bright and sunny out, so we walked along the beach and soaked up that vitamin D. I wish my family lived here so we could all walk along the beach together more often!
The next morning was Mother’s Day, so we set off for a brunch of course! We went to Abbot Kinney in Venice and decided on The Butcher’s Daughter. If you are ever in Venice or New York, where they have another location, I highly recommend going. It is gorgeous inside and has the most inviting and relaxed environment. I love the natural lighting and the neutral, yet soft colors they use for the décor. Who doesn’t love a bright sunny place that is slightly rustic with a chill vibe? We sat in their half inside/half outside area, and it was perfect for a nice breezy morning. I ordered a coffee and as I sipped on it I truly just put myself in the present to enjoy this moment to the fullest. It was a beautiful morning on Mother’s Day in Los Angeles with my Mom; I mean you can’t beat it. My mom got the breakfast pizza and I got the avocado toast Benedict. All I can say is WOW that avocado toast Benedict is insane, and amazing on so many levels. Post brunch we enjoyed Abbot Kinney for a while, walked into a couple shops, and then of course stopped for a little treat. Since I moved here I’ve been wanting to go to this ice cream place called Salt & Straw, and who better to enjoy it with me than a fellow ice cream lover?! This place makes all of their ice cream homemade and they do all of these different, unique flavors. I got half roasted strawberry and toasted white chocolate and the other half almond brittle with salted ganache. My mom got half avocado and strawberry sherbet and half chocolate gooey brownie. Based off the names alone, I don’t think I need to even tell you how good it was. Totally worth it, and I say that because the worst is when you treat yourself and you don’t even like it! Before heading home we stopped at the local Erewhon Market. It is a health food store that is any healthy foodie’s heaven! It is so colorful inside because of all the vegetables and fruits, and SO organized, which the OCD part of me loved haha. We had an afternoon re-charger nap, and then headed to Malibu for the night! Malibu was stunning as always, the pier, the ocean, and the sunset. We ate at the pier and shared an acai bowl, crab cakes, and I got a turmeric latte because I’m on a turmeric latte kick. Overall it was an amazing Mother’s Day that I am so thankful I got to spend with my Mom here in California.
On Monday we woke up early and went to Groundwork Coffee for breakfast. This is one of my favorite go to places for a coffee or cold brew. The inside is open and bright with high ceilings and windows. I love how they have it decorated with flowers at each table and rustic wood tables mixed in some newer ones. Per usual coffee for me, tea for Mom. I got the open face fried egg sandwich and Mom got the French toast loaded with berries. The sandwich was so good, crispy toast topped with pesto, arugula, roasted onions, and heirloom tomatoes. My mom was hesitant to get the French toast at first, thinking it would be so much bread and too filling and heavy. Well she ended up getting it and we both agreed she made the right decision. Plus it was more berries than bread haha, which is awesome because usually places put like five berries on items that say they come with them. We both also did have to remember this is vacation so it’s ok for you to have fun meals that you normally don’t have! Some of us tend to be hard on ourselves when we have treats and we normally eat so well, but I myself always have to remind myself that I’m only human and it is OK! We went down by the ocean for the afternoon and just walked around. Then went to my all-time favorite, Café Gratitude, for dinner. It is a healthy vegan café that is SO good. Not only is their food amazing, but even more so I love this place for the feel and ambience. The whole restaurant is lit with dim lights and the candles as each table, whereas during the day the natural light brightens it. They are known for their “I AM” menu. So the name of each dish is for example I am humble, I am whole, I am gracious, I am vibrant, etc. The server will also ask you the question of the day, which I love because it gets you thinking about something you normally don’t. I once again got a turmeric latte, and for my meal got the I am whole. My mom created her own bowl with brown rice and quinoa, spinach, carrots, chickpeas, roasted vegetables and a pesto sauce. I would name off what is in the I am whole to you all, but half the things are like wait what is that haha, but trust me it is amazing!!
Our last morning we went to both of ours favorite restaurant, Milo & Olive. This is one of the first places my parents and I went when I moved here since it is basically across the street from me, and it has since become a staple when I have anyone visit. Any of my friends who have visited will tell you they have been to Milo & Olive. My neighbor works there as well so it’s always nice to go and see a friendly, familiar face. I love the inside of Milo & Olive. The kitchen is totally open and the atmosphere is causal and relaxed. I love it here at dinnertime, but I honestly am a sucker for cute mornings that include people I love, coffee and amazing breakfast food. Milo & Olive does not disappoint. Everything here is so fresh and they always have seasonal specials. If you go here for breakfast, splitting a pastry or getting one on your own is a must. We were going to split the banana walnut loaf, but someone had just bought the entire thing, what!!!! Like come on the entire thing, we just wanted one measly slice to split! So my neighbor, who was our server that morning, suggested the lemon poppy seed loaf, and we decided to share a slice. Funny enough, afterwards we said that the lemon poppy seed loaf was better than the banana one, haha classic! It was so moist and had the fresh lemony flavor; mmm my mouth is watering now. Then we split a yogurt, berry, granola bowl and an egg croissant sandwich. I seriously had not had a croissant in probably over 10 years and let me tell you I forgot how buttery and flakey they are, but now I don’t need one for another 10 years :). Their coffee is so good here I think had like 3 full mugs, which for me is a lot because I normally just have one cup a day in the morning. But when you come upon good coffee, take full advantage, even if that means being wired for the day. We enjoyed the rest of the day and night together, and topped it off with some frozen yogurt. Fro-yo is essential, and since Madison is having issues with keeping fro-yo places open, my mom was ready for some! Madison what is with that?!!
Wow well that was a long one, but I wanted to tell you all about my wonderful long weekend with my Mom! Aside from some of the obstacles I have faced out here, I truly am blessed and I have my family to thank for that. I wish my dad and brother could have been out here with my mom as well, but I’m looking forward to the next time we can all be out here together. After my mom left it made me realize once again to never take for granted the time you have with your family, enjoy every second of it and live in the present. I know you all may be thinking, is all did they just eat while she was there? Hahahah YES! Just kidding! The reason I like to go to certain places is not only for great, fresh, healthy, quality food, but also like I’ve said for that environment, those scenic views, and also the people. Santa Monica in itself has so many gems, and I love discovering those with my Mom because we used to do that when I was in college. So sitting down and having coffee and breakfast with my mom brings me back to a place of comfort and familiarity. I hope you all had an amazing Mother’s Day, no matter who you spent it with or how you spent it!