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An Ode to Silverlake

During a trip to LA over Memorial Day weekend we decided to wander over to Silverlake to see what all the hubbub is about. We’d convinced ourselves that if we ever have to move to LA, Silverlake would be the neighborhood that would feel most like home. We came to this conclusion without ever actually visiting, mind you. Mark and I are terribly quick to assume lots of things. Now that we’ve spent some time (ahem, one early afternoon) in this little ‘hood, we can see that it really is as cool as every blogger who lives here says it is.

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^^ Cafe Stella, where my $7 avocado toast was fantastic, but $7. Hey, I ordered it so I knew what I was getting into. Its just, what the heck is up with California and their pricey toast? (Have you read the VentureBeat article, $4 Toast: Why the tech industry is ruining San Francisco? Well, I shelled out three extra dollars here. I hope it tasted $3 better than those toasts of the north). Anyway, they serve Intelligentisia coffee, which happens to be right next door, and it is delicious! The cold pressed coffee was a killer cha-ching toast companion. A word of warning though, don’t try to take any pictures while inside the restaurant. They’ll hassle you. Trust me. Guys, sometimes Drew Barrymore gets her brunch on there, so have some respect. ^^

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^^ Seeing this van solidified our dreams of living out of a van. Eighty Square Feet folks, where you at? We have tons of questions for you! Like, where are you headed next? Where do you shower? That’s probably it. I’m mostly concerned about the showering thing. ^^

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^^ This community garden looked mighty neglected. I think the farm skills we picked up in Hawaii are in serious need, don’t you? ^^

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^^ Just a little motivational chalking for your weekend. ^^

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All in all, I wouldn’t hate to live here. Palm trees, blue skies, good coffee, artsy/cool people, and the chance to share a $7 toast with Drew Barrymore. I mean, what more could you ask for? Silverlake, you’re just so damn cool.

The Other Venice (As in CA)

We had the brilliant idea to fly down to San Diego for Memorial Day weekend and stay in an awesome vintage trailer we found on Airbnb. Sadly, the weather forecast didn’t quite jibe with the weekend-long beach experience we were dreaming of, so we decided to scrap that plan and stick around the LA area, since we were flying into LAX to begin with.

Our last LA experience didn’t leave us with a ton of positive things to say about the sprawling city, so we were really interested in diving deeper this time around and exploring more of what the place had to offer.

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We found this dreamy backyard cabana, just a few blocks from the Venice Beach boardwalk and the famous Venice Canals.

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Road Trip Essentials

You guys, summer is just around the corner and the open road is calling to us!

Living in California now, it seems like the road trip options are endless! We have Napa, Big Sur, Yosemite, LA, San Diego, Palm Springs, the Redwood National Park, and so much more at our fingertips just begging to be explored.

We know what you’re about to say: “Hey, guys! You don’t have a car!” Insignificant detail, my friends. That’s where RelayRides comes in!

RelayRides is a peer-to-peer carsharing service. They allow private car-owners to rent out their vehicles via an online interface. Unlike traditional car rental services, RelayRides doesn’t owns the vehicles or maintain them. They simply offer a hassel-free platform for car owners and renters to connect! Need a car for the day? Just hop on their website, search by location and price range, and voila! Want to rent out your car to others in your community? They can do that too!

So basically now that we know how to get our hands on a vehicle, its time for us to plan a Road Trip Part Deux.

What are our road trip essentials? Glad you asked.

Summer Road Trip

  • A destination sunny and warm
  • A hot set of wheels (A vintage VW bus would be ideal, right guys?)
  • A well stocked cooler (We like to snack on nuts, fruit, fresh veggies, smoked meats, cheese, and good bread while on the road)
  • A cute pair of sunglasses
  • Our favorite blanket (I get so cold in the car, no matter what season!)

That’s all we need to rule the road! What are we waiting for??

Let’s get outta here!

The Grand Canyon’s Best Kept Secret

Newsflash, guys: The Grand Canyon is literally awesome.

This is kind of something that Michael Pollan would refer to as “Duh science,” but I came across this study that shows that experiencing nature can elicit feelings of awe. Man, I was feeling the awe, alright.

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To be completely honest, our first few hours of the Grand Canyon were kind of “meh.” We spent some time walking around the rim, stopping at all the railed off photo-op stops (along with throngs of other tourists), not quite comprehending the magnitude of what we were looking at . The views were amazing, don’t get me wrong, but we couldn’t shake the crowds or get close enough to really feel like we were experiencing the Canyon. We didn’t have enough daylight to actually hike down into the Canyon, so we were kind of limited to what we could see our first day there.

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The Hoover Dam in Pictures

We stopped at the Hoover Dam in July, on our way to visit Mark’s cousin Marta in Phoenix. We were able to snap a few pictures before it started to rain. And thank holy heck it did because I don’t think I could have enjoyed this magnificent man-made monstrosity any longer. We jumped back into the car and exchanged our, “Aww, too bad we didn’t get to take the informational tour” and “Damn, I wish we could have made it to the gift shop” regrets with secret smiles of mutual relief.

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The Hoover Dam is majestic in a very intimidating “man harnessing the power of water” sort of way.

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Goodbye God, I’m Going to Bodie

Welcome to the Wild West!

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We left Nevada in early August, stopping on our way to explore Bodie, California, one of the country’s best preserved ghost towns. Once a great gold producing boomtown, Bodie is now a historical landmark. You aren’t actually able to enter most buildings, so we wandered around, peeking into the windows of the old mining town’s houses, shops, saloons, schools, and churches.

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