Weekend Re-Cap – Santa Monica, Vegan Eats, Family, and Good Friends

Hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day weekend!

I’m sipping on a morning smoothie and re-living the weekend through photos on my iPhone.

It’s been a while since I had a few days off, so Eric and I took full advantage. We spent most of the weekend with his family in Bakersfield, but snuck away for a day to L.A. for a little sun, a little beach, and some quality time with friends.

First off, look at this amazing garden! We helped mom-Linda plant the garden at the end of March. It was nothing but dirt back then, and just two months later, look at it now!

Bakersfield Garden, May 2013

We had the best luck with tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and lettuce. The tomatoes got so huge, they kind of took over the garden. They will get nice and red in a few weeks. I’m thinking another visit for tomato sampling is in order.

Then off we went on our drive to Santa Monica to meet a good friend of mine, Erin.

Half-way there.


The great thing about Los Angeles is a huge selection of vegetarian and vegan places to choose from. The first place we found, was closed, but just another Yelp search later, we found exactly what we were looking for.

First destination. Real Food Daily.

I ordered the Tu-Nut wrap and Eric ordered a Kale Salad with tahini dressing and avocado. They have a huge selection including smoothies and juices.

As you can see, I’m a happy lady.


After meeting with friends for a little billiard time, it was time for margaritas and the beach.

While I was perfectly content walking down the beach and having my toes in the sand, Eric had to jump in.


But what I had on my mind was juice! We stopped by Moon Juice in Venice, but they were closed. Luckily, we spotted Cafe Gratitude right across the street! Local, Organic, Vegan = Jackpot.

The raw sesame seed cacao bar caught my eye, and it did not disappoint. I have to re-create it soon.

We parted with our friends, and then went to Hermosa to meet my friend, Leslie. We ended the night with a stroll down the pier and some dancing.

Eric got three tacos at the pier. I sampled one – a hummus taco with spicy jalapeños and guacamole.


We wrapped up the weekend back in Bakersfield with more family time.

*A little note on working out while traveling – of course, when traveling my daily routine changes, and that’s totally fine. I find that what works best for me is going on a run in the mornings. Whether I’m in Bakersfield or anywhere else, getting out for a run first thing in the morning ensures that I get some great exercise before going on with the day. I prefer mornings in the summer time  because it gets really warm in the afternoon – a little too warm for running. I love clearing my head and getting my body to move, especially when lots of driving is required, which stiffens up the body.

Some days, when I can find a quiet room, I do 30 minutes of Pilates. If you find it hard to get motivated, grab your laptop or phone and follow along with a video you like. Check out some of my videos here.

Another L.A. and Santa Monica trip is in order soon! There are more family/friends to see, vegan restaurants to sample and juices to drink.

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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