Clothing update: Shirts are almost complete! They'll be all sewn by the end of this week then they’re off to the screen printers! I’m sooooooo looking forward to seeing the finished product - it’s been a long wait!
My first day in California was mainly spent in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa (the first place I moved in California).
(Rainbows are a tradition with my best friend from work)
(Couldn’t resist gelato - check out those beautiful colors!)
Next on the list was my favorite beach city, Long Beach. Part of the reason that I think I enjoyed living in Long Beach so much was because it’s so similar to Philly. Both are big cities that seem more like big towns with tight-knit communities and an abundance of small business, restaurants and bars. Both are walkable cities with diverse cultures and pockets of different ethnicities. And both are artistic cities with art on every block.
To further these similarities, Long Beach recently added a bunch of new murals for the POW! WOW! street art festival. My friend found out about this and insisted we check them out with our favorite form of transportation - biking.
They are pretty incredible and did not disappoint:
(Love the randomness of this one)
We topped off the ride with smoothies from a local juice bar. I got a mango smoothie, but my friend got the watermelon smoothie, which I would highly recommend.
(Loved the decor here, too!)
On Saturday night, my friends and I went to a speakeasy in Long Beach and had a blast catching up. We even ran into another group of work friends that I hadn’t seen in over a year. We ended the night with my favorite Long Beach tradition to make Snoop Dog proud - Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles:
Then Sunday was the perfect day to do my favorite water activity - stand up paddle boarding!
I love being on the water and the perk of SUP is that you don’t even have to get wet! It’s a great arm and ab workout - especially when it’s super windy out. We went through some canals in Sunset Beach, and the wind was so strong in some areas that we’d move backwards if we stopped paddling. My arms were exhausted afterwards!
Monday and Tuesday were spent with a good friend that I worked with at Boeing. I recently heard or read somewhere (probably a TED talk) that you should spend one-third of your time being a mentor to people who need it (in my case, mentoring children), one-third of your time with your friends who are similar to you, and one-third of your time with mentors or people with more experience who can teach you new things. My friend Pam is the last one of these - she’s taught me so much about life and relationships over the past three years. I’m lucky to have met such a wonderful person who shares so many of the same interests even though we’re forty years apart.
We share a love for tea:
(She has the cutest tea sets and best hosting skills I've ever seen)
We fed ducks at a nearby park and I made a new friend:
She has the most amazing garden. I call it the “secret garden”, since you can’t see it from the street. I could sit there for hours enjoying all the magical colors:
Her bunny, Freckles, and her bird, Sunshine, are best friends. As soon as she lets Sunshine out of the cage, he flies over to Freckles’ cage.
I was never a bird person in the past, but Sunshine may have changed my mind…
On Tuesday morning, we got reflexology massages. I can't remember the last time I got a massage, but with all the running, biking, and traveling I’ve done over the past year, it was exactly what my body needed.
We also did afternoon tea at a tea room (she really is the best host with great ideas planned). I’ll 100% be doing this in the future.
I finished off Tuesday with a run on the beach path. After all the stress and anxiety over leaving my job, moving home to Pennsylvania, and starting a business, running in California felt like home.
Now I’m lucky enough to be soaking up the sun in Santa Monica.
(My "office" for the next few days)
Talk to you all later! :)