Wake Me Up in South Cali!

This story is about enlightenment, community spirit, majestic hikes, dreamy bike rides, unique sleep spots and feasting on vegan organic fare.

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It was my first time designing a fly & drive and feeling quite peachy with the results. My partner in crime was a colleague who shares my passion for nature, adventure and exercise!

We arrived in Los Angeles at around noon and drove to our first destination - Eagle Rock. Our Airbnb was a guest house at the back of a grandiose house with lovely garden and restful hammock. We set out on an urban hike through some of the hood’s wildest properties, including the most inspiring Flamingo Estate, citrus trees and floral bushes consumed our late afternoon before grabbing a vegan bowl at Amara kitchen and soaking in the sunset.

We left early the next day - coffee stop at seal beach and grabbed the coastal highway. First stop Laguna beach including lunch with our findings from Trader Joe’s. Riding into Newport we witnessed a group of anti-gun protestors and signs declaring the entire city to be smoke free! The bohemian vibes in me were glowing. We arrived in Cardiff to another cute guest house and immediately took bikes and headed to the beach to walk and meditate the afternoon off. Eve community served us another scrumptious vegan bowl and led us to their new space where I was transfixed by the elixir bar serving kefir soda, golden milk and coconut kava. Innovation was in the air with extra positive vibes.

The next day we head to our first real nature hike at the Torrey Pines State Park. Discovered my new fav grocery store Lazy Acres on the way. Did 3 trails and one guided nature walk where I learnt about the unique rock formation and vegetation. Being a weekend, we had to share the stunning views with many others so we tried exploring the San Elijo Lagoon Nature trails for something a bit quieter. The day capped with pizza and prosecco at the beach while gazing at surfers in action.

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We arrived in San Diego the next day and started our day wildlife viewing at La Jolla beach. I was mesmerized by the amount of seals going about their natural ways despite the 100’s of human eyeballs staring in fascination. We rented bikes and rode along the coast to witness sweeping beach scenes, charming homes with more glorious gardens! Sun kissed we arrived to our third Airbnb, this time to our enchantment, a modern and unique backyard loft. Our host greeted us with a bottle of wine and we quickly set off to explore this acclaimed city. We walked to Pokez Mexican restaurant for scrumptious vegetarian burritos. The one-hour walk exposed us to the reality of American poverty and we took some time to reflect and be grateful.

The next day was devoted to another bike adventure. By the time we got to Coronado we were itching to get back to explore San Diego. I chose to hang in little Italy and walked up to Cambridge square area to discover a vegan drive through takeout! Burgers with your choice of bean, tempeh or artisan beef. Non-stop action - could this work in Canada?

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Next stop Yucca Valley! Our detour to Anza Borneo National park was way longer than expected but kind of worth our first experience with a Palm Oasis and most stunning sunset facing the Salton Sea. This last Airbnb was a whimsical desert house that claimed our hearts upon entry.

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The next three days were consumed with desert exploration, wildlife observation and crystals. Top recos include the small trail right before sunset, willow hole trail, Monument houses and sky village market crystal cave. Do consult with rangers at the Joshua Tree Park Visitor centers.


We capped the trip with another radically different experience: Palm Springs. The contrast in cultures was striking and a bit hard to digest at first. We could not help but to go back into the desert this time exploring Indian Canyons Agua Caliente park. We chose a hotel that lacked a bit of authenticity in the end - made up partly with the complimentary access to Linus bikes which allowed us to freely explore the city’s architectural gems.


Coming back - I felt more centered and lighter than ever. The hours spend in no-think zone and the combination of sun, space and natural wonders was just what I needed. Have since purchased my garden seeds, joined a bird watching group, shiitake mushroom growing and bee keeping classes. Summer here I come.