Though our childhood memories and our deep home roots lie within Arizona, we still love that we were born in California. We feel like we can totally relate to some of the Cali life and to all those beautifully bronzed, beachy-waved, salty Cali girls (AKA not us. Pale skin for life). But really, there is just something magical about the West Coast. And luckily for us, we have a great buddy who grew up near the gorgeous lands of Big Sur and with her desire to show us around her childhood roads and homes, we took a 12 hour drive to her hood. She let us romp around her country homelands, seeing cows and horses, and showed us her favorite spots throughout Big Sur for a day. A DAY. Magic.
Waking to an early alarm on Thursday, we tried to dress our best and loaded up in the car. Hopping on the deserted 1-17, we drove up north to spend the day with our family in our home in Cottonwood, AZ. With the laundry bags stuffed in the backseat, we shared stories in the car, caught up on our favorite new songs (hello, JB’s new album. ya killin’ it.) and pulled up to our house earlier than we thought, roughly parking on the rocky carport. Lua’s collar and big wagging tail greeted us at the door as did our mom’s warming hugs. We spent the whole day relaxing on the couch and falling madly in love with our nephew, Rowan. Our brother was sadly feeling under the weather and spent most of the afternoon watching football and falling in and out of sleep with countless Halls berry flavored cough drop wrappers around his pillow. Mom had prepared all of the food the day before which put her at ease, and we prepared the spread of food around 2:00 PM to have a late lunch/early dinner which seems to be a solid routine for the Abbey family. With mashed potatoes, sweet potato mash, acorn squash, green bean casserole, sage roasted turkey, crescent rolls, mini-banana cream pies, and a pumpkin roll our bellies filled up quickly.
Our Sunday afternoon was spent at Balboa Park, claimed to be the “nation’s largest urban cultural park.” It’s a space loaded with museums, music/performing arts venues, various gardens, and the San Diego Zoo is also located within the park.
What we liked best:
Allison: Balboa Park was very cool as there was so much that you could do! You can chill and just hangout; you can have a picnic or spend time in tons of museums; you can walk your dog or workout; or you can listen to live music — all in one place! Best part: falling asleep in the Rose Garden with no one bothering us.
Ashley: The gardens were stunning, and were also one of the free attractions as for some reason, we totally assumed that the museums would be free? But, we’ll have to plan for that next time and splurge on one of the art museums that I was dying to check out. It was so great to see the walking paths packed with families and couples, and to see musicians playing and entertaining the Balboa guests. It was such a beautiful space and was honestly just a wonderful place to take a stroll. Like Allison said, that nap in the rose garden. Bliss. Thank you everyone for not stepping on us and for not stealing our shoes/bags.
Saturday in Ocean Beach, we woke up to open windows and early morning dog walkers. With sleepy eyes, we warmed up some oatmeal and topped it with peanut butter and banana, items we brought from home so we wouldn’t have to feel pressured to spend money/search for breakfast locations during this weekend getaway. Eating our breakfast slowly at the kitchen table, we had the chance to get a quick hello and goodbye in with our Airbnb host before she headed out to a surf competition that coupled as a fundraiser for her friend’s charity (she literally got cooler each day). Her morning energy got us jazzed for our day, and after cleaning up our room and getting ourselves ready, we Google Mapped our way to the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market.
AND LET US TELL YOU.
That farmers market was incredible. It spread across 3-4 blocks and was filled with families, dogs, musicians, girls with envious style, and the sweetest vendors.
One of the things we’re very excited to share with you are the places that we love. We try our best to take trips, some are just down the street, while others take us to different cities and countrysides, but you can bet that wherever we go, we’re gonna eat, and we’re excite to not only share the food with you, but also the journey. And, as much as we love to cook our own meals, we love to have meals cooked for us (who doesn’t, amiright?). We also love that it gives us the opportunity to discover new, healthy dishes and to connect with our local food community and culture.
This afternoon we decided to head to Luci’s Healthy Marketplace for lunch. Allison has been before and ate their acai bowl after a hike with a friend, but this was Ashley’s first time scoping out Luci’s menu and atmosphere.
Luci’s is peppered with modern retro decor with humor sprinkled about in all corners of their space: their trinkets, their menu items, their staff, etc. With a down-to-earth vibe and the large open windows, Luci’s is friendly. They also offering dining space that allows you to chat with the chefs while they prepare your food which we thought was a really awesome opportunity to provide to their customers.