All posts filed under: Local Tourist

cactus pricklies.

Back in the desert! A quick work trip to the Palm Springs area means I get to do a little exploring. I stumbled upon Moller’s Garden Center  where cactus dreams come true. Moller’s has lots of plant varieties, but I was in the market for a cactus to bring home to my parents. I am obsessed with cacti right now (I blame Moorten). They don’t fair too well in the Bay Area (where I live); my parents, though live in a warm and dry climate – perfect for cacti! I got these lil nuggets. One turns purple in the winter! You can see it here turning back to green… I also found out the furry fuzzy soft looking dots on these cacti are not cute and fluffy at all. I rammed my hand into the purple one while trying to stop the cart and all those little pricklies, though they looked like fur on my knuckles, were painful to remove. I still have spikes in my hand that were too small to remove; it’s been over …

lavender festival.

If you’re a fan of lavender, I highly recommend the Lavender Festival in Cherry Valley. It’s not a U-Pick type of experience (which is something else on my list of funs to do!), but it’s an immersive lavender experience.There’s shopping, music, hay rides, crafts, food…plus, it doesn’t get ridiculously crowded so you can enjoy in a relaxed setting. This year I went with my sister, niece, and nephews.Food First things first, there was so many lavender-inspired foods and beverages. It was warm out so we tried the lavender lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream. I wished we were hungrier because then we could have also tried the lavender cheesecake and beef brisket (yes, beef brisket!). Also, they have an afternoon tea and a sit-down farm to table dinner that I would have loved to be a part of. Next time!Shopping The farm has an extensive line of lavender projects for sale. They also invited a few local makers to vend. You name it and they probably infused lavender into it – tea, lotions, honey, face …

a day at the races.

I have lived in the Bay Area for almost fourteen years now and whenever I drive by Golden Gate fields I think to myself “hm, I should go there.” Well, I finally went! My friend and I went for Dollar Sunday which also happened to be closing day. Entrance, programs, hot dogs, beer, and mimosas were all $1 each. A steal! But, (what had happened was…) we ended up entering the fields at the top floor and paying $5 for entrance which granted us access to all three levels of the arena (instead of just two levels). And then a lady offered us a reserved box seat for $5 per person. The alternative was free in the sun or free in shade with a not-as-good view. So we went for it. So much for Dollar Sunday! But I’d say it was worth it. We felt real adult/fancy. And every time we left our seat we knew we could come back to it, no problem. We did, however, partake in the dollar food. Hot dogs, beer, …

shorthand.

The last shop in my Highland Park shop tour: Shorthand, a stationary lover’s dream! Oh ma gaw, this place is so fun! Stuff is organized by color! A section of pinks, blues, mints, mustards… They have journals with plain, lined, and graph paper; writing accoutrements; desk accessories; … and I saw a sign that said “Ask us about our left-handed notebooks” so I did, and then I bought a couple. 🙂 The shop also carries cards, art prints, paper, and ribbons…perfect things for gift giving! And they make a lot of the goods in-store in the back! (Party in the back!) I appreciate quality made paper goods, and if you do, too, you’ll love it here! I’m so glad I got to visit Shorthand on this trip! Check my Topo and Wild Terra recaps, too, for more Highland Park shopping.

wild terra.

After visiting Topo, I walked over to Wild Terra, which had caught my eye when I was looking for parking. I was drawn to the brightness of the shop – lots of natural light. I didn’t know what would be inside and I had to find out! Turns out, Wild Terra had just opened three weeks before my visit. They sell teas, spices and herbs, and lots of natural beauty and health products, plus art prints and some home goods. Wild Terra holds workshops onsite, too. (Big fan of workshops!) And they sell local honey. (Big fan of local honey, too!) The space is inspiring and the staff are very welcoming. They encouraged me to open up the jars to smell all the aromas. Mmm…I ended up getting some Earl Grey tea – the “Earl Grey Creme” – which was indeed creamy, even without adding any milk. Wishing you lots of good vibes and success, Wild Terra!

topo.

I spent a little time in Highland Park last week and stumbled upon some cute, cute, cute shops! Today I’m sharing my Topo adventure! I was enjoying my lunch at Kitchen Mouse (mmm, chilaquiles) and admiring all the decor (plants! weavings!), when I spotted a doorway (It was like a little mouse hole in the wall that you see in cartoons.) into what looked like an adorable market place. After lunch I wandered through… Turns out it was Topo (which means mouse in Italian), the Kitchen Mouse marketplace and to-go counter. I didn’t know they had a shop so I was pleasantly surprised. There were cards, bags, kid’s books and toys, housewares – all kinds of fun stuff. I ended up getting a super cute Kitchen Mouse / Highland Park screen printed tote bag (tote bag addiction and proud of it!). At the to-go counter there were treats as well as a handful of savory/meal selections and drinks. Much like the restaurant, I loved all the bright colors and warm hospitality at Topo. Check it out (and …

silverlake sampler.

Work brought me to LA last week so I went exploring! I met up with my friend Zoë in Silverlake for some yummy finds and fun catch up times. For a quick caffeine fix and refreshing bevvie, we stopped at Dinosaur Coffee; we both tried the honey oolong iced tea and shared a mini banana loaf. This light-filled space is the perfect meeting spot for friends, plus there’s a neon light (sad, it wasn’t on when we were there) and yarn tassel installation. Cuteness. Our next stop was Yolk because local, fun, and awesome. Yolk is a mix of home and kitchen ware, gifts and celebration goods, and kids clothing and toys. Then, ’twas dinner time so we walked over to Silverlake Ramen for seriously one of the best bowls of ramen I’ve ever had. It was creamy, and not crazy salty like most ramen. Then, oooh! We spotted an ice cream shop having a soft opening next door so we went in for dessert. Always a fun time, Silverlake. (Remember last time, too?) Can’t wait …