This weekend, I ventured out to Joshua Tree, on a spontaneous trip (well, booked a month in advance...which isn't normally my style) to hike, eat and chill (which is my normal style) with my boyfriend. We were met with perfect weather, beautiful trails, a magical Airbnb and relaxation. I had a really hard time leaving, and I think my heart is still there.
Aside from reminiscing about the desert, here's what else I'm feeling this week:
1. Coconut Oil Coffee
Lately, I've been really into blending my coffee to achieve a frothier consistency, and my latest concoction is my take on Bulletproof Coffee. Give it a try: pot of hot coffee, 1 TBSP coconut oil, dash of almond milk, dash of Stevia and a good sprinkle of cinnamon. It's like a yummy coconut latte. So good.
2. Culton Wine
Two and a half years ago, I celebrated Independence Day on the Central Coast, wine-tasting with my father. One of my favorite spots was Culton Winery, a vineyard based in Paso Robles that had a tasting room in Avila Beach. Well, I ended up buying a pretty pricey bottle of grenache despite being unemployed. I told myself I had to wait for a special occasion to open the bottle...so, this weekend, I finally did! I was nervous about the taste, but it was hands down the best wine I've had. Super smooth - and paired perfectly with the steak tacos I nommed on at the same time.
3. Tribute Pizza
Last week, I concluded Whole30 (more to come on this!), so I celebrated with pizza at Tribute Pizza in North Park...and I was a fan. Firstly, the spot is located in a vintage post office. Super cute. Secondly, my entire meal was fantastic. I opted with the patatas bravas, the molto autentico pizza (crushed tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, calabrian chile and fennel sausage and smoked cheddar) and an IPA. It was heavenly...and I will be back soon...so who's in to come along with?
4. Graffiti Beach Boutique
If you have heard me talk about San Diego, you know one of my favorite neighborhoods is South Park. One of my favorite things in this area? Graffiti Beach - the cutest boutique that has clothes and little gifts. It's eclectic and the prices are on point. #shoplocal
I am a huge proponent of Airbnbs. Not only are they typically cheaper than hotels, these accomdations let you actually see and live in a city. This weekend, we stayed in an Airbnb just a few minutes away from the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. I'd only experienced Joshua Tree camping, so it was a totally different experience. This spot was white-washed and bohemian, with plants, books, and vintage everything everywhere. Serious decor goals.
6. Miss You
I just finished Miss You, Kate Eberlen's debut novel, during lunch today. The story follows two characters who meet briefly as teens and whose paths cross multiple times over the course of 16 years. It was engaging, witty and poignant. I couldn't put it down and 10/10 recommend.
7. Ryan Mountain
On Sunday, we tackled Ryan Mountain, one of the most prominent peaks in Joshua Tree National Park. The hike was just under 3 miles round trip, but kicks your ass with endless stairs and rocky incline. But, the 360-view of the park (and a snow San Jacinto in the distance) was worth it. Make sure to toss a rock into the pile and make a wish at the end!
8. Willow Hole
On Saturday, we headed out to Willow Hole in Joshua Tree National Park. The 7-mile trail that branches off of Boy Scout Trail didn't fluctuate too much in elevation, but the endless soft sand (and breaks to scramble along some rock formations) definitely left my legs tired. The trail wound through the Wonderland of Rocks and finished up in a "forest." It was gorgeous - sweeping canyon views of the entire park.
9. Bean Coffee Roasters
On our way home from Joshua Tree, we took a brief break in Temecula at Bean Coffee Roasters, a small-batch roaster tucked away in a shopping center. I opted for an almond-milk vanilla latte and was so satisfied. Perfect balance of sweetness - and the almond milk added a nutty flavor. The stop definitely made the remainder of the long drive worth it!
10. Brownie Chip Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches
Trader Joe's...always killing the dessert game. Their new ice cream sandwiches are made with Brownie crisps and filled with espresso-ground coffee ice cream. Words can't explain how indulgent these are. And, now I'm drooling...