remember when we took a little road trip up to big sur back in december? well i finally had time to go through the footage from my camera and my brother’s gopro and edit a short little recap video. one thing is for sure: if you go on a vacation with any member of my immediate family, it will not go undocumented! since we were kids, we’ve always loved taking photos and making videos; that’s why our cameras are attached to our hands. click HERE to watch our adventures!
remember the last WALLS feature where i showed you laura’s adorable little beach cottage? well we are staying in santa cruz, california for today’s feature at a coffee shop that she introduced us to while we were visiting.
i know i say “this is my FAVORITE coffee shop” quite a bit…but i think i really mean it this time. this place is at least in my top five FOR SURE. i’m excited to share with you verve coffee roasters! seeing as it is my ultimate dream job to brand a coffee shop (hint hint any prospective coffee shop starter-uppers out there that might be reading my little blog), i was immediately drawn to verve for their amazing combination of great design + decor + really good coffee. those edison light bulbs, that simple yet bold black + white menu, the product display cards, the packaging, the stamped to-go cups….ah! all of it is just so dreamy. perfection in a coffee shop in my opinion.
*there are 3 locations in santa cruz, but this is the downtown one located at 1540 pacific avenue | santa cruz, ca | 95062
ever since we found out last friday that we will be moving to california, i haven’t stopped 1) smiling because we will be within driving distance to so many of my dear friends and family or 2) dreaming about our next house! we plan on living in a quaint beach town in southern california (most likely redondo) and we cannot wait to get cruisers to bike to coffee shops, dinner, and to ride up and down the esplanade. i am beyond thrilled to be able to enjoy my favorite california luxuries once again, namely trader joe’s, road trips, anthro, and flea markets. we have known for awhile that a move may happen this summer, so we strategically saved all of the anthropologie, williams sonoma, and target gift cards we got for our wedding. they have been burning a serious hole in my wallet and i am so excited to finally use them! i’m also excited to scour craigslist, flea markets, and thrift shops to find little treasures and some furniture for our home. i’ve been pinning a lot to my living space board and it’s pretty obvious that i’m into neutral colors (which is also reflected in these items…except the cruiser because those need to be colorful!)
1 / i would really love a grey couch and have decided that a sectional is a necessity. i have had one the past few years in hawaii and i sit in the chaise section every single day. it is just so ideal for reading or computering! this one from west elm is way out of our budget…but i can dream right?
2 / this gold lamp from urban outfitters has been on my radar for a few years now! but the shipping fees to hawaii are just so ridiculous.
3 / this rug from west elm is also out of our budget, but i will definitely be on the lookout for something similar.
4 / love love love this terrarium kit from anthropologie!
5 / having a cool chair like this in our living room would be so great. i feel like chairs in living rooms make them feel more “grown-up” for some reason.
6 / i adore this print so much. and it would look really cute on an art wall.
7 / riding one of these will totally bring me back to our college days in santa barbara where we rode our bikes to class, to starbucks, to dinner…everywhere!
our last hurrah in california was a quick trip to san francisco. we’ve both been a few times before, but never together…and it’s always more fun exploring places with him! reis had some school stuff to take care of and we figured we would make another road trip/weekend getaway out of it. even though it was pretty dang freezing when we were there, i really love northern california! (i didn’t take my peacoat or my snood off the entire time. major shoutout to the talented-knit-master janelle for knitting me my snood!) it’s so different from southern california and the city is such a neat place with so much culture and diversity AND amazing food! we stayed at hotel union square (and although parking in union square is a big pain), it was a fun hotel and it was great to be able to walk around at night right outside of our hotel. thanks to my friend lauren, she gave us some good recommendations for where we should go/eat (thanks lo!). here’s a few places that we really enjoyed if you are planning a trip in the near future!
walking around the ferry building
coffee at dolores park cafe
ice cream at bi-rite creamery
pizza at pizzeria delfina
dinner at zazie
dessert at the ice cream bar
breakfast + coffee at tartine bakery
dog/people watching in dolores park
we had the best time exploring and eating our way through san francisco, navigating BART (man, i really like public transportation – it’s so efficient!), seeing a few good friends from college, and just being with each other! more travels soon, please.
*i’m discovering so many photos still inside my cam so bear with me as i share the rest of my california travels!
for my brother-in-law’s birthday, our whole family took a little trip up to santa ynez (a little ways above santa barbara) to go wine tasting! we got a late start so we only went to one winery, but it was a good one. we had a tasting at sunstone and the property is so gorgeous…it kinda feels like you are in tuscany. i am the farthest thing from a wino (i was hoping italy would have refined me in that area), but per the fam’s reviews and multiple bottles that were purchased, i think the wine was pretty good. on the way home, we got dinner in montecito at my favorite santa barbara italian restaurant via vai trattoria! thin crust margherita pizza. do it do it do it. such a fun day with my favorite people in my favorite state!
we rented a cabin for a good deal on flipkey and [besides us not knowing where the heater was and almost freezing that night] it was so fun to stay all together in a private cabin! we had a deck with a view, a fireplace, and a hot tub. the only downside of our stay was having to get out of the hot tub to make the four foot sprint to the house in 20* weather. we ate at cafe kevah for breakfast and i highly, highly recommend this place!! gorgeous, insane views, delicious food, and the BEST MOCHA ONE WILL EVER DRINK. it only has outdoor seating so it can be a bit frigid, but just layer up and you should be justtt fine. my brother brought along his go-pro camera for the trip so i’m hoping to make a little video of our adventures. one day. after i finish that whole branding thing i’m working on for my biz.
on our drive back down to southern california, reis and i stopped at sand dollar beach and hiked along the bluffs down to the ocean. yet ANOTHER ridiculously beautiful place! minimal amounts of people around, firing waves, and just being in awe of God’s creation made for an amazing end to our short trip. we had the best time exploring the coast with my brother and sis-in-law and are really hoping to make this trip an annual thing.
a few days after christmas, we road tripped to big sur with bradley and taylor. road tripping is something i miss living in hawaii so we took full advantage of our opportunities in the golden state. we packed up our warmest blankets, beanies, snoods, eskimo hats, uggs (NO SHAME HERE…i live in these when i come back to california in the winter!), fur-lined jackets, and hiking shoes for the 6 hour drive. we stopped in cambria for breakfast along the way and oh my gosh – that town is so cute! i’d never been before and it’s full of cute cafes and little shops. definitely worth a stop for anyone heading up the 1.
big sur is BREATHTAKING. the drive alone is pretty surreal — the carved out mountainside actually reminded us a lot of cinque terre in italy! we stopped at julia pfeiffer burns state park and hiked around for a few hours before the sun went down (sidenote: i might be the worst hiker ever. forging rivers isn’t really my thing). the redwoods are on another level HUGE, banana slugs are in abundance, and the waterfalls are kinda super cool too. nature is pretty unreal sometimes, huh? part II on wednesday!
california will forever hold a special place in my heart. i love the weather, i love the people, i love shopping at trader joe’s & anthropologie, and i love all of the unique cities and places that are only a drive away. it’s especially amazing during the holidays because 1) i love my family’s christmas traditions and 2) all of my friends that i’ve grown up with since kindergarten are back in town. reis and i stayed pretty busy the whole time we were there and enjoyed a couple of road trips up and down the state.
[the annual christmas party with my high school girlfriends - guaranteed to be a night of non-stop laughing, lots of dessert, and a hilarious white elephant exchange.]
[my good friend ann-marie got engaged and asked me to be in her wedding! i am so excited!]