Category Archives: travel

Four Great Days in LA

I am back from LA with my dreams and my cardigans, and my heart is full after five days in the sun with friends.

Ever since visiting there just weeks after my mom died (and then, again after my birthday), I’ve held a special place in my heart for the city. So, the week before last, after feeling particularly rough again for a few weeks, I booked a flight there on a whim, and I’m so glad I did.

(Speaking of particularly rough, I am really proud of this article I wrote for Women’s Health on my experience with depression and hospitalization.)

In the 3.5 days I was there, I visited the beach three times. NOT MAD. Upon landing, I picked up my rental car (pro tip: I generally use the Delta portal so I can get miles for car rental—you get 500 just for booking and then 500 per day, but otherwise I use Priceline and get some awesome deals) and headed straight for the beach!

hermosa beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello from Hermosa beach!

Apparently I brought June Gloom with me, but I’m still not mad.

I kept talking about how I wanted to spend a lot of time at the beach while I was out there…and of course, forgot a bathing suit. I headed to Target, and I ended up getting the bikini top in this cut (I joke to friends that I’m a “boobfluencer” because my links that do the best are for bras or bathing suit tops) and the bottom in this one. Just a heads-up that the top seems to run a bit big—I got my normal 36D and it was a little too big. I was fresh out of fucks and didn’t even try it on.

Hermosa Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sat in the sand and talked to an old friend on the phone for a long time, as I gazed out at the waves, feeling content and loved. For dinner, I met my dear friend Jordan  at Love and Salt. The food wasn’t bad by any means, it was fine, but the company and the ambiance were better!

Sweat Yoga Santa Monica

I’ve been a ClassPass user (on my own dime, nothing sponsored here) for quite a few years now, and one of my favorite things about the service is that when you travel to other cities, you can flex your membership and use it there. (This link gets both of us $40 off, if you’re a new member.) So, obviously I had to try a class! I had Santa Monica beach plans, so I tried Sweat Yoga. Omg. First of all, 11/10, would yoga again. The class is a sweaty beast with weights, similar to CorePower Yoga. There were several flow-on-your-owns, similar to Y7, which I don’t love, but overall I really enjoyed the class sequencing, and I got an amazing workout and was probably sweatier than I have ever been. NOT KIDDING.

 

Santa Monica Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another day, another beach, and I met Amy for some beach and catch-up time. Of COURSE the sun came out the second I left the beach. Oh well.

Tocaya Organica Tacos Santa Monica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I asked Amy for a taco rec, and she told me Tocaya Organica was great, and she was not wrong! For dinner, I was staying with Jen, and her boss treated us for dinner at The Tower Bar, and we rolled home in food comas.

Surfing

On Saturday, I did all the activities! I had not yet surfed in LA, so it was on the top of my list. I ended up going with Aloha Brothers for my lesson, mainly for ease of booking online + price, and I was not disappointed…with them. Me? Let’s just say there’s plenty of room to improve in my surfing game. I think I’m just going to practice surfer get-ups in my living room.

But, as I said on Instagram, surfing is my favorite thing that I suck at. When I do get up on that board, even if it’s only halfway, only for half a second, it’s so so worth all the falling down. (There’s also probably a life metaphor in there…)

And, I get beach hair, so it’s also worth it.

But why stop at surfing? Meggie and I have talked FOR YEARS about playing tennis together, and it only took her moving 3000 miles away for us to finally make it happen.

tennis boot camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We played with the Dial Jones Tennis Academy, and did a tennis boot camp which was a mix of tennis drills + bodyweight exercises. I’m so out of practice playing tennis (hello, NYC buds? anyone wanna play?) but it still brings me so much joy. (It was my first sport love before running.)  After these two intense workouts in the sun, I collapsed on Jen’s couch for a while…

malibu pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we drove up to the Malibu pier for dinner. We sat out there at the end, overlooking the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning, we drove up to the adorable Ojai, and I fell in love with this OUTDOOR BOOKSTORE. May I move in?

 

Plant Food + Wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then I had brunch with my college friend, Shelley, and her MUFFIN OF A DOG, Lydia. We went to Plant Food + Wine, a delicious vegan spot on Abbot Kinney in Venice. It’s the kind of vegan that’s actually just vegetables, not a bunch of fake stuff pretending to be meat, and it was amazing.

We strolled Abbot Kinney afterwards, and you’d think Lydia was mayor of Venice for all the times she got stopped!

All in all, exactly the LA visit I needed to recharge my batteries and restore some peace in my life as I approach the year anniversary of losing my mom. Looking for more LA in NYC moments 🙂

A Long Weekend on the Lakeshore of Michigan

As an oblivious East Coaster, I never thought to consider Michigan as a vacation destination until meeting a girl from Traverse City at the Healthy Living Summit — eight years ago. How was that eight years ago? What is time, even?

My best friend/partner in crime Meg’s family lives in Holland, MI and she suggested we head there for Memorial Day, since the beaches here aren’t usually warm enough this time of year anyway. Why? The? Hell? Not? (2018 motto?)

I went for a quick run since our flight didn’t leave until noon, and if I was going to be hanging with someone’s parents, the me who has run is a preferable version to any other Theodora.

We flew into Grand Rapids, whose call letters are GRR, something that brought me infinite amusement.

Boatwerks Holland

We went to the cute Boatwerks restaurant on the water. Obviously I found the tacos on the menu. And something to know about me — beyond that I will always order the tacos — I will always find “reading material” anywhere a place offers up a free magazine or newspaper and stockpile it.

True story 1: one of my internships was at one such magazine writing hard-hitting articles about bar openings in D.C.

True story 2: I was reading another such paper on the train on the way home the day my mom died. It’s still in my room at home.

Weird asides, back to Michigan.

Lemonjellos Holland

By this time, having run and flown to Michigan my wings (yup, went there) and legs were tired, and we were in need of caffeine. My mom’s favorite drink was Limoncello (followed closely by Riesling), and I saw there was a coffee shop named LemonJello (which, um, is also how she pronounced it!) and requested a stop.

Laketown Beach Holland MI

Is there a word for the feeling you feel when you first catch a glimpse of the water? It’s one of my favorite feelings, and here’s a shot of it at the beautiful Laketown Beach.

Ottawa Beach Michigan

We also lit sparklers on the beach, and it reminded me of this night, and I hugged my best friend, forever thankful for her.

Especially as we explored antique stores and gift shops — with so much reminding me of my mom. This couch is almost exactly the same as my favorite couch at my parents’. I can still see my mom sitting on it, with her coffee, making her to-do list for the day, on the phone with Joan, her best friend.

I’d be lying if I said big parts of this weekend weren’t incredibly difficult being around someone else’s family when mine is irreparably changed, but I appreciated the duality of it also being a fun weekend and was so appreciative of Meg’s family taking me in for the weekend.

Windmill Island Holland MI

We also explored Windmill Island, home of the only working Dutch windmill in the U.S. (Dress tied up until I get it shortened…)

De Zwaan Windmill Holland Shoes

And tried on wooden shoes…

Windmill Holland MI

And just took in the scenery from the ‘mill.

Ottawa Beach

We spent our last day on Ottawa Beach, and I couldn’t resist a dunk in the balmy 53-degree water.

Royal Typewriter — Zeel Peddlers Market

We went to a market in Zeeland whose hashtag was #FeelTheZeel, and I totally regret not buying this typewriter for my desk.

Saugatuck Village Hall

It felt appropriate to be in a place that oozed so much Americana on Memorial Day.

Founders Brewery — Grand Rapids

Finally, what would be a trip to Western Michigan without a brewery stop?? We stopped at Founders en route to the airport for a flight before the flight. My favorite was the Nitro Rubaeus, a fruity little fucker. I’m just obsessed with anything served on nitro. (P.S. I don’t update all the beers I have, but I am on Untappd on if you’d like to follow me.)

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Vacation or stay-cation?