The longest place I’ve ever lived in is sunny California. For eight years I soaked up the Orange County sun until I moved to Chicago to attend university and where I now work. Although this last minute trip to California was for a memorial service my great aunt, I am thankful I had the chance to see my family and my dog. Growing up Lilly, my little bichon frise princess, was my buddy. You can imagine the excitement when we were reunited after almost a year and a half of not seeing each other. I have two cats now in Chicago but they rarely get excited when I come home, so it was nice to have someone greet me enthusiastically.
One of the mornings during my visit I wanted to catch up with my sister so she took me to a vegan brunch place. I had never actually been to an all vegan restaurant and was interested to see how to food would taste. I am lactose intolerant so my diet is close to being dairy free except for the occasional cheese. Cheese is just too good to give up! Of course Nutella too. On the way to brunch I asked my sister what she usually gets and what she would recommend. She asked me what my favorite thing at brunch to eat is, without hesitating I replied “bacon”. I then realized I would not be having bacon at this brunch and I don’t have much of an interest in trying vegan bacon. But second thing I like at brunch is waffles or pancakes, which Seabirds Kitchen had on their menu. There was a wait when we arrived so we walked around The LAB. Seabirds Kitchen is one of the restaurants located in the LAB which stands for “Little American business”. It is a collection of shops and food places that used to be a night vision goggle factory.
We strolled around the shops for a twenty minutes or so and then went back to see if our table was ready. We were greeted by the friendly host and shown to our seats. Looking through the menu I noticed there was a kombucha mimosa drink. For those of you unfamiliar with Kombucha, it is fermented yeast and bacteria steeped in tea. It has the same bubbliness as champagne so I was intrigued to try a mix of champagne and kombucha. We both ordered the classic waffles with fruit and caught up on each other’s lives. The waffles filled us up and I was very content with my meal, also it was great not having to worry about any milk or butter products in the food. I definitely think I will be trying out more vegan places.
Going to the beach was high on my priorities while back home, especially since Lilly loves the ocean. After brunch we drove back to my house to pick up my grandparents and Lilly and headed to Laguna Beach. There is a beautiful walk around the Montage Hotel, just north of Aliso Creek Beach. It’s perfect for dogs, because of its paved path and grassy spots along the way. Lilly was thrilled at the sight of the ocean and was happy to stroll around. We stopped at a bench to take in the views and ocean breeze. It felt so good to sit in the sun and enjoy the warm weather. Below the path is a dog friendly beach but only during the off season, once summer starts dogs are not allowed at the beach. We were lucky it was still a good time to take Lilly down to the water because she loves running along the water’s edge. I always love seeing her happy and feeling free.
Being back in California was fun and I had a lovely time seeing family while enjoying some sun. Now that I am back in Chicago I have been busy working on a new project for the blog and content I can’t wait to share with you =o)
x the Adventurer