A Great Visit with Special Moments and Treats for a Break:
“Healthy(-ish)” Fro-Yo at Pressed Juicery
Lassen’s for amazing chocolate truffles and a vegan (cashew and almond-based) barbeque-cabbage collard green wrap with ranch-like dressing
Dulce de Leche gluten-free donut (thanks to Hannah’s offer to share) at Sidecar in Santa Monica
Now that we’ve seen all the main food moments, here’s all the other fantastic moments of the trip, which include:
- Brunch at Stamp Proper Foods and a walk to the Griffith Observatory with Aunt FABULOUS Jackie
- Church of St. Monica in Santa Monica (story below), read about their adjacent coffee shop, Holy Grounds, as a vocational step program for those with time incarcerated: https://aleteia.org/2018/05/08/church-coffee-shops-are-creating-a-stir-in-their-communities/
- A free trial pass at Equinox gym in case fieldwork or work opportunities ever brought me here to California (this involved the stair stepper, elliptical, weight machines, stretching with a foam roller, shower with their provided towels, razors, shaving cream, and top-end shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion, plus a half hour lavender steam room. The saltwater pool will need to be attempted soon enough).
- A day at the Santa Monica pier and spending a few hours laying out at the beach (ended up with a slight burn on my face):
- Getting about 20,000 steps or more each day looking at all the streets of L.A., plus seeing Hannah at work and going to see a sunset with her:
My first professional facial EVER at Face Haus in West Hollywood:
- I passed by the high-end bridal boutique Kinsley James Couture and WOW did they have a nice display of dresses…just window-peeping, nothing more! I love looking at dresses though so I’ve probably done this since 4 years old (always secretly wanted the ability to sew together my own clothes…maybe as a part of a vocational program I can work to make this happen for others and pick up pointers along the way…my clients could ultimately teach me their craft!).
Also, post-facial selfie is a must and this was the process to get there (they said my skin was dry and they had to do extractions throughout face for blemishes…yep):
Physical exfoliant (could feel grainy material in the cream)
Mango exfoliant (acidic exfoliation)
Warm wash cloth
Extraction (nose, forehead, high cheeks, lower jaw/chin) > with gloves on, wiped lightly after each
Toner: lavender essential oil with colloidal silver
Bentonite clay mask w/orange on chin/jaw and nose
Strawberry mask around rest of face with fan brush
Cucumber on eyes, sit with the two masks on different areas for 5 mins
Ice Cold (jade) facial roller
Warm wash cloth
By the way, this is what extractions are (I did not know this existed until arriving):
- A visit to the Broad Museum in Downtown L.A. (free entry!):
- Concert at El Rey Theatre (and lettuce-wrapped chicken and carne asada) for The Weepies, where I met Hannah’s lovely friends and got to enjoy a good band
Also in downtown L.A., I just happened to come across *the coolest* bookstore! The Catholic book section was smaller than I would like, but I still managed to find three books and wish I could have brought home many more! See more from an article here.
Now here’s the story referenced above from visiting the St. Monica Church:
I arrived to the church with open doors by driving by it and thinking that due to the cloudy past hours, I would continue on with Hannah to downtown LA to see museums instead of my day planned exploring the beach area of Santa Monica. I was having one of those ‘sad hole in your heart’ moments that happens when I have not taken enough intentional, quiet time in prayer (this had been building over three days). I saw this church, I already regretted passing by it in the car silently, the first few rays of light broke through clouds within a minute of passing by the church. I had my resolution set: there was sun and I wanted to see that church! I asked Hannah to drop me off and within thirty seconds, I was on my way back a block. Mass was only an hour away and I was THRILLED. I sat down to journal and ended up praying a rosary for Hannah’s intentions because she has a CRAZY friend that just asks to be randomly dropped off at street corners on no notice, am I right? (Sorry Hannah…). Anyway, as I’m doing this and praying in front of a beautiful Marian alter, an older Hispanic adult nanny and a blonde, blue-eyed toddler are standing toward the back of the church. They finally make their way up to the alter, speaking in hushed Spanish to each other. We smile at each other. I make some comment about this beautiful moment she’s allowing for the child and his infant sibling. She speaks back to me in Spanish, which is already an honor as I don’t have the most fluid accent. She tells me that she asked him to go to the park but he insisted that he wanted to see Jesus, so they went first and foremost to this church. While there, he was worried that God was up so high and he wanted Him to come down and be with us, but worried that it might hurt him to fall from so high. The sweet nanny told me this story and asked the boy to give me a hug. It was such a precious moment that I will always remember. She told me to visit the coffee shop next door where her son worked. I ended up going after mass and buying a child rosary toy for Mariano, my nephew who had been born early that morning in Peru, and a book, I Loved Jesus in the Night by St. Mother Teresa (one of my absolute favorite books), for Hannah. These are my moments I’ll savor and thank God for knowing Him, because the disciple of His followers and believers is where I find the most beauty in life.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my mostly-solo visit in L.A. My best friend Hannah has so many great opportunities all around her.