{Travel} Social Media Week LA

So a billion days ago (June) I spent a week in LA for Social Media Week - basically 4 straight days of all things social media - platforms, keynotes, best brand strategies, all of it. It was information overload in the best possible way. There was also a Jonas involved. But not of the Nick or Joe variety so it was honestly kind of forgettable. #sorryKevin

 

But, in-between all of that, it wouldn't be right if I didn't make time to sweat, eat and drink. And sweat, eat and drink I sure did.

Want more LA eats and drinks? 

Check out April's 48 Hours in LA

Moving on.

EAT

  • Cafe GratitudeLiterally would have eaten every, single, meal here if I could have. It's all vegan and it's all wonderful. Like my world was rocked. The veggie burger (I Am Magical - add avocado and coconut bacon) with the Sweet Potato Wedges, the Coconut Tostada, the STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE. All of it. 

 

  • Erewhon Market - No joke, I hyperventilated when I walked inside. (This is not an exaggeration. You guys I really like food and I really like healthy food more.) Image if Whole Foods had a trendy, vegan, organic, paleo, grass-fed, wild, insert-buzz-word-here baby. That's what I was dealing with. There's prepared food, there's a hot/cold bar, salad bar, soups, ITS EVERYTHING.

 

  • Butcher's DaughterA must hit for the Spicy Kale Caesar and the GF croutons. I love their breakfast too. I love everything about the ambiance and the space.
  • Gracias Madre- To note: GM in SF is not equal to GM in LA. At all. It's a beautiful, bright, open, airy space with delicious cocktails and food. We split the enchiladas and a salad (and like, 17 baskets of chips and guac and salsa). And margaritas. (Which we certainly did not split.)
  • SweetgreenI've waxed poetically about Sweetgreen before and while yes, it's salad, it's really good, and it's not crazy expensive.
  • Kye's Montana- One of my close friends, Megan, is my sweat/food/life spirit animal (human), and has never steered me wrong in... anything. Literally most/all of these recommendations are from her. She told me to go to Kye's for lunch, so I went to Kye's for lunch. I got the Macro (Salmon, Veggies, Avocado, Rice, Lettuce wrapped in Nori, topped with Tamari) and it was essentially like eating the most massive sushi roll ever. That was also the most delicious. 

 

  • Beaming Cafe- There are very few "juice bar-esque" places I don't immediately fall in love with. Beaming tops the list. The Acai Bowl is amazing. The Overnight Oats are decadent. The smoothies are fantastic. The grab-and-go selections are perfect. The space itself is wonderful. OPEN IN SF IMMEDIATELY.

 

  • SugarfishThe best sushi in the ENTIRE WORLD. Order the Trust Me. With an extra Tuna Hand Roll. And a bottle of wine. Trust me.
  • Juice Served HerePopped in after a hot yoga class to inhale a Collard Pepita Pesto Wrap and a Coconut Water. And a Macaroon. Because I need decadence in my life always.
  • Manhattan Beach PostI WAS SO EXCITED FOR THIS. We had a late reservation and the staff was beyond accommodating. The biscuits are legendary. The salads are delicious and the entrees are perfect. They've got a great wine list and it's right downtown MB. Just make a reservation and eat here. (Or at the sister restaurant next door, Fishing with Dynamite.)
  • Love and Salt - Fantastic dinner/drinks spot in Manhattan Beach. Get a reservation, this place fills up. Between the pizzas, pasta dishes, whole branzino - everyone was happy. Delicious and a great wine/cocktail list.
  • The Source Cafe Hermosa - looking for all things gluten-free, paleo and/or vegan? Come here. Legit cold brew with homemade almond milk, delicious smoothies, GRAIN-FREE bread with almond butter and bananas and raw honey. So freaking good. I "forced" boyfriend to walk here. Twice. No regrets.

 

 

COFFEE

  • Sidecar DonutsI'll be real - I came here for the Stumptown Coffee. But the donuts did look delicious.
  • Alfred- In need of a serious caffeine hit after SoulCycle. They serve Stumptown (wonder what my favorite coffee is?) and it's delicious. Added bonus - the most Instagrammable cups.

SWEAT

  • SoulCycle - Duh. Rode at 3 studios: Culver City (HELLO BEAUTIFUL ROOF DECK), Santa Monica and Brentwood. Gina is my spirt animal and I adore her. Ride with her. Again, just trust me. Or don't, your loss. (Other recs: Lindsay, Todd)
  • YogaWorks - I KNOW. I do yoga now. It's this new thing that I'm really enjoying. Especially after an AM SoulCycle. Went to Main Street Santa Monica and Playa Vista (the studio is like a resort). Take class with Calvin Corzine (I went twice I loved it that much) and Mia Togo.

 

Future (Sweaty) Plans

Not sure what it was but SeaWheeze reinvigorated me. For all things sweaty.

Running included.

And this coming from the person who was ready to speed-walk/SnapChat the entire thing.

Seriously. Peep that photo - me at the start line doing just that, speed-walking/SnapChatting. It's fine. #noshame

Anyway, SeaWheeze was a blast (have I mentioned that?) and I was able to run it with quite the crew. I felt like I'd been missing that run/race camaraderie honestly. It was so refreshing to be around runners who were pumped to race and run and talk paces, race-morning rituals and... post-race brunch (which may have only been me.)  AMANDA THANK YOU FOR MOVING TO SAN FRANCISCO AND BEING MY SWEATY SPIRIT ANIMAL. 

But SeaWheeze wasn't all puppies and rainbows - it was physically hard AF. I'm not in half-marathon shape and miles 9-13 were absurdly difficult and felt like they were never-ending. Mentally I'm able to push through anything (I could totally make it on Naked and Afraid - regardless of what boyfriend says with my 1-hour tapout) but physically my legs were done. I hate that feeling. HATE IT.

So now we look forward.

2016:

I have 1 remaining registered race on the books for 2016: The Giant Race.

I've run this half a handful of times (fun-fact: the 2011 Giant Race was the first time I ever went sub-2 in a half-marathon training for CIM) and it's a lot of fun. It's flat, starts/ends at AT&T park, and full of Giants fans. Debating doing 13.1 vs 6.2 (10k) with Amanda. But we're peer-pressurers soooooo....

North Face Endurance Challenge: I've never done a trail run and always wanted to. Also I convinced a good friend Jane to sign up in about 10 seconds. The 10k option feels like a good jumping off point in the Headlands. My main motivation for this is that you get actual food mid-course. Like PB&J and M&Ms. Why the hell have I spent the last decade road-racing with disgusting packets of Gu?

2017:

Eugene 1/2 Marathon : Getting the (SeaWheeze) band back together for a flat + fast spring half-marathon in Oregon since our goals are mainly to : crush 13.1 miles and be able to wine-taste afterwards. 

SeaWheeze: No-brainer. Back to the Pacific Northwest we go.

TBD Triathlon : I grew up as a competitive swimmer - and swam against Natalie Coughlin a time or two (or 12, and lost every single time). 50/100yd Butterfly whaaat? While my racing days are long gone (clearly Nat won that battle, I hear she's doing well or something in the swimming world), I love to be in the water and I'm incredibly confident in my swimming abilities. I know I can run. Biking... well I'm damn good on a SoulCycle bike and I'm starting to ride my road bike more. A tri is something I'd love to tackle. Start with a sprint and see what happens from there.

Target: HITS Napa Valley Sprint Tri (I will not lie to you it's mostly because it's close, it's in wine-country, and who doesn't want their post-race meal to be in Calistoga or Yountville and then to lie by the pool all day long with some buttery chard?)

So that feels realistic and doable. 

This isn't the part about here's how I'm going to train because... frankly I'm really good at coming up with big training plans and failing to complete a single workout. I've got time to think through that.

What I'm planning to do?

  • Yoga/Pilates will play a big part 
  • You'll hear more running talk in these parts (since currently the baseline is about zero)
  • Adventures in biking (will Kristine navigate the mean SF streets without injury to herself or others? Unlikely.)
  • May be time to bust out the Speedo, swim cap and goggles and hit the water

Let's be clear: by water I mean the pool at Equinox. Aquatic Park? Comical.

I saw the video of the baby Great White Shark joyfully swimming there.

Homie don't play that.

Let's sweat.