The idea struck when our daughters headed off to three different colleges: UVA, UCLA and UNC. We thought, how much fun would it be to visit each girl on her campus? That was over three years ago. When our coeds returned for their final year this fall, we looked at each other and said, We have to make good on that plan. Last weekend the Mom-tourage headed to Los Angeles for the first stop on our campus tour.
As with any outing with girlfriends, be it a lunch or longer getaway, I was looking forward to the valuable takeaways. No longer do our daily routines include the carpooling and side-line spectating that provided built-in social interaction as we raised our children, so we feasted on quality time together, swapping ideas, tidbits and news. Hailing from a southern city on the East Coast, I was certain we’d find new and different trends that are bound to make their way to RVA eventually. Here’s what we discovered.
Fresh Fare – Naturally I start with food
Vegan Chop Salad (with a watermelon radish on top) at Malibu Farm cafe at the Malibu Pier
Given a choice, I’ll select a fresh salad off a menu over anything else, but never have I seen so many fresh choices on every single menu we picked up. Of course the southern California region has access to the freshest year-round making the quest easier, but I was thrilled to encounter such exquisite options.
Shrimp Salad at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica
It’s hard to pick a favorite as every meal was simply sensational.
Ahi Tuna Salad at Blue Plate Oysterette
We returned home with a renewed commitment to eating fresh food. Look for more ideas in future posts as we implement that commitment.
An ATM for Cupcakes
In contrast, when one absolutely, positively must have a cupcake NOW, the Sprinkles folks in LA have installed a cupcake ATM. What a clever way to satisfy a sugar craving. I’m longing for a Krispy Kreme donut ATM. Who knows?
Uber – Where have you been all my life?
My children are Uber-enabled, making good use of the transportation in Atlanta, Chapel Hill, Columbia and Richmond. Perhaps you’ve used it or heard of Uber, but if not, it’s the latest taxi-style service, only cheaper (usually) and hassle-free, summoned from your smartphone. We used it six times going to and from dinner and should have used it more when we found parking in short supply at a few destinations.
Look for Monday’s post on how to use Uber. Once you try it, it’s so easy you’ll become Uber-savvy in no time.
Culottes and Jumpsuits: Really?
We couldn’t believe our eyes…are those culottes on that Rodeo Drive mannequin? This version is way more tailored, professional and sophisticated than the denim number I sported back in the early ’90’s. We also noticed a preponderance of jumpsuits, like the CAbi one below,
of all stripes and colors, on locals and in stores. Remember, you read it here first.
We found the beauty of LA really lies in its sharp contrasts. Rugged and casual v. chichi. From hiking in the hills above the city
to strolling the golden sidewalks of Beverly Hills, our senses were tantalized with every head turn. There’s nothing quite like shaking up the scenery to open your mind.
We all get so complacent in the daily routine, but, with a bit of planning, the reward of spending quality girlfriend time is invaluable. I returned home refreshed and energized, armed with new perspectives. While we would have loved more than a long weekend together across the country, I’m looking forward to completing our Mom-tourage. How about you? Please share your favorite girls’ trip destinations or ideas.
February 13, 2015