A New Chapter

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

Thursday March 28th and Friday, March 29th, 2019

I tried sushi after a really long time of avoiding it, on Thursday night. I remember my brother, Austin, taking me to a sushi place in Minden when I was younger. My advice is to never get sushi or fish if you’re more than 3 hours from the source. Does that make a difference? Ohhhh holey moley yes. I tried it and really didn’t like it. I would say I hated it, but I’m sure I’ll be told by someone that that’s too strong of a word to use. However, if you had asked me then, how I felt about it? I would have said I hated it. I was very black and white in my thinking and opinions growing up. I either hated or loved something.

But the sushi in Santa Monica was actually really good! It’s fresh and smooth and not fishy tasting at all! I actually enjoyed it! Now, I’m not going to tell you that I have sushi every Thursday night now, but it I’m pleased to say that it wasn’t vomit-inducing!

I tried octopus and it was chewy and kind of tasteless. I tried fish eggs and they honestly didn’t have much flavor and felt more like I was eating inactivated Orbeez. I tried a rainbow roll and that was good- I was expecting to find it not very appetizing because I’m not really a fan of shrimp because it ‘pops’, but since everything was ground up into a sort of grocery store version of chicken salad, it was good! Haha to be honest, sushi was really nice and a ‘thank you’ to Alex for giving me some fun things to try. 😊

Over the following days, I was introduced to the beauty of Santa Monica. Every time I went to a restaurant, there were a plethora of milk alternative options, vegan cheeses, vegan meats (that actually taste really good) and friendly people!

When I was younger, I would judge people so much for organic options and stuff like that because I felt like it was such a hassle and if someone had an allergy to something, it just meant that you would have to adapt grandma’s meat pie recipe so that it didn’t have meat or crust because someone was vegetarian and gluten free so you had to pray they weren’t vegan so that they could still eat the cheese on the top.

But now, I have a lactose intolerance and I consider going vegetarian very often. It's made me much more sympathetic to people who have allergies or have diets that don’t include common things. I commonly get the response “Oh my gosh; I would die!” from people when I tell them I’m lactose intolerant. Honestly, same! I thought I’d die too because I love dairy. I love milk and cheese and butter and all the things. But I also don’t love feeling like I’m being stabbed in the stomach every time I have cows milk in my cereal or feeling like my butt-hole has become on of the fountains in Rome when I eat cottage cheese. But I’ve found that I can eat most cheeses if I take Lactaid pills while I’m eating it. (Thank the gods above!) But I didn’t realize how much I would appreciate so many food options until I was here! I’m really excited that our world has become more sympathetic and kindly providing yummy alternatives to common ingredients like milk. The last thing we want is our cake to taste like decorative pillows and our cheese to taste like gum off of the sidewalk!

I also expected to not like L.A. area due to the extreme heat. Dying from heat stroke over and over again wasn’t really worth it to me for a pretty beach and a swim-able pool; but much to my surprise, the weather was a gorgeous 65-80F and sunny every day I was there! Although you could talk to most of the locals and they would tell you it was slightly chilly. 😂 No, sir. I get that it’s all relative, but 65F is warm compared to the 32F in Minden!

Another thing I loved about the L.A. area is that it’s so accessible. I was renting scooters to get everywhere every day, and when I couldn’t rent a scooter, Lyfts was always a quick 1-3 minutes away! So, I was able to rent scooter, do all my small errands, and then end up at the vegan, vegetarian and anythingyoucanthinkof friendly option grocery store and get a Lyft to take me on the 2 minute drive back to the apartment with my heavy bags. Amazing! You really don’t have to look far to find beautiful places, people or food in the L.A. area.

Okay, I know that by now you’re wondering what the downsides to L.A. area that I experienced. There is a large homeless population. This isn’t something I like to see as a “downside” per se, because there’s homeless people anywhere and sometimes it’s not even that persons fault that they’re in that position, but it is something you notice while driving through. There are tents set up under freeways and along the Santa Monica Venice Beach Boardwalks, you’ll find that there are people pulling some scams, but if you’re aware of them, it makes it easier to navigate.

You’ll also find people along the Santa Monica Boardwalk who will hand out a CD to you, and if you take it, they’ll ask for money. This is a pretty clever scam, but it’s easy to simply say ‘no’ and keep walking.

However, despite this, I never felt unsafe walking, scooting or riding in a Lyft around Santa Monica.

Saturday night, me and the room-mates were trying to decide on what to eat for dinner; they mentioned Thai food and I realized that I had never had it! Their mouths hung open before they said “Omg. Okay, well that’s what we’re going to get for dinner!”

So we drove 3 minutes down the road to this tiny Thai restaurant and we ordered fresh coconut to drink. OH. MY. GOODNESS. If I could have fresh coconut for the rest of my life, I would be extremely happy. I had tried coconut water in the past, that they sell at nearly every grocery store you go to now, but those do no justice to fresh coconut water. And honestly, I won’t drink coconut water any other way now!

They also ordered chicken curry which was amazing, and I ate duck for the first time. To be completely frank, I have no idea what the big hype is about duck meat. It just tastes like the dark meat of a turkey.

Anyhow, the night ended with good conversation, mocktails and company while we hung out with Austin (my brother) at the bar he’s working at. I had a disassociation episode while at the bar with everyone, which was unsettling and I’m still not completely sure what the trigger for it was, but overall it was a really nice evening and I couldn’t have had a nicer last night in Santa Monica (I you live in the Santa Monica area, head into The Sunny Spot and say ‘hi’ to Austin and tell him that you saw my blog. 😉)

I think I actually left a part of my heart in Santa Monica; it’s hard not to fall in love with it. Fresh smoothies on the 10 minute walk to the beach, scooter rides through the streets, metaphysical shops, talking with people who understand your world, acceptance in every form, vlogging and filming anywhere without weird looks from people… it all really makes it difficult to not like the place.

I am so truly grateful that I was able to spend the time there. I can’t thank Austin, Erika and Alex, Cheeno and Simi enough for allowing me into their home and welcoming me with open arms and adventurous excursions!

Energetically, this space has been magical for me. It gave me the chance to really feel possibility. Feel success and feel freedom. It was a perfect transition place!

Thank you, California. Thank you for returning my mind, body, soul and tummy back to full strength before my next adventure…

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