One of the many things that I really enjoy about living in Los Angeles is that pretty much anything goes. You can dream, dress, and be what you want without being judged. It is a city full of all different walks of life which tends to keep life entertaining almost every single day of the year (I mean, hello it is Hollywood). Tinseltown can also get on your nerves from time to time so planning a weekend trip away usually is the right medicine to calm things down a bit and regroup. This Summer, my posse and I have taken advantage of the Southern California beach towns which are super convenient when we are looking for a staycation not too far from home. The ocean, sand and sun is absolutely gorgeous and we have certainly appreciated the ease of driving thirty minutes South or North to beat the buzz of city life. We decided to change up our destination spot and think out of the box this time around. With all the chaos of LA consuming us, we planned a road trip away to the PERFECT place to zen-out!
Finding that inner quiet place where your mind takes a break, stops racing and turns into mush is only going to make you function stronger when you actually need to be. My suggestion to you is to find a location where you can go and turn the outside world off for a moment. I know many of you have crazy work schedules, kids or just don’t have the cash. I get that but you don’t need to travel to Thailand, or get all Deepak on us to get your own form of meditation on. The more you are able to balance your everyday life with a little bit of peace, solitude and nature than I believe you will find a bigger connection to your own awareness. Finding your “center” is going to put your mind at ease and recharge your mental strength. It is easier than you think, you just have to take the time to actually do it.
With all that said, it was time for my friends, boyfriend and I to get our groove on and get the hell out of Dodge. Luckily for us, my buddy Criss has a winter home in Sedona, Arizona (umm, this is what you call a “Friend Bonus!”). If you are not familiar with Sedona than it is time for you to get in the know. Sedona is one of the most magical places in the country and has a history for having powerful energy that can aline your chakras. So much so that it even has vortexes which are believed to be spiritual locations where the energy is right to facilitate prayer, mediation and healing. Vortex sites are believed to be locations having energy flow that exists on multiple dimensions. The energy of the vortexes interacts with a person’s inner self. Obviously, this all must be experienced on your own to better understand so be open minded and check it out!
Sedona’s main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations which look like something out of a fairy tale book. The formations almost appear to glow in brilliant orange and red, they will absolutely take your breath away. The sunny skies and gentle breeze bring the perfect temperatures for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and jeep tours around town.
Speaking of hiking, you all need to check out Bell Trail which is located in Beaver Creek Canyon. It is a very popular trail with hikers seeking to enjoy some nature, exercise or to simply dip in its natural flowing stream. This 7 mile hike was certainly one of our highlights on the trip as you are forced to put your iPhone away and take in the picturesque views while you hike through the canyon. Here are a few pictures from our hike.
After a long day in the outdoors, we were all eager to have a delicious meal at Elote Cafe! This Mexican food restaurant is the talk of the town and known for its incredible spicy and flavorful dishes. The relaxed atmosphere is so welcoming and even includes complimentary spiced popcorn while you wait for your table. My friends, Criss and Emily actually had their wedding rehearsal dinner at this very spot and raved about it ever since. I was so excited to find out what all the buzz was about and taste the colorful dishes created by Chef Jeff Smedstad. We first started off with a few appetizers that included their famous roasted corn with spicy mayo, lime and cotija cheese – it was absolutely wonderful! You also must order their homemade guacamole that is garnished with spicy almonds and crispy corn. Your mouth will love you. For your main course, please try their carne asada or smoked chicken enchiladas, I was able to try both and enjoyed each and every bite. Elote Cafe is an absolute MUST when you come to Sedona so make sure you plan ahead and go with an empty stomach.
If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you would know that I have the biggest sweet tooth and I typically cannot finish a night off without gorging into something chocolaty. I have been to some of the best bakeries in the country seeking to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie as they are at the top of my sugar list! Since, I was in beautiful Arizona this weekend, I had ordered an array of treats from Brilliant Sky Bakery (www.brilliantskybakery.com) to be delivered to the house as their goodies are locally made and known for their quality ingredients and homemade taste. I am all about quality when it comes to desserts! One of the things that had me intrigued about Brilliant Sky Bakery is that they feature a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie and unique biscotti flavors such as apricot and cranberry (and get this, they don’t twice bake their biscotti so they are super soft for coffee dunking!). After our fine dining dinner, we went back to the house to sit on the balcony that overlooked the stunning red mountains and indulge in these yummy cake like cookies and biscotti! Trust me on this one, you have got to order yourself a few dozen for yourself, family and friends. Brilliant Sky Bakery cookies will have your taste buds dancing! That extra kick of pumpkin mixed together with rich chocolate chips is the perfect cookie combination.
What I learned from this weekend is that it is super duper important to get out of your daily routine and take a mini road trip to somewhere that will feed ALL of your senses. Be around people that make you laugh, that force you to try new adventures or travel to places that have natural beauty. Use your five senses!! Smell the aroma of the local flowers, listen to the birds that fly passed your window, touch the rough texture of the ground, look up at the night sky and see the bright stars above and finish your night by tasting a new chocolaty treat. You deserve it!
Always remember to take care of YOU. Do yourself a favor and start planning out a mini getaway where you can go and reboot your senses. It is SOOOO worth it!
The Other Hubby