Los Angeles + Venice: Where Love and Weed Rein Supreme

Was it the 3 am alarm or the 1 am bedtime that left me more than surprisingly blissful for my trip to Los Angeles? I think it was everything being so synchronized the entire trip. I met amazing people and found lifelong sisters once again. Read all the way to the end to enter for a chance to win one of Two Stashlogix bags I am giving away!

Thanks to Stashlogix for making my trip the absolute easiest traveling packing I have ever experienced. Can I be the first to test out a Stashlogix Suitcase?!  Kickback and relax with me while I rock onto Electric Ave and then we’ll take it higher!


SUNDAY

My heart sank multiple times within the first two hours of walking out the front door, starting with walking out to my Lyft my 2 year old noticed I wasn’t in the bed, and started the sad middle of the night, “MAMA hold you!” cry (for any mom this is one of those times its hard to fight back the tears). The second was the moment I got my coffee after TSA Pre Check and realized I left the most important part of my trip being successful…MY BREAST PUMP attachment pieces. Breastfeeding is such a wonderful gift that can quickly feel like a curse when you are gorged out of your mind. Which can happen in good 8 hours of no contact. Target to the rescue!  Not only do I want to be extremely budget conscious on this trip, I am ALWAYS looking for a deal. when I saw I could get the accessory pack for less than $18 with a coupon from Honey, (this google chrome extension is a MUST have for the thrifty coupon code looking housewife) with in store pickup only a few miles from Venice, I eased back into my “let go and let it be” flow.

This is the first trip I have left my youngest for more than just a few hours  since she was 5 months old, It seems unreal to put that into words! So as I am sitting at the Airport waiting for my flight, listening to Bobs Burgers,  with my amazing Stashlogix bags( which are holding everything from my camera to makeup) this trip had officially begun.

The in flight wifi was a double edged sword on Southwest Airlines. The $8 price tag was not worth the hassle of how badly I wanted to catch up on The Magicians latest episode, but the Syfy channel did not work on the plane because they limit the streaming of certain sites…..so next time I am prob going to skip that and keep my 8 bucks while downloading whatever I want from Netflix. I did get to see the Grand Canyon from 40,000 feet so That was AWESOME!

Once I landed in Los Angeles if wasn’t until I walked into Abbot’s Habit, that I felt truly immersed beneath the palm tree lined streets and oddly cloudy weather I didn’t expect. (This come full circle with Mama Sailene, keep reading Its about to get SO REAL! )Abbot’s Habit is an amazing little place that has delicious soups, coffees, fresh juice, and bomb ass sandwiches.  I had the Bobo Chicken with a small Red Pepper soup. It turns out I was meeting a great friend and pioneer in the Venice community Tuesday morning named Mama Sailene. Who happened to be a well know host of very sought after events at this pre­gentrification Abbot Kinney coffee shop.

Sunday was my day to explore Venice, so I lugged my suitcase up and down Abbot Kinney Blvd until I was able to check into my AirBnb. I popped into a couple amazing stores including Mystic Journeys which felt like my home away from home. I seriously thought about getting a nap in on their couch beside the wind chimes but was pretty excited to see the sunset over the Pacific for the first time.

I didn’t think I was going to be able to eat much at my reservation for Cafe Gratitude at 1 that day by 12:30 I was really feeling tired, but I did and it was unreal as well.  Cafe Gratitude is a short walk from the shops at Abbot Kinney so  Of course as soon as I saw the pup friendly patio at CG I was wide awake. I love seeing the happiness and love that exudes from every dog especially when they can sense I am one of their kindred spirits. Dogs are totally one of my spirit animals. He was just like my bulldog refusing to fall game to the paps.

With small tapas all consciously titled under the massive I AM heading, the menu does not fall short. I had the I am Intuitive, a blend of sweet potatoes fries and purple potatoes with a spicy Chashew Aioli and Gremolata. Along with a digestive aid sparking water with essential oils of peppermint.

I checked into my AirBnb around 3pm to fully relax. This place was more magical than I anticipated and I was overwhelmed with being by myself for the first time. So honestly I took some time to cry and let my emotions flow through me.

I brought my small container of my moms ashes to bring her to the beach inspired by my pal Cole Peddie which is what he does with his brothers ashes. My mom moved to California in the early 70s with two kids and a suitcase. I can not imagine how she felt being in such a majestic place. As I walked down the Ocean Front Walk I could see the days long past, the artistry changing by the gentrification of Venice by the wealthy middle class that keeps happening in cycles every 20+ or so years. When I arrived at Ocean Front I did not expect to be greeted by the giant mural of Jim Morrison I had on my list to see but there he was smiling down welcoming me to his home from the past where he sat on the beach where him and Ray crossed paths to create one of the most legendary groups in rock and roll history. I’m talking about The Doors. Jim fell in love with Pam in these very streets, streets so filled with love it inspired great poetry.

I watched the sun set over the ocean while on the rooftop of the Hotel Erwin at High Rooftop Lounge.  This trip felt like such a weekend getaway and Monday, the cornerstone of the trip was approaching fast.

My night ended with a Nice Canna Company edibles and lounging on a luxurious red velvet couch designed from the 18th century and watching Bob’s Burgers. You can take the girl out the country but you can’t take her away from her comedic roots. Also this mama bear was asleep by 8PM.


MONDAY

Today was the big day! I had an entire day planned of exploring, Kundalini Yoga, and filming. I jumped out of the bed and treated myself to the first private and kid free morning I have had in A LONG ASS TIME! I was completely in my own energy and for someone who is surrounded all the time it was the perfect balance for awakening in this powerful place on the Spring Equinox of all days. Divine Timing is prob the Phrase of the Trip.

I walked down 0.9 miles from my Airbnb to the Rama Institute where the feminine energy of change has manifested and created a space by the powerful soul Guru Jagat.  My dear friend and Kundalini Yoga instructor for The Green Lodge, Loren, introduced me to practices that I was unfamiliar with and brought me back to enjoying Yoga and ultimately life on a new level. I had been to some Cannabis led yoga practices in Colorado and became so over stimulated by the downtown 10 am beating down and I could not enjoy or engage successfully in the practice. It was to much over stimulation of the pineal gland with the cannabis intake before.

When I began practicing Kundalini Yoga, there was a definite awareness of the extreme power in these practices.  Yogi Bhajan took the best from each branch of Yoga to provide the most effective healing imaginable. The healing force of the sound current is unimaginable and extremely beautiful when beings come together to heal together as a community.

Kundalini Yoga- Each class is comprised of a warm up, kriya, and meditation. A KRIYA is a set of postures, sound current, and breath work. MANTRA means sound current. It instills a sequencing that alters the functioning of the brain and body. MEDITATION in kundalini yoga is in essence a directing of energy. Unless specified, you are not expected to keep your mind blank. _From RAMA.com


I arrived at RAMA just before 9 o’clock and settled into the class led by Sat Purkh (Kelsey Stevens who was subbing for Guru Jagat while she was in Nicaragua for the Equinox). A small class of us were led through a balancing Kriya and at the end she played the enormous gong which made me feel like I was in outer space. The sounds of the universe were resonating through me and it was a great intensity.

I walked out of RAMA feeling so balanced and elevated. I headed back down Lincoln Blvd and stopped in The Flowerboy Project for a refresher and the entire store was something out of a book! I then walked down to The Mart Collective, which I easily killed an hour+of time exploring all the antique vendor booths.

I perused a little farther down the street to find The Venice Love Shack which I could not resist stopping in and talking to the etching artist Brinnin Broski where we had one of my favorites conversations of the entire trip. You know when you meet someone who is just in you Soul Family?! Brinnin is AMAZING and doing some tangible and powerful healing pieces. We exchanged gifts and parted ways after exploring the vintage furniture store.

When I arrived back at my AirBnb I quickly ran to get a shower to get ready for The Weed Show with Charlo Greene which was only a short drive into Los Angeles. Charlo invited me out a few weeks back to talk about Pregnancy and Cannabis consumption. This topic is still judged as Taboo in our culture and the mom shaming is completely unnecessary. She spoke of The CannaMama Clinic Doctor Rachel Knox who actively speaks and educates on the endocannabinoid system and how just because you become pregnant your body doesn’t stop gaining benefits from cannabinoids. You can see more with Dr Rachel here and You can see what we talked about here! Plus Indiana Jones, the studio dog kept us company between the blunts.

I am grateful for Charlo for creating such a powerful platform and being a shining light in this industry for education and empowerment for women. At the end of the show Tori the producer presented me a small gift bag with a bath bomb from Om Edibles, Uncle Dougie’s Knots, and some CBD salve made by the lunar phases from The Sisters Of The Valley, you know, the weed nuns! OMG! To top it off The Green Lodge is available to come to LA thanks to The Weed Show’s studio also being a co working space!

After the show aired Live on YouTube, Facebook, and I tunes, I headed back to Venice and was graced with one of my favorite past times, Food Truck Burritos. So delicious. This was the last night I was in town and Tuesday had even bigger surprises for me. So I soaked up that bath bomb and devoured those medicated sugared pretzels.

 


TUESDAY

Before I left for my trip I connected with a true soul sister who I have followed and admired for some time, the mastermind and goddess behind so many projects including The Ganja Goddess Getaway, Bliss Edibles and Extracts, but she is just such a powerful force in so may women’s lives remotely and in California. She set up a lunch date for me to meet the infamous Mama Sailene. I flipped out literally knowing I was going to meet another powerful soul sister!  Merry Janes article stated,

“Sailene is the owner of westside Los Angeles’ oldest and most iconic delivery service and has long been a key figure in the Venice community. Ironically, the delivery business, now well into its second decade, never had an official name. It was just The Girls or, to some, The Angels. The lack of a name didn’t matter. Everyone who needed to knew exactly who she was.

Like most of the trailblazers of her generation, she was forced to split her focus with a second demanding (and fully legal) career. In her case, it was in restaurant management and event planning. And, although there’s no real surprise there, she was great at it.

Her most visible run was at Abbot’s Habit, the original, pre-gentrification Abbot Kinney coffee shop where the cool Venice crowd started their day. For the lucky ones, however, the real fun took place at her parties. Invitations were highly coveted, and not just for the food (incredible) or the hand-rolled joints (plentiful).”

Without speaking to Sailene prior to this trip, I did not meet her until Tuesday, I was drawn to Abbots Habit and actually wrote that part of the blog while sitting in there!!!! Whoa! I knew the energy there was special and when Mama picked me up and I told her how much I loved it, her eyes filled with tears. Reassuring that this trip has been the healing I  needed.

Deus Es Machina Coffee

Sailene picked me up at Deus Es Machina and we headed Gjelina the BEST place to eat in Venice and where the likes of Beyonce, Reece Witherspoon, even Rihanna have graced.  It is the swankiest and as soon as we walked in I got to meet the chef and co-owner behind it all, Travis Jett. He was delightful! Our food included appetizers of

  • Tuscan Kale salad, Shaved Fennel, and Ricotta Salata
  • Japanese Sweet Potato, Jalapeno Yogurt, and Scallions
  • Wood Roasted Cauliflowers:Recipe

Mama had the Crispy Duck Comfit, Whitled Chicory, & Kumquat

photo: Gourmetcentric

While I indulged in a Gruyere, Caramelized Onion, Formage Blanc, and Arugula Pizza.

image via flicker

Of course we couldn’t leave without dessert. Warm Date Cake, Whiskey Caramel and Ginger Gelato Which I was thrilled to find the chefs own Recipe.

image via yahoonews

It got better. Gjusta is the swanky bakery also popping out delicious bites and goodies by Travis who just happened to be in the parking lot in the rain talking while we got there. There is such a warm and inviting presence surrounding Gjusta and when you walk inside it is a sweet tooth’s heaven! I had to eat at least one thing from here so I inhaled a Black Currant and Raisin Roll before parting ways with Sailene, doing a few more dabs, and catching my lyft to LAX.

photo credit http://www.localwanderer.com

Coming Home…Almost

When I arrived at LAX I was super early for my flight. Now here is where the only monkey wrench threw me into a complete panic tearful tailspin. By this time all I could think about was getting home. I missed the baby something awful and I know my sons eyes fill with a special light when he sees me. So just as I did before flying out with Southwest, I printed my boarding pass and headed to the gate. Here is where I knew something was up. Of course Frontier did not have anyone up at the podium until 10 minutes before the plane started to board and as a lot of people knew, Frontier never made you pay for your carry on if you didn’t pay for it when you bought your initial ticket. Now I have successfully flown as well as my husband, and with two children utilizing this policy that has not changed in over two years. Well they caught on apparently to the numerous people we had talked to as well who said they loved flying with Frontier for that exact reason of them not charging for a carry on.

As my zone is called to board I walk up and the lady says I need to go to the podium…I wasn’t sure why but I went and luckily I got the guy who hated his life that day and wouldn’t do his job as he was clearly not able to communicate morally with someone who just found out they wanted to charge $60 to bring my bag on. I had $25 dollars in my purse and no debit card on me. I freaked the fuck out honestly. I called my husband who was just like, “leave it.” ugh no. That was NOT an option. So I asked the man what would happen to my bag if I left it, does it go to unclaimed baggage or lost and found? His answer, “I don’t have anymore time for you.” So I smiled and said,”Thanks for being such a great help” and walked up to the boarding podium. With tears in my eyes and everything I could shove in  my purse, I didn’t care I just wanted to be home at this point, I looked at the lady and said I have to leave this here because I have never had to pay to bring it on until just now. Then the girl beside me with long blonde braids chimed in, ” I’ll pay for your bag.” If I wasn’t already emotional this was the cherry on top. She hugged me and said she had been in that exact same spot and wished someone could have done the same for her.

I boarded the flight with gratitude for my what comes my way and how no matter what I somehow know, it will all work out. I landed in Denver and made my way home with the smiling faces of my family when they arrived at the airport.


This trip was truly something I wished and manifested for 2017. I know more amazing opportunities are in line because every encounter I had while in Venice + LA made me grow, made me love, and made me even more appreciative to each soul I come in contact with and with the people who constantly support and uplift me.


Thank you so much to Ashley at The Cannabiz Calendar and Stashlogix I have two awesome bags to Giveaway TO YOU!!!

All you have to do is get 5 people (21+ over only) to sign up for any FUTURE GREEN LODGE GATHERINGS by requesting a ticket here + Subscribe to The Cannabiz Calendar OR post a picture on social media of: Why You Need A Stashlogix Bag! Show us how you carry everything and we will gift you a highly coveted bag.  We will be expanding this year and we need YOUR help!

So spread the Word! Gveaway Ends 4.20.16 and winner will be announced 4.24 at The Green Lodge Goddess Gathering April!


Check out this gallery of all the photos from the trip!

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