Living in Southern California, while pricey, has many perks which is why we stay and put up with the ridiculous mortgage, the traffic, the cost of gas etc.

The weather is a given.  Being a native, I would curse the Rose Parade as our pure sunshine on New Year’s Day would radiate through millions of televisions throughout the World, beckoning those who sat before them, miserable in snow, ice and rain, to come and make a life for themselves in our warm, dry haven, adding to the bulging population of the city.

As piggish as this sounds, it is nice to be able to find peaceful environments when you are living in a megalopolis that is Los Angeles.

My friend Jeanne and I are pretty good at finding hidden gems and do so through hiking or biking. Hiking and biking are my vehicles to keeping centered and clearing my mind and there is nothing better than when you have a friend who shares your passion!

On Sunday, we set out for a new adventure  Jeanne did the planning for this one, which made it even more fun for me. We headed North to Ventura with our bikes in tow and dropped off the highway to park and ride along the coast up to Carpinteria, a chill little beach town which, to me, possesses more charm than its big sister Santa Barbara a few miles North.

Carpinteria is a beach-lovers paradise.  Nice beach breaks with little undertow, an accessible downtown where you can enjoy a burger and shake in your bathing suit and very cool bars as well as a local brewery that is convenient for bikers like us

Our ride along the beach granted us a view of dolphins traveling South and a seal sanctuary with an outlook over the sea which was so clear that it startled me. The mountains to our right contrasted against the blue sky above and it was the perfect So Cal temp around 78 F.

We peddled through a camping ground over to town and parked at the Island Brewing Company where we enjoyed a couple craft beers and Arancini from the Italian food truck parked next door. It was a chill beach crowd and Jeanne and I loved it!

Admittedly, the ride back was a bit tougher with a few beers under our belt but it was well worth the stop. To me, there is nothing better than girlfriend time doing something that you love in a place that you appreciate- a little staycation which was much needed for both of us!


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