summer is here and it's time to gear up for some visitors from back home (aka, georgia). woohoo! i love having guests over. last week i hosted my friend hillary and we had a blast roadtripping all over the place! i've only been a californian for about three months-ish now so i've still got a lot to see and do myself, but i took her to all of my favorite places so far and some new ones too. who knows, maybe if you're planning a trip to the LA area this may help you decide some things to do here. we vacationed here last year before we moved and i think i would have enjoyed it a lot more if i had known about some of these spots!

joshua tree

but first, COFFEE. after a long drive and a some traffic we stopped at the cutest coffee shop, joshua tree coffee company, for a little pick me up. well, it was lunch time too so what better combo than a little hot pizza to go along with our coffee. ha! it was really good though. highly recommend, pie for the people if you ever find yourself in joshua tree national park.  

we had a lot of fun climbing rocks and exploring a little. i've gotta say though, we were pretty cautious / worried about rattlesnakes! i would have died right there and then in the desert had i seen one. i promise. we were A-OK though so off to palm springs we went! 

palm springs

good grief, palm springs is awesome!  i felt like i was in a time machine back to my favorite decade. the interior designer in me was in love with all of the mid century modern houses and hotels. when you hear the name, you may imagine it's close to the ocean but actually it's an oasis nestled away in some of the tallest mountains you can imagine with streets lined in the skinniest palm trees reaching up to the sun. the only regret i have is not swimming in the hot springs! next time i go it's an absolute must. that and staying at the ace hotel.

los angeles

we hit up pretty much every cute coffee shop in southern california. not really, but we tried. i was in love with the daily dose cafe! you haaave to go if you're in LA. it's tucked away in an alley filled from top to bottom with green climbing vines where it's so easy to forget you're in a city. it's pretty great. 

shopping in west hollywood on melrose! of course we stopped at another great coffee shop while we were there, alfred coffee & kitchen. it may have won on the cute factor. afterword we went to duff's cakemix (i think this guy is on food network) for some treats in cupcake form. it was the sweetest bakeshop where you can have your own cake decorating party or take a class. had we known, maybe we would have pre-planned!

we brunched at SQIRL in LA. ok, just being honest, this place scared me a little. hillary wanted to go so i happily obliged until we got there and saw a line wrapped around the building and plates filled to the brim with kale and beets. i don't wait in lines for food. i just can't do it. i'm too impatient and really just too hungry one hundred percent of the time. plus, beets and kale. i'm waiting an hour for vegetables? well, i gave in and belly rumbling i joined the line. it ended up being divine! i loved everything and recommend it to ya all if you have the time. 

santa barbara

oh, santa barbara. i love going up there. even though it's a bit of a drive, it's worth it. the smog lifts and it's blue skies for days. our first stop was sand bar in downtown santa barbara for dinner and drinks. it was pretty good mexican fare with a hoppin' patio. i'm always down for a patio. then we walked the pier and saw some sights. it was a great day and driving home along the pacific coast highway is just icing on the cake. 

i hope you all had a great memorial day weekend as well! this coming weekend (like in one day) is our sixth year wedding anniversary! how in the world has that much time passed? i must be having fun because it feels more like one year.