South Beach Miami, Florida

Every year around this time we pack up and head to Florida to spend time with Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners family. While spending time with family is great, we thought that we would take advantage of having family around and escape for a few days without our kiddo.

We decided to take the Brightline train from West Palm Beach to Miami for our fun weekend getaway. The Brightline is a fast train that runs up and down the Florida coast from West Palm Beach to Miami every hour. The train is nice and super convenient! We arrive in Miami around 4pm and grabbed an Uber to our hotel.

Accommodations

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Shelborne South Beach

Address: 1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

The Shelborne Hotel was the perfect place for what we were looking for. The room and amenities were nice and the location was good. We were located right on the boardwalk, walking distance from Lincoln Road Mall and a variety of restaurants. The hotel also provided bikes which we used daily to ride up and down the boardwalk.  The only complaint we had was that there were not enough beach chairs at the beach and they charged for an umbrella ($22). We arrived at the beach around noon and all of the chairs were taken, which was a major bummer.

Our Eats

Breakfast, Brunch & Snacks

Pura Vida
110 Washington Ave #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dirt
232 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Joe The Juice

1600 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Delicious Raw

1828 Bay Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Lunch

Taquiza
1351 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dinner

Stiltsville
1787 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Prime One Twelve
112 Ocean Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

We had the perfect weekend away and we can’t wait to go back!

XOXO The Traveling Honeymooners

 

 

 

 

South Beach, Miami

We have had so much going on we have not had time to post in quite a while.  My hope is to post about what we have been up to for the last few months. Until then… one of the things that has kept us preoccupied, besides traveling is that we have a baby on the way!

Baby Girl Traveler is due in February!  With our due date quickly approaching and the weather in Houston being ultra crummy as of late, we knew we needed to get away. What better place to take a baby moon than South Beach?!

We were looking for a beach, good food, and fun activities to do and Miami fit the bill perfectly. We had the BEST baby moon!

Accommodations

Metropolitan By Como

We had a difficult time choosing which hotel to stay at because there are so many options in South Beach! We ended up choosing the Como because we liked that it was located a little bit further North, which provided us with a little bit more of a chill vibe. We were not looking to party and stay up all night. The location was just far enough North that we were able to get to everything we wanted to get to in a reasonable amount of time but not be in the thick of the crowds.

The hotel itself was very nice. The hotel staff was wonderful and very accommodating. We requested a room with a balcony and partial ocean view, which is exactly what we got. The full ocean view rooms at the Como do not have balconies and were much more expensive which wasn’t worth it to us because we knew we would be spending most of our time outdoors. The rooms were comfortable and updated. The beach and pool at the Metropolitan were both great too.

 

Ours Eats

We had some of the best food during our stay in South Beach. Every single meal was delicious and every restaurant was very accommodating to Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners gluten free needs. Some of our meals were quick snacks while others were elegant and fancy.

Breakfast, Brunch & Snacks

Pura Vida
110 Washington Ave #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dirt
232 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Lillikoi Organic
500 South Pointe Dr #180, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Joe The Juice

1600 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139Traymore
2445 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140

Lunch

Orange Blossom
2000 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dinner

Upland
49 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Spriga
1228 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Joe Stone Crab
11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Rosa Mexicano
1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Dessert

Gelato-Go
458 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

Our Activities

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Boardwalk

The boardwalk is a path that runs along the beach from the southern point of South Beach, all the way to North Beach. The path is beautiful and is perfect for walking or biking. We chose to walk and bike the boardwalk multiple times during our stay.

To learn more about the boardwalk click here. 

Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Mall is an outdoor mall which has clothing shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars.

To learn more about Lincoln Road Mall click here.

Art Festival

Miami is full of festivals and culture. There always seems to be something fun going on. The weekend we were there, the Art Deco Street Festival was in full swing. Ocean Drive was packed with vendors and s

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive runs along the beach and is lined with restaurants, bars and shops. We had so much fun walking up and down Ocean Drive.  In the evenings, the road is blocked off so people can walk the streets and enjoy all that South Beach has to offer.

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Overall, we had a blast in Miami and were very sad to leave! Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Traveling Honeymooners

 

 

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

We LOVE everything about New Orleans! The food, the music, the vibes, the people…we love it all! Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner also loves music festivals and has wanted to experience Jazz Fest for a very long time. Plus, we were both really feeling the line up this year.

Our group decided to drive to NOLA from Houston this time. The drive is a straight shot on I-10 and is suppose to take about 5 1/2 hours but it took us about 7 hours because of traffic. Taking the 45 minute flight from Houston to New Orleans would have been preferable but we drove because we didn’t really want to splurge on flights. Next time, I think we will choose to fly because the traffic was kind of miserable and we would have liked to spend more time in New Orleans. Anyhow, we left Houston around 2:30 and arrived around 9:30pm.

Our original plan was to go to a late night show but by the time we were done with dinner we were all exhausted from working all day and traveling. We found our options for late night shows on http://www.jazzfestgrids.com/. Next time, we will fly and go to a late night show for sure!

Since our only full day in NOLA was Saturday, we choose to go to the festival that day. The weather was PERFECT!!! We saw Big Freedia, Irma Thomas, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor and a few other artists. It was packed so it was a bit difficult to change stages so we tried to not move around too much.

I think it is safe to say that Jazz Fest is the easiest music festival we have ever been to. There is every genre of music so there is something for everyone. Even though it was packed, it was easy to move around and the grounds were easy to get to. We were so glad we brought camel backs and snacks because the lines were long to get bottled water and drinks and they did not have many gluten free options. We were also glad we brought chairs, even though it can be annoying to carry them around it was worth it. Next time I will bring a tarp or blanket to sit on but it wasn’t that big of a deal that we didn’t have it.

 

Accommodations

We chose to stay at the Marriott On Canal Street and loved it! The location was great and the hotel was nice. We wanted to be close to the French Quarter and within walking distance to Harrods because Mr. Traveling Honeymooner likes to gamble, so the location was perfect for us. The Marriott also offered a shuttle to and from the festival grounds which was $30 per person and very convenient. We will definitely stay here again when we return to NOLA.

Address: 555 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Our Eats

When we arrived in NOLA we were starving and needed food fast. We wanted seafood and a casual vibe so our concierge recommended that we try Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street which is one of Ralph Brennan’s restaurants. The margaritas were delicious! They did not have a separate gluten free menu but they had a fair amount of gluten free/paleo options.

Address: 115 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

For brunch we tried Gallier’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. The menu was not extensive but had good options. They did not have a gluten free menu but were very accommodating. They also had bottomless mimosas!

Address:129 Carondelet Street, Carondelet St & Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Our last night in NOLA we ate at Tableau which is located right in Jackson’s Square. This was probably our favorite meal of the trip. The vibe was very New Orleans and the food was delicous. They had no issue making gluten free/paleo options for Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner.
Address: 616 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Before heading back to Houston we had brunch at one of my favorite places, The Court of Two Sisters. They have a fabulous brunch buffet and a beautiful patio with live music. They also have tons of gluten free options…all you have to do is ask the chef to show you the gluten free specials they have that day. The Court of Two Sisters has been around for a long time and have perfected the French Creole brunch. If you are in New Orleans, you have to try this place out! Make sure to make reservations well in advance though because they usually book up on the weekends.
Address:  613 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Our trip was so much fun and we can’t wait to go back!
Thanks for stopping by!
Traveling Honeymooners

Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg, Texas is a quaint little town located about an hour and a half west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. Fredericksburg is known for their wineries and beautiful scenery….what better place to go for a girls trip?!

We knew we all wanted to be together and stay in and cook one night so we decided to rent an Air B&B right outside of town. It was the cutest little house! There were cows and sheep on the property which was the coolest thing to see. The views were spectacular and the weather was cool and breezy which was a perfect break from the Houston heat and busy city life. We choose to book our house through a company called Absolute Charm and were very pleased!

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We left Houston around 5pm on a Friday and got into Fredericksburg around 9:30pm so we ate in the first night. One of the girls was really smart and bought all of the food for the trip in Houston, before we left. I would recommend doing this if you are getting in late and have a kitchen! While we were there, we did not see a major grocery store. I am sure there is one, we just didn’t come across it. There are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the center of town too!

Saturday was wine tasting day! We toured three wineries and that was plenty. Since our house was a bit outside of town, we rented a party bus to pick us up from our house and take us to the 290 Wine Tasting Tour Shuttle. The 290 shuttle is a hop on-hop off shuttle that runs from 10:30am to about 4pm and costs about $15 per person. It is sooo worth it! If you buy wine at any winery, they tag it and hold it for you until the end of your tour. For all you city folk, Fredericksburg doesn’t have Uber so you have to find other means of transportation.

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Our first stop was Grape Creek Winery. This was everyone’s favorite winery! They had beautiful patio seating and really good food and wine. We ordered a gluten free pizza and a cheese plate to share and it was delicious! The tasting included 6 wines for $25. I marked the wines I tried. My favorites were the Cuvee Blanc and the Bellissimo. There were multiple areas where you could taste wine which was nice because it was very busy!

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The only downside to Grape Creek was that they only allow groups of 6 or less…so we had to split into two groups to get in the doors. Also, you have to be a wine club member to by a bottle and sit on the patio and drink….ANNOYING! My advice: buy three bottles of wine when you enter so you can get a free tasting and become a wine club member for the month.

Our next stop was Becker Winery. Becker had live music and a huge patio that overlooked the vineyards. The tasting room was small and PACKED! We were not in the mood to wait in line so we purchased three bottles of wine and had our own tasting on the back patio. It was perfect.

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Our last stop was Fat Ranch Winery. Fat Ranch had a more laid back Texas feel to it. There was a live band, picnic tables and outdoor games to play. Fat Ranch was packed! We decided not to do a tasting because we didn’t want to wait in line so we bought three more bottles of wine to try. Fat Ranch is known for their peach wine. The peach wine was good but it was extremely sweet. It tasted like a dessert wine to me but everyone seemed to love it.

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Fat Ranch was our last stop because before we knew it, the last bus was arriving to take us back into town!I think it is safe to say that everyone was ready to go home and sleep off all of the wine we had consumed.

Our original plan was to have Sunday brunch at The Herb Farm but the weather took a turn for the worse so we decided to hit the road earlier than we had planned.

By Sunday everyone was ready to head back to Houston. It was sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful place bit I can guarantee we will be back again soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner

 

 

Our California Wine Tasting Adventure

We LOVE California! I mean what is there not to love about it?!  So when some friends of ours invited us to join them in Sonoma and Napa for the weekend, we said “Hell, yea!” and immediately booked our flights. Since we only had the weekend to get away, we decided to leave on the first flight out on Friday morning and spend the day with our friends, in San Francisco before we left for wine country.

DISCLAIMER: We are not wines connoisseurs, we just really like wine. 

San Francisco

Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner had never been to San Francisco and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner had not been there in over ten years so of course, our first stop was to visit the famous Golden Gate Bridge! It had been raining heavily for days in Houston and San Francisco so we kept our fingers crossed that the weather would clear up when we arrived. It didn’t clear up right away, but, the sun did come out just in time for us to take a picture in front of the bridge. From our lookout point, we could also see Alcatraz.

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After visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, our friends took us to visit Chrissy Field and the Palace of Fine Arts. Both places were absolutely beautiful. See Mr. Traveling Honeymooner trying to make friends with the birds at the Palace of Fine Arts below.

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For lunch, our original plan was to eat at Plow, which is supposedly one of the best lunch places in San Francisco, but our plans shifted to due some delays and we ended up eating at Blackwood. Blackwood is an American Thai Fusion restaurant located on 2150 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123. We love Thai food so we were more than happy to try Blackwood out! Our lunch was delicious and gluten free! They had so many gluten free options, it was difficult to choose just one so we shared two different dishes.

A trip to San Francisco would not be complete without visiting the Sea Lions! The sea lions have made Fisherman’s Wharf their home since 1990. We had fun watching them play and soak up some sun. To learn more about the Pier 39 Sea Lions and Fisherman’s Wharf area, click here.

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Sonoma

Since we were traveling with two other couples, we decided to rent an Air B & B so we could maximize our time together. We love to rent Air B & B’s when we travel because they are usually cheaper than hotels, have kitchens and give us more space than a hotel would. The Air B & B we rented had three bedrooms, a nice size kitchen and living room and had a big Jacuzzi in the back yard.  It was perfect!

Once we settled in, we decided that we wanted to check out downtown Sonoma and start wine tasting. Downtown Sonoma is quaint and has lots of wine tasting rooms and restaurants. Our first stop was Kamen Wines Tasting Room. The wine connoisseur who served us was probably our favorite server from the entire trip. He was funny, engaging and extremely knowledgeable about Kamen Wines, the winery and the history of Sonoma.  I think the entire group agreed that Kamen Wines was one of our favorite tasting rooms that we visited in Sonoma. The tasting was $25 per person and each tasting included a personal wine connoisseur, three different wines and bottled water. The owner of Kamen Wines is a famous Screen Writer who has written many of our favorite movies, including the Karate Kid.

Address: 111B East Napa Street, Sonoma, California 95476

Website: Kamen Wines

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Our next stop was going to be Walt Wine Tasting Room but they ended up closing right as we arrived. Bummer! I guess we will just have to go back to Sonoma another time!

It was getting late so we decided to eat at a place called The Girl and the Fig. We had several people recommend The Girl and the Fig to us before our trip so we knew we had to try it out! We were seated outside on the back patio which was covered due to the excessive amounts of rainfall. The setting was fun but romantic and we all enjoyed our meals.

Napa

Since we were staying in Sonoma we decided to rent a Limo to drive us to Napa and to each winery that we wanted to visit. The ride from our Air B & B to our first winery was about a 40 minute ride.

Our first stop was Trefethen Wines. We were seated in the back room that overlooked the beautiful hills and vineyards which made the experience even better. Since the weather was gloomy and rainy, we were not able to take a tour of the vineyard, but we still had a great time. We chose to share the classic wine tasting menu which consisted of five wines of our choice.

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To learn more about Trefethen Wines or to book a reservation with them, visit www.trefethen.com. We recommend making a reservation at least a day in advance, especially during busy season.

Our next stop was Chandon! Chandon is known for their sparkling wines so we were excited to switch it up a bit and have some bubbly! The tasting room at Chandon was set up a little bit differently than the other places we visited. Chandon has a tasting room upstairs that overlooks the vineyards and has a nice patio so you can sit outside on nice days. There is not much seating at Chandon and they do not offer private tastings. Instead, they have stations set up where you can walk up to and ask for your next tasting.  Chandon was by far the busiest winery we visited. There is no need to make a reservation at Chandon, just show up and start tasting!

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To learn more about Chandon Wines, visit www.chandon.com.

Our last stop of the day was Hall Winery. Since we were not able to do a tasting at Walt Tasting Room in Sonoma, we were especially excited to go to Hall. Hall and Walt are sister wineries. Hall was by far the most modern tasting room that had 180 degree views of beautiful vineyards. We choose to do the classic tasting here which mainly consisted of red wines. If you are in Napa, Hall would be a great place to go on a sunny day because they have plenty of outdoor seating that overlooks the vineyards.

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To learn more about Hall wines, visit www.hallwines.com

We had so much fun on our short trip to wine country, we were sad to leave. We could have spent at least one more day wine tasting but unfortunately we had to get back to work! Until next time…

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

The Traveling Honeymooners

Scottsdale, Arizona

We love to go to places that neither of us have been, even though that can be difficult because Mr. Traveling Honeymooner has been almost everywhere. Since neither of us had ever been to Scottsdale, we thought it would be a great place for us to explore together for our anniversary.

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Accommodations

Mr. Traveling Honeymooner did some research and booked us a suite at Sanctuary Camelback Resort and Spa. Let’s just say..HE DID GOOD! The suite, the resort, the scenery..it was all beautiful. Sanctuary is located right at the base of Camelback mountain and only a few minutes from a variety of hiking trails.

We decided to rent a car and drive from the airport to the resort because we knew we would want a car during our stay. It was an easy 20 minute ride that allowed us to explore the town a bit.

 

Activities

One of the many great things about Sanctuary Resort and Spa is the pool! Scottsdale is warm most of the year so sitting by the pool is the perfect place to relax after a long travel day. When we travel, we typically like to do an activity in the morning and then something relaxing in the afternoon. Sitting by the pool quickly became our go-to afternoon lounge spot. They serve delicious drinks, smoothies and light lunch items, some of which are gluten free.

We were there for about five days so we were able to venture out a few times. Almost every morning we would get up and go for a hike! Camelback Mountain has quite a few trails, all of which are varying degrees of difficulty. The first day we started with the easiest trail and then tried to tackle a more difficult one each day.  If you plan to hike, make sure to bring a Camelback Water Bottle so you can have your hands free. On some of the more difficult trails you will need to be able to use your hands to help you climb. It is also nice to have a place to put sunscreen. Have you seen Mr. Traveling Honeymooner? He is pale with lots of freckles..we have to protect his delicate skin.

 

Sanctuary Resort also has really nice tennis courts! We played tennis a few times while we were there and had a great time. We were able to rent rackets for a reasonable price. (We can’t remember the exact price but we remember it wasn’t super expensive.) If you would like, they also offer tennis lessons!

Even though we chose not to partake, the resort does offer a variety of workout classes, nature walks and group activities which looked like fun. Maybe next time we will check those out.

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Our Eats

Scottsdale had TONS of gluten free dining options…We wish Houston would catch up to them! Everywhere you look there are  delicious gluten free options.

Gluten Free Creations Bakery

On our way to the resort, we stopped to grab a bite to eat at Gluten Free Creations Bakery which is a certified gluten free restaurant and bakery. It was a great little lunch place! We each got a sandwich on gluten free bread that was homemade and of course got gluten free donuts to go. Everything looked so good! Over the course of our trip we ate lunch here a couple of times, and left happy.

Address: 7607 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

The Henry

Our second day in Scottsdale, we had brunch at The Henry after our morning hike. The restaurant was packed so we had to wait about 45 minutes to eat but it was worth it! The brunch menu was extensive but everything looked so good we had a difficult time choosing what to eat. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner settled on gluten free breakfast tacos and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner settled on banana pancakes.

Address: 4455 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Citizen Public House

Citizen Public House is an American Gastropub in a cool spot of town. We made a reservation but arrived a bit early so we walked around and popped into a few shops in the area. The vibe of the restaurant was hip, fun and romantic. The chef visited our table to discuss my gluten free needs and recommended two fantastic dishes. We were too stuffed for dessert but the dessert menu looked really good.

Address: 7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

The Herb Box

We had brunch at The Herb Box on our last day in Scottsdale. Our friend that visits Scottsdale often recommended that we try it out because they are very gluten free and vegetarian friendly. They have a few locations and the menu has lots of gluten free options that all looked good. Mrs Traveling Honeymooner went with the buckwheat pancakes and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner got the stuffed french toast (not gluten free). We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed sitting in the sun and watching everyone walk by. After brunch we explored the area a bit and found a cute shop that had pet supplies and got our dogs each a gift.

Address: 7134 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Overall, we had a great trip! The weather was perfect the entire time we were there, the service was fantastic and we had a blast together. It was hard to leave the sunshine in Arizona because at the time, Houston was flooded with rain but we made it home safely and have plans to go back soon!

Thank you for stopping by!

XOXO

The Traveling Honeymooners

 

Santa Monica, California

Some friends of ours were getting married in Ojai, California this past July so we thought “Why not make a weekend out of it?!” Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner had never been to Los Angeles before and she had been itching to go. So we did our research and chose to stay in Santa Monica. We both love the beach and love to walk everywhere when we travel so we figured staying in Santa Monica was a good choice.

Accommodations

A few of our friends who live in California, recommended The Huntley Hotel at Santa Monica Beach. The hotel was beautiful and had recently been refinished. The lobby of the hotel was beautiful and the hotel staff were great. We stayed in a regular room which was nice. It was not too big or too small and the bed was comfortable. The major draw to stay at The Huntley is The Penthouse, which is the restaurant located on the top floor of the hotel. While you eat, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of Santa Monica.

The Huntley was walking distance from the Third Street Promenade, where we did a bit of shopping. The hotel was also walking distance to the beach and the Santa Monica Pier which we walked multiple times during our stay.

The hotel was great! The only downside to our stay was that The Penthouse Restaurant did not offer many gluten free items on their menu and their staff was not well informed on Celiac Disease. This was a major shock to us because everywhere else we ate during our stay in California was very well informed.

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Our Eats

During our stay we had some delicious meals! On Friday night we decided to meet up with some of our California native friends of ours for dinner and they recommended a restaurant called The Misfit. Apparently The Misfit was the place to be because there was a long wait and at the time, they did not take reservations. So we decided to put our name down and walk the pier until our name got closer to the top of the waiting list.

Dinner was delicious and they accommodated Mrs. Traveling Honeymooners gluten free needs with no problem at all. Even their menu states that they can easily accommodate any gluten free, vegan or vegetarian needs. They even have gluten free bread and macaroni and cheese! When we go back to Santa Monica, we would love to eat here again.

For lunch the next day we ventured out and went to Kreation Organic Kafe. This is a cute little place that serves a variety of fresh squeezed juices, coffee and teas as well as raw vegan and gluten free foods. apparently they have a few locations around Los Angeles but we visited the one in Venice. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner got a juice called Clarity and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner got one called Serenity. Both juices were refreshing, especially since it was a hot day. Kreation Organic Kafe is located of a great shopping street so after lunch, we walked and shopped a bit before we headed to the beach!

Before we left for Ojai, we stopped at Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe. Mrs. Traveling Honeymooner got a slice of gluten free lemon poppy seed bread and a coffee and Mr. Traveling Honeymooner got an egg sandwich. Our breakfast of quick, convenient and tasty.

Overall, even though our trip was short, we had a great time!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

The Traveling Honeymooners