I think the saying goes something like "When life lends you a Cadillac, you gotta take it on a road trip". Fine, I totally made up that saying myself, but when life does lend you a Cadillac for the week, this sounds like a pretty logical saying to me. A few weeks back I teamed up with Cadillac to test drive their new ELR (aka their first ever electric car). Originally planning on keeping my test driving moments locally and take it for spin throughout the week in sunny Los Angeles, I got inspired to step it up a notch and make a whole road trip out of it! Marking my trip right before the big Labor Day Weekend, this trip turned into the perfect opportunity to regroup, recharge (electrically and mentally), and bring together a bunch of eco-friendly concepts and ideas to go along with the electric car theme in the form of a road trip to none other than Santa Barbara.
Of course as a fashionista, the first thing that (always) comes to mind when planning a trip like this is-- "what am I going to wear?". To start off the mindfully-conscious theme of the weekend, I decided to not just wear anything on this trip, but to work with a brand and site with a cause (which at the same time also had some of the cutest clothes ever). The site is called Enrou and it's all about honing in on connecting people around the world through the power of trade. An online marketplace for shoppers to discover socially responsible brands in developing communities from around the globe including Laos, Guatemala, Namibia, and even here in Los Angeles, Enrou not only creates incredible products, but also provides jobs and implements additional programs on the ground in these communities to give lasting impacts.
Now that I had my wardrobe checked, it was time for a road trip!
When anyone (in LA) thinks health, they instantly think of kale, fresh drinks, and juice cleanses. And one of the main go-to stores that provides all of that and more in Los Angeles has become the popularly acclaimed Pressed Juicery. With practically every color and flavor in mind, these juices have taken health nuts by storm. Being more a juice connoisseur versus one that replaces a juice in exchange for a meal, I thought it would be a fun addition to start off my mornings and days (or mid-time snacks in between) with a little bit of Pressed Juice. So en route to Santa Barbara, my first stop had to be swinging by the new Montecito store along the way to get juiced up for the weekend.
FOUR SEASONS SANTA BARBARA
By the time I finally made it over to Santa Barbara, it was time for lunch! And starving we were, there was only one place everyone absolutely recommended to go for the perfect meal with the perfect view -- Four Seasons Santa Barbara. And boy, was everyone right because this hotel was not only fabulous and stunning, but had some of the best wraps and roasted vegetables in town. With a scenic view by the ocean, I literally could have sat and soaked in the rays over there for days. And not to mention, they had a charging station for my little ELR car while we dined-- #perfection?
When planning a last minute road trip, you need the perfect last minute place to stay. And as we were quickly approaching Labor Day Weekend, it seemed as if everyone else in the world had the same idea to head to Santa Barbara as well for a great little R&R vaykay. Wanting to stay along the vibes of a mindful and calming weekend, I not only ended up finding the most charming little place to stay, but one that instantly felt like home at the Upham Hotel. With cute little "cottages" as I liked to call them which conveniently placed a few bedrooms, the most adorable little backyard for everyone to hang out in with a gazebo and lawn chairs, and probably my favorite part thus far, some milk and oreos that were set out each night for guests to indulge in, I think I seriously considered moving in permanently at multiple points throughout my stay.
The second day had to start off with an amazing breakfast to fuel me through the jam-packed agenda that laid ahead. Keeping my healthy and conscious vibes still going strong, I stopped into Alchemy Cafe for what was sure to be one of the quaintest and tastiest meals yet. With adorable chinaware that I wanted to smuggle home with me (but luckily didn't need to because they sold them at the Cafe), this place was not only vegan and gluten-free, but also a combined spa and health center! A Spa and Wellness Center designed to support in creating a healthy lifestyle right then and there, Alchemy was so unique because it offered a full spectrum of healing services including massages, organic skincare, yoga, cleansing programs alongside their delicious Cafe. (If you swing by, you MUST get the Coconut Almond Coffee-- it's seriously to die for).
Ending the road trip with one last stop to the countryside of Santa Barbara, it would be no getaway without doing a little wine tasting at Stolpman Vineyards. What a sweet, serene, and peaceful setting to be in! Stolpman Vineyards has been around for over 20 years and has become a family business starting off with the vision of founder Thomas Stolpman and now taken to ever greater heights and possibilities through his son Peter Stolpman and daughter-in-law Jessica. Really honing in and priding on the unique stone and soil of their land which has made for the unique and incomparable tastes that are the Stolpman wines, you could instantly taste the difference in quality of the grapes and wines created here. Standing strong and true to being committed to preserving the natural environment for their vines through organic and dry farming, as well as sustainable employment, Stolpman prides off of native fermentation and minimal manipulation which means a lot more hard work, yet a lot more worth it if you ask me! Spending the afternoon with Jessica who took us through the history of the vineyard, a tour of the beautiful new house that has become part of the landmark, and introducing us to the different signature tastes and unique flavors that make Stolpman stand out the way they do, I left my visit not only appreciating the amount of work and thought that goes into creating each bottle of wine, but becoming a bigger wine fanatic in the process. (Usually a red wine person, I instantly became obsessed with the 2011 L'Avion and 2013 Voignier whites-- definitely must trys!)