I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. California road trips are the epitome of joy. There’s just something so perfect about the sunshine days and how the desert turns to mountains turns to beaches. I love driving along the coast and watching surfers in the vast Pacific. Driving through other states just doesn’t have the same sort of magic. Road tripping anywhere else is filled with rest stops and drive thru and gas station bathrooms. When driving through California, however, every stop is a destination.
Because of all of the amazing things that California is, our drive back to Los Angeles from our time up north in San Francisco, Alameda, Monterey, and Morro Bay was filled with just as much adventuring as the days before.
Our first stop on our California road trip was McConnell’s in Santa Barbara which has made the cut as my favorite ice cream place ever. And trust me, I’ve tried a lot of ice cream places and have been on two separate ice cream crawls in Southern California. McConnell’s reign is uncontested in my book and it’s a treat worth stopping for.
McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams was founded in Santa Barbara, California in 1949. Almost 70 years later, we make our ice creams as we always have: from scratch, in small batches, with Central Coast, grass-grazed milk & cream we pasteurize from raw at our creamery at The Old Dairy (c. 1934) and the finest local, sustainable and organic, raw ingredients, sourced from partner farms, artisans and purveyors we’ve worked with, in many cases, for decades. The result? Fine ice creams of impeccable balance, purity of flavor and smoothly consistent texture.
McConnell’s | About
My favorite flavor? Eureka Lemon & Marionberries.
After ice cream, we loaded back into the car and headed toward our next stop on our journey home – the city of Ventura.
You know you’re a California kid when you remember building your model Mission in grade school. Who’s with me?
This is Mission San Buenaventura. Founded on March 31, 1782, it was the ninth mission established in California. #surprisehistorylesson
Fueled by: Kombucha and Chia Seeds
The Refill Shoppe was the main reason I wanted to go to Ventura. And it was totally 100% worth it.
We believe in love, gratitude and doing the right thing. We share with you what we like to use. Making everyday necessities extra special, just like you! We do what we do because hot bubble baths, clean people, lovely smells, smiles on faces and a little less plastic in the world makes us so very happy. The Refill Shoppe | Our Mission
This store was astounding. Here’s how it works…
You pick a bottle there bring your own pre-cleaned one to refill. Then you fill up with whatever bulk beauty or cleaning supplies you need. Refills are sold by the ounce and they have over 100 fragrances and/or essential oils to choose from for you to add to your soap, lotion etc.
So many pretty bottles.
I got a bottle of their Rosewater Toner that I use on my face daily. Since going, I actually emptied my bottle and I was able to have them ship me a refill. They sent my toner in a little pre-ladled container that I poured into my bottle and then mailed back to them.
I’m still loving my shampoo barthat I purchased there.
I could have stayed in the Refill Shoppe all day, but, since I no longer have a house to clean and I couldn’t fit bulk supplies in glass jars in my suitcase, I had to limit myself.
Another tell-tale sign of a California kid – Never outgrowing your love of Saltwater Sandals.
Leather sandals that are comfortable and also waterproof and wearable at the beach? They’re the best.
^hint – capsule wardrobe addition post coming soon…^
All too soon, our wanderings in Downtown Ventura were over and it was time to head back to the car and finish our California road trip toward Los Angeles. We had driven up the coast and back and our adventures were legendary, but it was good to be headed to a familiar place that will always feel like home to me.
Have you ever been on a California road trip?
Where are your favorite stops?