The best way to explore a new place is on foot—by running or walking.

Wood Chip Trail Tree

I was able to do just that in Hermosa Beach…and ended up walking along Manhattan Beach and across to Redondo Beach all in one day :P!

View from Here

To be fair, the three areas are quite cozy neighbors, where this…


Quickly becomes this…

Manhattan Beach!

A hour and half later, this…

Welcome to Redondo Beach

I remember staying in Redondo Beach when I was really young when we were visiting Disneyland, but I don’t remember what it actually looked like. That was quickly taken care of though, as I was on my feet all day—picturing myself as the nomadic traveler crossing cities and soaking in the scenes around me.


I began my morning in Hermosa with a run along the wood chip trail.


On Woodchip

After 4 miles of running, I walked with no real destination in mind, and ended up walking alongside Manhattan Beach!

Manhattan Beach Strand

Even though it was Monday late morning, it certainly felt like the weekend since there were so many volleyballers on the beach, bikers, and locals strolling on the sidewalks.

Beach Volleyball

I made my way to the pier…

The Pier

…so I could get a closer view of the ocean…


After breathing in that fresh (salty) air, I made my back to the woodchip trail but passed some shops and restaurants (that I made sure to add to my mental foodie list 😉 ) along the way.

More Woodchip

I knew I wanted to check out Sprouts, and after learning there was a location nearby in Redondo Beach (about 2.5 miles from our hotel), I decided to trek on.

Totally random pair of running shoes out there in the open...haha :)
Totally random pair of running shoes out there in the open…haha 🙂

One thing I must mention though before wandering around anywhere is MAKE SURE THE AREA IS SAFE. You don’t want to be the naïve nomad, that’s for sure ;). Fortunately, there wasn’t much to worry about since I was walking through safe beach house-style neighborhoods and major plazas and marketplaces. Also add on the fact that it was broad daylight and 80 something degrees…

It was a good thing I got a run in early in the morning because the 2.5 mile walk killed my legs by the time I got to Sprouts. I think it was a mix of being on my feet all morning plus the heat. Needless to say, I felt like I had found my oasis when I walked inside.

Sprouts Farmer's Market

To be honest, I wasn’t blown away by the store, but I do like checking out health food/organic stores for fun :P. And they had this bar I hadn’t tried yet!

Greens Plus Omega 3 Chia Chocolate Energy Bar  Yummy!
Greens Plus Omega 3 Chia Chocolate Energy Bar
Smooth chocolate coat over a crunchy and crispy center with, you guessed it, CHIA SEEDS 🙂

I was exhausted from all of the day’s running and walking, so after resting for a while at the Panera next door, my Dad came by to pick me up so I could freshen up before dinner.


We decided to stay local since we were both tired from our respective events of the day. Finding a vegetarian place to eat wasn’t hard, especially with a place called Happy Veggie a short drive away from us.

Happy Veggie

At first, we missed it since it was nestled in a strip mall, but we soon made our way inside and helped ourselves to some seats near the entrance and peered into the menu.

Happy Veggie Menu

Inside Happy Veggie Menu

The green bamboo theme was quite welcoming.

Side of Table

Weeknight Crowd

Weeknight Crowd 2

We decided to order one dish each, and order an additional dish if we were still hungry. It took us about ten minutes for our food to arrive, but when it did, we could tell we were having some happy veggies ;).

Dad’s order:

Veggie Stir-Fry Delight
Soup with Steamed Veggies and Tofu

and ofcourse, a side of brown rice:

Side of Brown Rice

I felt like having a curry something:

Curry Vegetable Masala
Curry Vegetable Masala

Still a bit hungry, we decided to split the Mongolion (Soy) Chicken entrée.

Soy chicken simmered with onions and bell peppers in a garlic and black bean sauce
Soy chicken simmered with onions and bell peppers in a garlic and black bean sauce

I sort of wish I had ordered this dish earlier! The black bean sauce made this so spicy and so my style ;)!

Overall, the dishes were not out-of-this-world amazing, and yeah, I could make this stuff at home, but the option to have something vegetarian and nutritious (especially when you are on the road) is something I am always grateful for.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and I went to sleep early. Both of us had busy days the next day, so some rest and recuperation was very much needed for me ;)!

How can you NOT relax with this view?
How can you NOT relax with this view?

How do you like to explore a new city or area?

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16 thoughts on “Exploration

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE exploring new areas on foot! I also LOVE Sprouts and I wish I had them in my state!! Whenever I visit my family in Arizona I make sure to go there a few times to get my fix!! YUM to this veggie place!

  2. Walking/running through places when I’m traveling is my favorite way to sight see! Plus…you burn some calories which then allows you to EAT your way through wherever you are!

  3. Walking is definitely the BEST way to explore!! You can go almost anywhere which you can’t always do in a car. Such amazing views. I’ve always thought I would like to live in CA, but now I really want to! Looks like my kind of place! 🙂

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