First Stop: Corona del Mar

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After successfully cramming the remainder of my belongings into my storage space up near Santa Barbara, vacuuming thea-p-t, and getting situated in my car with my stash of clothes and things for the next six months, I started my engine and headed all the way down to... Corona del Mar! A whopping two-hour drive (I know, I'm such a go-getter from the get go)!

 

I made my way to my first stop for the night, parked my car, and followed my nose up the sidewalk to the house with the homemade granola smells wafting out into the warm night air. There, not only did I find the crunchy sweetness I had smelled, but I also found my former volleyball coach from college, waiting with her energetic black lab, Pepper. She had whipped up a double batch of what she calls "hippie granola" for me to take with me on my trip (I've already made it again once, and it's amazing. And great for traveling!).

 

My coach, Kerstyn, and I were fast friends from the first time we met. Although she was my coach, we bonded over the sport as well as carving pumpkins and watching movies with our team. Now that we're full-fledged adults (supposedly), and with us both in California, we enjoy getting together and catching up when we both can.

 Hippie Granola

While munching on the fresh batch of granola from the oven, we covered all the requisite topics from jobs, to living with passion, to relationships, to future plans, and favorite healthy recipes. And even with an early wake up call for Kerstyn to head out for her trip to Peru, we still enjoyed a few hours of reconnecting before hitting the hay for a quick sleep.

 

With the dog in tow the next morning, Kerstyn set off for her trip, and me on mine--with my homemade "hippie granola" packed by my side, I couldn't have asked for a better start to my trip than this. Thanks Kerstyn!

Next stop: Jack & Jill O'Rama