My recap on the history of my friendship with a fellow Australia-based intern & safely supporting local shops during COVID-19.
A year ago, I decided my east coast adventure had come to a halt and it was time I made an expedition to California where I could be closer to my friend and boyfriend. I’ve been lucky enough to discover the hikes, community, and hidden beauties of San Luis Obispo. During quarantine, a good friend and I took a trip to Avila Beach to support a local shop and take the polar plunge.
If you’re a solo traveler and never heard of Travello, then I recommend you look the free app. This travel app connects solo travelers together by common interest wherever they may be in the world. It’s so amazing to connect with other people that are traveling by themselves. It’s how this beautiful sandy-blonde and I met in Australia. I like to think Creekstar and I were destined to be friends but it’s likely we were both results of a great marketing ploy.
To give you insight, Creekstar and I both attended the same internship opportunity in Brisbane. Over the course of a month, we bonded over adventuring at farmer’s markets, hopping to different coffee shops, visiting attractions, and dancing in the night clubs. As our friendship grew, we learned more about the other’s personal life and that’s when she introduced me to my boyfriend, Daniel. It really felt like fate that we became great friends and I later moved to San Luis Obispo, California where I could be reunited with Daniel and Creekstar.
See the pictures below of Creek and my adventures around Australia.
Now that you understand my reasoning behind moving to California and the magic of solo travel, let’s move on my latest beach excursion. Creek and I drove to Avila Beach on a relatively hot day. That particular day occurred during the order of shelter-in-place. We wanted to support a local business by purchasing smoothie bowls and taking them home.
Once we arrived at the beach, we noticed most people were trying to stay 6 feet apart as required by the new beach regulations. A sign at the beach openings had a list of regular rules such as times pets were allowed on the beach, but it had new ones as well. People were allowed to walk on the beach or swim in the ocean at a distance from one another, but the public was not permitted to sit, loiter, or lay out on the beach. We noticed a few people on towels or chairs facing the ocean and the lifeguards didn’t seem to be in charge of upholding these new rules. Still, Creek and I decided we didn’t want to loiter.
We took off our masks and set them on a towel to prepare for our plunge. The pictures show sunshine and warm rays but the water temperature was around 54 degrees. For those who aren’t familiar, that’s about the temperature of Lake Superior in early summer when the glaciers just finish melting in the lake. Creek and I did our best to wade through the bone numbing waves. Seeing as Creek is 5’3″ she wasn’t as lucky as I was as we wandered into the ocean. The waves were to her hips as they were barely halfway up my thighs.
It took a while, but the salt and water felt really good on our skin as we felt our bodies acclimate to the colder temperature. As we started to feel some relief, the wind started to pick up and the waves height slowly started to rise higher. We quickly made our plunge and trudged our way toward the shore feeling very cold–that beachy salt hair was worth it though.
In case we weren’t cold enough from the water, Creekstar and I dried off and walked to the Avila Market nearby. Like the beach, the shop also had restrictions but this was in terms of the capacity of people allowed in the store at one time. Seeing as only one person was in front of us, Creek and I decided it was safe to go in with wipes and our masks on to order. The only option for ordering was to do take-out. As we perused their smoothie bowls I noticed they had you order and then wait outside on the curb where a staff member would bring your order out to you. They also had prepackaged silverware and all the employees were wearing masks. I was impressed with their system despite the closure of so many stores on the strip.
I finally decided on their Barbie Bowl–surprise, surprise. The ingredients of the smoothie were a blend of pitaya, pineapple, banana, and coconut water. The toppings were strawberries, bananas, goji berries, and coconut granola mixed with honey. After I ordered, we waited outside the store until a nice girl came out handing me the silverware and my bowl with napkins. It looked even better than it sounded. I felt that the name Barbie was a fitting title; just look at the color. After wiping it down, I indulged in the bowl’s fruity flavors that tasted like a refreshing dessert. I haven’t been very impressed with smoothie bowls I’ve tried in SLO, but the Barbie Bowl was scrumptious and the perfect way to end our short but safe outing to Avila Beach.
I have many more adventures in the works. If you want to be updated on my travels, follow Liv Wandering by entering your email below. Also, don’t forget to follow my social media handles at the bottom of the page!