For years, I’ve only gotten sick about once a year. Aaand I’ve been sick about four times in the last four months. Last week, I took it pretty easy and did a lot of lying around and hoping my cold would go the heck away, especially since I had a trip to California planned. It didn’t go away, but at least I didn’t spend the entire flight to LAX coughing (just part of it).
I hadn’t been to LA for right around ten years, when I went to a camp at UCLA, and part of me wanted to hang out for a while and explore, but I ended up feeling indecisive about that and just flew in for the weekend for the GOOD Fest. I ended up pretty glad about that, because I do still have a lingering cold and because I don’t love Ubering all the places.
So, Friday morning, my dad dropped me off at the Columbus airport before work, and I sat and read Fight Club for a little bit before my flight, first to Chicago and then to LA. All that was pretty uneventful – I just read Fight Club and loved it and started The Secret History.
I took an Uber to an Airbnb in Downtown LA. It was one of the first times I’ve been in an Uber where the driver basically was like, “Yeah, my city is totally overrated. Don’t move here. It’s not that great and also it’s too crowded already.” Also, when he asked if I was staying with a friend, I said no, I was staying in an Airbnb. He immediately told me that was a mistake to say because it implied that I was alone. I quickly lied and said it was the kind where I was staying in a room in someone’s apartment while they were there. Still, creepy thing to say, man.
By the time I actually made it to the apartment, it was nearly 6pm my time (still like 3pm PST), and I knew I needed to get out of the apartment if I wanted to stay up until a reasonable hour. I also knew that Saturday would be a long day, and I would basically want to sleep when I got back, so I had to do my touristy stuff on Friday.
“Touristy” might be generous. I just wanted to go to Erewhon (basically Whole Foods on steroids) for dinner and get Salt & Straw ice cream.
First, I ate dinner from the Erewhon hot bar.
Okay, I know it doesn’t look like much. However, my first hour or two in LA was a lot less magical than I remembered from 11-year old me, and this plate had me like, “Hmm. I could live here. Yep, totally.”
I got zingy cauliflower, roasted sweet potato wedges, and vegan eggplant lasagna, and all three were completely incredible. I want to try to copy the lasagna. You know I’m big on my meat, but I like trying new things, and I’m so glad I got this.
And then I explored the market. Obviously, everything was expensive, but I picked up a few drinks because I was feeling super dehydrated, some chocolate, and their famous (at least Instagram-famous?) paleo bread.
Also, I’d totally take an Erewhon in Columbus. I’ll help open it. I mean, look at all these nut butters – you can’t find any of those jars around here – and there were more!
After that, I went back to the apartment, grabbed a portable charger for my dying phone, and headed to Salt & Straw. I was a tad overwhelmed by all the fabulous ice cream options, and I settled on getting way too much. It was so good. I got a scoop of Ococoa’s Whiskey Caramel Truffle and some Avocado & Oaxacan Chocolate Fudge.
And then, stuffed, I headed back to the apartment and went to sleep for almost ten hours and got ready for the GOOD Fest. I had to psych myself up for the event, even though I’d been looking forward to it for a long time. Reasons for this include that I’m an introvert and I knew it’d be a lot of stimulation, I was going solo, and I didn’t know exactly what to expect.
But! I went, and it was great. I started the day with a snack-y brunch by Simple Mills (whose products are uniformly fabulous), and and iced turmeric latte. I felt so awkward. Soooo awkward. I didn’t know anyone. And then I wandered around a little and was sampling some protein bites when I encountered my first other solo person. We started talking, realized we were in the same workshops all day, and I instantly relaxed because now I had a friend to go through the day with. We met a few other girls and spent the day together, learning in workshops, browsing vendor stands, sampling products, and connecting over Sweetgreen and interest in wellness and helping people.
I could recount everything I learned from the day, but that doesn’t seem like it would serve anyone. Basically, the GOOD Fest is the perfect event for anyone interested in inclusive, approachable wellness.The GOOD Fest is the perfect event for anyone interested in inclusive, approachable wellness. #fitfluential Click To Tweet
So, some highlights:
- All of the passion and excitement exhibited by every single speaker and moderator
- Yoga with Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde
- All the swag, from snacks to skincare to coupons
- Beverages on beverages on beverages – I had so many matcha samples, turmeric drinks, juice samples, teas, and waters (duh), and I’m inspired to mix things up a bit
- Meeting like-minded people and just stepping out of my comfort zone by going somewhere I didn’t know anyone
- Lynn Chen on not needing to copy others’ Instagram eats: “This is a gorgeous outfit; I’m not telling you to wear it.”
- Keynote by Lauryn & Michael (such a funny, smart couple) from The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast
- The best meditation session with Kelsey Patel
- Leaving inspired and with the desire to learn more, connect with people, and be present and open in daily life
It’s an all-day event, and I was pretty exhausted at the end, but my heart was happy and I’d 100% do it again. Love. The next one is in Philadelphia in August, and while I probably will not be able to make that one work with my work schedule, I will be totally jealous of all those who do go.
I ate snacks from my swag bag for dinner and breakfast (plus Erewhon bread) Sunday morning, and then headed to the airport for my long day of travel. I watched as much of the Super Bowl as I could at the airport in Chicago and on the iPad of the guy next to me.
The flights were bumpier, and there was ice on the runway in Columbus. The flight crew told us that we might have to head back to Chicago if they didn’t de-ice the runway quickly because of our fuel supply, which made everyone nervous. I bought the in-flight wi-fi so I could tell my mom, since I knew she’d be on her way to pick me up. After about 10 minutes of purgatory (uncertainty), we were cleared to land in Columbus. I was glad, of course, but our landing time did make me miss the last five minutes of the Super Bowl, since it wasn’t playing in the terminal. I kept refreshing Twitter, and I was glad to see the Eagles won.
Aaand then I’ve been home trying to get everything together and make a plan for life since then. I’ll let you know how that goes. But first, I’ll show you the insanely delicious avocado toast I made yesterday on Erewhon paleo bread. Also want to recreate that stuff. So. Good.
How was your weekend? What did you do?
What would a festival/convention you would want to go to be centered around?