Thursday, April 14, 2011

Adventure Wednesday, plus good news from my doc!

I had a doctor appointment yesterday morning, where we found out that my blood pressure is firmly in the "normal" range.  This is great, and it means I have a new non-scale victory on my weight loss journey...

Goodbye, little hypertension pill!

After my doc visit and my haircut, Tom and I headed down to Orange County, where we were picking up Tom's editing deck from our friend Erik.  While chatting with him briefly, he mentioned a restaurant he'd been to that he thought we might like.  I believe he said "you'll find it at The Camp with a bunch of other hippie stores."  This is amusing if you know Erik, as he is not a hippie in any sense of the word. But he does know that we are borderline-granola, so his recommendation was an excellent one!

We went into this situation blind - we had no idea what he meant by "The Camp."  So, hello, Adventure Wednesday!  We were on our way.

It turns out to be the country's first eco-friendly mall, featuring unique architecture, rooftop plants to reduce energy useage, and other nontraditional retail elements.  One rarely feels compelled to photograph a shopping center - even an open-air one - but I loved it, and was a total shutterbug.

The Camp has such a unique, rustic feel - you almost forget you're in a mall.

Thanks to my out-of-whack electrolytes (sorry, Nurse Sarah, I should have listened to you when you said "they're going to take a lot of blood, so you should drink some smartwater after") we headed straight for the restaurant Erik recommended.  Native Foods is a vegan cafe with a range of clean-food options.

I thought their beverage coolers looked refreshing!

So I had an iced tea while we waited for our dinner. It was described as hibiscus-berry, but it turned out to be
heavier on the berry than the hibiscus, alas. (I love me some hibiscus.) Still tasty, though.

Tom had the Ensalada Azteca, with avocado, cucumber, jicama, quinoa, lettuce, and mango-lime vinaigrette.

I had the Portobello "Sausage Burger," which is neither a sausage nor a burger. Discuss.
(It was actually seitan with mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, and pomodoro.)
Delicious... but more "clean/unprocessed" healthy than "portion size" healthy.

Neither of us had the cupcakes in the cooler, but they looked so well-frosted that I had to show you.

From there we headed out to explore the rest of The Camp. Check out that cool tree sculpture!

Even the trash was well-themed. Like a Disneyland trash can, but more succulent(s).

The stairs to a Bikram yoga center had a to-do list that sounded kind of peaceful.

The wine bar sported this excellent upcycled chandelier out front.

There was a fresh veggie garden among the stores.
Plus there were several places to relax, including a hammock, and this little sheltered nook.

View of the nook's roof, complete with natural soda bottle chandelier. (Mm, Boylan's.)

Loved these light fixtures outside of the Italian restaurant...

...and these bench seats, which may or may not be from tractors?

A store called Purre had beautiful displays! They were very kind about my photographing.

Another neat Purre display.

I loved the glass jug being used for a headband display!

Another awesome store, Seed People's Market, had this very cool vending machine with plantable seeds.

The sign on top of the vending machine made us laugh.

They have a strict no-photo policy for the original arts/crafts they sell, but I snagged a picture of their book display.

A succulent florist operates out of a retro trailer. I wanted to take everything home!

Especially this pot of tiny succulents.

I leave you with these sentiments - good advice courtesy of The Camp parking lot.


  1. That place looks like so much fun!

  2. I've been in love with non-hippie for 3+ years and he's never told me about this treasure. Probably because he doesn't want me to drag him there. Too bad! His secret is out! He's going to be dragged!!!! And he won't kick or scream because he's also secretly a bigger hippie than he lets on. He's got quite a lot to say about organic meat, lemons, and eggs these days. Oh, yes he does. He'll deny it but he loves him some organic, hippy Hollywood Farmer's Market treats. Hah. The blog/place = awesome sauce!

  3. Aud, that's what I love about Erik - he is far too layered a person to be defined in one word! (To his credit, he had only been there once, and it was yesterday for lunch, I think!)

    You would LOVE Seed People especially - they have a ton of lovely hand-made art, jewelry, etc - all local artists.

  4. Heh, I have never suggested Native Foods for our many lunch trips. I wonder why...

  5. Looks like it was an awesome adventure Wednesday! The outdoor mall looks like it was such a fun place to explore. And I love the parking space sayings- too funny :)

  6. That is awesome! Puure looks like a purrfect spot for some of NA's Inspired Adornments!

  7. Heidi, this was wonderful! Such amazing adventures!!! :D

  8. This post totally made my day. Thank you. :)

  9. Awesome. Glad you liked the reco. The hippie mall delivered. I have actually been to the camp many times and like it a lot. Been to the native foods once after the managers on my team took me there without my knowledge and paid for my lunch. I would define my meal as surprisingly un-terrible. But weird. I like a lot of places in the camp. Mesa is awesome, Valhalla Table has great unique sausages and good beers on tap. There is a cool wine bar and a couple other great restaurants were you can sit outside and enjoy the funkiness. Though, it is weird to show up in suits and ties (which i hate) and sit amongst the unwashed patchouli oil drenched masses (which i hate) for good food and awesome scenery.

  10. I've been to South Coast Plaza, a few blocks up the street, more times than I can count. Next time I'm down in that next of the woods, though, I'll have to check out The Camp - great photos, looks like a cool place!

    Congrats on the news from your doctor... amazing!