California Love

It has been a two month love affair. California swept us off our feet with all its friendly people, organic food markets, beautiful beaches and warm weather. And now we are sitting here in an airport hotel room, trying to recall our favorite memories and put them in writing. Tomorrow we are going back to Sweden. We will spend a couple of snowy days with our family before continuing on to Asia.

We could describe at least 50 things that we love with California, but to keep things short we settled for three.

1. All the small conversations that we’ve had with complete strangers on the streets, in parks, on buses and in stores. It seems like people here are genuinely friendly and social. It often starts out with “Oh, what a cutie, how old is she?” and 10 minutes later it ends with “just let us know if you need any toys for her, we’ve got too much lying around at home”. Seriously. Wow. In Sweden people only talk to strangers when they are drunk. We expected to spend most of the time on this trip just the three of us. But night after night, city after city, we met new people to walk, talk and eat with.

2. We have been visiting countless amounts of farmers markets, whole foods markets, henry’s market, birite market … Trying numerous new to us vegetables, been drinking various kinds of plant milks every week, and indulged ourselves with all different kinds of fresh and organic fruits and berries. Eating healthy has never been as easy as here.

3. For someone who hasn’t grown up in northern Europe it might sound ridiculous, but living in a warm country changes your whole personality. You start to walk slower and smile more. The warm weather has made all our morning walks with Elsa in her stroller amazing, in Sweden they can be quite harsh (specially this time of the year). I’m sure the climate has a lot to do with why people are so friendly here.

Here are some random snapshots from our trip + a recipe on how to do your own Açai Bowl, one of the best things we’ve tasted here. We’ll see you next time in Sweden!

Meet our latest obsession, the Açaí Bowl!
Açaí (“Ah-Sigh-EE”) is a Brazilian superfruit berry, it grows on palm trees in Central- and South America. If you live in California you’ve probably seen/tried this kind of bowl before, since you can find Açai cafés in most big cities, but you might not have tried to make it yourself? Don’t try to chase down fresh or frozen Açaí berries, like I did, you won’t find it (except for in the amazons). They only come as frozen pure, juice, dried or powdered. In this recipe it’s probably easiest to use the frozen pure. It tastes like a mix between bitter chocolate and blueberries and is the fruit on earth with the highest content of antioxidants.

We pimped this bowl with some extra hemp protein. It’s perfect after a workout, as breakfast or dessert!

Açaí Bowl
2 bowls

4 pk Açaí berry pure (we used unsweetened from Sambazon)
2 cups milk, water or juice (we used almond milk)
2 bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 tbsp hemp protein powder

1 cup granola
2 handfuls fresh strawberries and blueberries
4 tbsp hemp seeds

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend thick. Top it with granola, fresh fruit and seeds. Ready to eat and to become your new obsession!


  • I live here in the SF Bay Area but sometimes I forget why I love it here so much. Thanks for the reminder. So glad that you enjoyed your stay here. Happy (and safe!) travels!
  • By the way, I laughed out loud at your comment that in Sweden people only talk to strangers when drunk! Same exact thing in Russia!
  • Oh yes, California is Mecca for healthy eating! So glad you guys had a nice time :) Your photography is unbelievable is always!
  • Nada
    I love your blog! Your photographs, recipes, and lifestyle are so inspirational. I'm only 17, but I am trying to follow the healthiest nutrition habits that I can. This blog motivates me to start my own blog! You guys are awesome (especially little Elsa)! Keep it up. =)
  • lovely photos. the food, the scenery, your precious little girl. what an adventure for her. The stories you will be able to tell her when she is a little older to comprehend. Safe travels back home. I'm actually flying to the States from Croatia next week. Can't wait to continue reading about your adventures in Asia.
  • you made me feel lucky to live here, thank you :) so sad we never crossed each others paths, but I am SO glad to hear you enjoyed it! Your pictures are gorgeous and I love the new header! safe travels to asia
  • So glad you had a wonderful trip. The Bay area is magical, isn't it? I got such a kick out of your comment about Swedes only talking to starngers when they are drunk...I talk to everyone, and I don't drink at all! I must be an American thing. :) I hope you are settling in nicely back at home, and I can't wait to hear of your travels in Asia. Your blog is always one of my favorites. And i love the new header, by the way!
  • Thanks so much for this beautiful post! I ran across it at the perfect time - I'm getting excited myself to take a break a cold climate (Chicago) and spend the winter in the warmer weathers of CA. Your pictures are gorgeous. I want to eat whatever that top image is! Safe travels!
  • wish we had a chance to meet while you were in the bay area! safe travels home and happy holidays! xo.
  • Hi, I love your site and the food! I wonder how I get access to older posts. I would love to dig in to other recipes as well :-) Greetings from an icy-cold Sweden!
    • Thank you Sanna! If you click on the arrow on the left side you will find older posts. You can also click on search to find an archive of all our old posts (we know, it doesn't make sense). /David
  • Valeria
    Oh my! I've been so busy with tests that I hadn't been able to stop by and comment... :( Must say your photos grabbed all of the spotlight for this post, so much that I almost didn't notice your açai bowl recipe. I noticed you mentioned something about a big South America trip! :D Will you be making a stop by Venezuela? Happy traveling! Valeria
  • Oh, I agree so much about California. I'm planning on moving there in about a year because I fell in such absolute love with the place, for all of the reasons you mentioned here. There's no place in the United States like California either. Such gorgeous photos! Much, much love for this whole post.
  • gorgeous gorgeous photos!!
  • Wow, you went to the beach down the street from the house where I grew up! (memories :) )... SD is a popular destination for Swedes. Thanks for the acai bowl recipe; I really enjoy those when I go back to visit CA.
  • I am so glad to hear you enjoyed our beloved city. I tend to take it for granted, so thank you for reminding me of all the good that is around me. Your journey is inspiring, your daughter is divine and your photography is eye candy! Good luck on your next adventure!
  • Veronique Perks
    Hi - I don't really ever write comments on people's blog, but you inspire me to. Originally from France, transplanted to Calgary, Alberta when I was a child, I can relate to your cold climate comments. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 2 1/2 years a few years back and have been following your trip through California with envy! Such an amazing place to be and now is definitely the time to travel with Elsa. She is adorable and a reminder of when our girls were that small (they are 8 & 10). Anyway, I digress. I read your blog regularly and am amazed at how easy you seem to make it to have such a healthy kitchen. My 10 year-old daughter wants to be a chef someday and is pretty amazing in the kitchen already so I will pass this on to her also. Your photos alone make it worth the visit - keep up the great work. If you are ever up our way, be sure to let us know and I'm sure a few of us in this cold place can bring to some of the local food markets here (albeit in Summer!). Skol... (had a few Swedish friends in University; sorry about the spelling)
  • I, too... love California. I'm looking forward to visiting it next year.
  • Hjördís
    California Sound fantastic, Glad you had such good time there, and Well Ive never been there but I hear that people there are great and so friendly, You should try to come to Iceland.. =) tho its all wet and freezing here, the summers are sooo great, you really should try it :) haha I have a question, Here we dont have those berries fresh or frozen or anything, We have some kind of Açaí Powder, Since this all goes into a blender, Cant I use that instead of the fresh/frozen berries? Thanks for your lovely storyes and recipes - as always a
  • Sarah
    Hmmm, California sounds great. And you might be right about a good climat and the psychology behind it. I live in Belgium and the climat is ... well kind of wett and cold all the time :o/ Is is realy that easy to buy organic food in America ? That was the thing holding me back from going. I only have these hugh Mc-Donald eating Americans in my mind...
    • Hi Sarah! Before leaving we had the same concerns as you, but it has actually been much easier finding organic products here than in Sweden. I think California is pretty unique because so much is grown here, but you can find great products in Whole Foods Markets all over USA. The only thing that we didn't find very often was dark rye bread, they definitely make better bread in Denmark. /Luise
  • This is a beautiful post. I'm so sad I didn't get in touch to meet you while you were in SF! Next time... :) Enjoy the rest of your trip!
  • Such beautiful photos of California. I especially love the foggy one on the coast - is that Big Sur? Glad you liked California. I am a relatively new Cali transplant. Thanks for reminding me why I moved here. Bon voyage.
    • Hi Trish, you are right that is Big Sur. It was foggy during our whole stay there so we didn't see very much, except from when we were above the fog and then it was so beautiful! /David
  • We loved having you guys in California. Do come back. I'm so glad you likes Acai and I'm so glad you got an Ergo carrier. Does your back love you? Can you guys please come visit us in Brazil? I have no doubt that you will adore it. It's even more warm with even more fresh vegetables and fruit. It's perfect.
    • Hi Damaris! As you could see in the picture we totally copied you and bought an Ergo carrier (even in the same color). It is so good and Elsa loves to be in it! We carry her around in it all the time. We even went on a bikeride with her on my back. If we want to come visit you guys in Brazil? Of course!! We'll do South America on our next big trip. /David
    • I love that you bought an ergo. Everyone should have it. Can't wait to show Brazil off to you guys. Elsa will be big enough to come surfing with us. Speaking of surfing we're off to Hawaii next week. Our next trip will have to be to a none tropical place, Sweden maybe.
  • Jennifer L.
    It's kind of funny that you mention how social norms shift in colder climates. I grew up in upstate NY by Lake Ontario and I found it to be a pretty friendly place. My dad is from North Carolina and they are very friendly. I've lived in CA for about 15 years now and there are certainly differences. If my dad comes to visit from NC, he says, "Hello" to everyone we pass on a street, sidewalk or path. He's sort of a bigger man and when he says "Hello" to any Californians, they grab their wallets and scoot by us as if he had blatantly admitted he was going to steal it or bother them in some way. It's much different if you have children--people are often less likely to view you as a threat. My husband notices that people in grocery stores chat with him more when he's with our daughter. If he's on a solo trip, people tend to give him that uncomfortable look if he just starts chatting about the broccoli. As a female (often with my daughter in tow), I find people very friendly and sociable as well here in CA. Sorry to write a novel about that phenomenon! You're right, the food here is amazing. Sometimes if I contemplate moving to a different state, I find myself being held here by the food. I love, love, love our farmers' markets with a passion. Here in Santa Cruz, we can get fresh produce all year long. It's very special. I love the photos from your trip through CA. We're definitely looking forward to hearing about your trip in Asia. If you happen to find yourself in Thailand, I hear they're very friendly and they absolutely adore children. Have a nice few days with your families!
    • Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your amazing comment, we both laughed reading about your big dad. It sounds like it would be lots of fun visiting North Carolina and talking with everyone. It's probably true that we can thank Elsa for how friendly and inviting people have been here in California. She is usually the conversation starter. But even without her we have experienced some pretty funny moments. One example of that happened when we were shopping at Trader Joe's. This young guy at the register started talking about and describing the three different costumes he had made on Halloween. And even though it was a long line of people waiting to pay he didn't let us go until he had finished his story. It just brightened up my day! /David
  • Just wanted to say that I've LOVED reading your blog! Your pictures are amazing and your recipes inspiring! I am from California, but I've been studying in Sweden for the past few months. So while you have been traveling my home, I've been living in yours! It is wonderful to have both perspectives and I can relate to so much of what you have experienced! Glad you've loved California ... I sure have loved Sweden!
    • Hi Lauren! That is so funny that you have lived in Sweden while we were in California. Glad you liked it there! Hope you'll stay during December, it is the most beautiful winter month. /David
  • Wow!!! I'm glad you had so much fun. I love hearing your Swedish point of view. These pictures are great and I'm so happy you put the acai bowl recipe up. I used to eat acai bowls when I lived in Hawaii and it was my favorite thing. I'm so excited to see your Asia adventures. Will you go to Japan?
    • Hi Rachel. We are going to Beijing, Vietnam and Thailand in Asia. Although we'd love to go to Japan it didn't work with our travel schedule this time. /David
  • I've just discovered your blog and absolutely love all your recipes! Glad you had a great time in california.
  • Just beautiful ! Can't wait to read the next step !
  • I'm speechless. Your photos are just stunning. That one of Big Sur... my jaw dropped. This post is another reminder that you are one of the best food bloggers/photographers out there. Wonderful post.
  • Loved this post and so thrilled that you fully enjoyed your trip in California! Some of your favorite things you listed are mine as well, starting with the FOOD and a close second the warm weather. I am originally from the midwest, where (if you can believe it) people are even more friendly than in Cali so that is a norm for me. Come back and visit us again soon! :)

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