Last week I was extremly lucky to have been given the chance to spend three days in Los Angeles with Nissan Europe testing out the all new LEAF, which is their 100% electric car. I cannot admit to being in any way a car buff but this trip really appealed to me as, in some way, in my every day life I would love to try to be greener and live a more sustainable lifestyle: I think starting with an electric car is definitely the way to go. We are ready to trade in our current car and even if just in a small way I can help to create a sustainable future for my kids then I’m all for it. Electric cars not only create zero emissions but are also cheaper to run which, as a mum of two balancing a family budget, is a big plus point. I am seriously looking into it with my husband at the moment. Being able to charge the car on the driveway and not constantly have to pull into services would be amazing. I mainly use my car for the school run or popping to the shops so an electric vehicle would be perfect for these short but essential journeys.
LA – Day 1
I flew out to LA alone and totally excited for what would be my first long-haul press trip. Having been there as a kid I fell in love with California so turning this down would not have been an option for me. I arrived in Santa Monica and checked into the hotel which we would be spending the first two nights in – The Shore Hotel. I guess the name gives away the fact that it was opposite the beach, the view was stunning and it was a great way to start the trip. The whole trip was designed with an eco-friendly ethos and this hotel was environmentally-friendly and had been awarded green standards due to many factors including a solar-heated pool. I would highly recommend staying here.
We had some free time this day so I did what I do best and hit the shops: directly behind the hotel was the best street for High Street stores. After a teeny lay down to try and rid myself of the jet lag I headed for dinner with the whole team.
After a huge American breakfast we headed out for our first action-packed day, we drove in the LEAFs to a location for the unveiling of the new Nissan Formula e which is an electric Formula One car. To make things even more exciting the big reveal was made by Nissan’s sustainability ambassador, actress Margot Robbie!
The next activity was one of my favourites of the trip: We rode electric bikes up the hills to the Hollywood sign. Absolutely knackering but totally worth it for the view, I could have sat up there all day. If you go to LA you should check out Bikes and Hikes as our guide was brilliant.
No time to change and straight out to dinner in Tallula’s which was an amazing Mexican restaurant which served a delicious margarita!
We headed to Venice to join Nicole and Ben who run an urban garden project called Community Healing. They provide fruit and vegetables to local residents of all socio economic statuses. We got our hands dirty and helped weed and plant which was actually quite fun and such a fab idea to bring everyone together while helping to provide a sustainable food source to those in need.
I absolutely love the Venice Beach area because it has such a bohemian vibe and the shopping on Abbott Kinney is the best with lots of my favourites like Le Labo and more one-off boutiques. I could have spent hours here. There are so many Vegan restaurants in this area, we stopped for lunch in one of them called Cafe Gratitude it’s so easy to stay healthy in LA and it really made me realise how we need to embrace this way of life in London for our own health and the health of the planet.
Then the Santa Barbara road trip started and we really got to get to grips with the car. It has a function called the e pedal which is kind of like cruise control but a whole lot smarter. Once the car is in this mode it will brake, for you leaving your feet free for a more relaxing drive. The Pacific Coast highway is just breathtaking. If you haven’t been before then it is most definitely one for your bucket lists. The route follows the ocean the whole way, passing through Malibu before hitting Santa Barbara. It was around a two hour drive but of course we had to make a few pit stops not to miss the photo opportunities and dolphin spotting. The amazing thing was that we didn’t need to stop to charge the car once!
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to have this experience. We had the best time and the LA blues kicked in as soon as I touched down in London. I was beyond excited to see hubby and the kids but I think I’m now a Cali girl at heart!
Thank you all so much for all your comments and messages. It seems a lot of you are already LEAF owners or are thinking about it at the moment which is really fantastic to hear. If you have any questions about the car or the trip just add below and I’ll be happy to help.
Written as part of a paid partnership with Nissan Europe