Some posts might be just one day or some might be a few at once - we shall see. I know California is a place we'll most definitely be back to - possibly fairly soon so at the bottom of the posts I'll have some specifics of places we were or things we did in case anyone else is thinking about visiting these destinations.
So, let's get started…
Day One - Travel/Beach Day
We set out for California on the first flight Saturday morning (on schedule, thank goodness!) and enjoyed a few morning cocktails before a mix of reading/napping/listening to music/chatting. I personally don't really mind flying and taking that time to just disconnect and relax - it can be somewhat peaceful… sometimes.
When we planned the trip we knew we wanted to get a couple days in at the beach and after some thinking we went for easy over our first choice and picked to just stay in Santa Monica so our transfer to Beverly Hills would be easy. (We've already got our eye on a cute inn in Malibu that we found on this trip for our next visit)
It was straight to the beach when we arrived - literally. We changed in the lobby and got out in that sun asap. We stopped at the beach bar first for a quick lunch because with the time difference we were starving. Then it was a few uninterrupted hours enjoying the sea breeze.
I wish it was my anniversary (okay, actually anniversary trip) every day! Flowers, wine and a cheese plate as a surprise from the husband and champagne with chocolate covered strawberries as a treat from the hotel - we were ready to celebrate and enjoy.
Staying at the beach requires a beach view - right?! I loved having our little balcony to enjoy the view, the sound of the ocean and the nice breeze.
We enjoyed the cheese plate on the balcony as a pre-dinner appetizer and then quickly got ready for an early dinner.
Tonight we were dining just down the street and al fresco at that so we enjoyed walking along the beach path on the way home from dinner (we hopped a ride in the hotel car to get there) after enjoying delicious steaks and sides (including mac and cheese, of course!) and a watermelon martini (or a few) for me and some scotch for Derek.
I think we were ready for bed by about 9:30 this night - I remember being so happy to have my head hit the pillow and excited to wake up adjusted to west coast time the next day.
Day Two - Malibu
Sunday brought us spending the full day in Malibu. There isn't overly a lot to do in this beautiful space and there is plenty of gorgeous valley/hills area as well - needless to say, we loved the area. Our main activity of the day was taking a malibu wine tour to three different wineries which we loved. Our guide, Kat, did the best job and we had a great time being "off the beaten path" of Malibu and not only tasting wines but sightseeing the area as well.
We woke up at 6:30am this morning, ha! As the week went on we would start waking up later and later but on this morning I didn't even mind the earliness - it was a perfect time for some reading on the balcony and an early breakfast - why don't they serve breakfast tacos more often at home?! Delicious!
We started our tour in the morning and our first stop was Rosenthal Wineries tasting room, which was right on the edge of Malibu. We both tasted about eight wines - the same menu of a mix of reds/whites/sparkling with some cheese/meats and crackers to taste.
One of the views from a little bit higher up into the valley/mountain area that gives a gorgeous ocean view in the background. It was a beautiful clear day on the day we went - probably only in the high 70's.
Our second stop was to Saddlerock Ranch and we decided if we lived in the area we would spend many afternoons here - it was completely filled with people just to enjoy the scenery and afternoon. We had picked up some sandwiches and salads to bring along for a picnic lunch which we were able to enjoy in this beautiful setting.
With our sandwiches we enjoyed our wine tasting menus - just whites for me and just reds for Derek, which is what each of us prefer more so it worked out well.
Since it was a private tour we had as much time as we'd like at each spot just to wander around and definitely will be remembering this great space for our next trip back.
As I mentioned before, we also did a little sightseeing as it took some time to get from each winery to the next. We passed the main strip in Malibu including the pier area, the main restaurants and we passed some celebrity homes including Cher and Charlie Sheen (who our tour guide used to live next to) and some beautiful settings.
At one point Kat said, "are you a fan of The Bachelor - I can take you by the mansion" - I probably couldn't say "Yes!" quick enough and accepted her rose and that opportunity on the way to our final winery she stopped us so we could see the upper back part of the mansion (the famous pool was out of our view) but this was definitely a highlight to see.
Our last stop for the day was to Stonehaus Winery near the West Lake Village area (we'd love to explore this town more next time) and another gorgeous setting.
Like the other two wineries, this one was a little different (it was fun to enjoy a different type of tasting at each) We each picked a specific type of wine to try three of - I tried three types of their pinot grigio, of course!
We had time to walk through their gardens and check out the grapes - they had their grape vines right on the property (the other two places had their main vineyards located separately from their tasting areas).
I was in love with the carrier for the glasses as well as how they were presented. The pours were heavy and the wine was delicious.
The wine tour was definitely one of my highlights of the trip and I hope to visit a few of the wineries again on a future trip to experience again.
Once we were done we decided to spend what was left of the afternoon on the deck at Nobu right on the beach in Malibu. We scored a great little couch area and had a great time meeting/chatting with a couple from close by in New Jersey as well as one of the waitresses at Lisa Vanderpump's SUR Restaurant.
Fairmont Mirmar Hotel & Bungalows
Rosenthal: The Malibu Estate
Just putting this post together has me wanting to go back asap already - I guess reliving via part two tomorrow will have to do for now…