We headed out to California very early on New Year's Day and it was quite the travel day. Since we booked so late we had to connect in Dallas and our second flight got cancelled and they re-routed Derek and I though San Francisco and my family through San Antonio - we both dealt with delays, waiting on the tarmac and each of us almost missed our unexpected third flight of the day but we all made it!
Wine tasting in the San Francisco Airport
Seeing as it was a holiday it was hard to find hotel rooms so we settled on staying in Santa Monica right on the beach and a short drive to all the other surrounding areas.
We had a little time to settled in and we went over to Malibu to Mastro's for a New Year's Dinner - a delicious meal overlooking the beach was a pretty good way to kick off the new year - even though we were exhausted.
Our first day there was definitely the favorite - it was the Rose Bowl game. The next morning my brother, Derek and I did a little swimming and time by the pool before heading out for the day. The weather was chilly for California standards (upper 50's, low 60's) while we were there but we loved not needing coats - and the pool was very heated.
For the morning time we made the drive up to one of the Hollywood sign look out points (after it was changed back from "Hollyweed") and took in the great views of the city.
After that we made our way back down to Beverly Hills for lunch out on the patio at the Polo Lounge.
We spent our afternoon at one of mine and Derek's favorite spots in the area - Saddlerock Ranch & Malibu Wines. Everyone else liked it just as much as we did - such a nice peaceful setting up in Malibu. Driving along the coast is always an event in itself - such a pretty drive.
For dinner that night we went back down to Beverly Hills and ate at Il Pastaio - outside, with heaters. Everything was delicious, amazing Italian food.
To finish off the night back in Santa Monica we took advantage of the fire pits at the hotel before an early to bed for everyone - the long day before at the game was exhausting!