When I was a kid, I loved traveling more than anything. Getting time off school maybe had something to do with it. I remember packing a couple months in advance for a trip, yes months. The anticipation was almost as exciting as the trip itself. We took ski trips to Colorado, warm weather vacations to the ocean, even going to Hess Lake for an extended period was exciting. But there was something about the ocean that did it for me. Being around water will always be the best thing.
Fast forward to last month when my husband and I made the trek out to sunny California. Our friends live there, so it was the perfect time to catch up. The weather was gorgeous, I never wanted to leave, but I'm guessing you already knew that.
Day 1: Once we landed at LAX, our first priority was food. It was around lunch time so we stopped at the Grand Central Market in LA. I've been to a handful of food markets in different cities and this was one of my favorites. There are plenty of different food options, no matter what you are craving. I decided on breakfast for lunch and ordered a sandwich at Egg Slut. It was just what I needed.
Next was a trip to Dodger Stadium. My husband is a die-hard baseball fan (go Cubs!) but he can appreciate a stadium like this. We made our way to the gift shop, which is right off the field on the upper deck. It was pretty cool seeing the stadium empty. I was able to get some great photos.
Day 2: This was a beach day. We drove to Point Dume, a state preserve in Malibu. It was a short walk to the water. I was able to touch my toes in the ocean and get some more photos. We were also able to get a great view of Malibu beach. The dolphins even showed up and gave us a little show. The view was pretty incredible from the top, picture worthy is an understatement.
Lunch was a stop at Vintage Grocer, right in Malibu. It's basically a nice Whole Foods. There are plenty of pre-made salads and sandwiches to pick from as well as made-to-order options. We left with our goods (and even a few macarons for a sweet treat).
We took our food to nearby El Matador Beach and spent a lovely afternoon there, soaking in the sun, even witnessing a proposal! This was probably my favorite day. I needed some fresh air and sunshine, after hibernating this winter in Michigan. Dinner was at Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch. This was a pretty dreamy place to eat. I do recommend.
Day 3: We managed to visit two cities on this day, Santa Monica and Venice. Our day began with donuts and coffee in Santa Monica at Sidecar Donuts. It was so good. Don't miss it if you're in the area. We didn't do much shopping but there were plenty of stores I could have spent some time in. Both Venice and Santa Monica beaches had plenty of good people watching. We made a lunch stop in Santa Monica at Ashland Hill. We were hungry and thirsty. It was the perfect place to refuel before we trekked out to Venice.
Day 4: This was a quick visit. We drove out to Santa Barbara (photo below, isn't it dreamy?!), first stopping for food, because obviously. After fueling up, we walked to the Santa Barbara Courthouse. The architecture detail in the building was amazing. We poked around downstairs first and then walked up to the observation area. On a clear day, you can see the ocean from here, but not for us. It was overcast, but still beautiful. Then we took a walking tour through what's called the Old Mission Santa Barbara. Quick fact: It was founded by Spanish Franciscans in 1786. History buffs, you'll appreciate this. The chapel was stunning, that alone was worth the stop.
Day 5: Last day's agenda: sleeping in and coffee. I tried to soak in a slow morning, getting the last bit of California sunshine I could before packing up. We decided to end the trip with the best lunch, In and Out. Don't skip In and Out. I skipped breakfast so I could have it. This wasn't our first time here, but it's always a good decision. Order the shake neapolitan style, which gives you all three flavors in one. The best.