Babymooning… a much needed getaway with my love, just us. I have a feeling last weekend was the last time we will be able to take a little vacay for a loooong while. Can’t wait for what’s ahead, but that time to relax and reconnect was kind of the best. We chose to do a “staycation” for a few obvious reason. 1. Being 35 weeks pregnant makes it a little difficult to get on a plane or take a really long road trip. 2. I am way to exhausted to sightsee anyway. So being somewhere we know, without the pressure of getting out/exploring was just perfect.

I want to share a few of my favorite places in Laguna. Places to eat, where we stayed, where to shop, where to beach etc!

WHERE TO STAY:

We stayed at The Casa Laguna Hotel and Spa… the cutest, most quaint little boutique hotel. I was in love. It only has 22 units, very personal, the staff was incredible, design and decor was on point… everything. I loved it all.

WHERE TO EAT:

Nick’s: Fine Dining American Restaurant with an open air California vibe. This place was sooo yummy… the butter cake was unreal.

Active Culture: We go here all the time. It is so yummy with lots of healthy, vegan options. We love the Wholesome Bowl and Nachos. Legit crazy good.

Starfish: Asian Fusion Dining – Voted best Asian cuisine in Laguna in 2016. We loved the cool vibe and the Pad Thai.

La Sirena: Great Mexican menu with the best chicken enchilada I’ve had.

 

WHERE TO TREAT:

Cream: We didn’t make it here… but I heard it is the best ice cream and cookie sandwiches.

Sprinkles Cupcakes & Ice Cream: Just go. Can’t get enough of Sprinkles Cupcakes and then they go and take things to the next level with ICE CREAM. It is so delicious. Try the mint ice cream. YUM.

BJ’s Restaurant: This is Clay’s favorite spot for the Pizzookie. Just a huge, hot cookie pizza topped with tons of ice cream. Can’t get any better.

The Candy Baron: A classic candy store in downtown Laguna. So fun to reminisce on old favorites and stock up for movie night!

Loop: Handcrafted Churros – Just click the link to check out their Insta. You’ll see why you need to make the trip.

Nick’s: yea, already talked about this butter cake but TOTALLY worth mentioning again.

 

WHERE TO BEACH:

Victoria Beach: You have probably seen photos of this place. It is pretty incredible. There is an old “castle-like” structure sitting right on the beach that looks like Rapunzel’s tower. Magical spot. Tip: Make sure to go at mid-low tide otherwise the water will be too high to walk around the cliff to see the structure.

Brooks Street Beach: One of the best spots for surfing in Laguna.

 

WHERE TO SHOP:

Fashion Island

Irvine Spectrum

Downtown Laguna: The perfect place to just meander about, in and out of shops. A few of my favorites are Little Bohemian, Tuvalu and LF.

101: If you have the time, there are sooo many little shops + art galleries scattered along the 101 in Laguna and surrounding. I would love to just take the trolly up and down that street exploring.

Happy Travels! This is a verrrry small list of favorites, mostly just things we actually did and loved while we were there. If you have anything to add, I’d love to know in the comments! 🙂

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It felt incredible to get away. And to be quite honest, for the first few hours after realizing I wouldn’t have cell reception, I panicked just a litttttttle bit. But it didn’t take long for me to decompress, to step back and tuck all electronics away for the weekend. It felt so nice and rejuvenating! Now, I must say, this isn’t absolutely necessary. We didn’t have cell reception, but there is wifi on the property… but our little cabin was too far for it to be reached and I didn’t search much further than that. An excuse to disconnect was needed. 🙂

Alisal Guest Ranch exceeded all expectations and beyond. Every person we talked with was INCREDIBLE welcoming and sweet. At the registration desk, every waiter we had, especially the man who helped Ezra fish for the first time… they all took so much interest and were very attentive.

When I initially planned this little weekend getaway, I had a lot on our itinerary. I wanted to explore downtown Santa Barbara, walk the town of Solvang (which we stopped by for a couple of minutes on our way out), maybe go to the beach for a bit… but our time was so short and once we got there we absolutely didn’t want to leave! It’s like we entered our own dimension where nothing but our little family mattered. We just played, ate, made fires together, talked, chased, fished and just spent time TOGETHER. All other plans went out the window. And when the ranch includes every meal *and gourmet waited meals at that*, it didn’t make it hard for us to stick around. Everything you need for a comfortable stay is on the property.

Sidenote: All the bedding and a lot of the decor is Pendleton. If you know me, you know how much I love Pendleton Wool! The decor was super cozy with a glamping vibe.

I was told that the water in the lake isn’t usually brown, but after so many storms this winter it has decreased visibility. Would love to come back in the summer to see its beautiful blue water!

I can’t recommend this place more. I hope to return soon! I can’t imagine how beautiful this place is in the summer. So much to love, thank you so much Alisal Guest Ranch for having us! We had the best time. 🙂

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This has always been on my bucket list. Driving up the coast through Big Sur, all the way up to San Francisco. It is about an 8.5 hours drive from us. Not terrible… but to be honest I didn’t think it was something we would be doing anytime soon with a two year old in tow. But when a last minute opportunity came our way and an awesome rental fell in our lap, we couldn’t say no!

So with only a couple of days to plan, we invited some friends Dave and Andra (@lyladawnapparel) along, packed our bags and headed up the coast. It was everything I had imagined. So beautiful. Did not disappoint. There were moments of crazy in the car yes… moments of crazy sightseeing yes… HA! But it was all worth it and I would do it all over again if I could!

 

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I don’t think we realized how close we were to Palm Springs until we saw an exit sign while driving to Joshua Tree! We immediately decided to stay a night without really thinking it through. I booked a nice place on AirBnb as we headed up the canyon.

You would not believe how sore my quads are and how bruised my lower back is at this moment. I don’t think I will be able to walk tomorrow. We walked around Joshua Tree for hours and hours yesterday, stopping in the shade here and there, crawling around on the rocks, all the while carrying this little monkey on my back. Our rock climbing expert friend showed me a technique to shimmy up a cliffside crevice by pushing your back against the rock with your legs extended on the other side walking up the opposite face. Does this make sense? HA! The photo may help with the visual. Needless to say, my legs were shaking by the time I got to the top.

We drove down to our place and quickly realized we didn’t have ANYTHING for a comfortable stay. Oops. No toothbrushes, pajamas for Ezra, pack n play, ezzy’s “night night noise”, blankie, a change of clothes umm… diapers… the list goes on and on. Traveling with kids is no joke but we winged it anyhow, stopping by Target for the essentials, and we made it work. We moved a second bedroom mattress on the floor, lined it with pillows, wrapped him up in a sheet as a “sleep sack”… I’ve decided flying by the seat of our pants is pretty exciting and most of the time, things just work out. 🙂

We sat by the fire until late into the night, ate oreos, listened to Beach House… it was all pretty great.

The next morning, (after a little bit of a rough night… ya know…) we headed to Palm Springs, walked around the town and grabbed some breakfast. But I HAD to see the iconic Palm Springs Mid Century Architecture. I googled “palm springs pink door” and found THE PINK DOOR ADDRESS. I felt like a total creep but didn’t care. We went anyway.

This home is owned by Designer Moises Esquenazi… you can see photos of the inside HERE! You will DIE when you see the pool. Oh my HEAVENS.

We drove around each street and I completely COMPLETELY fell in love. The old, original neighborhoods were beyond amazing. EVERY house was Mid Century to the nines… every detail, every plant, every brick… so much love.

I am so glad we decided to make a weekend out of it… Made us feel like those cool parents who totally can wing it with a kid and be adventurous when 99% of the time we just aren’t. ha! Realizing its doable and will be trying our hand at spontaneity again soon!

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I have known these girls since the first grade. We were the best of friends in middle school, meeting each other between our houses before the sun came up to trade clothes or meeting at each other’s houses to do our hair in elaborate hair styles for our middle school boyfriends. I remember at the time taking it all so seriously. Calling the night before asking, “can I borrow your white flip flops?” planning outfits days in advance… boy were my priorities straight back then. HAHA!

We realized recently that after all these years, we had NEVER taken a road trip together! So we decided last minute to make it happen.

We packed up the mini van to the brim and headed north to Solvang, a little town just up the mountain from the Santa Barbara coast. I can’t even put into words how amazingly gorgeous this place was. Green rolling hills everywhere with oak trees scattered about… I think this will be the place I will retire. 🙂

Here are some photos that have been sitting on my camera roll a little too long. The scenery is much to gorgeous not to share. @marylauren @marylauren @marylauren
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