Thursday, April 16, 2015

Up and down The PCH! From L.A. to Santa Barbara California!

When one of my best friends announced that she'd be getting married in Santa Barbara, California and that I was to be one of her bridesmaids, Steven and I jumped at the chance to turn their vows into our vacation!!!!  ;)  After all, the secret to Happily Ever After is experiences and we wanted to explore California, together, for the second time!  Oh Captain, my Captain, let's HIT IT!!!

So we jumped on a plane and headed west!  LAX, here we come!!!  Several hours later we arrived in Downtown L.A. hoped in our rental and drove to the coast!  I hadn't seen the ocean in months and I instantly fell in love with the palm trees, white sandy beaches and golden, sun kissed landscape!

We decided on breakfast with a view and stopped into the Ocean View Cafe and took a small bistro table on the sidewalk.  Be sure to bring your appetite!!!  Eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage and toast will be served on a small platter and we didn't mind, we'd be needing the carbs for the busy day ahead!!!

Ok, so before our busy day and after our huge breakfast we decided to take some much needed time out and relax on the beach!  Our hour of relaxation turned into several and before we knew it all of our sunbathing, wave jumping and running after the seagulls on the beach took up our entire afternoon, and we didn't mind:)  It was a great day and we needed the rest!  Everything else we wanted to see was put on hold for just a bit longer;)

After we returned our chair rentals, we took a walk and checked out some shops and gelato in the fabulous Manhattan Beach area!!!  We explored well into the evening and then headed back to the hotel to freshen up and get dinner in Beverly Hills!!!

Beverly Hills is home to two of our all time favorite restaurants!!!
The Farm of Beverly Hills if you're craving Southern American, fresh off the farm bites with a hip, Beverly Hills twist!  The restaurant itself has a delightfully rustic feel that includes vintage water pumps and buckets to complete the sinks in the bathrooms!!!
Il Forno Caldo, is perfect if you're craving Authentic, Delicious Italian Delights and and wanting a dim, candlelit, romantic dining experience!!!
As an added bonus to your before or after dinner antics, Beverly Hills boasts the Creme de la Creme in fashion and home furnishing stores.  All of the top brands line the streets underneath rows and rows of billowing palm trees!!!  You literally could, shop till you drop:)

Oh L.A. I hate to leave you, but the wedding draws near and we had to say our "See you Laters" and get on the PCH, next stop, Santa Barbara, friends and Wedding festivities!!!
The ride along the PCH is breathtaking, ocean views follow you the entire way:)  If you can leave L.A. in the wee, early morning hours or after dinner to head north, we recommend that, we left mid afternoon and the traffic through Malibu and surrounding areas set us behind quite a bit!

But when we finally arrived, several hours later the beautiful beach and friends were awaiting our arrival and so was a much needed snack:)  Ohhh, Santa Barbara, my first visit, certainly not my last!!!

By early evening we checked into our hotel and headed over to the Wedding venue for the rehearsal and dinner.  The hot couple seen below, known to Steve and I as simply "Hollywood" bleed style and grace!  Good looking, charming and funny as Hell, these two are truly a match made in Heaven!  We were thrilled to be a part of their special day<3   

The Bacara Resort and Spa, was everything we dreamed it would be:)  Pools, views, elegant rooms, lovely restaurants, and sheer relaxation and unwinding greeted you at every turn!  The wedding was amazing, seeing our friends was awesome and we will remember it for the rest of our lives!!! 

As after any crazy night out, one needs a big brunch to pull through the rest of the day, and considering we only had a few hours to enjoy Santa Barbara before making the long journey back to L.A., we were gonna need the fuel.  Garcon!  Coffee;)
Since I only hunt down the best of the best and just can't settle for anything less, I found Scarlett Begonia and I'm sooo glad I did:)  Scrambled eggs with spinach and cheddar over roasted potatoes???  Yes, please!!!  I HIGHLY recommend this place, it was excellent:)

After brunch we hit the surrounding streets in search of vintage finds and chic boutiques, here in Santa Barbara there is no shortage of the unique and interesting:) 

The architecture in this town is lovely!  While you're walking the gorgeous streets don't forget to look up, beautiful brick work, archway windows, red tiled roofs and vintage theatres will surprise and delight you on every block!!!

If your legs get tired you can always hop on the trolley:)  The Seaside Shuttle is only 50 cents a passenger!  It's a super cheap and effective way to get around and see the town while saving a few footsteps!

And the window displays, Ohhhhh the window displays, you can't get out of one beautiful shop before the next window pulls you in:)  Antiques, florals, porcelain, furniture, artwork, books, jewelry and more grace these windows, merchandised in such flattering and interesting ways!!!  You won't be able to help yourself:) 

Antiques Alley is filled with curiosities!!!  Definitely worth a gander;)

When the shops have taken their toll, take the trolley down to the water and walk across the Pier to sit and boat watch for a while!  

We bid our friends farewell and began our long journey back to L.A.  But one doesn't dare visit California without stopping at a winery, and so we made a pit-stop back in Malibu;)

As you approach Malibu Wines, you're greeted with mountain tops terraced in vineyards, blue, sunny skies and the twists and turns of Mulholland Drive!

Parking is around the corner and down the road as to not interfere with the beautiful winery.  You hop aboard a small trolley that will shuttle you over and shuttle you back when its time to go:)
As you approach the entrance the sweet sounds of live music, chatter and the clinking of glasses greets you and instantly your cares fade away!!! 

This being our first time here, we made our way through the groups of families and friends towards the outdoor tasting deck!  The wines were superb!!!  Nothing like a glass of cool white on a hot summer day:)

Of course, Steven prefers the Reds;) <3

After hanging out for about an hour we were pained to have to continue on...but the views sure kept us company:)

Back into Santa Monica, we decided to spend our last couple hours before the red eye flight home in Downtown!  Downtown Santa Monica is a hustle and bustle of commerce and great restaurants!!!  Live music is played by bands just starting out and magicians perform tricks in front of your eyes, its like a carnival of entertainment at every turn!!!

We reunited with our friends to grab a bite before the flight at Loteria!  Excellent Mexican Cantina:)  We sat outside on their patio, sipped on margaritas and feasted on fish tacos and fresh guacamole!!!

After our early dinner we walked off our meal along the shop lined streets and then made our way back to the airport:(
Farewell dearest California, we will see you soon!!!! <3  Our last looks were as the sun went down!

Until Next Time, Kisses from us to you !!!

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