Our Trip to Cali, Part I

It’s s been snowing for days, and the high tomorrow is -11. With that in mind, I think this is the perfect time to reminisce about our first anniversary trip to Cali in October! I want to preface this post with the fact that we won this trip (roundtrip airfare for 2 and 4 nights at The Shore Hotel in Santa Monica) via a Virgin Airlines and Hipmunk Facebook contest. The moral of the story? Enter contests! I used to never enter contests, they seemed sketchy somehow like there might be strings attached, but there were none. You better believe I am entering contests now! Someone has to win, right? To make the most of our time, we extended the trip to a week, rented a convertible and drove up Highway 1 for three nights in Big Sur. I have been wanting to go to Big Sur for a long time, and it did not disappoint! Plus, after getting married in Napa on October 20, 2012, SoCal was the perfect place to celebrate our first year of married life. We took tons of pics so I’ll break it down into three posts. Otherwise it would be the longest post of all time and you may never come back. Readers, are you there?

Anyway, here is a list of things we did and where we ate in case any of you are planning a trip out west. I’ll start with the LA portion of our trip:

tickets to LA

^At the airport! Dan made a folder with all our travel docs…very organized!

Santa Monica

^And we’ve arrived! Our hotel was right by the pier which made for some good people watching. While we waited for our room to be ready we had lunch next-door.

IMG_3806^I love the vegetation in Southern CA: bougainvillea, succulents…gorg! So different than the Midwest.

breakfast^We went to breakfast on our anniversary at Cliff’s Edge in Silverlake. It was so, so good, and the decor was amazing too.

Cliff's Edge cliff's edge the ivy^More bougainvillea! 
santa monica beach

beach^We went to the beach with our good friends. Dan tried surfing for the 1st time.

lucques^We ate at Lucques for our anniversary dinner. It was the Sunday Supper menu, so we had to choose between the fish or chicken entree. I was kind of bummed at the limited menu options…until I tried the chicken. I would normally order fish but the chicken sounded good and OMG it was probably the best chicken Dan or I’ve ever eaten. 
anniversary dinner

^It looks like Dan has a sweaty armpit, but I promise he didn’t! This is the only picture of the 2 of us at dinner :) Sorry Dan!


^We hiked Runyon Canyon on a beautiful morning. Dan made me do the really steep and scary course, and let’s just say I was not happy about it at all. I am a little scared of heights, and I literally felt like I was just going to fall off a cliff most of the time. Then a couple of teens went by in flip flops. I mean seriously!?

Runyon Canyon^Me, on the flat-ish path before the scary hike began.

Little Doms^We had brunch at Little Dom’s after hiking and then walked around Los Feliz for a bit after. Very cool area.

Gjelina^Yummmm Gjelina. Venice is about the cutest neighborhood with so many great boutiques; I would move there in a second.

Palm Tree Yoga in the park flowers^More pictures from our hike. I wish we had gotten there in time for the free yoga!

farmshop^Finally, we had an amazing breakfast at Farmshop before heading out to Malibu…I’ll include those pictures in Part II!


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