It was long overdue, my SoCal Adventure Pt 2 post. Apologies for the delay! It’s been a busy two weeks since I got back from vacation. We shot a bunch of pilots, commercials, etc. at work for the upcoming season so I was spending a lot of time working on that.
For the second half of my most recent California trip with Offner, we decided to stay in Marina Del Rey. It was the first time we were using Airbnb to find a room in someone’s apartment. We’ve done the individual apartment before on numerous occasions but it was a little scarier scoping out places to share with people. We got super lucky and found an amazing little studio fully equipped with a private bathroom and small kitchenette in a lovely woman’s home right at the limit of Marina Del Rey and Venice. We had a beautiful balcony that overlooked the little housing complex that had a beautiful pool and garden. This is where we ate our breakfast every morning. It was such a relaxing place to stay! Offner and I were like two kids in the swimming pool; playing games, doing contests, synchronized swimming, etc!
While in the area, we spent some time wondering around the Venice boardwalk and legendary skatepark. We are also really fond of the Venice canals, a super quiet and beautiful area in Venice that is removed from all the waterfront chaos. Offner and I walked around picking out our “future” home, going to garage sales and enjoying the pretty sights!
Our breakfast go-to spots in the area are Deus ex machina in Venice & Urth Caffé (Hello!! Green tea almond milk latte, my favorite!!) in Santa Monica. Deus were actually have a really rad surfboard swap event the second day we were there so we had to stop by. No boards were purchased but it was nice to meet a lot of local vendors, eat yummy food and drool over amazing surfboards!
We returned to Offner’s favorite fish taco joint in the area called Reel Inn, for some fresh tacos and veggies after an amazingly relaxing day of surfing in Malibu. The water had really warmed up the second week we were there, so surfing was delightful! The waves weren’t breaking too often, so you really had time to sit on your board and relax while you waited for the next set. I honestly think that this little spot is one of my new favorites. Thinking about it just warms my heart and makes me want to go back so badly! There’s nothing quite like riding a nice longboard beach break 🙂
We also had the chance to go out on several nights after spending the day either lounging around, surfing, shopping, etc. We tried out The Bungalow in Santa Monica. Though the decoration and overall concept was great, the crowd and atmosphere was disappointing. My top spots that we tried this time were:
–The Standard in downtown Los Angeles (there’s a new SPIN Ping Pong club there too!). It was a super hip spot with a dreamy pool and a cute beer garden on rooftop. The view of downtown LA was spectacular. Interestingly mixed crowd as well!
–Hotel Erwin‘s rooftop bar. It has the best view of Venice, hands down! Our friends Lisa from This Beautiful Day and her husband joined us and so did my lovely friend Rosie, who I met last year through instagram. Such a memorable night!
Since we’re big foodies, we also checked out a few new & hip restaurants. My top two were:
–Nikita, a brand new ocean-front restaurant right beside Nobu in Malibu. It just opened in July and is already super popular. It was surpringsly easy to get a table on a Friday night. The atmosphere was chic but also laid-back. The food was spectacular (I would have taken photos but I didn’t feel it was appropriate in this kind of environment), the wine was delectable and the service was impeccable! We also really enjoyed their beautiful oceanside patio. The perfect romantic evening!
–Tar & Roses, a beautiful Spanish-influenced restaurant in Santa Monica. They had incredible tapas and probably one of the best cheeseboards I’ve ever tasted! They had a very big selection of fine cheeses and for $20 for a selection of 5, you can’t beat that. Attention cheese lovers, this next pic might make your mouth water 😉
We also returned to the Melrose Trading Post and visited the beautiful town of Manhattan Beach for the first time. The beach there was so peaceful and uncrowded, it was a perfect place to hang out for an afternoon. Their little downtown area is also super cute and fun to explore!
This trip wouldn’t have been complete without many lunches, walks, shopping excursions and hangs on Abbot Kinney. Loved the TOMS flagship store & café and the 3 Square Café for an afternoon snack!
Before leaving my dear friend Maggie came up to the Santa Monica area to take pictures of Offner and I on the pier. It was a lot of fun modelling for her and taking pictures with such a stunning scenery! She has lovely photo site that you can check out: http://emwhyphotography.com/. Here’s my favorite photo from our shoot:
On the way to the airport in Vegas, we stopped by Calico to visit the ghost town. It’s an $8 admission fee per adult. Though it may sound like a lot to just visit an old mining town, it was pretty neat to see just how well preserved these buildings were. Plus, there’s a beautiful view of the desert from the top. It was definitely a lovely way to end this vacation!
All this blog writing and remising is making me miss SoCal SO MUCH! Can’t wait to be back to continue the adventure! I love you California <3