While on our way out the door this week, we ran into our neighbors and they asked us, how was your vacation? I was stumped. What vacation? For the life of me, I couldn’t remember this so-called vacation until Scott reminded me, um, Malibu? Oh, right. It was only a two weeks ago, and yet we’re already back into full swing project mode! In that very moment, I made myself a mental note to slow down. Isn’t vacation funny that way? It’s prep, prep, prep until you’re boarding the plane, and then as soon as you’ve returned home, it’s go, go, go.
So today, I’m pumping the brakes, slowing down, and reminiscing all the way back to two weeks ago (ha!). To the time Scott and I spent a whole week in sunny Malibu, celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary! Our anniversary is actually next week, but we like to travel in October, before we get whisked away by the holiday season. My parents and sister flew in from Pittsburgh to keep our home warm and snuggle with Lucy, and after months (yes, really) of planning, we were off! I took a risk and packed only my lightweight 50 mm lens (because my favorite lens in the whole wide world is a beast), and we planned our entire getaway around your recommendations. Thank you so much, friends!
Traveling feels so good for our souls, and we spent every day going on ‘dates’ – brunch ‘dates’ and dinner ‘dates’ and hiking ‘dates.’ On our first full day, the Santa Ana winds blew in and surprised us with a 12 hour power outage(!), but despite that one blip, it was both relaxing and invigorating. (And yes, I may have had a moment or two of sheer panic when our cell service was spotty and I was unable to get in touch with my mom, but I survived.)
Where We Stayed
We rented the cutest pool house from the sweetest couple, nestled into a canyon and overlooking the ocean. We had the pool to ourselves, but we spent the majority of our time sipping coffee on our private balcony and counting the avocados and lemons on the trees nearby. In the evenings, we piled under blankets and stared into the water while listening to true crime podcasts. It is so dark in the evenings, quite a contrast from the bright lights of Chicago! Of course, this had me double checking that our doors were locked before crawling into bed, because as all of our podcasts suggest, I was so sure that our remote location was the perfect setting for a crime scene. (Another note to self: Must scale back on true crime.) Regardless, it was the most beautiful place to call ‘home’ for one week.
Where We Hiked
We spent our first morning in Malibu at Point Dume. You promised us that we’d see seals, and we did! They blended right into the rocks, and we kept losing count as they waded in and out of the water. Just like stars, as our eyes adjusted, we could eventually see more and more. So cute. It was an easy walk, and we wound our way up the Point and back down to the water. The landscape couldn’t be more different than what we see in the Midwest, and it all felt so fresh and pretty.
Psst: If you focus your eyes along the rocks in the photo above, you can almost make out the curved shapes of the seals’ bodies!
We also took a stroll through Solstice Canyon, and we spent a lot of time at the ruins of the Roberts’ Ranch that was destroyed in a wildfire. We were completely captivated by the thoughtful execution of the home’s mid-century design by Paul R. Williams, which included a fire protection system and a web of pumps and collecting pools. It burned down in 1982 after the homeowner’s death, but the footprint of the home – as well as old tile and hearths! – remain. (You can learn more about the ranch here.)
Where We Beached
We spent the better part of an afternoon at El Matador State Beach, and, whoa. There are so many nooks and crannies and rock formations! There was the slightest haze in the blue sky, creating the prettiest, rockiest silhouettes in the distance. It was fun to watch people try to run underneath the largest rock before the waves crashed in (in the photo below), and I challenged Scott to give it a go. He juuust made it!
Our last full day in Malibu was spent at the Lagoon, and if we had more time, we definitely would have come back! We kept an eye out for starfish, with no luck, but Scott did accidentally step on a flounder! We watched as a camera crew set up a piece of driftwood, but no one ever came to film (for a reality show?, we wondered), and I took a quick snooze while Scott watched the surfers. It was so, so peaceful.
Where We Ate + Played
We’ve been to LA many times, but one place we’ve never stopped? Venice Beach! We knew the main strip would be touristy, but we secretly kind of love that. We grabbed breakfast at Flake (ugh, take me back!), and on a whim, I had 7″ of dead weight chopped off of my hair. I needed that. Hair holds onto so much negative energy, don’t you think? I truly, firmly believe that.
Based on your suggestions, we also picked up baked goods from Gjusta, grabbed breakfast burritos at Lily’s and had the cauliflower pizza at Malibu Farm, followed by a walk down the pier. One evening, we drove all the way up Sunset Boulevard into Silver Lake to have dinner with one of my best friends at The Sit Down, followed by drinks at The Black Cat. On our last night, we drove into the valley and chowed on In-N-Out, because we had to! (We can’t leave LA without it!) But the very, very last thing we enjoyed before we boarded the plane home? Randy’s Donuts. (Always and forever.)
Thank you for being so good to us, Malibu (and beyond)! And thank all of you for being the best virtual tour guides we could ask for. xx