California Here We Come…


A couple of my  favorite bloggers have been busy chatting about their summer vacations. Two recent posts (A Lovely Morning  and Rickshaw Design) have me daydreaming about sneaking away to California for a little sunshine, a little pampering and a little R&R.

First blogger-inspired summer vacation destination? The gorgeous (and not to mention, luxurious) Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai is located about 15 miles inland from Santa Barbara (which is, let’s face it, another fabulous summer option). It’s a rural and quaint small town filled with unique independently owned businesses and cafes. The main draw for out of towners is without a doubt the Inn & Spa, a AAA five-star property known for it’s championship golf course, elaborate spa, and Mission-inspired surroundings.

I think I could handle a weekend there. I’d start out, of course, in the spa –  maybe a Shangi-la treatment (a cleansing and nourishing skin ritual done with local honey and lavendar grown on property) and then find my zen with a Kuyam treatment (imagine cleansing desert clay, dry heat, inhalation therapy and traditional Chumash guided meditation).

I’d probably read my book by the pool for a while, enjoying a snack from the Inn’s veggie garden and then maybe take a nap on my private patio.  Maybe I’d head to one of their restaurants for dinner – or I might arrange to eat a meal prepared with local ingredients in front of the roaring fireplace in my room. 

Sound perfect? Need to head to Ojai immediately?  Rates for early July start at $400 a night.

My next blogger-inspired vacation destination is the L’Auberge Del Mar.

I should probably put it out there that I’m undeniably biased about the hotel and the location. Growing up in Southern California, I have no problem bringing to memory the gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean as you head off of the 5 freeway and down Del Mar Heights Road.  All blue, as far as the eye can see.

And once you head in to Del Mar, tucked on the side of this cute and charming  village, is the L’Auberge Del Mar.  This hotel is just gorgeous.  It’s quiet. It’s private. It’s understated and elegant.

If I was heading there this weekend, I’d definitely start by brunching at the hotel’s buzz-getting Kitchen 1450 (which was recently written about by another another favorite blogger (Oh Joy! Eats)). I’d explore the art galleries and shops on Camino Del Mar, head down to the beach for a while, and then head to the spa, known for it’s treatments inspired by the sea.

Rates for the L’Auberge Del Mar start at $365 a night.  Ah. I’m itching to use my airline miles as we speak…


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