Last month we took a little anniversary trip and of course, we can never not go anywhere and just relax so we made a little work trip out of it too. And we had the. best. time! And we hopped around and made an adventure out of it!
This was actually Jamie’s first time ever going to California. I went to college in Long Beach and stayed and lived there for six years. Once I moved back and met Jamie, we started a business, had babies, and well, time just flies by! Jamie also doesn’t love to travel, he’s content just being at home. So being we haven’t traveled anywhere over our anniversary since our honeymoon, I said that was it, we’re going back to my old stomping grounds!
Being we were making a little work trip out of it, day one we stayed at Venice Beach, just biking distance from the Santa Monica Pier, which was right along the water at a hotel called Hotel Erwin. First time staying there and highly recommend. I mean, how cute are these hotel rooms?!
Plus they greeted us with an amazing complimentary cocktail when we checked in, had a rooftop restaurant and bar, and free bikes to take you anywhere.
And here’s an extension of our team! These guys are the ones behind the scenes working all of our magic with brand partnerships and we’d be lost without them! We biked our way to Santa Monica and had dinner with these wonderful people.
Coincidentally, not planned, Jamie’s brother and fiance planned a vacation to CA at the same time while we were out there. Except they were headed further north, while we were headed more south. But we grabbed breakfast with them once they landed at LAX before we both ventured our different ways, which was so fun!
After day one, we checked out of Hotel Erwin and made our way to Long Beach. So one of the fun things Jamie and I have started doing is using an app called, Hotel Tonight. Which means, we find our hotel on the fly. It’s AAAAaaamazing and so fun! The rates are usually half the price if not more and we’ve never had a problem not finding a hotel. Throughout this trip, this is exactly how we traveled. We could have stayed in one spot longer but also wanted to try out different hotels and venture back to different areas. So come day two, we stayed at The Queen Mary!
Right across the bay from the Queen Mary is Gladstones, where I waited tables for 5 years, and I had never once stepped foot on The Queen Mary, but was always on my bucket list. Through that app, we got to stay on the Queen Mary for $50. Typically it’s can be anywhere from $200-600 a night.
But…let’s just say…I am REAL glad we only stayed there one night. I am super claustrophobic, and cannot watch one scary movie. It truly looks like the Titanic inside. And it’s also known to be haunted, they have a Halloween show on this ship…so let’s just say I did not sleep!! And not to mention, Jamie kept asking me and wondering if there is a fire how do we get out?! Because we were in the middle of the ship with no windows and it took us an hour to find our our room when all was calm. Haha! But, at least I can cross this off my bucket list.
It was definitely a cool experience though and really neat to tour. To think about how many people came across the world on this ship is really fascinating to me.
These chains especially…they are the chains to the anchor. They were HUGE!
And of course, we made our way back to Gladstone’s, one of my favorite restaurants to this day! This is a picture of my old manager, Scott, and my dear friend Katie, who I met while serving at Gladstone’s. Wasn’t sure if he would recognize me when I walked in, but as soon as I saw him and yelled, “SCOOOOTTTT!!!” across the restaurant and he smiled and ran over and gave me a hug. Felt like not a day had changed!
Missed this side kick of mine so much!! We walked our way over to the Dubliner, which is where we would go for an after work cocktail. Missed this spot too! Except this time, we weren’t on the dance floor like we normally always were.
Day three, we ventured over to one of my favorite places in the world, Huntington Beach and stayed at Shorebreak Hotel.
After I graduated college in Long Beach, I moved 20 minutes up the coast to Huntington and lived with some of my favorite people in the world to this day. This place will always have such a special place in my heart. And let me tell you, the Shorebreak Hotel was INSANE!
Snapped a picture, as we were leaving (that’s not how they make the bed), but wanted to show how the whole place had such a cool vibe!
This is their incredible bar and restaurant in the hotel. The entire place gave me so much inspiration! I don’t think we needed to even leave this hotel if we didn’t wan to.
I could stand and watch the surfers on the pier, and soak in those ocean waves for days on end. Jamie was blown away by how many surfers there were. He was raised traveling to Florida so this scene was a lot different than what he was used to and even expected.
When you stay on the Hungtinton Beach Pier, you really don’t ever need to leave. Throughout the next couple days we just made our way back to all of my favorite bars and restaurants and soaked up those delicious authentic tacos.
And bloody Mary’s…ha!
One of the cool experiences that we got to do was go hang at and ride in one at the Ferrari Dealership in Newport. As we were grabbing dinner the night before at the Pier in Huntington, a really nice couple came and sat at the bar next to us. For whatever reason, we started chatting and hit it off and talked the night away. As this couple was leaving our new friend dropped us his business card and told us to come see him tomorrow if we wanted to.
Jamie is a HUGE sports car guy so of course as soon as he saw where he worked was all about it. I’ll be honest, the next day we were a little nervous. I knew Jamie wanted to go and I was just leaving it to him to decide but I could really care less about sports cars. But when he said, “when will we ever get this opportunity again?!” I said, let’s go! And we did! He walked us through the showroom, we chatted more about all the cool people he knows, and he took us for a whip up the coast. It was super cool. And a reminder that you just never know you might sit next to.
The last night before we caught our flight we headed closer to LAX and stayed with one of my favorite high school girlfriends, Mary. We had such a fun night and even got back to our roots and walked over and toilet papered one of our other elementary friends home and laughed the night away!!
Such a great trip and we cannot wait to get back, but Jamie promised me we can start going yearly instead of once every five years.