Happy New Year Y’all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was spent day-cationing with the ‘rents who flew over from England to celebrate Christmas California style… here’s a glimpse at what we got up to!
My parents arrived right before Christmas which meant Christmas Eve was spent a touch jet-lagged. We kicked things off at The Golden Road for lunch and beer (If you didn’t know Golden Road is a Brewery with a pub attached, and it’s amazing). My Mum claims her meal (she had the meat lasagne) was the best meal she had the whole trip. High praise indeed for one of my favourite L.A spots – never had a bad meal there!
The 80 degree weather, whilst glorious, was making it a little tough to feel Christmassy, so we headed to downtown Riverside and the Mission Inn. If you haven’t been to the Mission Inn at Christmas, you must go. Their annual Festival of Lights is like Christmas exploded on downtown Riverside. Don’t believe me, check out this post from a few years ago.
I was under strict orders to keep Christmas a low-key affair since Mum hadn’t had a relaxing Christmas in a few decades. I cooked a Tofurkey, roast potatoes, carrots and romanesque, Mum cooked a turkey breast (they weren’t convinced on the whole Tofurkey thing) and Whole Foods did the rest – green bean salad, parmesan creamed corn and mashed sweet potatoes. All consumed al fresco. Thanks California.
We kept things traditional with stockings, presents under the tree and Christmas crackers. It was the kittens first Christmas so they got a stocking as well, naturally. Willie Nelson is obsessed with q-tips so he got a giant crocheted q-tip (pictured above) and Frank (the adult in the mix) got a teepee so he can hide from the kittens, which obviously didn’t last long, as evidenced above.
We spent the day after Christmas (which us Brits refer to as Boxing Day) in Malibu. We began with a picnic on my favourite beach – El Matador, had a quick trip to Paramount Ranch (check out my first visit here) and ended at Malibu Wines, where we sampled wine till the sun went down.
Laguna Beach is one of those places where I feel instantly relaxed. It’s a beach I can quite happily sit on for hours despite ADD, but as a town it’s always fallen short for us food wise. Gabby suggested we try her favourite, C’est La Vie, so we went for it and it was lovely. A completely unassuming French-style brasserie with a back patio that overlooks a quite splendid view (very bottom right). We’ve finally found somewhere to eat in Laguna that isn’t Whole Foods, yay.
ALSO. That sunset was to die for.
Later in the week we headed back to Malibu, this time to the Southern end and to The Getty Villa. It was my first visit, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I will say, having lived in Italy (yawn/vomit, I know) it wasn’t as impressive as I hoped but it’s a really lovely (and free – with the exception of parking) day out and the views are beautiful and imagining living in the villa is a trip.
We caught the sunset at Gladstones, the food was not great, but the cocktails, view and the sunset were phenomenal. We’ll definitely be back to sample that again, but probably not $20 burgers… Malibu is another one of those places I just don’t know where to eat. Scott and I are both vegetarian, and do not like fish even if we were “those” vegetarians. Which limits our options a lot. We usually opt for sandwiches on the beach (from Johns Garden at Malibu Country Mart) or a packed lunch. Both options are awesome, but we welcome recommendations for sit down places.
Mum & Dad practicing the art of the “selvesies” (Scott coined this term to describe duo selfies) | The “De La Renta” cocktail at Pattern Bar in DTLA | Mum & I in Beachwood Canyon | Dad trying In-n-Out for the first time | Sunset at Beachwood Canyon | View of the Hollywood sign at Beachwood Canyon | Hot Fudge Brownie at Fair Oaks Soda Fountain in Pasadena | Giant Marilyn in Palm Springs.
We also took a trip to Ojai, and I’m in love. So much so it’ll get a full post.What did you get up to over the break (if you had one!)
P.S When I’m not blogging (yeah, yeah) I’m on Instagram. See my travels instantly, here.