December 16, 2013
Last week was a bit of a doozy as we had to be out of our apartment for a few days (long story short: renting is the worst). We tried to make the most of it by staying in an airbnb in Venice and I’m SO GLAD WE DID. Venice is normally like 10 minutes from me, but it felt like a mini vacation being able to live there for a few days. Our place was right off of Abbot Kinney and that meant we could walk to all our favorite restaurants (Gjelina Take Away one night and Salt Air another) (also beer and oysters). And jk about the walking part, it was 50 degrees outside, hello? But it sure was nice to only drive a few blocks.
Even though I was still going to work every day and spending very little time at the airbnb, my mind was in total vacation mode. I mean the host STOCKED THE FRIDGE with food for us and left homemade cookies on the doorstep. Plus, there was an indoor washer & dryer and do you know what kind of heaven that is? As a multi-year Los Angeles renter, let me tell you, it’s a rarity and a gift. Before leaving, I wrote in the guest book asking if we could move in forever and I left my phone number. Faux vacations for the win.
On another note, I am totally unprepared for Christmas. How about you?
UPDATE: How did I write a whole post about the airbnb we stayed in and NOT link to it? MONDAYS, I tell you. Also, I’ll blame the Homeland season finale. I’ve updated with the link but here it is again: BAM.
November 27, 2013
Before Ann-Marie’s wedding, we celebrated her bachelorette party with a weekend getaway to Lake Arrowhead. Two full days with my favorite people?! Sign me up for that every weekend, please.
We stayed in a cozy cabin, drank moscow mules, explored around the lake, took endless amounts of photos, and did a whole lot of chilling out. There was some killer guacamole involved (thanks Jamie) and there may or may not have been some inappropriate convos (a must at a bachelorette, though, right?). I love these people and I’m so glad we got to whisk Ann-Marie away for a weekend of relaxing.
photos of me by Jaymee.
plus, see her post on Arrowhead here!
also, since we’re on the subject: my last lake arrowhead post here.
November 5, 2013
As I mentioned before, my favorite part about our trip to Big Sur was the cabin we stayed in. Tucked away in the woods, one mile from Pfeiffer Beach and about 2 miles off of Highway 1, it felt secluded enough to really feel like we were surrounded by nature, but still close enough and centralized to the rest of Big Sur’s offerings. It was cozy and beautiful and peaceful all at the same time. So clean and quiet, with nothing but the trees to keep us company, and it was ours for 2 whole days.
I was nervous about the fact that it had no internet or cell service, being that I can’t remember what paper maps look like (hi, google maps for everything), but we got over it pretty quickly and found that getting around was fairly easy.
I found this cabin by emailing a different cabin on VRBO that we wanted to stay in. I got my hopes way up and they came crashing down when the owner said it wasn’t available. He asked if I’d like him to share my contact info with a few other owners in the area and I said YES PLEASE. Soon after, I received an email from this cabin owner saying she had a cancellation and her cabin was available on our dates. I literally fell out of my chair because I loved it so much. Well, the rest is history.
Little cabin, we’ll meet again soon, I just know it!
The cabin is listed on vrbo HERE.
It’s close to Big Sur Bakery, the general store, and Pfeiffer Beach.
The fireplace-connected thermostat was a real winner as it gets cold.
The silence! Oh the beautiful silence.
One-way roads and bridges but we managed!
Large windows and skylights made it feel like we were nestled among the oaks and redwoods.
The Grodsky-Taylor residence (that’s us) give it 5 stars.
November 4, 2013
A few years ago, Kyle and I were driving along Highway 1 in the upper Central Coast of California, weaving through thick redwoods and jagged mountain cliffs (hello, where are the guard rails on these roads?), when we spotted a large group of people on the side of the road, wearing strange garb and rain dancing (i think? i wasn’t wearing my glasses). We called them “tree people” and vowed to return to that mythical place asap (to move the story along, it was Big Sur). Fast forward to 2 weeks ago and we were finally en route back, searching for those tree people of yore. Ok so we didn’t find the tree peeps and started thinking they were an illusion of our minds, but we did discover something else: Big Sur is kind of the best place ever.
Honestly, it was one of my favorite trips to date. The cell service is terrible and we had no internet at our cabin, but let me tell you, it was a glorious couple o’ days. Although, I will admit: we parked in front of the local general store a few times just to instagram (@thestyleeater). BUT, other than those times of weakness, we totally unplugged and enjoyed the heck out of nature. Trees, pine, wildlife, dirt, leaves (lots of leaves), sea cliffs, turquoise ocean, purple sand, waterfalls, firewood, stars, silence. Take me back!
Tomorrow, I’m sharing all the details about the cabin we stayed in (UPDATE: here is the post!). It literally could not have been more perfect and serene, thanks cabin gods. Y’all if you’ve learned anything from this post, it’s this: rent a cabin. Also this: ask your friends for recommendations of things to eat/do. Thanks Jaymee for hooking a sister up.
A FEW FAVORITE SPOTS:
Nepenthe for sunset cocktails and dinner
Big Sur Bakery for an early breakfast before exploring
Pfeiffer Beach for strolls along the rocky coast
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for some intense, but fun, hiking
The restaurant at Ventana Inn for a fancy dinner for 2 overlooking the ocean (4-course prefix fyi)
Cafe Kevah for an AMAZING brunch and equally amazing views (my favorite stop on the whole trip)
Phoenix Shop for fun treasures and postcards
NEXT TIME: I’m getting me a massage at Esalen Institute. They have hot spring tubs in the sea cliffs and could there be anything better than that?
^^The peaceful woods around our cabin were my favorite spots to explore.
^^If I had a dollar for every ridiculous sunset we saw in Big Sur, I would have…well I would have $2 because we were there for 2 nights, but still. This view was from our dinner at Nepenthe.
^^Pfeiffer Beach. Just one mile from our cabin. We woke up super early and watched the fog roll out.
^^Views from a lookout point on Highway 1.
^^Hiking in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Not for the faint of heart, but we made it out just fine.
^^Views from the top of the hike. Not too shabs but my legs were shaking at this point (I’m really out of shape, hence why all the complaints re hiking).
^^Views from Cafe Kevah. The fog rolled in and out a few times, while we ate some of the best eggs benedict ever.
^^On our way home, I snapped some pics from the car, most of which are blurry but HEY bumpy roads and stuff.
^^One last selfie before the long drive home. I’d like to thank the top of my car for being extra helpful in taking photos of us during this trip.
More tomorrow on the cabin! (here it is!)
October 28, 2013
Before heading up to Big Sur, we stayed at the Ojai Rancho Inn (in Ojai) for one night and almost moved in/didn’t leave. I’ve been dying to stay here for awhile and now want to model my entire life after it. Indigo curtains in the rooms? Sign me up, I’m DIYing those suckers asap (anyone know how to indigo dye?). I also loved the front office’s amazing succulent-lined fireplace. I thought I had curbed my plant obsession a bit until I saw that little display of goodness.
Ojai is one of my favorite quick getaways because it isn’t too far from LA, but feels a million miles away once you’re there. The green (oh the green!!!), the sunshine, and the fresh air. It’s lush and beautiful, but sooo calming and quiet. Gotta love it, I swear.
We laid out by the pool for a bit (it was 80 degrees), rode bikes to Knead Baking Company for lunch (free bikes for hotel guests!), relaxed on the porch with a few beers, and had an amazing al fresco dinner at Osteria Monte Grappa. This day was one for the books! Loved every second of it.
Oh! And if you haven’t been to Meditation Mount, you must. That sunset is a total life-changer.
^^My memoirs should be titled White After Labor Day and Other Faux Pas that are My Life.