Monday, August 18, 2014
My BFF Carrie and I were able to get away for a little end-of-summer trip a week ago. You guys, we had SO much fun. This is the favorite girls weekend we have taken so far. Longtime readers of this blog know that in the past we have gone to Covina (!) for Ikea and hanging out. Seems like a silly destination now but at the time we had fun and as I always say, our friendship is "conversation based" anyway. But we finally have sated our fascination with Ikea and have moved on to better things. Pasadena was lovely. We stayed in Old Town Pasadena which means we did not have to rely on driving everywhere which is a HUGE bonus for me. It made the experience much more of a true vacation. I love being able to settle into the hotel and walk everywhere. It turned out to be a spa/beauty/shopping/eating kind of trip. Which I loved. And of course there was lots of talking.
I kept a list of where we went and what we did for future reference. I'd love to repeat this trip next summer when we turn 50.
:: picked up Carrie from LAX in the morning and drove to Pasadena (not a bad drive)
:: checked in at the hotel--we stayed at the Old Town location of Courtyard by Marriott. Loved it! I definitely would stay here again.
:: lunch at Mi Piace. A great place to watch the world go by as you eat Italian food and sip wine.
:: after lunch we walked around the shops a little bit and then we both had our brows shaped at Zoey Van Jones (definitely make an appointment first--it's a really busy shop)!
:: pie at The Pie Hole (this is in a really cute space--5 businesses sharing an open "lofty" kind of space--a florist, a pressed juicery, the Pie Hole, a spice merchant, etc).
:: more walking around and shopping
:: mani-pedis at Dashing Diva (this is a fun spot but there were tons of other nail salons as well. We were perfectly happy with our nails and they also give free Cosmos on Thursday and Friday evenings!)
:: light dinner at the Pita Jungle (we shared a salad because we were still crazy full from the Pie Hole)
:: bought some juice to go from Pressed Juicery.
:: early morning wake up for our spa appointments
:: Croissants and coffee at Aux Delice
:: massages at Burke Williams spa (loved this place--I highly recommend this spa chain if you are in California and you like spa experiences).
:: late breakfast/brunch at Russell's (love this place so much--we ate here twice. The bloody Mary's are fantastic, as are their breakfasts. Great burgers too and yummy coleslaw with lots of colored crunchy cabbage).
:: More walking around and shopping. Coffee at Intelligentsia.
:: Back to Burke Williams for anti-aging facials.
:: Dinner at Picnik (loved this place. They have tons of beers and housemade sausages. Yum! Mine came with homemade watermelon pickle relish. Pure delight. Great atmosphere here and outdoor seating a a full moon. Fun and lively.)
:: pool time and sitting out on the patio and ordering oatmeal and having it brought out to us.
:: we ventured away from the hotel and went to Americana at Brand in Glendale for shopping and lunch. We ate lunch at Amici Trattoria (huge portions--next time I'd split something or order a small plate) and then we walked around their lovely Nordstroms. Carrie splurged on a new suitcase from the Tumi store and now I want one too. I think she will have that suitcase for life.
:: we legit needed to pick up a couple things at Ikea, so we headed over to Burbank. Big mistake. It was crushingly crowded. I had to buy a bedside lamp (they have the best there) and she needed to pick up a duvet cover her son had requested. We got our stuff and dashed from there.
:: after re-grouping at the hotel we had a casual, fun, funny dinner at Russell's (our second meal there) and again the bloody Mary's were fantastic. We laughed a lot at that dinner.
:: then more walking around on Colorado Blvd. and we stopped in at Lush which was really fun and had more pie and iced coffee at The Pie Hole.
:: sad!! Our last day.
:: but we stretched it out as much as possible.
:: more coffee and oatmeal at the hotel patio and pool time.
:: after check-out we went to the lovely and amazing Huntington Library. Whoa! I'd never been. Tons of art and artifacts and gardens. So so good. It was super hot though so we mostly stuck to the indoor galleries and didn't really explore the gardens so much. I'd love to go back in a few months when it is cooler.
:: lunch at the Huntington (they have a casual cafe and also tea rooms--we didn't have tea room reservations so we ate at the cafe).
:: drove to LAX and dropped off Carrie
It was such a fun trip with just the right mix of fun, laughter, conversation, relaxation, and beauty treatments! And what can I say about having a best friend that I love so much? I'm so lucky to have her.
Now, fast forward a week and I'm getting ready to start school and get back to reality. I'm ready and excited but, you know, transitions can be hard. Our first official day back is Wednesday.
PS--I realize my last 3 posts have been "travel" themed posts! I do intend to get back to "normal" blogging soon. Just have to figure out when/how. Thanks for reading along!