Most of my loyal Lo Down readers are my good friends and family which means you already know this about me, I am obsessed with being organized. Let’s be honest here, at times my need for organization, structure and planning could classify as a little crazy, or at least I think that is the term my loving husband has used in the past! I think neurosis just sounds better. My “neurosis” tends to shift into high gear when I am preparing to leave town, always making lists and checking them twice (people, it’s a holidazzle post…work with me) to ensure I have everything that I need. Honest to god, it’s a fear of mine to be out-of-town and not have everything that I could possibly want with me. I’m never going anywhere that doesn’t sell shampoo, razors or face wash so I don’t know why I get so “crazy,” but I do. With all of that said, you can imagine my horror when we arrived in L.A for our annual holidazzle trip without my…get ready for it…camera!! Of all freakin things to forget! How had my list failed me?
So unlike holidazzle posts from years past, filled with fantastic photographs of the fun we had, I am forced to rely on a couple of photos that I captured on my iPhone (insert defeated sigh…)
Not having the “nat geo” camera as Ashley Lynn calls it didn’t keep us from having yet another amazing holidazzle getaway. We arrived in LA on Thursday evening and checked into our incredible hotel. We stayed at the Viceroy in Santa Monica and I think it was by far the coolest hotel that I have ever stayed in. Since we got in late, we decided to just grab a drink in the swanky (as I called it all weekend) lobby bar that was packed full of the beautiful “who’s, who” of Santa Monica (or at least that is what I was pretending). We called it a night so that we were rested for a fun weekend ahead. We woke up early the next morning and walked to the ocean. We rented bikes and rode on a beautiful path along the water. The weather was perfect and I just couldn’t stop smiling the whole time we were on the bike ride. It was so relaxing and fun. We grabbed breakfast at the cutest little spot across the street from our hotel that offered the best $6.00 glass of freshly squeezed, organic orange juice you’ll ever drink, ha. We walked around Santa Monica for most the afternoon, did a bunch of shopping on the famous street, Abbot Kinney and had just a wonderful day. One of the things I love most about our holidazzle getaways is that it gives Ted and I a ton of one on one time where we can just sit and talk. Over a meal, shopping, whatever the activity, that time together is so special for us. That night we met up with our friends Kevin and Pam and one of Ted’s good friends from Michigan, Reese and his adorable wife Britta. We started the night off with a drink at our hotel and then headed back to Abbot Kinney where we had one of the best dinners I’ve ever had in my life at a restaurant called The Tasting Kitchen. We didn’t order one thing, we ate what the chef created and brought to the table and the chef did not disappoint. Dinner didn’t even start until 9:30pm (clearly I do things a little different on holidazzle) so after dinner everyone was so full and a little tipsy, so we headed back to the hotel. It was such a fun night.
Saturday was more of the same. Bike rides along the water, this time with Kevin and Pam, delicious food and even a little sun tan on my cheeks, thank god! Saturday night Teddy and I ate dinner alone since Kevin had his company Christmas party to attend. We went to another amazing restaurant called Chaya. We walked in and the hostess started chatting with me about my necklace that I was wearing and how much she loved it. We talked for a few minutes and I told her we didn’t have a reservation. I’m not sure if it was my necklace or my Minnesota nice (or maybe she liked Teddy!) but she took us straight to a table, passing by the group of people who had been waiting for a table before we arrived. I felt pretty sweet. As if getting the star treatment wasn’t cool enough, the hostess sat us next to Sookie and Bill, actual stars! If you don’t watch HBOs True Blood than you won’t know who I am talking about but Ted and I love that show which is evident in our Halloween costumes from a couple of years ago, so we were super pumped. “Sookie and Bill” are their names on the show and not only are they a couple on the show but Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer (their real names) are married in real life too. It couldn’t have been a better celebrity couple sighting for us. As if that alone didn’t make our night, our meal did not disappoint. We feasted on steak tar tar, sea bass and lobster ravioli followed by pistachio chocolate chip cookies and of course amazing wine. With full stomachs we stopped by Kevin’s work party after dinner and had a few cocktails there before we called it a night.
On Sunday we continued our quest to eat our way through Santa Monica with the always necessary west coast visit to In and Out burger. We spent some more time with Kev and Pam who we love and adore and headed to the airport around 3pm on Sunday. We had a smooth flight home and talked about why in the world we live where we live. The only thing that we came up with (besides our family being in MN) was that it was because it would give us a reason to go visit amazing places like Santa Monica again!
Having fun biking along the ocean.
Teddy too! Not too bad for the iPhone camera!
California is pretty sweet, but let’s be honest…Christmas just doesn’t have the same feel there as it does as home!
I don’t have one single picture of Ted and I together but don’t worry, I got this shot!
Holidazzle 2011 = Success.