This weekend, Dave and I packed in a whole lot of “California” before we head back to Indiana for a visit! I’ll be there for two weeks starting on Friday, and Indiana and I have this ongoing conversation right now. I demand that the weather will be no more than 67 degrees the whole time and no less than 40. Indiana says she is considering my request. *Fingers Crossed*
Friday night we headed to Santa Monica, home of Kelly and Winston! We went to a swanky hotel right on the water called Shutters on the Beach. It was everything you would expect out of a Santa Monica beach hotel—gorgeous, ritzy:
And celeb approved!
I casually mentioned it would be fun to see a celebrity, because I know they’ve been there in the past—and what do you know, we ended up sitting next to Bethenny Frankel. I wasn’t a Real Housewives of NYC watcher, but I do respect Bethenny for her ingenious SkinnyGirl Margarita creation. 🙂 She was beautiful in person!
We got to share this incredible view with Bethenny:
They sky just kept getting prettier and prettier. We grabbed a table outside for happy hour, and the colors changed every few minutes until the sun faded away completely.
(This is the same shot as the very first one, only about 10 minutes later!)
My martini glass wanted in on the photo action, and since it was basically gin and three olives, I let it. You’re a good man, Shutters on the Beach bartender.
Hi, beautiful clouds! Thanks for stopping by.
The view when it was pretty much dark was so great, but a little harder to convey in photos. Forgive the blur—I didn’t have a tripod—but this next one shows you how bright the colors were!
And the sun sank fast here…
I played around a little with this last one, which was taken right before sunset. I love the Santa Monica ferris wheel!
So Friday night was a great time. I managed to not inappropriately stare at Bethenny and ate some incredibly delicious food. This is always key.
Then Saturday, Dave and I headed to Temecula, which is Southern California’s wine country, basically. It’s a cute town with a lively little square, and then you drive about 10 miles out to all the wineries—there are 23! We hit 3 of them…but we didn’t get there till midafternoon and took our time at each one. (Now that I say that, 3 out of 23 sounds pathetic. We are going back.)
More pretty views!
This one had a beautiful rose canopy we walked under to get in …it’s called South Coast Winery.
It was our favorite (except one other one that had deep-fried pita chips, which tried to steal the top spot just for that—because, hello, deep fried pita chips). If you’re a winery and you don’t have cheese, chocolate, or something munchy—at the very least crackers—no one will like you. Fact.
South Coast clearly knows what they are doing, even sans pita chips!
It had a great atmosphere and delicious wine.
After South Coast, which was our final stop, we found ourselves at the casino, where I won $130 on a nickel machine and Dave *cough* lost money courtesy of karma for making fun of me for liking slots *cough* playing blackjack. Then we took my winnings to a country western bar called Stampede, where every single person in the bar knew how to line dance except for us. (I’m exaggerating a little bit—but only a little!) I used to know how to line dance and am now determined to know again. How does one let themselves forget how to boot-scootin boogie?! Disgraceful.
There was a also a mechanical bull. If I wasn’t wearing a dress, everyone in the bar could have seen fall me off of a mechanical bull. (Bull riding is clearly off limits in a dress, correct?) I always laugh when people fall off of mechanical bulls, so I would expect no less if it was me.
Have a good Tuesday!