Earlier this summer, Kim, Sophie, Chloe and I booked a trip to Malibu on a whim during a happy hour – and after weeks of anticipation, the trip was finally here! On that theme of spontaneity, the whole weekend ended up being a relaxing, go-with-the-flow, fun-loving time together that we all needed.
As I’m looking back on the past three days, it all felt so long, but in a good way. We did so many things, and importantly we were all present in each moment. This trip was the perfect reason to get out of SF – the sun just hits differently in LA, and it’s such a fun place to vibe for a girl’s weekend. 🙂
Friday: Downtown LA / Santa Monica + BEST dinner in a long time
The four of us flew in on Thursday evening after work. It was quite a long evening going from work to the airport, to finding each other across 3 separate flights, to the car rental, to finally driving to our Airbnb. But it was SO worth it to wake up fresh in our apartment and have the whole day ahead of us.
Our apartment was on the top of the hills of Topanga which is inland of Malibu…so gorgeous. Even though it was a good 30 minute drive from the action, we were all super happy to have our home base in the peaceful hills and to wake up to these views!
Since it was Friday, the four of us still had to work. We decided to split up – Chloe and Sophie took the apartment while Kim and I worked at the Google LA office in Venice. We were eager to get to the downtown action and also sneak some free food. 🙂
I did not hate working outside in perfect 75 degree weather. 😉 Even though I work in tech myself now, I felt like a little kid exploring the office’s sweet perks.
By 2pm, we were both done with our days. We walked 3 whole blocks right to Venice beach and took a nice slow stroll along the beach to Santa Monica. LA beaches are on another level compared to the bay – I couldn’t believe people living in SoCal have this right at their fingertips!
In Santa Monica, we walked around the promenade, filled with live musicians and shopping boutiques. It’s pretty touristy but not overwhelming so – I really loved how full of life Santa Monica was.
I was very happy to spend this one-on-one time with Kim. We’ve both had crazy summers and it was refreshing to catch up on the latest of our lives over ice cream, walking, and shopping. Side note – Kim and I use to work at my old firm in NYC but on different teams. We both transferred to SF within 6 months apart, and finally met AFTER Kim switched jobs ironically. Since then we’ve become super close, and she was my gateway to meeting Sophie and Chloe!
Our group reunited when Chloe and Sophie joined us later. We had an hour before our dinner reservation so decided to shop a little more on the promenade.
Dinner was absolutely incredible. Sophie found a popular spot called Tar and Roses – we shared several small and large plates, and everything was melt-in-your-mouth to DIE for. I’m not gonna lie, I usually don’t focus on food when I travel since I usually care more about activities / spending time out-and-about. So this was a real treat to indulge in yummy food since I probably wouldn’t have found this spot alone. We all agreed this was the best food we’ve had in all our own trips to LA. If you’re in town, Tar and Roses is a must!
We finished dinner right as the sun was setting. We decided to stroll a bit more, take photos, and enjoy the views; I just love warm SoCal sunsets with the palm trees lining the colorful sky…
We all agreed that we weren’t interested in partying too hard this weekend, but it was Friday and we deserved a few drinks at least! We checked out a trendy bar that was very “scene-y” LA. It was nice to check that off the list; definitely the best part was the awesome conversation that the 4 of us had. There was never a dull moment.
Kim changing into heels so she could convince the bouncer to let her in without an ID. 😛
The evening ended with some grocery shopping and driving back to the Airbnb. It was filled with such good vibes as we sang in the car while driving through the wind-y hills at night. We found the song “These Days” by Rudimental and agreed that was the song that captured this trip. 🙂
By the end of the night, it felt like we had done SO much already! We couldn’t believe the weekend just began.
Saturday: Hike in Solstice Canyon + Malibu beach + wine night in
The girls slept in while I woke up early. Another relaxing morning outside on the deck with my coffee and book and cooking the girls breakfast. We all ate together when they woke up, planned our day, and got going.
First activity was a hike in Solstice Canyon. Between the 4 of us, we all have pretty different styles of traveling (but meshed really well with our travel paces and level of planning), and the hike was my input for the weekend. We hiked during the hottest part of the day, and the ascent in the exposed desert-y mountain was quite a challenge.
It was all worth it to reach a tiny waterfall at the end and be on the nice shaded path filled with greenery on the way back – total was 3 miles and a fun, active way to see a part of LA we hadn’t before.
We were pooped after the hike and were all super excited for the next activity – straight chilling on the beach. The reason we booked this trip in the first place was to explore Malibu, so laying on the gorgeous Malibu beaches was a real highlight.
The next few hours were perfection. We relaxed, napped, talked, read our books, had a photoshoot ;)…this was one of the best beaches I’ve been to in California.
After beaching, we had another nice dinner on the books. Sophie found a seafood restaurant with gorgeous beach/sunset views. It wasn’t as spectacular as Tar & Roses, but still a real treat.
Another fun drive through the LA hills back to our Airbnb, this time singing to the La La Land soundtrack – the whole weekend was basically living our La La Land fantasy :P. We all expected a chill evening in after our long day out-and-about, but we cracked open some wine bottles and before we knew it, we were up late chatting and laughing away over ever topic that popped into our heads. Perfect last night of the trip. ❤
Sunday: Melrose Avenue
Sunday was a short one. After checking out of the airbnb, we did some final exploring + shopping on Melrose Avenue before heading on our afternoon flights.
I’m usually a bit exhausted after travel, but I surprisingly feel MORE refreshed than before the trip, success! As much as I love to soak in memories and reminisce at pictures after a fun trip, I feel the need to mentally file this one away and prepare for my next adventure this weekend (the organized, type-A part of me coming out :P).
Next up is a meditation retreat in Northern California. The retreat is having us do a lot of emotional and physical preparation, including a meat-free/dairy-free/soy-free/coffee-free/processed food-free diet this week. My intent is for this to be the reset that I’ve been craving for a long time. My goal this week is to set good intentions and prepare my heart for whatever I’m suppose to know at this point in my life. I’m nervous, excited, and have a completely open mind to whatever comes my way. ❤