After five fun packed days with my family in Los Angeles, Wes and I jumped into our car and commenced our Pacific Coast Road trip.
I am not sure how you cannot be immersed into the hype of a trip down the Pacific Highway, as soon as we left Venice Beach heading North along the coast line, the excitement was bubbling. We tuned into a radio station playing only classic vinyl, oh yes! had the windows wide open, the sun was shining, a breeze was a blowing and well we were ready to cruise….in our tiny little car. Perhaps the smallest on the road, but to us, from the inside of the car it had all the movie feels, we were off ‘road tripping’!
First up was a coffee stop in Malibu, is there an ‘Instagrammer’ that isn’t influenced by the look of the Malibu Farm Cafe? We walked along the peer picked up orange and chocolate muffins and coffees and breathed in the fresh breezy air. You can’t not love Malibu and you cannot not dream up a life here. With the stunning beach houses hugging along the golden sands, morning surfers catching a wave or two…..it was nothing but very, very cool! The next trip (there will be one) I vow to come back in the heart of Summer, stay a few nights and live the real Californian beach life!
We continued the hour long drive from Malibu along the coast towards Santa Barbara and then leaving the sandy beaches behind turned inland towards Los Alamos. Founded way back in 1876, and is one of Southern California’s smallest towns, only seven blocks long. The landscape changed completely, looking and feeling very ‘Old West’ with ranches and farms around the main town with vintage signage and historic architecture all surrounded by beautiful rolling vineyards. It was like being on a Western film set , surrounded by old Californian heritage but with places such as Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, and Pico which is in the historic General Store, and antique shops to peruse, it was all very cool and sophisticated. I also possibly had the best Turkey Rueben sandwich and homemade lemonade in my life from, Plenty on Bell Cafe, so really it was always going to a be a winner.
We stayed at SkyView Motel just up the hill, off the famous 101 freeway. I have always wanted to stay in a Motel, (a childhood watching American movies will do that to you) and this 1950’s remodelled Motel couldn’t have been more appropriate for the job, it was worth it just for the iconic neon yellow retro signage which can be seen from the road side. So for one night we were enveloped in all the retro vibes, Midcentury style meets modern boutique, perfect! Surrounded by its own vineyard overlooking the wine country of Santa Ynez Valley, complete with its own swimming pool, fire pits for s’mores and star gazing, and all the cacti and Birds of Paradise of Southern California. The rooms were filled with bespoke decor, hardwood floors, leather club chairs and beautiful marble bathrooms with the sink of all sinks, a Smithfield basin (this I think I appreciated the most), a huge comfy bed and all the modern luxuries but still in-keeping with the historic feel of the Motel.
We spent the day cruising on the bikes, riding around the town, a little antiquing and a lot of eating. The afternoon was spent snoozing by the pool and the was quickly swapped with a Sundowner by the fire pit, before a cosy, dim lit dinner perched at the bar in their restaurant Norman.
We had a pretty perfect 24 hours in Los Alamos, it felt like a world away from Los Angels and a time away from today, and one that I would be happy to jump back to at any point….. and not just to retrieve my favourite yellow Havianas I left under the bed!
Next stop Sonoma
Thank you reading x