Tag Archives: girls weekend

Destination: Capitola

Capitola Lifeguard

My family has been going to Capitola for a few weeks every summer for as long as I can remember. I have a lot of great memories from summers in that town, and it’s a place I hold near and dear to me. For the past few years, I’ve only been able to shoot down for a few days or so – so when I’m there, it’s mostly sun bathing on the beach, or trivial pursuit at the beach house, and then I’m gone just as quickly as I arrived. Needless to say, I may have missed some lovely developments in that dreamy little village.

This past weekend I met up with a group of girlfriends from college that I haven’t seen in two years, so we all had a lot of catching up to do! (Quick recap: pregnancy! engagement!) We were originally supposed to stay in La Selva beach, but due to a strange twist of events (including a squatter and classical music no less) we changed plans and made a last-minute reservation at the Venetian in Capitola. I was excited because I thought “I know this town – I’ll show these girls around, no big!” Completely forgetting that for the past 3 or so years, I’ve reserved myself to the sand and my parents house whenever I’ve been there. Since it’s the middle of winter, laying out wasn’t really an option – so we went shopping! As we set about our excursion, I was pleasantly surprised. The last time I did any “real” shopping in Capitola, I was in high school – so it was more hemp ankle bracelets and platform flip-flops. They have some amazing shops, with some incredible finds and I’ve highlighted a few new favorites below.

Alphabet Blocks

Gadgets

{ quirky toys from Lumen Gallery }

1. Lumen – great gift shop/gallery with a post-modern flair.  Lots of interesting and funky toys, artwork and Jonathan Adler pottery.

2.  Euphoria Rio Mix – like a locally owned Forever 21.  Really cute costume jewelry, party tops and maxi dresses at very reasonable prices.

3.  Sweet Asylum – Ethereal/beachy themed women’s shop.  Light, flowy tops and skirts, cute vintage home goods.

4.  Yvonne – higher end women’s clothing.  Some amazing cocktail dresses and a large lingerie inventory including tons of Hanky Panky and Cosabella.

5.  Betsy’s Summerhouse Antiques – quirky little antique shop for the rare find.  I spent quite a bit of time exploring all the 60s-era Las Vegas matchbooks.

6.  Charley & Co. – adorable little gift shop with lots of quirky, homemade looking decor items.  They were unfortunately closed when I was there, but the window display was enough to make me want to come back - again and again.

7.  Just Baby – as stated above, our group is expecting a little one soon!  So the mama-to-be was showered with tiny little gems from this shop.  They also make their own custom clothing.

8.  Panache – one stop that was not new to me, I’ve been going here every year.  But it’s one of my favorites so I thought I’d give them a shout out.  Fantastic smelling lotions, bath gel, oils, as well as an array of other body products and gifts.  This year’s purchase – the shea butter coconut lotion.

9.  Vanity by the Sea – little sunglasses shop run by an adorable married couple.  Large selection of Prada, Ray Ban, Coach and Maui Jim.  Everyone in our group walked out with a new pair (except for me, I just got a new pair of these awesome House of Harlows)

Gilded Martini Glasses

Jade Necklace

{ gilded martini glasses and a jade style necklace from Zen Island }

10.  Zen Island by the Sea – home goods and women’s apparel shop.  Tons of amazing smelling Archipelago Botanicals and Illume candles.  Lots of delicate jewelry and the softest “Capitola” sweatshirts I’ve ever found.

It was such a fun trip, and it was so great to see these girls.  We may let a few years go by before we get together, but it never fails to feel like we all just saw each other yesterday as we pick up right where we left off.

While you’re out, have lunch on the patio overlooking the beach at Paradise Beach Grille , grab dinner at  Caruso’s Tuscan Cuisine (best Italian outside of my mom’s kitchen).  Then cap off the day at Cava Wine Bar.

Weekend Refresh

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This past weekend I went away to Monterey with some girlfriends for some good quality relaxation and amazing company. It was the same group that I went to Miami with last summer, so needless to say we had a blast. My friend’s dad has a house on the beach in Pacific Grove that we were lucky enough to use all weekend. At some point we had decided that we were going to make it a very healthy getaway – like a wellness retreat. The plan was to eat super clean and work out. Well, we worked out, but the clean eating went right out the window the second we decided to pick up wine, double stuffed Oreos and pub cheese. And by work out I mean that I flailed around the living room for about five minutes to a Tracy Anderson video before I gave up because the woman never says peep! When do you spin? Grapevine? Are we kicking now? What is going on?!
We rode bikes along the coast, had delicious sushi, painted our nails, drank a lot of wine, played board games (after said wine), and went to the Aquarium which I hadn’t done in about twenty years. We laughed for forty eight hours straight and while it wasn’t the “wellness retreat” we had originally planned it was definitely good for the soul. Just the weekend I needed to mentally prepare for the busy summer ahead. I was sad when it was over, but now we have the next girls trip to look forward to- whether it’s steamy Miami or sleepy Pacific Grove.

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San Diahgo

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This past weekend I made a quick little trip to San Diego. I moved back up north just a little over a year ago, but I still hold San Diego near and dear to my heart. It’s where I feel like I became a grown up. I met amazing people, learned how to live totally on my own, advanced in a fascinating career, became a part of my community and had a blast the entire time. Leaving was bittersweet to say the least, but most “grown up” decisions are, I think.

So this weekend I wanted to absorb as much of SD as I could even though it was a short weekend and I planned it last-minute. I hit up my favorite kebab and taco shops, got coffee at my old Sunday morning neighborhood haunt, hiked Torrey Pines, saw a movie with my girlfriends (Hunger Games - LOVED it), got manicures with my best friend, stood in the rain to get into a nightclub only to ditch it so we could just go to our favorite dive, checked out the Titanic exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park, and had a long leisurely brunch at one of the best spots around.

It’s always nice to go “home” even it is only for a short while, don’t you think?

*As an added bonus, I put together a little Spotify playlist of songs that remind me of my time in San Diego – you can listen or subscribe if you want by clicking here.

New York, New York

About a month ago (that’s how behind I am) I made a quick jaunt out to see one of my best friends who happens to live in New York.  I had booked the trip at the end of November, just for random fun.  In between booking my flight and my actual trip however, she got engaged! So the trip turned out to be less random and allowed me to meet the lucky fella’ (I hadn’t yet), and do some bridesmaid dress shopping with my besties.   I had been in Santa Monica the whole week before for work meetings where it was 70 degrees for the most part, and I was terrified it would be freeeeeeezing in NYC, but I lucked out with sunshine and temperatures in the mid-40s!

It also happened to be New York Restaurant Week (yum!) so we got to try out some great spots like Plein Sud for lunch and the Tribeca Grill (co-owned by Robert DeNiro) for dinner.  We also hit up the Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg, which I’ve been dying to check out for-ev-er.  I highly recommend it if you like amazing beer and pork chops bigger than your head (which I do).

My favorite part however, had to be visiting the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side.  Somehow, by some miracle, there is a tenement building that has remained mostly untouched since the 1800s which now serves as a peek into the past to see how immigrants (like my great grandparents) lived back in the day.  They have recreated a few of the apartments to represent what life would be like at certain points in history, including the apartment of an Italian family that lived there in the 1930s.  Walking into that apartment was like walking into my Brooklyn-raised grandmother’s house – I kid you not.   I was so fascinated by the entire building and all the stories those walls must hold, I just let my history-nerd flag fly walking around with eyes as wide as saucers and asking really random questions.

All in all – fun weekend, great friends, awesome food AND we picked out bridesmaid dresses – SUCCESS!

{ watchful figures over Wall Street } { tenement museum books – my new obsession }{ dress shopping at the Bryant Park Hotel }{ drinking biers mit freunden }{ awesome little dive bar – we made summer friends and got free fries }

* Top photo by Doug – my friend’s new fiancé, who snapped the photo on that sunny Saturday.

¡Bienvenido a Miami!

{ Laying under the palm trees }

This past weekend (and beginning of the week) I was in Miami with some girlfriends.  It’s been one of the many mini-vacations I’ve taken all summer, but by far the best.  I spent all day Sunday floating in the crystal clear, bath water warm Atlantic letting the current take me wherever it wanted to go.  I laughed so hard, ate so much, danced too long, and did a lot of laying out.  A couple of the girls I had never travelled with, but it was no matter.  We all immediately fell into sync and we were on the same page for the whole trip.  Whether we clubbed it up or just had a big dinner and went back to our room – we had an absolute blast, I couldn’t have asked for better travel buddies and I definitely can’t wait until my next getaway!  …(which is Napa this weekend, naturally!)

{ this door seems so “Miami” to me }

{ neon blue floors }

{ platanos maduros and cuban rice in Little Havana }

{ I could have spent all day in this water }

{ clubbin’ it up }

{ yummy tropical sodas }

{ key lime semifreddo, delish! }