About a month ago, my sister, my cousin, a friend and I got an invitation to a mutual friend’s 60th birthday up in the Monterey/Carmel area. These are the friend’s we stay with yearly for the Big Sur Marathon weekend and we all wanted to go, but some had obligations on Friday night and/or Sunday night and just didn’t know how we’d swing it, so initially thought, sadly, that we’d all RSVP “no”. Then we just texted each other back & forth about heading up early Saturday and coming back early Sunday and decided to go for it! It’s only about a 5 to 5-1/2 hour drive and we all wanted to be there to celebrate this fabulous friend! I found an Airbnb that we could reserve for one night in Pacific Grove…..bonus, because it’s usually a 2 to 3 night minimum at most places.
I headed up to my sister’s after work on Friday for the added reward of dinner at Katsu-ya in Studio City, probably my favorite place for sushi. I was a little early, so I also stopped in to check out a brand new pizza place called LBK, an offshoot of Luzzo’s in Brooklyn, NY, right near Austin & Kate….small world! I chatted with the owner for quite awhile and found out all about his connection to the NY restaurant and that they were still, kind of, in the soft opening phase. They had opened a week before and sold out their first Friday night, and then couldn’t open again until Monday because their proprietary dough takes three days to “cure” or “rise”! I bought a couple of slices to take to my sister’s house as an appetizer and they declared that it’ll be their go-to pizza place…and it’s literally right down the street from her home in Studio City. If you’re up in the valley you must try these two restaurants! You won’t be disappointed.
We got up bright & early Saturday morning, leaving at 7am….and we were sitting, enjoying lunch in Pacific Grove at 12:30. The weather was perfect, with a light breeze and the familiar sound of the seagulls welcoming us to the area.
Did a little shopping, checked into our adorable Airbnb and then spent the afternoon relaxing, napping, reading, or going for a walk.
The birthday party was so much fun and held at an amazing new venue in Monterey called The Barns at Cooper Molera…adjacent to the historic Cooper-Molera Adobe. It’s everything you envision for a barn dance, a wedding or any special event….twinkle lights, majestic barn, high ceilings and great indoor & outdoor space. If you’re on the lookout for a wedding venue, this is it! The food was amazing and it was fun to reconnect with old friends & meet some new ones (met someone who grew up near where I live in OC and her mom lives down near the beach…small world!) They are also opening a new restaurant, Cello, and coffee shop/bakery, Alta Bakery & Cafe, next to the adobe/barns later this year or early 2019. That’s where we’ll be going when we’re back up there in April for marathon weekend.
Sunday morning plans included a walk (run for the others) along the water from Lover’s Point towards the lighthouse, followed by breakfast at The Red House Cafe, an adorable converted cottage with an abundance of ambience and coziness.
I never get tired of that walk along the craggy, gorgeous coastline on Monterey Bay with fabulous homes on one side and majestic cypress trees sitting on the water’s edge. It really takes your breath away! The homes in Pacific Grove are from a fairy tale, each one cuter than the next, and so many of them have little placards on them with a name and date…what I assume is the original owner and date built, because they’re pretty old.
Take a stroll with me through Pacific Grove….
….and here’s a very blurry picture of us with the birthday girl (can’t be picky when you’re asking others to take a group shot of all of you??!!)
Another weekend, another fun trip! Be spontaneous….and make that trip for an important milestone for a friend..you won’t regret it and you’ll have memories that last long after the trip is over!!