Santa Monica’s Eleven

Posted by on May 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm :: No Comments

Jason is not the world’s best planner. It’s a fact that only makes the trip he organized for our anniversary even more fantastic.

This year it was Jason’s turn to arrange our anniversary celebrations. For weeks he debated where to go and asked many for their location opinions. In the end he decided we would take a long weekend getaway to Santa Monica, California, a place both of us have seen in countless movies but had never visited.

Our hotel, the Shore, was very hip and modern. I'd highly recommend it to couples traveling without kids. A shower with sheer glass panels on both the bathroom and bedroom sides shouldn't be wasted on a family vacation.

From our hotel balcony the pier and ocean were just a short 4-floor drop away.

Jason diligently did his homework for this trip. He researched hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. After his extensive investigation he opted to book us an ocean view room at the beachfront Shore Hotel. Excellent choice. This new boutique hotel is contemporary, beautiful, and filled with all sorts of high-tech gadgetry. The location isn’t too shabby either. Our balcony overlooked the ocean and famous Santa Monica Pier; we were right in the epicenter of happenings. More than enough stores, yummy bistros, and natural wonders to keep us occupied were within a quick walk. Our whole stay we never even took our rental car out of the hotel parking lot.

You may have seen this archway in a few dozen or so movies.

From the top of the Ferris wheel the shoreline seemed to sprawl out infinitely in either direction.

Jason wanted this to be a proper relaxing escape so he compiled general ideas of what we could do while in Santa Monica but avoided setting plans in stone. This low-keyed method worked splendidly. We spent our anniversary walking hand in hand along the pier and beach. We enjoyed a panoramic view of the coastline from the Pacific Park Ferris wheel and giggled as waves chased us up the shore.

Jason's long wavy hair combined with the salty breeze created an instant beach bum. I'm not complaining though; it was cute.

Having your extensive hair fanned out behind you by a coastal breeze as you nimbly pursue waves may sound like the makings of photographic hotness but this picture proves that makings do not always pan out. Still, it was too funny not to share.

That night we ate a fabulous dinner at The Lobster, a distinguished joint right on the beach. Our anniversary reservations procured us special treatment at this restaurant and a table with a view of the sun dipping over the ocean, which is just what you need for the ideal digestion of baby beet salad and housemade shellfish linguini. Even though we filled our tummies at an unhurried pace we still had enough time afterwards to catch the new Avengers movie. What can I say, I’m a geek so, vacation or not, this film was a weekend priority for me.

Pacific Park, located on the Santa Monica Pier, is home to the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel. You may recognize it from about a million movies.

I ordered the shellfish-strewn housemade pasta at The Lobster. With all those clams, mussels, shrimp, octopuses, and squids swimming in a sea of black noodles my plate looked a bit like the dregs of the ocean. But yum!

The next day we got some couples counseling in the form of a tandem bike we rented and rode along a shoreline path called the Strand. This jaunt was mellow and fun despite that cumbersome cycle challenging our teamwork skills. I guess Jason and I make a pretty decent pair because this excursion didn’t end with us hitting someone or wanting a divorce.

If you've never ridden one of these double-seated wonders you've never lived precariously. Talk about unwieldy and awkward!

One night we watched the sun setting over the ocean from our hotel room. The sky was a brilliant orange interrupted only by the swaying silhouettes of palm trees.

After our ride along the beach we met up with some friends, the Congers, for lunch. They happened to also be on vacation in Santa Monica. It’s funny how you’ll go years without seeing your buddies when you only live 20 minutes away from each other yet scramble to gather when you happen to be traveling concurrently in a different state. It was good to catch up with them though. After our meal it was time for some cute dress shopping followed by tranquil book reading on our balcony as waves broke rhythmically below us.

Our days on the coast passed by quickly, too quickly, but they made a perfect little break from regular life. Thanks to my hubby for not only planning a great and relaxing anniversary trip but for also being the best travel companion that a girl could ask for. Life is so much better with a Jason; everyone should get them one of those.

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