We recently got home from an epic beach vacation with some of our great friends, the Black family and also our friend Grace. Zane and Rachel have a ten month old baby girl, Elle Jay (LJ), and so when we first started planning a trip together, we knew we wanted something close and easy. Also, Zane really wanted to be somewhere he could surf….which led us to look in the Orange Country area of California. After spending weeks pouring over housing options on vrbo.com, we settled on the San Clemente area, and found our house! We knew we wanted to rent a house together because 1) cheaper than getting separate hotel rooms, 2) wanted the full kitchen so that we could cook most of our meals 3) plenty of room for the kids to play and move around.
We found the perfect house:
I was so in LOVE with the kitchen. Huge gas range with cast iron griddle (which we used a ton). Stocked with cast iron and Le Creuset pans. Who puts Le Creuset in a vacation rental house?!? So amazing. The apron sink was huge and beautiful.
I also was in love with the butcher block island, and the Sub Zero fridge and freezer (that is the freezer on the left – complete with two freezer drawers below the large door).
Awesome modern/California cool furnishings throughout the house
Art nook (which we used as surfboard storage), and epic nap spot in the master bedroom
The backyard was lovely and perfect for soaking up some sun during the few but precious moments where all the kids were napping.
The San Clemente Pier was about four blocks from our house, which was pretty amazing to just walk down the hill to all this: We were starving and decided that the restaurant on the Pier was as good a place as any for dinner! It was great (fresh halibut!), but even better was the view, and sitting on the patio while the sun beat down on us. Ahhhhh sunshine….
Sunday morning we walked two blocks to the main street (Avenida Del Mar) to grab some breakfast at Cafe Mimosa, before heading to the airport to pick up the Blacks. A traditional French Bistro, this restaurant is what breakfast dreams are made of. Here’s a shot of the (gourmet) steel cut oats I ordered for the kids:
Fun times with the Black family!
We also got to spend some time with my dear friend Lisa, who LIVES in San Clemente. I made sure to let her know over and over how lucky she is to live there :). We met at Baby Beach one afternoon, which was, of course, a great little beach for kids. No waves because it’s within the Dana Point Harbor.
Grace arrived Thursday night, to join us for our last three nights of the trip. We love having Auntie Gracie with us! (Hollis considers Grace one of her BFFs).
My little boy…too precious
Love these girls
Friday morning we got to meet up with Lisa one last time, and she shared a gem of a place with us for brunch. The Ramos House – my standard for breakfast out has forever been raised. Everything about the place was enchanting – herbs growing out front for use in the kitchen. Every table was unique and charming. Mason jars for glasses. And the food, the food.
(blood orange & pomegranate mimosas // flannel hash with a fried poached egg) (goat cheese pain perdu with roasted peaches and almonds)
Up next: the rest of the trip in (real) pictures (non-iPhone).