Category Archives: Travel

{Travel} San Clemente, California (through the lens of the iPhone)

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.
 photo photo26_zps6e3f400b.jpg  photo IMG_6533_zps33301fb0.jpg
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).
 photo IMG_6563_zps9f2399eb.jpg  photo IMG_6562_zpscb7a77b0.jpg
Awesome modern/California cool furnishings throughout the house
 photo IMG_6564_zpsc66fe431.jpg
Art nook (which we used as surfboard storage), and epic nap spot in the master bedroom
 photo IMG_6565_zps8585cf7b.jpg  photo IMG_6117_zpsfaa08d46.jpg photo IMG_6388_zps63119fa8.jpg
The backyard was lovely and perfect for soaking up some sun during the few but precious moments where all the kids were napping.
 photo IMG_6208_zpsb4f7c4bf.jpg  photo IMG_6206_zpsc7ed3b4c.jpg photo IMG_6552_zps66442105.jpg  photo IMG_6133_zpsbb2c2465.jpg

We got there a day before the Blacks, and after stocking up at Costco and unloading at the house, we headed straight for the beach.
 photo IMG_6048_zps10013904.jpg  photo IMG_6534_zps0bed3c82.jpg

The San Clemente Pier was about four blocks from our house, which was pretty amazing to just walk down the hill to all this:                             photo IMG_6535_zps067cf9c1.jpg  photo IMG_6536_zpsef1613f9.jpg 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….        photo IMG_6077_zps6fa29ce0.jpg  photo 6812eace-3fd0-44c2-a4ec-97f071ad0bb7_zpsc4f4eccd.jpg photo IMG_6538_zpsbe402f37.jpg  photo IMG_6078_zpsd177dc0e.jpg

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:
 photo IMG_6085_zps8162552b.jpg  photo IMG_6084_zps0bbd31b8.jpg
Fun times with the Black family!
 photo IMG_6092_zpsa10b3880.jpg  photo IMG_6116_zps00b9a855.jpg
 photo IMG_6125_zps6b1559ed.jpg  photo IMG_6541_zps14d2e33e.jpg photo IMG_6389_zps61c91173.jpg
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.
 photo IMG_6539_zps893330ea.jpg
 photo IMG_6114_zps1978f137.jpg  photo IMG_6149_zps1ae3b559.jpg
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).
 photo IMG_6229_zps5e042f31.jpg  photo IMG_6557_zps7d5dfc00.jpg
 photo IMG_6317_zps0c091c21.jpg  photo IMG_6556_zps808c001a.jpg
My little boy…too precious
 photo IMG_6387_zpsbb459ae5.jpg  photo IMG_6316_zpsfa7c1782.jpg
 photo IMG_6319_zpsb041ad2b.jpg  photo IMG_6379_zpsfe351df5.jpg
 photo IMG_6378_zpsa5f2be93.jpg  photo IMG_6383_zps45b45bc4.jpg
Love these girls
 photo IMG_6561_zpsbbb1af15.jpg  photo IMG_6381_zps3e40deab.jpg

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.
 photo IMG_6542_zpsdc9fe5e3.jpg  photo IMG_6548_zps7b2fa726.jpg
 photo IMG_6543_zps5e893f88.jpg
 photo IMG_6544_zps20345370.jpg  photo IMG_6546_zpsb918e708.jpg (blood orange & pomegranate mimosas // flannel hash with a fried poached egg) photo IMG_6545_zpsf7655565.jpg  photo IMG_6547_zps487e35b6.jpg (goat cheese pain perdu with roasted peaches and almonds) photo IMG_6549_zps851333bf.jpg  photo IMG_6174_zps44b15bce.jpg  photo IMG_6175_zpsa8d25ea4.jpg photo IMG_6551_zps7552499e.jpg

Our last night on the beach. The perfect end to a fun, relaxing, and simple vacation with great people. When can I go back?
 photo IMG_6553_zps50ae23e9.jpg  photo IMG_6554_zps5d0ee76b.jpg
 photo IMG_6560_zps60f56cd6.jpg  photo IMG_6559_zps4e66c759.jpg  photo IMG_6558_zps3440ecde.jpg

Up next: the rest of the trip in (real) pictures (non-iPhone).