After our first few days in Encinitas, we were off for another day of surprise! Seriously, it was an adrenaline rush being the only one who knew anything of our plans—loved it!
Beyond my plan, we enjoyed a little unexpected detour to a Pick Your Own Strawberries patch! It was such a welcomed break in our drive.
Our next stop was Capri Laguna, a boutique hotel on the beach. Aaron kept asking for reassurance that we were in the right place! It was cracking me up & I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride for finding this gem all on my own.
What an enchanting place, our room tucked down the steps towards the ocean. We checked in, took in the view from our balcony + then headed down to the hotel’s beach to watch the sunset.
We took a local’s recommendation & had dinner at Mozambique. It was alright, not our very favorite but it offered nice atmosphere & the birthday dude got spoiled with birthday dessert again. *score*
The next morning we woke up slow, enjoyed coffee + breakfast at the hotel before even thinking of packing up & leaving our little slice of paradise. . .
We sat on the balcony, eating our leftover strawberries from the previous day’s adventures & listened, in awe, to the particularly intimidating surf. There were locals enjoying their Sunday at the beach, other guests soaking in every moment & there we were–in our own moment, trying to pause and savor.
When we finally convinced ourselves that we better get going, we found our way down to the heart of Laguna Beach, which was bustling with people on a gorgeous Sunday. We browsed the artisan market + volleyball tournament going on and took another local’s recommendation for a great beach.
Wood’s Cove was right up our alley–small & quaint with turquoise (strange for CA) water! I would recommend this slice of sand for an afternoon picnic, a dip in the ocean or any beach activity if you’re in the Laguna area. It was lovely!
It was refreshing & comforting to spend a part of our day here. There was the sweetest husky puppy that was playing right in front of us, which definitely kept us entertained. Oh, yea–getting ‘puppy hungry’ is a serious thing, you guys. Gimme all the puppies!
Haha, besides that all I could think was–goodness, I love being by the sea.
Before heading up to the next town on the trip, we stopped in for a coffee + naked coconut shake at Active Culture. Yum, yum, yum!
From there, we shot up to the next stop–Malibu! Surprise! It was midday so when we got up in that area it was crowded & slowed by traffic. To get out of the mess, we wanted to try out Malibu Farm so we quickly found parking and then took our time strolling the pier. I had heard amazing things on social media about this place so it was wonderful to try it ourselves! We tried out the sangria + cauliflower pizza–great recipes & I love their mission with their food.
The place had great atmosphere & was definitely a crowd favorite. My recommendation? Rather than waiting a ridiculously long time for a table, grab a seat up on the top deck & take in the awesome view over a glass of juice or a cocktail & enjoy your food up there!
Once we wrapped up appetizers + drinks, Aaron & I headed to one of our favorite spots from when we used to travel here for work—Zuma Beach. It’s a public beach but with how big it is, you have plenty of space to enjoy the soft sand and waves without being swarmed with people.
Some of my very favorite sunsets have been viewed from this beach so it was wonderful to soak it up here with Aaron on the weekend of his 30th! I caught myself thinking (and probably saying) “I can’t believe it’s been five years.” Seriously, it’s been a great joy to accompany this man through the second half of his 20th decade.
Ironically, once the sun was almost completely set—casting that soft orange glow upon everything beyond the hillside—we headed to The Sunset Restaurant for dinner. Again, another one of our favorites. It’s a cute little spot with huge windows, a beautiful view of the sea, a great menu + lovely decor.
It’s not overly fancy–it’s more of a local spot rather than a tourist destination & we like it that way. (& if you were wondering, he got spoiled yet another time with a birthday treat ; ) I think it’s because he’s handsome & you deserve it more than once on your 30th, right?!)
This night was easily the one that I felt like I was more on auto-drive than the others. Since I was familiar with this area, rather than stressing about finding all new things to do, I thought we could walk down memory lane a bit & enjoy time more than zipping around from place to place. With this route, more “remember-when” + “can you believe it’s been so long since” conversations unfolded. I certainly love those talks. They also tend to inspire “can you imagine” + “what will it be like when” talks–all beautiful & challenging words being tossed around.
It was the perfect way to wrap up that beautiful Sunday.