la jolla july 4

Daytrip: La Jolla, California

Even though 4th of July landed on a Wednesday this year, it didn’t stop us from jumping in the car and heading south to spend some time in La Jolla, California. La Jolla has been described as an affluent, hilly seaside community. I’ve also heard it being referenced as San Diego’s “jewel by the sea”. Both are true and we’re lucky to have such a beautiful community within a two-hour drive from our seaside ranch home. You may want to consider La Jolla if you are looking for a great place for a quick escape in Calfornia.

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Food is fuel for the body so we decided to start our day off with brunch on the patio of the historic (circa 1926) La Valencia Hotel & Spa. A good meal overlooking the ocean was the perfect way to start the day. la valencia hotel La Jolla California_Reviving Charm

I discovered this gate and courtyard of this ocean view property in the village many years ago but I manage to take a picture of it everytime I visit La Jolla. Isn’t it charming? la jolla daytrip_reviving charm 1

I don’t recall what restaurant we walked by but this single bright yellow gerbera daisy looked so sweet on a patio table. la jolla restaurants_reviving charm

These hillside homes nestled in lush landscaping are actually located at the edge of the village. They have amazing views of the La Jolla cove that is off in the distance. la jolla california architecture_reviving charm blog

We found a terrace overlooking the ocean and had it to ourselves. It was the perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking view without anyone else around. It was the most peaceful spot. la jolla cove_Reviving Charm

We stumbled upon a walkway that leads you from the village straight down to the beach. The walkway is lined with a series of adorable cottages. This one at the top of the hill is for sale with an asking price of approximately $999,000 and is currently in escrow. There’s truth in the saying that it’s all about location, location, location. This tiny cottage measures a mere 528 square feet and is located on a 729 square foot lot. It features 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and an amazing deck with ocean views. However, the kitchen and bath will definitely need to be gutted. You can see the listing with pictures of this Ocean Lane cottage here.   

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No day would be complete without a bit of shopping including a visit to one of my favorite shops in town,The Faded Awning. I love that the owner has French music piped throughout the shop. They offer a variety of home goods, gift items, clothing and jewelry available for sale. On a previous trip we purchased two side chairs that now call our living room home and last year I purchaed a straw handbag that I mentioned in thisprior post. la jolla shopping_reviving charm

Another display at The Faded Awning.

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A small courtyard leading to the entrance of an antique shop.
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Unfortunately, the antique shop was closed but it didn’t stop me from peeking through the jolla antiques

Sunflowers are the quintessential summer flower and there was an abundance of them available at a flower shop in the village. I also love this tropical floral arrangement in the window of COS Barla jolla flowers_reviving charm

We took a walk along the path that hugs the cove trying to avoid the crowds…reviving charm

But the crowds provided a good form of entertainment. This next picture might look like a “Where’s Waldo” but instead, try to find the sea lion sunning himself along the shoreline. The sunbathers had to keep moving their camps as the sea lion began encroaching into their territory. Lifeguards had to keep reminding beach-goers to keep their distance since everyone was trying to capture a selfie and kids were trying to touch the massive creatures.

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We’ve passed by Mary, Star of the Sea Church many times but this was the first time we actually ventured inside. The small church is beautiful in its simplicity. mary star of the sea la jolla church_reviving charm

And…if we hadn’t done enough already, by the late afternoon we decided to drive into downtown San Diego to wander a bit. Here’s a look at the remainder of the day.

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The Pendry Hotel, situated on a prime corner in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego, opened its doors early this year with lots of fanfare as a new venture for the Montage Resorts & Hotels brand. The Pendry San Diego is only one of two, and was the first, in the Pendry chain (the other is in Baltimore). Mr. B and I visited the San Diego location over the Fourth of July weekend where we were invited to tour the rooftop pool and enjoyed delicious appetizers at the bar. Impressed with its sophisticated style, Mr. B and I vowed that next time we were in San Diego we’d book a room at The Pendry. The hotel combines modern day luxury and California style, as seen from my pictures captured in July and earlier today.

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The Pendry Surf Shacks book_Reviving CharmLobby Pendry San Diego_Reviving CharmThe Pendry San Diego Lobby_Reviving Charm
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If you need me, I’ll be at The Pendry over the next few days. But don’t be surprised if the “do not disturb sign” is on display. This holiday weekend is meant to be stress-free and the goal is to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate. I hope you get a chance to do the same!

Checking into the U.S Grant

On the morning of July 4th, we left the laid back life of La Jolla and headed into the City for a bit of urban action. We checked into the historic U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego for a single night before heading back to our seaside ranch house. It had been many, many years since previously visiting the U.S Grant so I was looking forward to checking-in since the hotel finished the final touches of a multi-year renovation earlier this year. All I can say is that my one night made me want to come back for more…

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For those of you interested in architecture and historic preservation, you might be interested in knowing that the U.S. Grant is officially designated on the National Register of Historic Places and over the years it has hosted 15 Presidents, countless dignitaries, and celebrities. It was built by the son of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, whose portrait (below) hangs prominently at the entrance to the hotel accessible from the lower level valet drop off. It’s as if President Grant is personally welcoming you to the hotel and when you walk inside you immediately realize that you’ve entered a very special place. The portrait is original to the hotel since its opening in 1910 and is just one of the many pieces that make up the hotel’s $6.5 million dollar art collection scattered throughout the hotel.US Grant Hotel PortraitofPresidentUlyssesSGrant

us grant hotel lobby design

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An original chandelier from 1910 still hangs in the lobby.

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When we got off the elevator to our room on the 5th floor, I took notice of the fact that the color scheme shifted to a bolder color palette and included palm tree upholstered wall panels. Each floor also has a unique piece of artwork on display.
us grant san diego 1Upholstered wall detail.  us grant san diego 9

The windows next to the bank of elevators provide a great view of the hotel garden and cityscape beyond. us grant san diego

Our room was compact and cozy (i.e. small) but very comfortable. I didn’t mind the size of the room, particularly since we were staying for only one night. However, if we plan another visit I will opt for a larger room and I’ll tell you why….I slept on the right side of the bed closest to the window. The only downside to this was the fact that there is no room for a nightstand on this side of the bed. The hotel could easily remedy this issue by constructing a simple, shallow shelf to at least accommodate a phone or bottle of water. Luckily, there was an outlet on this side of the bed so I was able to charge my phone but I had nowhere to put it other than on the bed itself. This is far from ideal, especially when you are trying to relax and disconnect. This was really the only negative about the room and besides this one inconvenience, I was actually very comfortable here. The bed was perfect and I felt like l was sleeping on the clouds. I could have slept in for days….

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Did you notice the interesting artwork that acts as a headboard? It is definitely a focal point of the room and the hotel’s website describes the artwork quite well:

Masterfully blended within the custom moldings of the headboards in each guestroom is a one-of-a-kind art piece by French artist, Yves Clement. A “Sleeping with Art” concept integrates the large black-on-canvas paintings, which he calls “drippings.” Clement employed an “action painting” process by virtue of his controlled gestures and dribbling paint directly onto a floor canvas with a paint stick rather than a brush. The outcome is evocative, loosely figurative, abstract artwork with a value of $10,000 – $15,000 each.

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The hotel is said to be designed in “presidential colors”, such as blue and gold, as seen in our room. The gold drapes are a nice contrast against the blue and beige houndstooth patterned carpet. Houndstooth is such a classic pattern but here it feels fresh and modern due to its color scheme and scale. Houndstooth is definitely an up and coming trend…us grant interior design

Our room had an interesting three tier cabinet which was a nice change from the predictible furniture typically seen in a hotel room. A coffee maker, bottled water, snacks, stationery, ice bucket, safe and mini refrigerator are all neatly tucked away and concealed behind closed doors.
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The design palette for the bathroom was a bit of a change from the rest of the room design and had a slightly masculine feel to it. us grant san diego 3I am picky about my bath products and I will typically bring my own toiletries to a hotel if I don’t know what type of products will be provided. I was pleasantly surprised to see that our room was stocked with bath products from the British company, Elemis. Even Mr. B commented on how much he enjoyed the Elemis products. Shhh…don’t tell him… but when we got home I ordered him some products as a small “just because” surprise. No matter how big or small, everyone deserves a surprise every now and then! us grant san diego 6

At one point in the evening, I noticed a red glow through the window sheers. I pulled the curtains back and realized that the exterior of the hotel was lit up in alternating blue and red “stripes”. I told Mr. B that we had to go outside to see what the building looked like from the street. This is what we saw… us grant san diego 11We didn’t come here for the fireworks and, in fact, didn’t learn until that evening that the City of San Diego hosts the “Big Bay Boom'” each year. Fireworks are launched from four separate barges located in the San Diego Bay and can be seen from a variety of locations around town. Based on news reports, there were 500,000 people in attendance to view the Big Bay Boom. Luckily, we didn’t have to deal with crowds and were able to enjoy the show from the comfort of our room.

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The hotel is located within walking distance to the City’s Gaslamp district that serves as downtown’s restaurant row. Block after block you will find a lively scene home to a wide variety of restaurants and bars. The U.S. Grant is located so very close to the Gaslamp but the location can feel a bit sketchy at times so if you decide to stay here, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Would that deter me from staying here again? No. Would I like to come back for a future stay? Absolutely. However, next time I will opt for a larger room and take advantage of the dining opportunities onsite. Having been there before, the Grant Grill is a wonderful place for a convenient meal.

Weekend Getaway: La Jolla, California

Our recent weekend getaway to La Jolla and San Diego over the 4th of July weekend reminded me that the Mr. and I must take long weekend vacations more often! Today’s post is a quick recap to touch upon some of the highlights of La Jolla, California. We stayed at La Estancia, which you may remember from a previous post. I spent a good amount of time getting some R&R, as well as spending time at the spa to indulge in an 80-minute massage and 50-minute facial. One of the highlights of my spa experience was when my therapist remarked that I must not wear any makeup because my skin looked so good. Coming from a professional, that is quite the compliment. It’s good to know that my fairly involved skin care regimen is working. I also took long naps to catch up on some much-needed sleep. The atmosphere of La Estancia fits the bill for a nice relaxing getaway. If you choose to book your own vacation at La Estancia just be sure to reserve a room on the third (top) floor of the hotel so you won’t get any noise from upstairs guests.

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My favorite dining experience was finally getting to try the French restaurant, Bistro Du Marche. I was able to get my fix of escargot as well as try some other wonderful dishes. My dessert, Tarte à la Banane, was a delicious banana tart with toasted hazelnuts, brûléed bananas, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect end to a wonderful meal. I even had a nice drink, the Twisted Negroni, comprised of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and sparkling wine. There is a quote on their website from John Walters that I couldn’t agree with more: “The only thing I like better than talking about Food is eating.” Amen!
La Jolla dining Reviving CharmNo trip would be complete without a little shopping. Luckily, I have a great husband who enjoys shopping just as much as I do….although sometimes that can become dangerous! We went through a few vintage and antique shops, even visiting those I mentioned in this post. However, I was a little disappointed to learn that my favorite antique shop, Etcetera’s, is now closed. I only brought home one souvenir, which is the straw clutch purse that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I should have bought the vintage silverware shown below for appetizers. I’m still kicking myself…

shopping in La Jolla Reviving Charm

So there you have it…a quick recap in pictures of how we spent a couple of days in La Jolla. In an upcoming post I will be highlighting one of the unique shops in La Jolla that I paid a visit to. I will also be sharing a bit about the remainder of the trip spent in San Diego. I am excited to share a new discovery with you. Stay tuned…


If you follow me on Instagram then you were the first to know that Mr. B and I have been vacationing in San Francisco for the last few days. While I’m away from my computer, enjoy a view of one of the most famous bridges in the world. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge first opened in May 1937 and will turn 80 this year. I only hope I can look as fabulous when I turn 80!

The Golden Gate Bridge’s daily strip tease from enveloping stoles of mist to full frontal glory is still the most provocative show in town.   –Mary Moore Mason, Editor of British magazine Essentially America


Booking a room a hotel or resort is something I take very seriously. I do a lot of research and it’s not uncommon for me to call a hotel directly and ask a few questions about the location of certain rooms, types of rooms or their amenities. I have found this helps to ensure we get the best room for our dollar and a room that meets our expectations. At certain hotels I might even go so far as to request a specific room number; however, not all hotels will allow this. The latter was the case with Bacara. But nonetheless, we very happy with our room, its amenities and its location within the resort. This was our first stay at Bacara so naturally I did a lot of research about the resort and even spoke to a reservation agent about the differences between a few of the rooms. I narrowed it down to two room types. Do I reserve a smaller room with an ocean view or larger room without an ocean view? Oh, the problems to have! Ultimately, I ended up booking an 820 square foot Executive Suite sans view. Let me take you on a tour…

Our Executive Suite had a small entry space (photo bottom left) that had a full-length mirror in a perfect location for checking yourself before heading out the door. You can’t see the actual front door in the pictures below but it is located opposite the mirror. The louvered door is a small powder room, as seen in the photo to the right. Having two bathrooms in our room was another huge selling point for booking the Executive Suite. bacara-resort-executive-suite-1From the foyer, you automatically enter the dining area of the open dining/living area of the suite. The dining room comfortably seats six.
bacara-suite-dining-room-via-reviving-charmThe room was generously sized to include a living area, dining room, and dedicated office space. You can see the front door to the suite at the right-hand side of the picture below.suite-life-at-bacara-reposrt-by-reviving-charmbacara-executive-suite-detailsThis is the office area before I got situated in the room. I ended up using this space as a makeshift dressing room and a place to store my suitcase since the only closet in the suite was fairly small. There are lots of drawers in the room but very little space for hanging clothes. I found that the desk was also handy as an area to layout cosmetics, etc. bacara-resort-executive-suite-office-spacebacara-suite-detail

I also used the desk as a place to draft a handwritten note for the hotel Concierge that was extremely helpful in arranging to have a couple of floral arrangments delivered to the room. More on that later…

The office area is equipped with a tablet that allows you to do many things. For instance, you can request housekeeping, room service, and express checkout. I rarely used it but it was a great feature to have when I needed it.barcara resort executive suite via Reviving Charm 1In the corner of the living area there is a comfy chair and ottoman where you can catch up on the reading material supplied by the resort. I am a magazine junkie so I was happy to enjoy some new reading material. The doorway to the left side of the tray table is the entrance to the one bedroom in the suite.

Window treatment details.bacara resort suite life via Reviving CharmLet’s enter the bedroom now, shall we?bacara-executive-suite-bedroomFrom the bedroom, another louvered door leads you into the main bathroom. The louvered doors are a very nice decorative touch throughout the entire suite but they don’t provide much in the way of privacy when it comes to masking sound. For this reason, I often used the powder room when I needed to tinkle. The hotel should seriously think about making a change to the door situation. bacara-executive-suite-bathroom-1bacara-suite-bath-productsIf you look closely at the bathroom photos you might notice that the floral arrangement moved from place to place within the space. Ultimately they stayed in the location you see below.  bacara-suite-flowers

Speaking of flowers…Whenever we stay in a hotel for any length of time I really like to have fresh flowers placed in our room before we arrive. I usually order two small arrangements: one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom. I couldn’t write this post without mentioning something about the flowers I ordered for the room as it is a testament to the exceptional service we received when it came to a last minute request. You see, I had been meaning to call Bacara to order flowers but never got around to it. It was about three hours before check-in in time when I finally was able to make the call. I called the Concierge and apologized for the short notice and inquired about the possibility to have flowers placed in the room. I had no special requests other than I was looking for something elegant. The Concierge called around and called me back promptly to inform me that my request could be granted and provided me with a very reasonable quote. When we checked into our room we found these two small floral arrangements waiting for us. I was very happy with the floral arrangements but I kinda chuckled when I saw the carnations since it had only been days after writing this post. bacara resort suite life in room flowers Reviving CharmI can’t share photos of our suite without including a picture of our private balcony that overlooks the pool. This was a great place to relax outdoors without having to leave our room. bacara suite balcony via Reviving CharmSo there you have it…the 3rd and final post about Bacara Resort and Spa. I hope you have enjoyed it. Most importantly, I hope this series may be useful in helping you decide any future vacation plans. If you happen to book your next vacation at Bacara, feel free to drop me a note and let me know how your trip was. I would love to hear all about your experience. bacara resort landscaping via Reviving Charm

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Southern California experienced severe storms all weekend long. The downpours were so bad in our community that streets were flooded and many roads blocked. Flash flood alerts seemed to be issued nonstop. I saw a guy float down the street on an intertube (really?) and another guy on a surfboard. Crazy, huh! This is in vast contrast to what Mr. B and I experienced last weekend while on vacation in Santa Barbara and Montecito where the weather was in the high 60’s with intermittent sunshine. I want to share a little bit of that sunshine with you today by posting pictures taken at Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club and Tydes Restaurant in Santa Barbara.

Before mentioning anything about the restaurant I must first tell you a little bit about the Club. It’s a place of historical significance and has maintained its exclusivity since it opened its doors in 1937. An article I read from a few years back reported initiation fees in the neighborhood of $300,000 and that’s in addition to the annual dues. Membership is limited to a maximum number of people and not just anyone with the means can enlist. However, for the price of a hotel room at the lovely Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel across the street, you are entitled to use of many of the Club’s facilities. Something in hindsight that I wish we took advantage of when Mr. B and I stayed at the hotel many years ago. I guess we’ll just have to plan another getaway!


We enjoyed a lovely stroll around the grounds of the historic Biltmore Four Seasons before walking across the street to the art deco designed Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club. In the pictures above and below, the hotel’s lush landscaping is seen in the foreground with the Club and its landmark beacon in the background.

There are two entrances to the building: one for members and one for those choosing to dine at the Club’s restaurant: Tydes Restaurant. Naturally, we chose to use the member’s entrance. We aren’t members of the Club but we proceeded past the guy tending the reception desk as if we knew exactly where we were going. We weren’t stopped and entered without being confronted. Given that many of the Club’s facilities can be used by guests of the Four Seasons, I’m going to go out on a limb here by saying that they aren’t particularly strict about people poking around. Or were we just lucky?



Once you pass the reception desk, you immediately walk through a set of doors that lead you to the oceanfront Olympic-sized saltwater swimming pool. It has been the venue for fashion shows and events since the Club’s opening. Isn’t the location just stunning?

This picture of a seagull flying in the distance is turning out to be one of my favorites! He’s actually much farther than he appears.

The building overlooks Butterfly Beach and even provides direct access to the sand.tydes-restaurant-santa-barbara-via-revivingcharm

Our purpose for actually visiting the Club was to have a casual lunch at Tydes Restaurant. We wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous California weather and beautiful scenery by eating somewhere that offered oceanfront dining.

Tydes Restaurant is located on the second floor of the building. Instead of taking the elevator we decided to walk up the circular staircase. This transitional space serves as somewhat of a lobby for the restaurant. It has a very Califonia cool vibe, doesn’t it? coral-casino-santa-barbara-tydes-restaurant-via-reviving-charm

There is a lot of history that surrounds the Club so you will find many historical photographs throughout the facility. Many of them include various celebrities, which is not surprising since Santa Barbara is a short drive from Los Angeles. This particular picture shows a procession of debutantes parading the latest in fashion poolside circa 1951.

The views of Butterfly Beach and the Pacific Ocean are a perfect backdrop for a good meal.


I couldn’t remember the last time I had a hamburger so I decided on the “Members’ Burger”. It came on a potato bun with tomato, bacon, bacon marmalade, sharp white cheddar cheese, baby gem lettuce, pickles, garlic aioli, and avocado. I ordered a quinoa salad as a side. And yes… it really was as delicious as it looks. The burger was a happy indulgence!


day in the life of Reviiving Charm january 2017


A few weeks ago I starting thinking about surprising Mr. B with a weekend getaway. I wanted a destination that was within easy driving distance to take advantage of and make the most of this past three-day holiday weekend. I ended up booking a suite at the Bacara Resort and Spa located approximately 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara, California. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few images from our trip taken in real time.

Today I am sharing a “day in the life” of Reviving Charm while on vacation this past Sunday, January 15.  Other than a morning massage, nothing else was scheduled. Sometimes the best days are those you don’t plan! We took advantage of the mild California weather by driving through the beautiful neighborhoods of Montecito and Santa Barbara to admire the lush landscaping, Spanish architecture, and gorgeous estates. Stay tuned for a future post featuring more of the resort and our spacious hotel suite.


7:00 am. Rise and shine. This is the bedroom of our hotel suite.


7:20 am. I headed out the door and down the path that leads directly from the resort to the beach. Being up early allowed me to take advantage of seeing the sunrise over the water and enjoy a nice peaceful walk along the rocks and sand. I felt like I had the entire beach to myself.


8:45 am. I checked into the spa for a 9:00 am massage appointment. I indulged myself with an 80-minute aromatherapy massage and enjoyed the other spa amenities offered, such as the eucalyptus steam shower and sauna.


12:45 pm. After driving around Montecito we stopped for an impromptu lunch at Tydes Restaurant located directly across the street from The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara. The restaurant is waterfront overlooking the beautiful Butterfly Beach, inside the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club.

1:45 pm. We explored the grounds of The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel. We stayed here many years ago and is hotel I highly recommend.

1:45 pm. We explored the grounds of The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel. We stayed here many years ago over New Year’s weekend and were asking ourselves why we haven’t been back. I highly recommend this hotel for a romantic getaway. If you are looking for a Valentine’s Day getaway, I definitely recommend a stay here.


2:30 pm. After lunch Mr. B and I strolled the neighborhood surrounding The Biltmore Four Seasons Hotel. The neighborhood is filled with beautiful multi-million dollar estates.

Another beautiful Santa Barbara estate.

Another beautiful Santa Barbara estate.

3:30 pm. Mr. B and I sat on a bench overlooking Butterfly Beach to enjoy the outdoors before heading back to our hotel.


4:00 pm. Shortly after arriving back at our hotel, we enjoyed a scoop of ice cream while having a fireside conversation in the lobby.


4:50 pm. After an ice cream break I headed to the spa gift shop to pick up a few skin care items.


7:00 pm. Staying in for the evening allowed me to relax and catch up on reading material.


10:00 pm. Sweet dreams…buona notte…good night!


There is no denying that I love San Francisco. Over the years Mr B and I have traveled there so often, people think we live there. We had a hiatus in travel for a bit but are getting back into the groove of things. When first made it back into town last year one of the restaurant staff commented, “Where have you been. I thought you moved”. I tell you this not to brag but to offer some sound travel advice: make friends with the hotel staff and servers wherever you go. They will treat you well. Even if it’s in your own home town. Your parents may have taught you to “treat everyone the way you wish to be treated”. The were right. People will appreciate you for it and along the way you can meet some really nice people!

I have fond memories of San Francisco and am looking forward to flying up there tomorrow. If you want to join us on our travels, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter. I also have some fun posts planned for while I am away.

We plan on visiting the Oscar de la Renta Retrospective at the de Young Museum, visit the annual flower show at Macy’s as well as shop, dine and wander throughout the city. We will go wherever the wind takes us. I’m also hoping to visit the exhibit of French artist Pierre Bonnard at the Legion of Honor. It is the first and only U.S. stop. And it is at one of my favorite museums. The Style Saloniste did a lovely post about Bonnard if you want to learn more.

Someone recently asked me “are you a details person or a big picture person”. With no hesitation, I responded: “details”. Since I am feeling a little nostalgic about the city I love, I have decided to share a few pictures of San Francisco I have taken over the years. Naturally, they are just a few of the little “details” that make the city so great.      Enjoy…  -XOXO, V.

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The climb is worth the views and the exercise is rewarding.

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The beautiful bay.

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French cafe in the heart of Downtown.

The Schuggi chocolate shop is now closed but this remains one of my favorite pictures.

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The Palace Hotel.

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Peeking through the window at a cookie display.

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Exterior of Gitane Restaurant on Claude Lane (it’s really more of an alley than a street).

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Public Art.

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Window displays at Aria on Grant Avenue.

A beautiful gold cherub guards the entrance to a building along Market Street.

A beautiful gold cherub guards the entrance to a building along Market Street.

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Ornate metal work on cathedral doors

Fresh bread piled in wicker and wire baskets.


There are several places Mr. B and I like to go when we feel like we need a quick vacation; somewhere that is within driving distance and a place that doesn’t involve complicated travel planning. La Jolla, a beautiful community perched along the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, is one of those places for us. La Jolla is within 2 hours of home, which is an easy drive headed south down the California coast. It is such a lovely place for a quick, easy getaway. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you already know that last weekend we packed our bags and headed south to check-in to the lovely Estancia Hotel and Spa. It’s the perfect home away from home.

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When you arrive at the hotel you immediately feel like you have pulled into an exclusive, private hacienda styled estate of a privileged friend. This isn’t a coincidence, since the site was a former 1880’s equestrian estate.  In fact, the name of the hotel carries on this theme with “Estancia” meaning “estate” in Spanish.

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The overall feel of the hotel and all 9.5 acres of its’ property has a comfortable, laid back feel. You definitely feel at home here and the staff is friendly and accommodating ensuring that you have a welcome stay.

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The property features lush botanical gardens at almost every turn. The property includes 600 trees including Eucalyptus, Pineapple Guava, Citrus (both Lemon & Orange), Chinese Flame Tree, Fig, Olive, Torrey Pine, Italian Stone Pine, etc. There are 165 palms, vines, countless shrubs and colorful ground covering including Lady Palm, Mexican Fan Palm, Rosemary, Sage, Lavender, Pomegranate, Thyme, White Oleander, Heavenly Bamboo, etc. This is definately a great place to get landscape ideas, particularly if you are looking for something with great California flair!

Each time I stay at Estancia I make it a point to walk the property and admire the beautiful grounds and last week’s trip was no exception. However, this time I decided to take some photographs focusing on a few of the many details and textures found throughout the site. Here is what I came up with. Enjoy this quick stroll through the beautiful gardens of Estancia Hotel & Spa.

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reviving charm beauty nature landscape la jolla estancia hotel spa details

estancia hotel and spa la jolla reviving charm landscape

reviving charm beauty nature landscape la jolla estancia hotel spa 1

Estancia Hotel & Spa is part of the Meritage Collection of hotels. If you are looking for a getaway, be sure to check out the other lovely hotels in their portfolio. I’m hoping to one day book a trip to Santa Barbara and when I do I’m hoping to stay at Meritage Bacara Resort & Spa.  Afterall, it’s never to early to book your next vacation!