I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel

water with pomegranate and mint....so refreshing

This hotel is a chain hotel located at the airport. It was really nice and quiet and the bed was very comfortable. We were on the concierge level which gave us access to food and beverages at selected times. Because of our show at Iris, we were only able to enjoy breakfast and it was perfectly adequate for what we needed before our flight. There is a free shuttle from the hotel to the airport which was very convenient. It allowed us to return our rental car the night before we flew out. I would definitely choose this hotel chain again. 

Last Leg to Los Angeles

Santa Barbara Beach

Cutest stacked stone thing on the water's edge

fisherman along the beach

Pelicans flying high

not sure if these are strawberry plants, but we did see quite a few fields of those

Malibu homes way up on the hillside


Chicken Caesar Wrap and sweet potato fries at Coogies
Grilled Chicken and Bacon with Caesar salad at Coogies

Parachute surfing

Sunset Blvd ends at the Pacific Coast Highway

Santa Monica Wharf

Santa Monica Beach

Hollywood Blvd

Dinner at Trastevere on Hollywood Blvd

the BEST molten chocolate cake!

So enjoyed this show

stage details at Iris

Made a quick stop here for a cupcake to eat after the show

Chocolate with Peanut Butter frosting rolled in Butterfinger

The day started out bright and sunshiny and stayed that way ALL day! We had a nice continental breakfast at the hotel and left for our drive down to Los Angeles, the end of our journey. We drove around Santa Barbara on our way to the beach and stopped at a beautiful park along the Ocean. There were dolphins swimming just offshore. We drove through Malibu, gawking at the huge beautiful homes there. We climbed on Point Dume Nature Preserve right at the point of the Malibu peninsula. The view from up high was breathtaking. The color of the water on a day full of sunshine is aquamarine blue. We ate lunch in Malibu at Coogies, a small establishment with fabulous food and very quick service. We were out the door before we knew it, but not on our way until I walked over to Starbucks for a latte and Cranberry Bliss Bar and Danny ate some ice cream from a local ice cream shop. We drove on down to Santa Barbara and stopped to walk out on the pier. We thought a lot about our trip with Hallie two years ago. We left Santa Barbara to find our hotel near the Los Angeles airport. We had plans tonight to see the Cirque du Soleil show, Iris. When we were here two years ago, Iris was coming the next summer and we knew we wanted to see it. They had signed a 10 year contract to stay in Hollywood but after I purchased our tickets I discovered that they would be leaving Hollywood next month!! Apparently ticket sales have not been what they needed them to be. We are big fans of Cirque du Soleil and are so pleased that we were able to catch it before it leaves. We knew it would take awhile to get to Hollywood and the Dolby theater so we left plenty early. It took 1 1/2 hours in L.A. traffic to get there!!! We ate supper at an Italian restaurant in the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center which is also where the theater is located. Our meal was really really good and the timing was perfect for the show. The Dolby theater is where they present the Academy Awards and where the show has had its home for the past 1 1/2 years. We thought it was amazing in true Cirque du Soleil style. I am still trying to sort through everything I saw. Until you see a Cirque show, you will never understand what I am saying. They are truly a feast for the senses. We are back at the hotel now which only took 30 minutes to get back. We have already taken back our rental car and printed our boarding passes. Tomorrow will be a long day of flying, but we are ready to be back home and prepare for Christmas visitors. Until the next trip....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Spanish Garden Inn

Continental Breakfast

beautiful watercolors lined the walls of the inn

gas fireplace and outdoor patio

coffee press and water kettle with glass mugs

beautiful interior courtyard
Our stay in Santa Barbara was delightful at the Spanish Garden Inn. Our room had a gas fireplace and a wonderful little outdoor patio that overlooked a central courtyard. The bed was very comfortable and there was a DVD library available downstairs for free use in our room. The most interesting thing about this hotel room that would make it not friendly for families was that there was no door to the bathroom. The door was simply an oval opening that opened into the vanity and tub. There was a sliding door for privacy to the toilet and shower, but the side of the shower was glass that opened up to the tub area. If I was a coffee drinker, I would have really appreciated the coffee press that was provided with all the ground coffee you wanted. The location of this hotel was perfect for us as it was within walking distance to the main shopping street and eating locations. We really enjoyed our stay at this boutique hotel.