Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekend Getaway // LA: Venice, Santa Monica & Lancaster

Note: Journaling done Feb 24th when I returned home from my trip, adding pics and posting now!

I just got home from a great trip to visit my bestie and her family!  I started out late on Friday with a long drive down to Lancaster....
Hitting the road Friday night.

We stayed up late talking... and me playing with Honey, their adorable little chihuahua! :)
And yes, she knows how to work those camera angles! ;)

Next morning we set off to Venice to meet up with Evelyn and her friend Gary for brunch at 26 Beach Cafe.... make no mistake, we were sold on that one by the extensive variety of french toast options!
Gary did get this great pic of the three of us... thanks Gary! :)

And it proved to be a tough choice, but we were all happy with our selections!

Anne got the Lemon Ricotta French Toast with Blueberries:

I got the S'mores French Toast:

Graham cracker crusted, Nutella stuffed and topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.  Accompanied by a side of crispy, perfect bacon and a watermelon breeze (it was a watermelon mimosa!)

Evelyn got the Caprese Pasta Scramble, which somehow I do not have a photo of.... I'll have to add it back in if I can find one! :)   And Gary got the Pancetta & Egg Pasta Scramble (I think!):

All of which was enjoyed with these delicious Watermelon Mimosas:
Photo by Evelyn... and I think they called these a Watermelon Breeze?  It was fresh watermelon juice and champagne!

All of it was amazing!  We sat streetside, had great conversation and enjoyed the perfect weather for brunch :)

Thanks for the suggestion Evelyn... we loved our brunch and our time with you & Gary!! :)

Afterward, at Evelyn's recommendation, Annie and I headed a few blocks over to Abbot Kinney Boulevard to shop and explore... boy were we happy we did!  So many fun and unique shops and restaurants....

This one had hundreds of cake stands in beautiful colors:

We saw this handsome fella in a fun pet store... he reminded me of my little munchkin!

Found these fun tags at a cute paper store:
I bought a scarf:

Can you guess which one?!

Ate some fantastic gelato at N'ice Cream:

Very Berry and Salted Caramel... both delicious, but we both loved the Salted Caramel the most!

My favorite store looked like a magazine and smelled devine:

I can't wait to explore their website some more and order one of these candles!

I almost went back and got one of these fabulous boxes, but they were a little beyond what I was willing to spend, so I passed on them this time!

After a few hours exploring Abbot Kinney, we headed down to the Santa Monica Pier.... it took forever to find a parking spot!  But once we did, we explored the mall, did some shopping here and here, before we headed down to check out the beach.

It was a beautiful day!  We had fun listening to the street performers.... And we laughed at this "celebrity" who was cool enough to let people take pics with him :)

haha! :)

After a few more pics by the beach, we headed for our dinner reservation at Mercado.

I should note, we found this place on Yelp... just looking for something within a small radius of our parking spot that served Mexican food.  O.M.G. what a lucky find Mercado was!

Excuse the low level pictures, they truly do not do the food justice... it was AMAZING!!!  The best fresh guacamole, the grilled shrimp skewers, the cilantro lime rice, the fresh veggies, the grilled ginger soy steak skewers.... all amazing!  The blood orange margarita was a little off... way to much tequila, to the point you couldn't taste the blood orange.... but the food more than made up for it!

I will go back to eat there again!!

We wandered our way back on the Third Street Promenade and got back to Anne's house late -- so exhausted, but so much fun!

Sunday morning, we slept in, then hit a fun little antique store in downtown Lancaster, followed by Rae's Cup + Cake....  

Where we got these.......

Top Row, Left to Right: Strawberry Cheesecake, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Lemon Zing
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Cookies n' Cream, Chocolate Turtle, You Animal (funfetti!) 

So tasty!! :)  I even brought home some for Brian!

We also checked out the Five & Dime Candy Store... so cute and well decorated! 

Lots of fun candy choices too.

After some lunch, we headed to another Antique Store with Anne's girls and had some fun treasure hunting in this old barn converted to store.

I picked up a few fun goodies, of course. :)

Before I left, we checked out a nearby model home.... I wasn't a fan of the d├ęcor in this one, but it definitely had a lot of space (4,000+ sq. feet) and an interesting layout!

I drove home while the sun set and I can't wait to go back!!

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