Our first trip since the beginning of the pandemic? Yeah. Seriously. We take a lot of little weekend trips to go camping or stay at an Air B and B, but this was the first time we ventured out of state since the doomed Disneyland trip of March 2020 occurred.
I found an adorable hotel near my sister’s apartment in one of the beach towns near Los Angeles. The price was right, and we found a weekend my husband could take time off work. We loaded the Subie up and headed west.
The way out, we were supposed to meet my Aunt for a late lunch/early dinner. Fate had a different plan. Three accidents along the I-10 added an additional two and a half to our drive, and we had to reschedule. My aunt was understanding, but I felt horrible, and I was excited to meet her at one of the breweries by her home. We made the most of it, and with cranky kids in tow, we made it to our hotel as the sun began to dip down to the horizon line west of the Pacific Ocean.
The Hotel Hermosa had some sketchy reviews online, but none of them proved to be true for our experience. I loved it and will absolutely be back! We were even blessed with an ocean-facing room with a balcony. I couldn’t be happier, especially since our visit in 2020 didn’t go so well. The hotel was kitschy and hipster-esque, with a specious outdoor lounge area. Pool tables, cornhole, fire rings and plush seats were available for guests to enjoy. The room had comfy beds, and a mini fridge for us to store all of our snacks and local beer. The hotel was directly across from a market similar to the Whole Foods stores we have in Arizona. Their craft beer selection was out of this world! I tried so many new brews from Southern California breweries.
Later that evening, my sister and her boyfriend graciously met us at the hotel patio with pizzas. So much pizza. We hung out in the refreshing ocean breeze. We sat outside and caught up with each other over drinks while the kids ran around crazily. The next day, I met up with my sister for a Hermanas 10K run. We ran three miles from the pier by her house, all the way to the beach north of her area. I felt invigorated and alive running along the footpath. The 70 degree weather also made it wonderful.
We headed to the beach in the afternoon and met up with two of our cousins. LAS PRIMAS! What a great way to spend time catching up. The So-Cal beer gave me a little too much boldness and I ran into the ocean, promptly being knocked over by a huge wave and losing my prescription sunglasses in the water. Oops! The ocean ate my glasses!
We wrapped up the day and found a delightful deli with delicious sandwiches and pasta dishes. My son grabbed my camera and began photographing everything, and everyone in sight. A group of college-aged adults were waiting for their food and laughed as he posed them for photos. A group of VW Van enthusiasts stopped for a bite to eat and we enjoyed the different sights and sounds.
The next day I wanted to go back to the beach, but my daughter and husband were slightly crispy from too much sunshine, and pumiced from too much sand. The last place they wanted to go was the beach! L
An alternative plan was crafted and my sister met us for a trip to the California Science Center. We watched an IMAX Movie and were in awe of the Endeavor space shuttle and other displays and exhibits. I highly recommend the California Science Center to anyone with kids. Our kids didn’t want to leave!
The next day it was time to drive home, and this time we had the traffic gods on our side. It took a little over 40 minutes to drive to my Aunt’s house to take her to breakfast before we headed out again.
Thank you for the hospitality, I miss you already my California Familia!