Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Santa Monica, California- part 2

So sorry for the extra long post about Santa Monica, I guess there is just so much fun stuff I couldn't put it all into one post. After a great nights rest, Patrick and I set out for our final day in California!
We were starving (re-reading the previous blog, I can't believe that we even could eat the next day!) and our bell hop told us we MUST go eat at Swingers. Just a quick 5 min drive from the hotel is Swingers diner. The decor is so cute, very 1950's eclectic and just reminds you of a true diner back in the day. In Dallas, we do not have many diners especially the 'old school' kind and Patrick and I were in love. Not to mention that Swingers has been featured on DDD (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) on the Food Network (another of the FAV tv shows that I religiously watch!) and in Knocked Up. Apparently Swingers is Judd Apatow's favorite saturday morning breakfast stop and that is why it is in Knocked Up (not sure about the actual correctness of that statement...). Anyways the food is DELICIOUS!!!!! They have just about everything... and I mean everything! I had the most moist and scrumptious vegan cinnamon roll, some healthy egg whites and turkey bacon while P went the Tex-Mex route and had a HUGE breakfast burrito with all the fixin's. After stuffing ourselves for like the 234,379,572,397 time, we drove to the Santa Monica pier to try to burn off some of the calories we had just ingested.

View from the pier. So pretty. Thats Malibu in the distance
Here is where the fun begins!
This is how close Shutter's (our hotel) is to the pier. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Patrick trying to win me a prize... hence, trying...

YAY he made a basket!!!! and now we have a purple monkey!
Our trusty 'stang that got us around everywhere.

It was sad to leave the beautiful beach, sand, sun and fun (as the sign said) but it was time for us to head back to Dallas.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shout Out

Me not understanding this 'blogging thing'...

I would just like to give a quick shout out to my wonderful and VERY talented sister in law, Kristen! She is the one that did the layout and basically started the blog for us (we are re-tards when it comes to this 'creative' stuff). Thanks so much for staying up late teaching me how to do all of this and for talking us in to doing a blog! It's so fun!!!!!
Check out her blog, it is FABULOUS!

Santa Monica, California

Welcome to Shutters in Santa Monica.

After a quick 30 min drive from L.A. we arrived at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. We loved this place so much! This was the final stop in the most amazing honeymoon ever and it was perfect! Santa Monica has a very cool vibe, kinda Austin-ish (if your familiar with Austin, TX at all). The hotel is a dream! It is right out of Restoration Hardware it seemed like.

When we first arrived at Shutters!
Our room was gorgeous! The rooms are so comfortable feeling. In fact, I think P and I instantly feel asleep when we got here ha ha. The rooms are stocked with a mini bar, DVD player (with movies you can rent) and even toys to purchase for kids!

Our view. Amazing...right! It was pretty overcast and windy while we where in Santa Monica so we never got a chance to hit the beach at all.

Aren't the bathrooms too cute! They have a faux window with shutters (get it...) that looks into the bedroom. The medicine cabinet, that is over the bathtub, is full of items that you might have forgotten or need. They even have Hanky Panky's in there (I know my girls will appreciate those)!

After our nap, P and I decided to hit the town and explore. We drove past the famous Santa Monica Peir, down through the city, and then after a lot of convincing, we stopped at Fred Segal :)
When traveling to California (and if you are planning on doing a little bit of sight seeing) I suggest renting a car, especially a convertible. We had a Ford Mustang convertible and it was so fun to just get out and go exploring on our own time table.

I bought a really cool hat at Fred Segal and then we decided it was time to hit the road. We drove up to Malibu on the PCH. California is freezing, so we tried to drive the whole way with the top down and the heater blasting but I couldn't last the whole time, I'm a baby when it comes to the cold!

Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu aka "The Bu"

Being good little Wildcaters' that P and I are, we had to say 'wut up' to Pepperdine!

If you are traveling to Malibu, try to stop and grab a drink or some food at Dukes in Malibu. It is a fun restaurant/bar that always has stars hanging out there and it is a very relaxed tropical themed place. P and I were planning on going there but we just decided to head back to Santa Monica and enjoy our beautiful hotel.

When we got back to Shutters, the front desk recommended we go to Coast that is located inside the hotel. We got to Coast just in time for their happy hour from 4-7 pm. They have delicious drinks, wonderful appitizers and even better prices! Needless to say, we enjoyed happy hour a little too much and never really made it to our nice dinner we had planned :) hey we were still on Va-ca!

The view from our table at Coast!

At this point we had been traveling for about 2 weeks and Patrick and I were so tired of 'fancy' dinners. We got a BIG craving for pizza after our over indulging at happy hour. So after watching the Mavericks game, in our room, we decided to hit the town and find a casual pizza place!

We stubbled upon Wildflour Pizza. I'm not sure why we choose this place... maybe it was because I am and will always be a hippy at heart and this was the ugliest looking, most authentic hipster looking or it was the pizza gods calling us to it... whatever the reason this is the MOST delicious pizza I have EVER eaten!!!!!!!!!! I hate to announce this to everyone but I eat pizza, like, a lot! At least once a week, I am a pizza lover! So I feel like I am warranted in saying this is the BEST pizza Patrick and I have ever eaten! The restaurant is tiny. There is saw dust all over the floor with old table and chairs. It was packed and the crowd was a fun, young, hipster crowd (I loved it of course :) They do not even have a website for me to direct you to but I will post the address for anyone heading to Santa Monica soon! When you travel, try to get out where the locals eat! That is the best advice I can give anyone.
Wildflour Pizza2807 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405-4009(310) 392-3300
Do not ever be afraid of trying new things or leaving your resort. Most of the time, it tends to be the most fun of any of our trips when P and I go off the beaten path! After eating ourselves into a pizza coma,we head back to shutters for some dessert (my fav!)We order smores! They were so delicious!!! I also got one of my favorite drinks, Pimms. Anyone that has ever traveled or lived in the UK knows Pimms. It is usually drank during the day as an afternoon refresher! I drank a lot of it while living in Oxford and havent had it since then so when I saw it on the menu I just had to have it YUM! (this pic is for you Val)Sorry this post is so long! I will make the rest of the trip into Santa Monica-part 2...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Los Angeles, California

Ok if your thinking about going to Bora Bora I have one BIG suggestion... when you return to the states, try to stay in L.A. for at least over night so you can get re-adjusted to the time change. It is a pretty big time difference and if your someone like me that had never been to California outside of Universal Studios or Disneyland then exploring L.A. for a few days is a MUST! Plus, its a great excuse to extend your va-ca even longer... right :)

Since it was still our honeymoon, we decided to splurge and stay at the famous Beverly Hill Hotel. My FAVORITE movie growing up was Troop Beverly Hills (any fans out there?) and I have always wanted to stay there. It was amazing! If you are able to, I would recommend staying here if your wanting a relaxed, old hollywood feel. I know there are way cooler, trendier, more young hollywood hotels in L.A. and I've been to the London where you will see Playmates frolicking in the pool (you'll hear about that in another post...) but for a couple fresh off a honeymoon not looking to "party" this is your place. So many star sightings at the Bev Hills, I was in heaven. Oh Hi Reese...

Shout out...

Since I've never really been to Cali and didn't think to look up the weather before leaving, I froze to death the entire trip! So if your planning a trip in the beginning of April, bring clothes for 50-60 degree weather (so that is why I am wearing the same clothes in all these picture :)

Our room was gorgeous! We stayed in a Bunglaow, which are little houses outside of the hotel. There is a beautiful path that takes your to our Bungalow which is lined with tons of trees, flowers and plants! GORGEOUS! Something that is very rare in Dallas! The rooms have recently been renovated and you can defiantly tell. They are very chic but still with a that California Cool feel. LOVED! Your room has hot chocolate chip cookies and a bowl of fruit greeting you (for those California health freaks i guess...) as well as a hand written note from one of the concierges.

The fabulous walk to our Bungalow
As I mentioned before, California is freezing! Don't let the warm sunshine fool you, like it did me, so sadly this was the only time we spent out by the pool... taking the picture of it. I would love to go back one day and hang out in the cabanas and sip mimosas all day.... a dream!

We settled into our room and set out to look around L.A. and to ignore the jet lag. Hmmm so where would Shann's first stop in California be.... RODEO DRIVE duh!

Someone at the hotel recommend we get lunch down on Rodeo Drive at the restaurant
The Farm (thats the only way I convinced Patrick to go to the most famous street for shopping... he knows me too well :) The food was delicious. It was very fresh and organic, yum. We walked around awhile, didn't buy anything and decided to set out and explore some more.
Lunch at The Farm

We explored L.A. a little more but the jet lag started setting in as well as the L.A. traffic so we decided to head back for a quick nap before dinner at Ago. Ago is this fabulous Italian restaurant on Melrose that is owned by Robert Dinero. It was such the perfect restaurant for perfect the night! They have an enclosed patio and live music. You know an Italian restaurant is good when your sitting next to a couple that could be straight out of The Sopranos. I typically do not eat pasta (yes I'm apart of the no carb lame club) but I made an exception for the whole wheat penne pasta I had. Delicious and so was the wonderful wine menu. I love a great wine menu and since I am a lover of Italian wines, Patrick is a die hard Napa Cab fan, when in Rome (or L.A.) we got a delicious bottle of Italian (too bad we had the whole bottle and I couldn't remember the write down the name of it...).

We headed back to the hotel, after stuffing ourselves at Ago, for some after dinner drinks at the hotel bar, Nineteen Twelve. A very cool bar with great music, great drinks and an "ok" crowd. After hearing some great tunes by Ghostland and MGMT at the bar, P and I decided to get some shut eye before heading off to Santa Monica in the morning...

The next day before heading to Santa Monica, we decided to grab some lunch at the Polo Lounge at the hotel. We had no idea what a "hot spot" this place was. The restaurant was packed with actors, directors, and producers (those are the conversations we over heard) so who knows who else was there. The food was delicious and the Polo Lounge is a MUST if your staying at the restaurant and even if your not. If your wanting to get a feel of hollywood at lunch time this is your place to go. Plenty of power lunch meetings going on. Ok now that we are full its time to hop in the 'stang and head to Santa Monica.

Monday, March 22, 2010


*Please pardon our none-blogging this week. *

Patrick and I are currently in Montego Bay, Jamaica aka Mo'bay for our First Anniversary :)

Of course there will be a blog soon to come on Mo'bay and the Ritz Carlton here.


Saturday, March 20, 2010


This is the final post for Bora Bora. So sad for me, because if you couldn't tell, this was the most amazing trip I have ever taken in my life... it will probably be the only one as well :)

Ok so for activities to do while in Bora Bora there is as little as you want or as much as you want. The Four Seasons offers a lot of activities on site at the resort. I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but the Four Season has been only open for a little over a year and so all of the equipment and everything on the property is nice and new! There is a wonderful fitness and spa center. Patrick and I got the most AMAZING couples spa treatment in our own little hut over looking the ocean. It was so tranquil and un-real. Got my first hot stone message, AWESOME!

Patrick and I rented paddle boards and paddled around the lagoon. It was really fun but hard work. No one (Patrick) taught me how to correctly paddle and I just kept going in circles, but once I found out how to paddle things got a lot better!

I am a big beach bum so I was in heaven. Yes, this is a picture we actually took! Its like a postcard its so beautiful! Grab a chair, a book (twilight for me) and a wonderful Mai Tai! We had a lot of those everyday ;)
So another great activity that is a must, is swimming with Sting Rays and Sharks! They take you out to a beautiful coral reef where you can snorkel and then the Rays start coming. They literally know the boat and as soon as they see it they start flooding the reef. There are SO many of them that I got little scared but most of the people where fine.

Yes! This is an actual shark that was swimming while your suppose to be snorkeling with them! I did not, however, jump in with everyone else! It was just too much swimming with wild animals for me by this point. Not to mention I got bit by the Sting Ray, ok more like I hot a hickey from one of them but it still scared me!
Patrick snorkeling with the sharks
Another fun thing we did, was a sunset cruise with a professional photographer. We didn't even thing about that when your on your honeymoon, it is just you two so its hard to ask people that speak a foreign language to always take pictures of you and we have a fancy camera so that didn't help much either.

Ok so it was the last day, one too many mai tais at the pool, and Patrick and I had the genius idea of getting tattoos. We both had always wanted one and had tried to get one with Lindsey down in Austin but the guy wouldn't do what we wanted so we bailed. Well while in Bora we just thought why not. We called the concierge and he told us that there was only 1 tatoo place on the whole island and they would send a boat for them and bring them to the resort! Wow, what service huh!!!! Well I guess it was a busy tatoo kinda day and they called back saying they were too busy and we would have to go to the main island. So we head out having no idea what kind of tatoo we even wanted.
In Bora, they will never draw the same tattoo ever again. So we tell the guy what we want our tattoos to represent and he just starts drawing -free hand- on my wrist. (Yes, I had to go first) He finishes drawing and I loved it and the tattooing begins... I thought I had a high pain tolerance but the pain was nothing I ever imagined! Luckily it was over in less then 10 mins...whoa!

Patrick's took a little longer, about 45 mins and he was in some pain! My tattoo has the symbols for man and woman with the sign of love and eternity in the middle. Patrick's has the same symbols but also the sign for land and protection.

Goodbye Bora, Hello L.A!