Los Angeles and Carmel

Los Angeles and Carmel

In this “Rich Life Travels” post I’m telling you all about the last leg of the Bill Turns 50 Trip, with stays in Los Angeles and Carmel.

This birthday celebration for my husband, which began at Madonna Inn and included visits to Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel and Hotel del Coronado, was a 13-day Southern California adventure.


After our fun-filled days spent at Hotel Del, we headed north to Los Angeles to see some of our very dearest friends, Kathy and David.

But first, food! We stopped off in San Clemente and had a delicious seafood lunch at Fisherman’s, right on the pier. I have spent lots of time in San Clemente over the last three decades. A college friend of mine grew up there. I have many fond memories of this charming seaside town.


We didn’t want to linger too long. We had friends to see!

This wasn’t out first stay at Kathy and David’s. Two years ago we took a Southern California road trip with our two Yorkies and stayed at their house. It was such a fantastic stay!

Kathy is an excellent cook and treated us to a home-cooked meal, which we greatly appreciated after so many meals in restaurants. David grilled steaks and Kathy made her baked potatoes that we go crazy for. She also made a wonderful salad and fresh vegetables as a side dish.

They finished off dinner by surprising Bill with some chocolatey sweets for his birthday!


We spent lots of time in their lovely pool swimming, lounging or playing pool basketball with Kathy and David. Bill is such a water person. Give him a pool, a lake or a beach and he is a happy man!


The next day, we visited Kathy and David’s art studio in Santa Monica. I have long wanted to see their studio and am so glad we went.

Both Kathy and David are talented and accomplished artists. David is a painter and a sculptor – among other artistic talents – and works with mostly bronze and marble. You can see a collection of his incredible work on his website.


Kathy paints in a variety of artistic styles but is currently creating abstract pieces. I love Kathy’s paintings and keep a postcard from one of her shows, featuring this piece, on my mirror in my bedroom and look at it every day.


Later that envying, we went out for dinner. Kathy and David had heard good things about Ox & Sons in Santa Monica. It was one of the best meals out I have had in a long while. And certainly a culinary highlight of our trip.


The oysters were perfection and the sashimi dish I had was so fresh and full of wonderful flavors and textures.


We enjoyed every moment of our time spent in Los Angeles with Kathy and David. We always leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and calm. Their home is so peaceful and lovely.


After two wonderful nights at Kathy and David’s home, we packed our things said our goodbyes and headed north once again.

Thank you to Kathy and David for a fantastic visit and for welcoming us into your home!

Before we got too far up the highway, we decided we had better stop and eat (what we do best on vacation!).


Breakfast on the beach in Malibu seemed like a great idea!

As a kid growing up in Las Vegas, my parents would often take road trips to Southern California. I remember going to a particular restaurant in Malibu as a child, mostly because my dad told me that The Rockford Files filmed scenes in the parking lot. Remember that old trailer Jim Rockford (played by Jim Garner) lived in? Back in the 70s during filming, it sat in the parking lot of what is now Bob Morris’s Paradise Cove Beach Cafe.

Now the parking lot is filled with the cars of people enjoying the restaurant, the beach…


or this darling beach club adjacent to the cafe. Aren’t those yellow lounge chairs fantastic?


After our bellies were full of pancakes and bacon, we got back on the PCH and continued northward.

We weren’t quite ready to end Bill Turns 50 Trip. Thankful we left the last couple of days open with no plans. Bill and I thought Carmel would be a great place to stay for a few days before heading home. I remembered that Kim from Northern California Style stayed at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley with her family. While in LA, I texted her and asked if she thought we should go. She enthusiastically recommended the resort and soon our room was booked!

Newly refurbished and reasonably priced, the Quail Lodge is a relaxing and quiet resort, just a few miles from Carmel by the Sea. We adored our room with a cute patio and Adirondack chairs for two.


We swam in the pool, took walks around the golf course, and just took it easy. We have been to the Carmel/Monterey area many times and felt no need to sightsee this time. We just wanted to take things slow and savor the last couple of days of vacation before heading back to work and our numerous responsibilities.

We liked to walk down to the club house and take advantge of their daily happy hour specials and gaze out onto the golf course.


There is a cute Mexican restaurant across the way from the resort that we walked to as well. Baja Cantina is a fun place to have a margarita and some chips.


If there is one thing I can’t miss doing while in the Carmel area it’s eating spinach gnocchi at  Casanova in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Their gnocchi is perfection and melts in your mouth! Can you tell I sort of liked mine? It was hard to resist picking up the dish and licking it clean!


We finished off our lunch with Bill’s last 50th birthday dessert. It was a tasty one!


I am so grateful Bill and I spent the time and the money to celebrate his turning 50 in such a way. Being in the fire service, it’s hard for him to truly relax at home. He is always on alert in some capacity and it takes leaving home and getting far away from his duties for him to fully unwind. And unwind he did! This wonderful vacation made the 23 days he spent away on fires this summer a little easier to bear.

Just a reminder that How I Wear My: Tassel goes live on Wednesday next week. If you’d like to participate, just send us a photo of you in your tassel look, along with a brief description, to howiwearmy@yahoo.com by the end of the day on Monday, September 7th.

How I Wear My Badge

Visit the How I Wear My page for more information!

I am thrilled to announce another fabulous fashion event at Stella Carakasi soon!

Stella Fall Style Event

You may remember our Spring Luxe Event last May. It was such a fantastic experience, we decided to do it again!

The Fall Style Event is happening September 25th at 5:00 pm at Stella Studio in Berkeley and will feature tasty food from Whole Foods Market Gilman, a fashion show featuring several well-known fashion bloggers, and will focus not only on fall style, but celebrating women and women-owned businesses as well. It’s sure to be a fantastic evening!

Get more details on the Fall Style Event page and Facebook page. Please feel free to email me with any questions (adrienne@therichlifeinwinecountry.com). I would love to see you there!

Make it a rich day!




  1. September 4, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    i am such a fan of Stella’s clothes, I would almost get a plane ticket to attend the event. Wish I could be there! Your travel posts are so much fun, Adrienne!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      September 9, 2015 / 7:20 am

      It would be so great to have you there! Would you consider?

  2. September 4, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    The trip looks great, especially Carmel. It’s so lovely there. You both look very relaxed!

    Please convey my sincere thanks to Bill for his service fighting the wildfires of California and anywhere else he’s been deployed.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      September 9, 2015 / 7:20 am

      Thank you, Danielle – I will relay your message to Bill. We are hoping it start to RAIN soon…but currently it’s 100 everyday this week with breezes. Not good!

  3. Molly Gary
    September 4, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    So nice to see the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe in your post. My husband and I stumbled upon it a couple of years ago while vacationing ourselves. We immediately fell in love ans ended up spending the entire day. The restUrant is completely charming and the beach is beautiful!! Thank you for bringing back such a happy memory!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      September 9, 2015 / 7:19 am

      It’s darling, isn’t it? I just love it and it brought back so many memories for me as well. Such a fun place and the beach is beautiful!

  4. September 4, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Great recap of your travels & great way to celebrate an important birthday! 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      September 9, 2015 / 7:18 am

      Thank you, Andrea! It was a fun-filled and very memorable way to usher in the next 1/2 century (gulp!)

  5. September 5, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    🙂 What a wonderful birthday trip and treat for both of you!
    That little filling station somehow looks familiar (but maybe I’m wrong). I love driving up PCH and stopping at the many vista points.
    The Malibu breakfast and beach club look like fun. I’ll be heading over to CA in the next couple of weeks, maybe I can make the time to go there for a couple of hours.
    HAPPY Sunday to you and greetings from Vienna 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      September 9, 2015 / 7:18 am

      It was such a treat and I am just happy my husband was born in June and not August. The fires may have prevented us from going away!
      The Malibu Paradise Cove Beach Club is darling…and the food is great too. Worth the drive from LA, if you have a little extra time!

  6. Kathy
    September 7, 2015 / 7:36 am

    What a great birthday trip Bill had, and we loved having you here. XO

    • Adrienne Shubin
      September 9, 2015 / 7:16 am

      Thank you and D so much for welcoming us into your lovely home. It was a wonderful stay. xoxoxo

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