It has been absolutely nuts ever since we got back from holiday break. We have started a bunch of new projects and have been going full steam ahead ever since Jan 3rd so the fact that this month is almost over just blows my mind! It feels like just yesterday that I was in California with my family for Christmas. It was my first visit to the golden state, and I must say that I loved it! The laid back attitude of Californians, the amazing weather and gorgeous views, made it very tempting to move EJ Interiors across country and set up shop there.
We covered Newport, Laguna, LA and San Diego in a short amount of time. It was an adventure to say the least! Of course, it couldn’t all be about sand, waves and water. I had to incorporate some aspect of design on my trip to keep it interesting and to slowly but surely educate my husband (which he loves of course!)
We stayed at Pelican Hill in Newport for a few days and the views around this place were breathtaking- Paloma wasn’t kidding!
It was a little bit more traditional than the hotels Ben and I normally stay at, but it was really beautiful and super cozy nonetheless!
During the days, we ventured out to Balboa Island (where I met Jill!) and Laguna Beach. There was the most adorable home shop in Laguna called Tuvalu. It had lots of items with familiar names such as Currey, Arteriors and Palecek.
We then took a day trip to LA with my entire family (we should have known nine people in a limo bus on an all day tour was a recipe for disaster) but hey, that’s how the Johnstons roll. It’s not a family vacation if at least three people don’t get Hangry (angry because they’re hungry) or in trouble with my dad for running late.
Luckily, a beautiful drive up the coast and an amazing church made it all better. Who wouldn’t want to get married here in California’s perfect weather?
I then had one (and only one) request of the bus driver…and that was to take me to see the infamous and mysterious Chateau. I’ve read too many issues of Us Weekly, not to go there. This castle on a hill is legendary in my mind and although I only saw it from the bus (because I’m not a B or C list celeb), you get this amazing slanted I phone photo…
OK, I did have one more request on the trip to LA….to see the iconic Martinique wallpaper that was made famous by the Beverly Hills Hotel and then later used by Paris Hilton and Brian Atwood/Nate Berkus. We’ve blogged about this leafy paper before HERE. I had to beg the guy at the hotel to let me take a photo of it and luckily he obliged! What I didn’t get a photo of were the tiny Olson twins eating next to us at the Polo Lounge five minutes prior. I don’t know what got me more excited- seeing Martinique or Michelle Tanner!
The next stop got a big roll of the eyes from the husband (well, a few stops did) but this one was the most memorable- The Beverly Wilshire hotel. We just had to see the Pretty Woman elevator! I told Ben it’s on the list of things I have to see before I die, so that helped convince him. As we walked up to the hotel, I heard my twenty two year old brother mutter- “What’s Pretty Woman?”
Oh geez- the adventure continues!
“Well color me happy, there’s a sofa in here for two!”
So now that Ben is almost convinced this is a complete girls’s trip…I reassure him of this by heading over to the Viceroy Santa Monica to stay the night and gawk over KW’s design.
The colorful California Viceroy was a complete departure from Wearstler’s more neutral design in Anguilla. With bold kelly green and graphic black and white accents, this hotel was definitely more bold and vivacious. It’s no surprise that Saturday night here by the pool is “bumpin” (per Trip Advisor).
We then headed to our next hotel stay in San Diego at the historic US Grant Hotel. I ended up really liking this hotel. It had the most comfortable bed (which counts a lot in my book!) I also liked how they mixed the elegance from the 1910′s with an updated more modern feel.
I had to take a photo of the TV cabinet in our hotel room too. What an inspiring and attractive design for a custom casegood!
The day after we arrived in San Diego, we went to one of the largest and most progressive zoos in the world. I can’t help but notice design and pattern no matter where I am- even on the fur of this leopard! Such a gorgeous gorgeous animal…
After many recommendations from friends, we took a visit to”the Del”, a 120 year old hotel in Coronado. The Hotel del Coronado is known for its Victorian design, reported ghost sightings, movie set background and celebrity visits.
The last stop on the journey (and the whole purpose of our San Diego trip) was the UT bowl game. As a Sooner, I felt like a traitor wearing burnt orange, but it got me a new sweater from Banana!
All in all, such a fun trip and I can’t wait to start planning my next California trip- to San Francisco!
(Sorry for the strange spaces between the photos- blog issues!)