Friday, July 27, 2012

California Adventure: Day 2 (Malibu & Santa Monica)

Our second day in California started quite early because we were still on East Coast time. Come to think of it, we were never really "off" East Coast time....we woke up early every day and stayed up late! That might not have been the best schedule to keep, but we sure packed a lot in!

We walked to a really cute coffee shop right in Culver City before we ventured out for the day. Lilly had to leave pretty early so we spent a little time with Mike before he had to get to work.

After discussing with Mike about what we should do that day, we decided to drive to Malibu and then work our way back to LA. Our first stop was Pepperdine University. One of my best friends from High School wanted to go there, and I always remember her telling us about how unique and gorgeous the campus is. It really was incredible! The school was up a windy hill/canyon and if you get high enough, has fabulous views.

We tried to prop the camera on the car but it's a little wonky. Oops!

After our tour, we needed breakfast. There seemed to be only one restaurant that served breakfast food nearby, and this place was called Lily's Cafe & Pastries. I am a die-hard fan of Yelp reviews, and these did not disappoint. I read that there are not, in fact, any pastries, nor is there coffee. What Lily's does have is breakfast burritos and other Mexican cuisine (tacos, enchiladas, etc). This was such a delicious treat!

With the fiery hot sauce!
 After breakfast, we decided to do a bit more driving around. It was really overcast so not ideal beach weather. We drove up and around Malibu Canyon, and as soon as we drove over one hill, the clouds parted and the sun came out!
I had read somewhere that Pamela Anderson resides in Malibu so, naturally, I wanted to go see her house. Well, I found the address and we were on our way there, and discovered she lives in a gated community right on the beach. Oops! I made a quick U-turn before the security guard could ask what we were doing!

After our tour of Malibu, we stopped for a snack at Malibu Seafood, per Lilly's recommendation. We saw Ray Romano there! He actually was standing inside the tiny hut where you order, and let us go in front of him. He was wearing his sunglasses but was definitely 100% recognizable! Even Connor knew who he was, and he is usually a little clueless about celebs. It was something this country bumpkin was excited over. I love celeb sightings! 

Clam strips were NOT as good as they are in Cape Cod at Seafood Sam's!

After our snack, we drove back to Santa Monica. We parked  at one of the over-priced parking lots and walked to the pier. The weather was clearing up, which was perfect timing!

After a nice stroll around the tourist trap that is the Santa Monica Pier, we stopped to have a {huge} beer while we waited for Mike to join us 
Mike & Lilly used to live in Santa Monica so he was the best tour guide! We walked around the 3rd Street Promenade and grabbed a tiny espresso. This is a running joke in Connor's family. It's always hilarious when big people drink tiny espressos, and pictures must always be taken to document the moment.
Mike even took us to their old apartment complex. They lived so close to everything! After the tour, we decided to grab a rooftop drink at the Hotel Shangri-La. I had a delicious Mojito!

Our view towards Malibu
The pier
The boys

We drove back to Culver City to rest a bit before dinner. We then got ready and walked to Father's Office, an AWESOME craft beer + pairing restaurant. They're famous for their Office Burger, which is on an oval-shaped bun, topped with arugula, deeply caramelized onions, & bleu cheese, and served with a whole mess of shoestring fries. My kinda place, for sure!
The beer list was overwhelming, to say the least. I think I got the Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
We started off with a few appetizers. This was a goat barbacoa. YUM.
And bone marrow with an incredible parsley & caper salad that helped cut the fatty richness.
And here is the famous burger! They don't have ketchup, so don't ask for it! (Apparently it's a "thing")
PERFECTLY cooked! This thing was just incredible. The flavors were so well-balanced. There was definitely a party going on in my mouth.
And because we were on vacation, we stopped at the trendy Cool Haus for dessert that we did not need. They're famous for their ice cream sandwiches, and crazy ice cream flavors.
To wit: brown butter & candied bacon, strawberry mojito sorbet, FRIED CHICKEN & WAFFLES
We played it pretty safe (but I definitely sampled the fried chicken one, it was AWESOME) and got "dirty mint chip" ice cream & sea salted dark chocolate cookie sandwich. What makes it dirty is they put real mint leaves in. I think we each took a couple bites and took the rest home!

We sure packed a lot in on our second day in CA! I can't wait to share our 3rd day, which included a completely dazzling meal along with another celebrity sighting!


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