Paradise Found

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{Beach day at Point Dume.}

Every summer over the last couple of years, I’ve made it a point to spend more time at the ocean. Beach days typically now find me at Point Dume in Malibu on late Saturday mornings well into the afternoon with all the essentials necessary to completely veg out and relax. In fact, aside from a $70 massage – I can’t think of anything else that actually does completely relax me. The sound of the waves, a good book, some snacks, and sand in your toes for a few hours always does the trick.

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{Morning waves.}

An even sweeter thing to partake in while in Malibu is a stop for lunch at Paradise Cove. Paradise Cove is a private beach about 2.5 miles northeast of Point Dume that loosely mimics the Beverly Hills Beach Club from 90210 (the Walsh-era one) minus the club membership with a much smaller stretch of sand. I’ve never had the expensive pleasure of spending the entire day here lounging on the private sands with a beach bed rental (which would run you about $90), but I do love to stop and eat at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe.

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{Cafe.}

Full of cliché in a way that just works, Paradise Cove grants complete permission for guests to be as laid back and chillaxed as possible. The cafe, located right on the sandy beach, is on the pricier side at an average $20 an entrée, but is well worth the splurge. I can’t think of a place that serves larger portions (this place easily surpasses the Cheesecake Factory) and they welcome sharing meals without problem. I do find it funny that for a place full of bikinis, bathing suits, and things “beachy” that the restaurant would be so courageous as to serve so much food. I mean, who wants to pig out while at the beach? This is why I recommend stopping by AFTER a day at the beach and just before making the trek along P.C.H. back home and to bed.

Though certainly not a frequent indulgence (because of the amount of calories you’re inhaling, money you’re spending, and the guilt you feel when looking at all these attractive people in model-esque shape), I’ve had nothing but positive experiences overall. The service is great. The food tasty. And they serve drinks in fruit shells. Always a plus in my book. Beware that on the weekends, it can get rather crowded and while they are not very efficient at keeping to their reservation schedule, it can’t hurt to make one on Opentable to bypass the walk-ins.

So my advice to enjoy a little bit of Paradise? Start your morning with an awesome spot on the beach at Point Dume, arriving circa 10:30am to grab the best spot before all the tourists show up. Spend at least 5-6 good hours taking in the rays and getting through that book you’ve been meaning to for the last two weeks. Head to the Cove. Order a watermelon daiquiri and the tomato and caramelized onion grilled cheese sandwich. Paradise found.

Paradise Cove is located at 28128 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

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{Watermelon Daiquiri.}
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{Cobb salad. Tomato and caramelized onion grilled cheese.}

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{Welcome to Paradise!}

How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

They say youth is wasted on the young. I might also add so are summer vacations. Three months of complete carefree freedom – no bills, no big worries other than your new first day of school outfit, and plenty of opportunities to sleep during a time when 3 months seemed like a really long time. I find that as I get older, I hear myself saying “rent is due again!” more and more frequently.

Year after year of the famed summer vacation as a kid through my college years was always welcomed, though became more and more complicated as I got older (insert summer job/responsibility here), but likely nothing compared to what a summer vacation would look like today as an adult if I had 3 entire months to do whatever, whenever I wanted.

What once was an endless day doing arts and crafts at the Boys & Girls Club when I was 10, ironically would be similar, but on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean. I’d still read books, veg in front of the TV for hours while eating incessantly (not gaining a pound, of course) with the caveat being that I would be in the middle of a 3 month tour of Europe, and this was just how I would choose to unwind after a day exploring the city.

While I’m grateful for being steadily employed, I won’t let a little thing like a full-time job prevent me from having the summer of my life. While I won’t be in the middle of the Mediterranean making art collages, nor will I be stuffing my face with pasta all day while watching re-runs of Friends dubbed in Italian during my European adventure, I do have big plans to enjoy the California sunshine, explore the time of year that LA really comes alive, and make collages all summer long…for my blog. In fact, here’s one now…

How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

How I plan to spend summer

Picnics. Outdoor movies/Cinespia. On the beach. Under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. Hiking. Reading. At the movies. Yoga. Farmers’ markets. Eating cupcakes. Museums. Blogging. Milkshakes. Bookstores. Fruity inspired everything. LA County Fair. Drive-ins. My favorite grilled cheese joint. Iced lattes, lattes, lattes! A weekend getaway with my guy, place: TBD. The beach again.

…And exploring my beloved LA as much as I can.

Happy Summer!

🙂

Beaches

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Where: Point Dume Beach

Location: Westward Beach Road, off Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Far from being the sappy experience of the 1988 film starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey (I could almost drop a tear right now just thinking about that movie), you can’t write a blog about all that glitters in Los Angeles without dedicating some much deserved web time to what makes LA, LA. The beach!

This weekend, “the wind beneath my wing”  (remember THAT song?) and I hit Point Dume to enjoy the Malibu sunshine, cool down after the hottest week of the summer so far, and R.E.L.A.X. I was beyond excited to spend some time playing in the sand, using the new beach umbrella I got recently, and taking my new straw hat I bought at the flea market last weekend out for a spin.

It was the epitome of how to spend 5 hours on a lazy Saturday and I don’t need to brag about what a beautiful day it was. The proof is in the spiffy collage I made above. I will say that the dolphin (yes, dolphin) sighting pretty close to shore and the sound of the crashing waves while laying out on a blanket staring at the water were the highlights.

The not so highlights?

Halfway through Glamour and nearly done with my iced latte, a woman plopped right in front of me with her newborn, blocking my perfect view of the ocean. Also a child’s birthday party set-up around us and we were slowly being swarmed by 5 year olds as more and more families showed up. This necessitated a change of venue by moving down a few feet from where we originally set-up camp. Problem solved, perfect view intact, and relaxation continued.

Other than a slight wardrobe malfunction, that thankfully wasn’t a disaster, but means that I’ll have to buy a new bikini (and you know how a majority of women just LOVE bathing suit shopping – NOT!) I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!

Get out of the house and live it up at the beach (or a park if one isn’t nearby) at least a few times this summer. There’s something so special and soothing about a change of scenery that resets your clock after sitting in an office all week.

My essentials: magazines, Aveeno sunscreen, Raybans, and an iced latte! Happy beach day!