July 2, 2013

our vacation: beautiful california

I've been meaning to share a little about our recent vacation to a few spots in California. We've lived here for 10+ years and there's so much we haven't seen in our beautiful state - we always talk about visiting different places and finally decided to make it happen. Or, get started anyway...there's so much more to see!

We left on my husband's birthday :)  Rather than taking the less scenic, faster route, we spent about the last third of the drive along the coast. I'll never tire of the California coast...it gets me every time. 

Can't believe we get to live here.

First stop, Venice! Our home base was a little beach bungalow we rented through Airbnb. Walking the streets of Venice never got old...tropical gardens, charming homes around every corner, and of course the canals!

Strolling the canals never got old...they go on and on. What a dream to live there!

One day we took a little drive into the valley, to Ojai. For years I've been bugging my husband about visiting Ojai, ever since Kathryn Ireland's house was featured in House Beautiful. I can't be alone! The amazing architecture, gorgeous use of colors, tiles, long porches, indoor/outdoor feel...I love it all. At the time (a few years ago now, I think!), it wasn't as common to see this boho-type mix of ethnic patterns, and in bold colors. I was so drawn to her casual, colorful, global feel, and have definitely been influenced by it - a very California vibe. Anyway...we didn't manage to track down this estate ;), but had fun exploring the town, eating yummy Mexican food for lunch, taking a very mild hike for some stunning views, and spent the afternoon reading in the little town square/park.

view of Ojai valley

I already told you about the flea market adventure. We hit a few other area hot spots, including the Getty Center, with its completely amazing property and views!

Believe it or not, southern California has fog, too! So while we weren't at the beach every day, the weather cooperated on one of our final days in Venice, and what a beautiful beach it is.

Santa Monica Pier

Then, it was off to Palm Springs for a couple of days! We had never been, and loved it. Thanks to a half-off deal we found, we were able to stay at a gorgeous inn. This was a huge gift and we were so grateful. Being the off-season meant we pretty much had the place to ourselves. In the mornings, I loved sipping my coffee and journaling poolside, enjoying the beauty and quiet. What a great chance for reflections on what God had been nudging, guiding and speaking. Throughout the trip, I had several specific prayer focuses, and gained some amazing clarity and peace these last couple of days. I'm so grateful for a God whose perspective is vast and clear when mine is limited, who knows what I need when my wants try to take control, who loves me when I'm unlovable, and who never gives up on me. That peace.


  1. How fun! Would love to do the Airbnb in venice! Did you have a good experience? I did Airbnb in NYC and loved it. I'm feeling the need to be touristy in CA too.

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  2. Gorgeous photos, Katie! Sounds like a wonderful adventure!


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