smitten travels

travel story: nyc

tinys-nycself-portrait-dressI hadn’t been back to New York since I was pregnant with Archie so it felt great to be back in the city for a minute. I flew out there with one of my best gal pals and we ate and shopped our way through Soho… READ MORE

travel stories: northern cali

RUSSIAN-RIVER-house3RUSSIAN-RIVER-house2A couple weeks ago we jumped on a quick flight up to San Francisco, rented a car, and did a little road trip through Northern California. I have to say it was just the right amount of travel time with a toddler in tow. A one hour flight = piece of cake, then an hour and a half drive to our first stop… perfect naptime length! We rented this gorgeous house for a couple days on Russian River, and then drove further north to Boonville. All the details and our route after the jump…  READ MORE

smitten travels: ojai babymoon

in-the-field-ojaiin-the-field-ojai2Just before all the holiday madness Rupe and I snuck away for a little babymoon in Ojai. We fell in love with the sweet little town all over again and I would be amiss if I didn’t share a few of my favorite spots. These top two photos are from the gorgeous new shop, In The Field. They have a little bit of everything, men’s and women’s clothes, home goods, furniture and sweet things for baby. I wanted to hang out in the beautiful space all day.

ojai-valley-innojai-valley-inn6ojai-valley-inn4ojai-valley-inn2We stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn, which was the perfect setting for some pampering and R&R. The grounds are as picturesque as you can get, I mean, did you see that pool? The spa is also incredible, so relaxing that we both fell asleep in the communal lounge area after our massages.

ojai2ojaiWhen we weren’t snoozing in the spa we spent time around town checking things off of my friend Jessie’s list of things to do in Ojai. Because even though I have been there a few times, nothing is better than getting a local’s recommendations. So, if you are planning a trip make sure to check out her extensive guide!

My favorites that overlapped with her list include:
To Stay: Ojai Valley Inn & Ojai Rancho Inn
To Eat: Knead Baking Co. (the best place for breakfast), and Farmer and the Cook
To Shop: Modern Folk Living and Shop Summer Camp

And then these two lovely new shops that opened after Jessie made her list, In The Field, and Dekor & Co.

To see more of our travels check here.

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel 

smitten travels: cayucos

cayucos-airbnb-sarahshermansamuelA few weeks back Rupe and I headed up the coast to meet up with some friends in the darling little beach town of Cayucos. It is situated just north of Morro Bay, not far from San Luis Obispo and about halfway between LA and San Francisco (which is where our friends were coming down from). We filled the weekend with walks on the beach, wandering around the town, antiquing, good food, and lots of laughs (you know, all the important things in life. :)).

california-road-tripcayucos-beach-2-sarahshermansamuelcayucos-airbnb2-sarahshermansamuelWe found this special Airbnb rental that felt part Swiss Family Robinson, part Wes Anderson film set (the bedroom is pictured in the first image). The nautical themed 2 and 1/2 story house (for real there was a half floor with about 4 foot high ceilings, between the top and bottom floors, perfect for kids to crawl into and with enough beds to sleep the Duggar family (ok not quite)) was just a few blocks from the beach and had this lovely back patio where we spent Saturday night, grilling, dining al fresco, and chatting around the fire.

cayucos-beach-sarahshermansamuelcalifornia-road-trip2morro-bayWe also took some side trips to towns like Morro Bay, (photo above) where we had a delicious breakfast at Dorn’s and San Luis Obispo, where we dined at Taste and Big Sky Cafe, as well as stopped by the Madonna Inn for a little color therapy in all shades of pink (photo from the dining room 1 image up on the right). I have yet to stay the night there but the secret kitsch loving side of me is dying to test out one of their ridiculous(-ly awesome) themed rooms, each on is different!

Our favorite foodie stop in Cayucos was Ruddell’s for the smoked fish tacos (which I actually couldn’t eat being pregnant and all, but I can attest that the smoked chicken taco’s were delicious :).

Images by me (iphone) more on instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel).

To see more of our travels, check here.

from the weekend: los alamos

los alamos // alamo motel // sarah sherman samuelMy parents are visiting from Michigan this week so we took them up to a darling little tiny town Los Alamos. It is about two and half hours north of LA which makes for a great weekend getaway and you know I like me some weekend trips. We stayed in The Alamo Motel which is the newest addition to the Shelter Social Club roster. It is in the process of getting renovated and we were lucky enough to snag one of the new rooms. If you plan on going sometime soon, it is a good idea to request one of the renovated spaces as there are still only a few (and completely adorable).

A few of our favorite spots from the weekend were…

To Eat:
Full of Life Flatbread 
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery

To Drink:
Muni Wine Tasting Room (right at the hotel)
Babi’s Beer Emporium

To See:
Oceano Dunes (about 45 mins north)
Ostrichland (feed some ostrich and emus)
Antique Shops galore

Images by me via iPhone & instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

smitten travels: catalina island

catalina island, descanso beach // smitten studiocatalina island // smitten studioI’m back with a bit more from our trip to Catalina Island. A few highlights were…

That pretty little hideaway in the first photo, called Descanso Beach. There’s a beach club there that you can hang on the beach without paying (or rent beach chairs or a cabana if you want the full experience), and its also where we rented kayaks out for a couple hours. Our kayak trip was easily the best part of the trip, we rowed past seals and dolphins and loved just drifting around on the crystal clear water. We took a two person kayak because Rupe is a zealous rower and it means I get to take breaks and float along for the ride. :) The woman that worked at the rental desk told us where we could kayak out to see leopard sharks in the shallow waters just past Frog Rock (she assured us that they were harmless so I was in). We thought it would be pretty cool but had no idea how incredible it was when we finally happened on them and suddenly there were literally about 100 sharks swimming around our boat!

catalina-island-casinocatalina island // smitten studiocatalina island // smitten studiocatalina island // smitten studiocatalina island // smitten studiocatalina island // smitten studioWalking around the old Casino, ((top photo in this set) you can take tours of the inside but we didn’t get a chance to. It’s on my list for next time), renting golf carts and touring around to the two high points above the city (middle image & last image), playing mini-golf, and hanging out on the docks on a warm night well past our bedtime were the rest of the high points.

You guys gave me some incredible tips on Instagram before we went and we had a blast checking some things off the list. Next time I want to see the buffalo!

iPhone images by me (more on instagram @sarahshermansamuel)