August 23, 2018

Palihouse Luxury Hotel, Santa Monica
If you haven't already, please check out PART ONE of the California Trip.

The drive back down to Los Angeles from Monterey didn't seem to take as long. Has anyone else felt this way while traveling? The drive back always seems to take less time.

We stopped at East Beach Tacos in Santa Barbra for lunch and had delicious tacos and flautas. You can take a swing at the batting cages while you're there too. You get a free play with your meal, but you're not required to, obviously.

We managed to dodge some traffic and settled in to the Line Hotel for the night. It's a very lively hotel in Koreatown, which is a great area surrounded by many Los Angeles top attractions. I would suggest booking a room on an upper level to avoid noise from the karaoke bars, or the pool deck bars if you don't plan on partying the whole time you stay in the hotel. (We found this out the hard way.) The rooms are modern and sleek. Rachel enjoyed this hotel more than I did, but it was well located to many of the downtown locations and museums.
After having a leak in the bathroom, we were moved to hotel room on an upper floor with a view looked out at the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory. They made up for the noise and bathroom sink that leaked. The hotel is very hip and beautiful, however and the staff were wonderful to makeup for the little mishaps.

This shouldn't be news to anyone, but Los Angeles, and California can be expensive. Thankfully, there is so much to see and do for low or no cost at all. While we considered doing a bus tour or seeing the more famous attractions, Rachel has been to California before, and I wanted to have a mother-daughter experience that was just as much of an adventure for myself as it would be for her too.

We aren't the typical tourist trap type either. We like to visit the places less traveled, and will always go for a foodie tour.

Where are my garden lovers? Beside the California Science Center is the massive Exposition Park Rose Garden, with hundreds of varieties of roses that bloom all throughout the year. The admission is free, and there are nearby parking spots for little to no cost. If you don't feel like hunting for free parking, the Science Center, California African American Museum and Natural History Museum of LA all share a parking lot. Pack a lunch and enjoy the museums and roses for free. Note that certain exhibits will cost a fee for admission and newer exhibits will sell out earlier than others.

Rachel and I were exhausted by the end of the day. We ended up ordering delivery via DoorDash. Use the promo code we linked to and receive $7 off of your order! We had delicious smoothies and burgers from a restaurant while we planned our visit to Crumbs and Whiskers Cafe the next morning.

Crumbs and Whiskers is a cat cafe offering 70 minutes of cuddle time with adoptable cats while you enjoy a cup of organic tea or coffee. If you're not in California, consider visiting their Washington, DC location or making a donation by purchasing some of their fantastic Cat-Swag.
We loved our visit to Crumbs and Whiskers. You'll leave with a free Polaroid photograph and perhaps a furry friend you wish to adopt. You pay for the 70 minutes that you visit the cafe, and the tea/coffee that you purchase as well. The cost of admission goes toward taking care of the cats.

Leaving the cat cafe with full hearts and some cat hair on our pants, we drove to our final hotel stop, and our favorite stay of the trip, Palihouse in Santa Monica.

It's 30 minutes from downtown, Los Angeles and only minutes from the beach on third street. It's a glamorous, luxury hotel chain that we cannot stop recommending enough. Palihouse, Santa Monica is a part of a family run series of boutique hotels created by founder, Avi Brosh. The Santa Monica location has a beautiful mediterranean revival style that dates back to 1927 with a modern flair.

The location is the corner property in a residential neighborhood not far from shops, restaurants, and the Santa Monica Pier. We were greeted by welcoming staff and inside our hotel room we were treated to a delicious fruit plate with a bottle of wine and a lovely note welcoming us to the hotel.
PaliSociety Luxury Hotel - Palihouse Santa Monica
We sat outside and enjoyed the cool late afternoon breeze with our glasses of wine before we headed down to the Pier to explore some of the attractions.

The main lobby and a place you can relax for a cup of tea, for a full meal.

They have a food menu that does not disappoint. Enjoy your meal inside the beautiful lobby, or dine in the gardens that surround the property. Palihouse, Santa Monica has cozy spots everywhere throughout the hotel for its guests. What's nice is that aside from being a hotel, they offer long term stay, so if you plan on being here for an extended amount of time, this might be the place for you.

Seriously, this hotel has the most beautiful aesthetic and charm. It's our hope to visit some of their upcoming locations in the near future. (Palihouse, we would love to travel and stay with you!)

We befriended the bartender at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co who jumped in for a picture with me in front of the Santa Monica North Entrance sign. ☺ We had walked for nearly an hour and just really needed a glass of water and a short break before moving on. We had a quick appetizer before moving on.

We seated ourselves outside on a deck nearby the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Rachel had a lemon drop martini and we shared a delicious flat bread pizza for dinner while watching the sunset.

For our last day in California we drove to brunch in Malibu. It's only a 25 minute drive from Palihouse, Santa Monica and we loved the water views on our way to the Malibu Farm Pier Cafe. We had a delicious, organic brunch, watched some surfers and I even managed to relax on the beach for a little while.
Our final stop before our evening flight, the Getty Museum. It's free admission with parking at $15 per car; $10 after 3 pm. Take your time, and enjoy a long afternoon seeing beautiful artwork and exhibits along with the breathtaking views that look out over the city. On a clear day like we had, you can see the ocean. The gardens were absolutely beautiful. Don't forget to checkout the Getty Villa as well for fantastic sculpture work.

We booked a late evening flight so we could get the most out of our day, but also avoid running into rush hour traffic while trying to commute to the airport. We returned the car, and made our flight without issue. Sleeping was a bit of a challenge with Spirit Airlines; you may want to to budget for more legroom or better seating if this is an issue for you too.

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