The Instagram snapshot above – written in crayon – contains my intentions for the week I spent recently at The Montage in Laguna Beach. Who needs to set intentions for a luxurious vacation? Well, I do! I actually think you should set an intention every morning before your feet hit the floor and you drag your lazy bones out of bed! But when you are investing in a luxurious vacation, it is imperative to keep your intentions in the forefront of your mind. Why let the stress and worries you left behind infiltrate your time away? Especially when you are camped out on the cliff over looking the Pacific Ocean at The Montage.
This magnificent view never gets old. The Montage is one of my family’s favorite get aways and this stunning view from the lobby terrace is one of the reasons why. That pool is the prime place to Be Happy. Be Relaxed. Be Grateful! See the photo below for proof!
Even when you arrive 6 hours before check in time, you can check out at the pool and slip into vacation mode immediately! When you are perched over the Pacific, it is really easy to start to unwind and slip into vacation mode.
One of the reasons my family loves this place is that it has something for all of us, especially Corbin. He LOVES The Paintbox, which is the kids program at the hotel. The staff is top notch and most often Corbin doesn’t want to leave when it is time to go. They even send him birthday cards every July. No trip here is complete without the obligatory face painting session. Or the trip across the street to CVS to get some make-up remover to get all of this off of his sweet little face! I don’t recommend doing this the day before your family photo shoot on the beach, though. All of that black face paint can be a real pain to get off of an 8-year-old boy.
This year, we made the trek down to LegoLand. I have to confess, I am not an amusement park fan AT ALL. But, as parents we do things with our kids that often times we’d rather not be doing, right? Legoland did not disappoint. The weather was perfect. There was not a huge crowd. We all really enjoyed the day and the fun photo ops!
As I mentioned, I
dislike hate amusement parks. But I adore LOVE my child. And look at his face in the photo below…that’s a look of shear excitement on his face. And one of complete terror on mine!
There really is no huge reason to leave The Montage but we wanted to shake things up a bit since we were there for seven days. The SoCal food scene is always intriguing. The Watermarc was recommended and we found ourselves there TWICE on this trip. One of my favorite dishes was the watermelon, tuna and tomato skewers. As a southerner, if an entree offers up tomatos and watermelon in the same dish, I’m going to order it. The tuna and touch of seaweed salad really amped up the flavors.
But I have to tell you, when I found out about the home made Ding Dongs on the dessert menu, I had to order them. As a child, my grandmother always kept a box of Ding Dongs in her “treat” drawer. Some foods make my soul happy. These chocolate dipped cakes do it for me. And bring them to me in a Rolling Stones lunch box and I’m a really a happy camper. Momma’s gettin’ some satisfaction!
With all of the time I have spent at The Montage, I have yet to find a bad view. Even the view from the gym is spectacular. I snapped this from the treadmill following my evening of Ding Dongs! Afterwards, I checked into the spa which I highly recommend. They offer a wide selection of amazing services and have a great boutique that is well edited with skin care products from Eminence and super stylish clothing from R and R Surplus. Speaking of shopping, if you can drag yourself away from the fabulous boutique in the spa and gift shop, I recommend two other places in Laguna Beach for some retail therapy. First stop is 11th Moon for a well curated selection of clothing and accessories from Peter Pillota, Raquel Allegra and Rachel Comey. Second stop is Tuvalu. I picked up some great treasures for my apartment in this shop on Forest Avenue. My basket of shiny sea shells and my huge chunk of coral make for great conversations and are reminders of one of my favorite vacations spots.
My absolute favorite thing about The Montage is just relaxing by the pool. It takes a bit of time to unwind from the frantic pace of living in New York City. But once I’ve turned down the dial and quieted the committee of monkeys in my head, there is no better place to chill than in a lounge chair here with the breeze coming off the ocean. I can read a highly recommended
thriller tabloid magazine, people watch celebrity watch, sleep off a hangover nap and play with my filters on Instagram!
Our poolside lounging includes some fantastic food and beverages from The Mosaic Grill. I’m typically a Veuve Clicquot champagne lady but opted for something new. I found myself craving something green and this is what was suggested. The Cucumber Crusher.
Wanna make one for yourself? You will need the following on the rocks:
Grey Goose La Poire Vodka
Fresh Lime Juice
Splash of Soda
After a full week in my version of paradise, Corbin came back from dinner with this heart stopping note and sparkly ring from the gift shop. This child slays me. He knows his Momma well. And we can all use an evil eye to keep bad things away from us. I wish I could just bottle him up sometimes and keep him 8 forever.
I leave you with this stunning sunset photo. There is my joie de vivre, y’all. Words really can’t do any more for it.
Thanks for Kim-Marie at www.luxurytravelmom.com for sharing the word about Instagram Travel Thursday.