Monday, September 16, 2019

Malibu Trip | Lodging and Eats

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Even though we’ve lived in SoCal for 20 years, we’ve actually never been to Malibu (right north of LA).  This year Todd decided to do his annual Olympic-distance triathlon in Malibu, so that we could visit a new place.  This is one of our 6 trips this year to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary

We booked our lodging several months ago through AirBnb.  Todd looked for reasonable hotels near the start of the triathlon and they were all over $300/night.  That’s one thing we found out rather quickly:  Malibu is very expensive to visit.  The hotels are pricey and so are restaurants.  However, Todd found this tiny house AirBnb with ocean views and only a couple of miles from the race start!  It was very cute and had everything we needed, so we booked it.  It was still pricey though.  $549.36 for two nights, including taxes, fees, and cleaning fee.  Another thing to be aware of is that the price per night you see when you look at the AirBnb website does not include the mandatory taxes, fees, and cleaning fee.  You could be paying as much as $100 more per night after it’s all said and done.  Buyer beware. 

We drove up on Thursday 9/12.  We didn’t leave until 11am-ish.  If you know Southern CA (esp LA) traffic, then you know you can’t drive anywhere during commuting hours.  Since we didn’t leave until 11am, we drove up to Carlsbad and decided to have lunch there at the brand-new Windmill Food Hall

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One thing we’ve come to realize about the food hall craze is that it’s actually not cheap to eat at food halls.  Even though it’s a building that houses quite a few stalls, and there’s no service at all, you still pay a lot for the choices. 

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I forgot to take a photo of the food we got.  Todd got chicken fingers from Cross Street, and I got Drunken Noodles with Shrimp at Thai Style.  We got out of there for $30.

Driving up to LA is always an adventure!  There was some stop and go, and finally 2.5 hours later, we arrived near Malibu.  However, we couldn’t check in to our AirBnb until 4pm, so we had a couple of hours to kill.  We decided to go to the outlet mall, but instead I asked Google Maps to take us to The Commons at Calabasas, which turned out NOT to be an outlet mall.  We had to drive through really narrow bendy mountain passes through Topanga Canyon to get there.  It was over 100 F there and just very hot.  So we decided to get some frozen yogurt at Menchie’s.  Todd was very excited about frozen yogurt since it was so hot!

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Then we hung out at what seemed like the world’s biggest Barnes & Noble, which had double escalators to an upstairs loft.  And a section just for Reese Witherspoon’s book club.

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Finally around 3:45 we left Calabasas and took the Kanan Dume Rd to Malibu.  We got into our tiny house AirBnb via a lockbox on the door.  It was very cute inside.

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Todd picked a local Mexican place for dinner:  Lilys Malibu, right down the street.  We looked and found it they close at 6pm, so we had to get there around 5:30 for dinner.  Todd had a carnitas burrito and I had chicken enchiladas.  It was fairly good, but pricey for Mexican at $28.

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We got back and sat on the deck of the tiny house to watch the sunset.  There’s view of the mountains, which extended all the way to the ocean.  Also, since it was a point, there were ocean views on three sides!

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The tiny house had a small flatscreen TV, but just with a Roku connection and no regular TV, so if you wanted to watch anything you had to log into the apps on the Roku.  We tried Netflix and someone else’s account was logged in, so we didn’t bother logging out and logging in.  Pro tip:  if you log into Netflix or other streaming apps while on vacation, be sure to log out when you leave.  We watched “Murder Mystery” on Netflix with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler.  It was fairly entertaining.

On Friday morning we went to breakfast at Le Cafe de la Plage down the street.  Todd had bought some microwave popcorn and Coke at the grocery store the night before, so he ate that.  I got an omelette and a latte and it was $23 with tip.  Oh Malibu.  It was very good though, at least!

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We spent the rest of the morning at the Getty Villa, which I will write a post about this week.  It was gorgeous and it’s free to go, but you have to make a reservation ahead of time, and parking is $20.

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For lunch on Friday, we went to the Malibu Pier.  We were hoping for free street parking, but there were no spaces available.  There are lots nearby that charge $15, but they were full.  So we had to park at a lot across the street from the pier for $20.  We walked the pier and went to lunch at Malibu Farm Cafe at the end of the pier. 

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Todd had a salmon plate and I had the Impossible Burger (meatless).

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The food was good, but pricey (oh Malibu).  Lunch cost $62 with tax and tip.  You do get panoramic ocean views though, and the place is quite cute and farm to table.

We took naps in the afternoon and just hung out.  Then we went to dinner at Spruzzo, an Italian restaurant on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1 – it runs up and down the CA coast, close to the ocean).  Todd carbo-loaded for this triathlon the next day.  We shared a salad and a pizza and it was just the right amount of food. 

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The outdoor deck was huge and I really loved the ambiance.  It was mountain AND ocean view on the terrace. 

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They also had a firepit.

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We got out of there for $55 and I felt like that was actually worth it.  It was a really nice experience!

The next day, Saturday 9/14, was Todd’s triathlon!  I’ll be writing a separate post about that this week.

Overall, we really enjoyed Malibu!  While it was pricey, there’s no doubt that it’s a world-class destination with miles upon miles of really nice beaches, the mountains right next to it, and a classy relaxing atmosphere.  We did not run into any celebrities while we were there (that we know of).  But we still have the triathlon.  I kept telling Todd that I knew that Matt Damon did the Malibu Tri a few years ago.  And wouldn’t it be weird if you were swimming in the ocean and Matt Damon bobbed up next to you?  Find out later this week if that happened or not!

1 comment:

  1. We've eaten at Lily's Mexican in Malibu! I think the entire town is on the weird side, even the supermarkets where all the help shops. Glad you got to see the Getty Villa. It's gorgeous and it's free because of J. Paul Getty's ex-daughter-in-law ;-).


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