Puttin’ on the ritz. Literally.

IMG_6094.JPG With nearly a week ahead of us and the rarely accurate weatherman’s doom and gloom forecast for the week messing with our heads (not), our jaunt to the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel as a Valentine from the MoH to moi is now officially a memory.

But what a lovely one.

Remember those commercials that one of the cruise lines used to run depicting an average person pumping gas and day dreaming about their experience in temporary splendor? Doesn’t ring any bells? Fine.

Well, that was our weekend at the Ritz. Totally. Amazing. Now, it would have been a bit better if the coffee we stopped for on the way would have had a lid that actually kept the coffee IN the cup instead of dripping down my white shirt, but no problem. I just happened to have a damp towel in the car so I could wipe down the console on the way to keep the valets from actually knowing we were slobs instead of just wondering.

I’d been to the Ritz once before with a group of girlfriends and since then, a make over of more contemporary lines, patterns, and color palate has given the hotel a fresh summery look — so much so that I had trouble remembering it was mid February. You know, with temperatures in the high sixties and low seventies instead of mid-eighties? Sorry. I couldn’t resist. You do understand that I would enjoy having a real winter, right? I know I’ve made that perfectly clear.

But I digress.

So how relaxing was it?

IMG_6140.JPG There’s plenty of beach to walk along and tide pools to explore if you’re inclined to crawl on the rocks and you can talk your husband into carrying your purse and your wedgies. And if you’re really lucky, he’ll even kneel down and roll up your jeans so they don’t get wet. It seems the surfers are there 24 hours a day doing more floating than surfing, just waiting for that perfect wave. If you don’t quite feel like walking down to the beach, or trudging bounding back up that hill, there’s a cute little car that comes and goes on a schedule that will drive you down and pick you up to your heart’s content. And the exercise facility is grand. Although we did peer into the room, even the ellipticals positioned in front of the ten foot bay windows with a full view of the Pacific wasn’t enough to encourage us to don our spandex and bounce off an ounce. Or a thousand. We did, however, take time to admire those who had chosen to do so from outside the window as we used the stairs to the beach. IMG_6078.JPG

The lounge (okay, so they call it The Bar, but it doesn’t exactly fit my image of a bar) has a great menu to sip and taste while you sink back into the low chairs and wonder whether the man sitting with the woman in the corner near the window with the view is Antonio Gates. But maybe that was just the Moh’s Strawberry Bellini playing tricks with his brain.

And if you’re curious (and we were…), there’s Eno — a Wine, Cheese & Chocolate tasting room that hosts a variety of vintners throughout the year, and for a fee, offers a class to discover how each of their respective wines taste. We met the Nachbaurs who left corporate jobs nearly 18 years ago with little knowledge or experience to begin their Acorn Winery. I love hearing about people who take a leap like that. I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now, but I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Just give me some more time and I’ll get there. I know it. Although I’m more a lover of white wine than red, and the MoH loves his Coca-Cola on the rocks…we enjoyed the class and the company at our table. The pairing of the selected wines with the various handmade chocolates, cheeses, and meats were very, very good. IMG_6086.JPG

And just in case that wasn’t quite enough wine, a bottle of bubbly was sent to our room. Nice.

A nap in the afternoon sunlight was a perfect way to rest for a late dinner at Restaurant 162′ where we enjoyed food that made my tastebuds sing. A surprise dessert in celebration of our anniversary in December (better late than never?) was a enough to have us waddling back to our room with silly grins on our faces.

We slept with the French doors open so we could hear the surf while tucked under the thick down comforter.

IMG_6108.JPG Ahhh….

Breakfast was brought to the room at 9:30 and we ate some more.

Another walk on the beach, a massage and some sauna time for the MoH, and a quiet corner in the lounge for me with a good book finished off our time at a lovely hotel.

A swing by San Juan Capistrano sans swallows for some yummy nachos and mariachi tunes kept us from starving to death before we could pick up the RTR and head home at about 7 PM.

Back to reality.

But absolutely no complaints or snide remarks about Paradise.

California Dreamin' at the Ritz-Carlton

Well, maybe. IMG_6070.JPG



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7 responses to “Puttin’ on the ritz. Literally.”

  1. OH, that looks heavenly!! I checked out the Hotel website when you orginally posted it, and what a gorgeous place!! I’m so glad you had a nice relaxing weekend. Could you send some of that warmth and beauty to our very cold and dreary East Coast? ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ritzy

    How I wish we were related to the Hotel Ritz family or the Ritz Cracker family… I could eat crackers at Ritzy Hotels across the world for free! No such luck though… just the Ritz’s from Ohio. Ho Hum…

    Glad you had a wonderful weekend! I would have loved that wine, cheese & chocolate tasting – yummmy! I figured you more of a red wine lover. Either way, happy you and MoH had a lovely weekend away from Paradise. (Does that sentence not make sense to you either?? … a weekend AWAY from Paradise. Hmmmm… a weekend out of Kalamazoo would be paradise!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hey Ritzy — maybe there’s a long lost connection on your relatives. Wouldn’t that be seriously cool? And yes, the sentence is pretty funny. I think it’s why I try so hard to go out and look around here so that I do appreciate it more. The whole idea of staying in a hotel here is strange though. Work is too close by, and house work, etc. I know you get it. I did come home and take a big bubble bath, that evening which was pretty funny. My tub’s a heck of a lot bigger than the one at the hotel, but that’s normal.

    Hi Chefmom — I’m looking out my window right now and it’s been drizzling steadily since before I woke up this morning, and evidently it’s supposed to hang around for the rest of the week. I always feel sorry for East Coasters who are looking for a much needed break in their cold weather and come here to find it actually rains. I’d be totally pissed!

  4. What a beautiful weekend. So nice to get away. The Husband and I are off…for just one night :(…in a couple of weeks.

    Did you say CHOCOLATE tasting room? Right on.

    Comment hijack ahead…..
    I happened to click over and see that you showed up and had my back about the growing older thing at Time Goes By. Bless you. I actually stopped checking back because it was just pointless to try to explain myself to people who just knew me from her excerpts. I just happened to click again out of curiosity (morbid curiosity) and saw what you wrote.Thank you. I’m thinking that Ronni did not fully appreciate my writing style (and I use the word “style” very loosely here). Had she even read one other post on my blog, she would have recognized my exaggeration for dramatic effect and use of glorified pessimism as a writing tool What? Not everyone writes like that? ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, thank you. I owe you one. If ever you are randomly quoted and then subsequently analyzed by a horde of strangers, I’m totally there for you!

  5. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!…Looks like a wonderfullllllllllll trip! I have to say, having just returned from Maui, I could get real used to living on the coast….specifically a warm one! There’s nothing like waking up to the sounds of the ocean and tropical birds….drinking my morning coffee on the beach, watching the waves roll in.
    Now I am back in cold, rainy Chico with a messy house & the fricken flu – welcome back, eh?!?

  6. Hey mel — have fun on your get away. You know, indulge in the whole Calgon take me away thing…And no problem on the “support.” I’ll try and bear in mind that one of the things that ages anyone regardless of their actual age is a know-it-all attitude. Especially when you’re using someone else’s material to make your point. Can you imagine how boring this blog writing would be if everything was flat out serious? Jeez. I may as well get a real job writing for someone and making money instead of happily snarking and being the butt of all my own crap.

    Hi Olga and welcome back! Sorry to hear you’ve got that flu. Totally rude. You think you picked it up on the flight? I always wonder about that but don’t do much about it (knock on wood…) Yes, coffee and warmth near the shore is quite the luxury. A few palms and monkeys thrown in for good measure would be interesting….BET BETTER!

  7. […] the drive home, we both felt a bit sluggish (that’s what relaxing does to you…) and I suggested that we do a week of light dinners.  At this point in the winter, even though […]

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