I spent the better part of last week on a much-needed summer vacation with my family. It’s a trip we take annually, and although the location varies, the theme is pretty consistent – pick a place that’s beautiful, relaxing, offers something for adults and kids and has great food. It’s a special trip that I look forward to every year because it’s all about family and slowing down our busy lives.
This year we headed to Rancho Valencia in Southern California, a spot we’ve been many times and love. It’s a gorgeous Spanish resort hotel with hacienda-style accommodations set in Rancho Santa Fe, an enclave north of San Diego.
It’s always difficult to unplug completely from work when I go on vacation, but I really made a conscious effort to put down my phone, close the laptop and be present with my family and I’m so glad I did. The start of school is around the corner (how did that happen?!) so I’m milking the last days of summer vacation before the craziness of schedules starts up again and everyone is off and running.
There’s lots to do at Rancho Valencia like tennis, hiking and yoga or you can take a trip to the beach. They have bikes for the taking and great pool service – but after full days of family tennis competition and lots of smack talk my brother and hubby could be found putting back a glass or two of wine (#8 above) on our patio. My brother, Joel, owns Jones Street Wine in New York – he’s our resident sommelier, in charge of keeping us plied with delicious rose.
« RANCHO VALENCIA FAVORITES »
- SPA – in addition to gorgeous spanish tile work, trickling fountains, cozy fireplaces nooks and delicious spa snacks, the treatments are unbeatable at the Rancho Valencia spa. I particularly liked the products they used like these by Earth Matters Apothecary ( #4 above).
- CITRUS – the property is covered in mature citrus trees which inspires me to try this recipe (#5 above) for Whole Grain Lemon Poppyseed Ricotta Pancakes by Pamela Salzman. With lots of fresh lemons on my own lemon tree at home I want to try this Lemony Summer Squash Orecchiette recipe as well.
- CERAMICS – the restaurant at the hotel serves their food on beautiful artisan-looking serve ware. This new collection at Citizenry has a similar hand-made feel that I love (#6 above). Here’s another group with a similar look and feel.
- COFFEE – each room has it’s own Capresso Milk Frother (#7 above) and I started every morning with a delicious cappuccino made by yours truly. This machine makes perfectly frothed milk with the push of a button–love!
- MEDITERRANEAN INFLUENCE – the property is sprinkled with artisan crafts and furniture that are both rustic and elegant at the same time. I love this carved wood tray (#9 above), this bench from Dos Gallos and these Oaxacan rugs.