A Parent's (much, much needed) Getaway to SLO
Is there a term for parents’ first solo vacation without their kids after the kids?
Just the two of them?
Let me know.
Because it is necessary. The actually naming and the actual trip. Necessary.
Chris and I went on a solo trip to San Luis Obispo to unplug, reconnect and adventure together as husband and wife. We have been rocking that Mom and Dad title for a full three years straight and I will be real, we are tired and almost crazy.
It was time.
Before I gush about SLO and all the magic, I have to share a huge shout out to my parents for flying in to Colorado to watch the granddaughters, take time off work, plan an amazing Easter egg hunt and totally support us by being there right when we needed you. Thank you, Mom and Dad.
Now major gratitude to local business hearts of MINDBODY whose HQ is located in SLO with a full slide from top floor to bottom floor and the City of San Luis Obispo who hosted us for the weekend, we will be back and we were so grateful to rock the city with all your recommendations of sweat, wellness and local magic.
Chris and I pop a direct flight from DIA to SBP. We are so excited and almost giddy getting on the plane and I would never lie to you, within about 47 minutes we were looking at photos of our children. Like some crazy people who have been gone for two years, we had been gone for maybe two hours total. But yes, you totally read that right, you can fly DIRECT to SLO and it is so nice leaving a huge airport with lines and trains to get to gates to the SLO regional airport where you land and depart and are in your car within seven minutes.
First up, we are so hungry upon landing so we hit the local and organic Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe! They value their local farmers and have developed fruitful relationships with them and you can taste the local love in the food they create. Go for the Egg Sando or Homestead Bowl!
Next, we check into The Kinney San Luis Obispo which invites you to embrace the fun and carefree side, which we almost forgot we had! Their on-site bar & restaurant features wine and beer on tap with a refillable card to have a glass at your own leisure and they even have classic games such as skeeball & shuffleboard! Who knew I was a skeeball champ? We took a dip in the heated pool and relaxed in our eclectic designed hotel room before our first adventure.
We figured the best place to start is at the 1900’s, we rocked out the Historical Walking Tour (SLO has tons of different tours like wine & beer or farm-to-fork) into town through the sites like the creek, The Creamery, museums, the train station and seeing the beautiful Mission SLO.
We then took a minute, actually 60 whole minutes of self care with the Infinite Love Massage at the local and serene green beauty boutique and holistic spa, The Beauty Poet that we booked easily on MINDBODY upon arriving. The experience was a side-by-side massage in a romantic candle-lit room. Our therapists incorporated the Lotus Wei Infinite Love flower essence oils into your treatment to enhance loving-kindness to our own selves and one another. We concluded the massage with Wei Love meditation chocolates that melted in our mouths and a superfood lattes. Some kind of bliss, we started the weekend right as our stress was left right there on the massage tables.
We returned home to our hotel for a shower and get ready for a date night out on the town. We toasted a drink in the Kinney with a swipe of our card at Leroy’s and then we grabbed and Uber to La Esquina Taqueria, the go-to for classic Mexican dishes with a twist on fine Mexican cuisine. We tried the infused tequilas and in-house margaritas in the most gorgeous ambience and the tacos were the perfect dinner to our California welcome.
We were too full to try Nite Creamery, nitro-crafted ice cream, but it is on our list for next trip!
I cannot even remember what it feels like to sleep in but let me tell you this, it is amazing! As a NON-morning person, my children are up and at ‘em at 6:15am most mornings. I slept until 8am and it was magic. We got ready for breakfast and a hike and hit the road!
We grabbed an Uber for breakfast at the Copper Cafe at the well-known Madonna Inn, a motel in San Luis Obispo opened for business in 1958 and a landmark on the Central Coast of California. The property is adorned with a pseudo-Swiss-Alps exterior and lavish common rooms accented by pink roses, Western murals, and hammered copper. It is a sight! Mister Madonna had bought the property for his wife who always wanted to own a B&B, she decorated it and is still alive to this day rocking the hostess with the mostest role through her incredible design and vision.
After breakfast, we walk uphill behind the Inn to hike the Cerro San Luis Lemon Grove Loop. Also known as Madonna Mountain, Cerro San Luis is a great hike following the lemon icons for the 1.5-mile Lemon Grove Loop that will take about one hour. Unless you get lost like we did, in which we went right instead of left and found the most incredible tree with a rope swing and child-like swing overlooking the lush greenery of SLO and spent time climbing and laying in the grass. We hiked, spoke about our futures, made new business plans, dreamed of an airstream I will name the ‘GOALSTREAM’ and gushed about our children. I might have even saw a llama in our future! I love hiking and dreaming together, it had been a while since Chris and I hiked solo without the kiddos strapped on our backs!
Post hike, surprising even ourselves after all the cakes, we were ready for lunch! We grabbed an Uber to SLO Provisions. At the intersection of rustic and refined, SLO Provisions has a major commitment to local ingredients and small-batch purveyors ensuring that dishes like Spanish bocadillos and black-eyed pea salad enliven the senses. We had the pleasure of meeting the owners, Steve and Dwayne who are known to pour on plenty of Southern hospitality to make us feel like fast friends. We loved the Market Greens Salad, the TBLT and the Kale and Cauliflower Caesar!
We return to our hotel for a hot tub dip and decided to cap our afternoon with a yoga class to ease the hiking muscles with some flow. We grab the MINDBODY app and find the nearby studio Spark Yoga for a heated Vinyasa Flow class.
We swap swimsuits for the yoga gear and head to Spark Yoga. Literally around the corner from the studio is The Neighborhood Acai and Juice Bar so we pop in to fuel up with coconut waters and beet juices pre-flow and to hydrate for the 95-98 degree room. The yoga class is designed to heighten breath/body awareness using fluid transitions to cultivate a profound body & mind connection. Chris and I loved the class, me especially as I was all too familiar with my friend child’s pose. We left feeling rejuvenated and relaxed and so very welcomed.
Returning to our hotel, we are so giddy as we are prepping for our second date night in a row. A rarity for new parents, has to be! We are getting all dressed up for an evening out and first up is dinner at the well known Granada Hotel & Bistro. Taking their culinary cues from the timeless dishes and preparations of the classic French bistro and enlivens them utilizing modern techniques and bold flavors, I believe we ordered everything but two items from the menu! The burrata dish was absolute magic, the meat and cheese plate out of this world and I still dream of the ahi tartare.
After dinner, we walk across the hall for cocktails at Nightcap, an exclusive cocktail lounge at Granada Hotel & Bistro featuring exquisitely crafted cocktails and sipping spirits. Chris ordered a drink that literally had a paper plane on it and my whiskey sour was delicate and a perfect, well, nightcap.
Almost sad it was our last day but ready to get home to our girls, we wanted to enjoy the morning and woke up earlier to do a bit more exploring of all the coffee and avocado toast! We rented the beach cruiser bicycles care of The Kinney and wheeled into town. We felt so very California.
First stop was my favorite coffee shoppe, Scout Coffee Co. known for its craft roasted honey coffee, homemade syrups and insane pastries, I make a stop here every single trip. We are Americano fans and you must try a honey tea bowl next trip with the coconut tea! Warning, the decor is divine and the small retail section is filled with candles and local delights, be ready and I totally warned you!
Ready for breakfast, we pop across the street to Seeds for their famous avocado toast variations and a pressed juice! They get their ingredients from local vendors that use California farmers as their main source and try to use the best produce and breads available! I am a sucker for watermelon radish so I went for TOAST 4 and Chris kept up his burrata love with TAOST 6! Healthy food really feels so good!
We cycle back to the Kinney to pack up and ready for our flight home and return to our girls. Feeling so refreshed, as if feeling the same elation we felt to take the trip we are so ready to get back home to Colorado and snuggle the littles.
Creatures of habit, we hit Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe again for a to-go order of an Acai Bowl and Bagel and Lox and take the quick 17 minute trip from town to the San Luis Obispo Regional Airport (SBP). We start to make commitments about hiking dates, we talk about being more diligent about date nights on our calendar (maybe even two in a row) and we create goals around the visions we created on our hike. We gush about the welcoming nature of SLO and how we cannot wait to come back with our girls to check out the Thursday evening Farmer’s Market or even sign up to run the 2020 SLO 1/2 Marathon or come back again for the winery tours!
Thank you SLO for being incredibly charming, welcoming and fun. If looking for a weekend getaway, perhaps your first parent adventure without the kiddos or a trip to refresh and recalibrate, we will see you in SLO!