• Miramonte Resort and Spa : Desert Escape

    “I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence, something throbs, and gleams…” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince We headed out to Indian Wells on a Saturday afternoon. It had been a hectic morning, and the sun was blazing, the traffic, late star, hectic morning made for a grumpy crew. The short 2-hour ride from OC felt longer. When we arrived at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort and Spa, bathed in the familiar desert heat, we switched to vacation mode. Lying at the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains, Miramonte immediately puts one in a relaxed…

  • Monterey Bay

    #TravelTuesday: Weekend at Hyatt Regency Monterey

    It’s not about the destination but the journey getting there. But when driving out to Monterey for the weekend, then the destination is everything. The last time we drove up the Central Coast to Carmel by the Sea, we took the scenic winding road up the Pacific Coast Highway. It was going very well until the kids started feeling queasy. So this time, we decided that we could try to get to Monterey from Huntington Beach under 6 hours, by driving up the 5 to the 101. It took slightly longer than 6 hours through not very scenic rural views. An exception was the drive through the pretty vineyards of…

  • #TravelTuesday: Twentynine Palms Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park

    Heading east into the desert provides a quick escape for our family. The past two summers we’ve gone to Palm Springs and enjoyed the comfort of a resort hotel. This time, I thought, we ought to try something new. Located less than 140 miles from Orange County, CA, that’s about a 2.5 hour drive, the City of Twenty-Nine Palms is a literal oasis in the desert. I had never been nor did I know anyone who had but the brochures assured me there would be lots to do – it was after all, the Gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. When you’re traveling with family, it is important to find…

  • Carlsbad Lagoon | Photo by Marcie Taylor 2015

    Staycation Destination: Carlsbad

    There’s more to Carlsbad than Legoland. Don’t get me wrong, Legoland is definitely a family favorite, but for this little weekend getaway, we wanted something else. Something low key and relaxing. Only an hour away from Huntington Beach, Carlsbad is an ideal staycation destination. Though it is a beach town like our Surf City, it has a different vibe. The Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa was an ideal place to spend the night. It has comfy accommodations and is conveniently located to many points of interest, yes, including Legoland. But as I mentioned, we didn’t even visit the amusement park. Before checking into the Sheraton, we had lunch at a…

  • Hot Staycation Idea: Palm Springs!

    It was one of those spur of the moment trips to escape routine, especially upon realizing summer vacation’s almost over and you haven’t taken a vacation with the family yet. Living in Southern California, we are fortunate that we enjoy an “endless summer” at least weather-wise and can enjoy a “staycation” when we choose. There is something about packing your bags even for just an overnighter and staying in a hotel. So that’s what we did. The choice was between Vegas (reasonable hotel rates) or Palm Springs (shorter drive)and we chose the latter. The drive from Orange County is under 2 hours and as soon as we see the windmills,…

  • A Weekend In San Diego

    You can always rely on a warm cookie to greet you at any Hilton property. So the night we arrived at the Doubletree Hilton Mission Valley in San Diego, my kids asked for one thing: yes, the cookie. As frequent Hilton hotel-goers, the cookie has become old reliable. There are other things of course like great service and sweet hotel amenities like in this case, a 24 hour indoor pool. Not that we used it when we got there, but still, good to have it. I can imagine this is great for international travelers whose body clocks are out of sync. The best part about staying at the DoubleTree Hilton…

  • Weekend Getaway Bliss at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa

    I’m sitting on our balcony looking out to Dana Point Harbor. It is an especially quiet morning, not because the world is asleep, but because we’ve come here without our children. A rare weekend getaway thanks to the kindness of friends returning a favor, who watched our kids overnight. The ironic thing is, we are reminded of our children at every turn. Laguna Cliffs Marriott is very family friendly, so we vow to return with our kids next time. But sometimes you just need time alone, time for two, unplugged and relaxed. Except for typing this article on my computer, we’ve been unplugged and off the grid. It is refreshing.…

  • Summer Staycation Roundup: St. Regis Monarch Beach

    Sometimes a 40 minute drive can take you a world away. And that’s what it’s like for me when I drive down to the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. Right now until December 31st, 2012, the 5-Star, AAA rated, Five-Diamond awarded hotel is offering what it calls a “Sunsational Savings’ Package.”  The offer is for a fourth night free when you stay at the resort for 3 nights. Reserve now for stays through December 30th, 2012 and receive the following: Complimentary 4th Night $100 food and beverage credit Complimentary upgrade at check-in, subject to availability Reserve your stay online, call 866 716 8135, or contact your preferred…

  • Summer Staycation Roundup: Rancho Las Palmas

    One of my absolute favorite family staycation getaways is Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California. It’s a classic resort set amidst the Palm Springs Desert with something for everyone – golf and tennis, a luxurious spa and of course, for the kids, Splashtopia Water Park with its Lazy River and awesome water slides! What’s more, Rancho Las Palmas offers special promotions and value-savings packages year round that take advantage of the desert’s unsettling beauty and natural wonders. They can be found here: http://www.rancholaspalmas.com/Specials-Packages You can read all about the first time my family and I visited Rancho Las Palmas here. Rancho Las Palmas on Dwellable

  • Summer Staycation Roundup: Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach

    When you think of Laguna Beach, you think of the laid back artsy vibe. So if this is the kind of staycation that appeals to you, then you’ll love the packages offered by the Pacific Edge Hotel. Consider these options. The “Occupation Vacation” Package is for those who need a mental health day. It includes a surf inspired indoor/outdoore cabana, a cozy hotel room to crazh in, bottomless Bloody Mary’s (from 12pm-2pm, and all drinks are doubles during this time), a copy of the movie Office Space for inspiration, and an actual list of the best excuses to give your boss concerning why you need to take the day off.…