Mar Vista

7:18 AM

Are you ready for a picture overload?

I hope so, because I took a crazy amount of pictures on my latest trip. It was just too picturesque to not whip out my camera every five seconds. Mar Vista Cottages is located on the California coast. I've been staying there ever since I was just ten years old. My family's first visit was back in 2008. We obviously fell in love with the place, since we've been back so much! It's a gorgeous place and a very peaceful and relaxing stay. 

On the way, we stopped at a delicious restaurant called Sea Ranch. I had the Humboldt Fog Tomato Galette, which was amazing! It had Humboldt Fog goat cheese, caramelized onion, and sun dried tomatoes. Yum! It inspired me to try making a galette myself.

The view from our lunch spot:

We've arrived at last! This was my bedroom. I swear, these are the most comfortable beds on the planet.

Here are the grounds of Mar Vista--with the quaint yellow cottages!

The glasshouse, one of my favorite spots.

They had a garden where you could go and harvest vegetables (and the occasional fruit or berry) to cook with or add to a salad.

One of my favorite features in the garden was the wide selection of plants that you can use for tea. One of which was Pineapple Sage (see below). I picked four leaves, washed and dried them, then put them in some hot water to brew a nice tea. It inspired me to perhaps start my own 'tea garden' some day! How fun would that be?

I spent two full days on the sunny beach, reading and lounging around. I also tried boogie boarding for the first time--it was so fun! I would have stayed out there all day if the water hadn't been as cold as ice!

Here's a picture of my sister and I jumping on the beach!

The beach was only a short walk from the cottages. To get there, I had to climb down these really sketchy stairs which are literally hanging off the side of the cliff.

Look at that!

Nevertheless, I survived and got my reward:

While I was there, I wrote in this guest book from our cottage (Cottage 12). I left my blog URL in it, so if you found that book and are reading this: hey! Leave a comment! Hope you're enjoying Mar Vista and by far the best cottage: Cottage 12!

Cold, fun drinks + hot, sunny beach = summer

Their two goats--Professor Higgins and Lola

Lola was my favorite animal there. She was so fun to watch and often followed us around the grounds! She loves madrone leaves and even ate them from my hand. If you sit in the hammock long enough, she may come over and walk under you for a back scratch.

Beach day #2!

Lately, I've been obsessed with Sarah Dessen's books! At the beach, I read Just Listen.

Working on my travel journal!

The path to get to the beach

Crossing the road to get back to the cottage (you can see Cottage 12!)

There was a lovely wooden gazebo tucked away in the trees with a hot tub/spa. I don't think people realize its there, because I never see anyone else use it. But its very enjoyable, especially after a cold swim at the beach. Though you do have to sprint back to your cottage as fast as you can afterward to avoid getting hypothermia! Also, I'd recommend starting the water in advance, as it takes a while to fill up. I never filled it up all the way. Water just a foot deep was enough to warm me up.

They also have their own flock of chickens at Mar Vista. Every day at five, you can help Tom (one of the owners) collect the eggs. Then, Tom makes his rounds to each cabin to drop some of the eggs off in your egg basket (which you hang on your porch). I made eggs for breakfast every morning!

They also have a beautiful flower garden. In past years, I've picked flower arrangements for my cottage or stuck flowers in my braid.

This is one of my absolute favorite pictures from the trip:

They also have two bunnies there--Lucy and Higgins. They are the cutest! In fact, a few years back, my sister and I just had to get our own bunnies after that year's visit to Mar Vista. So guess what? We got two bunnies.

Their enclosure is so pretty. A huge tree grows right over the cage.

There are gorgeous places to sit and hang out everywhere!

Game nights are a must a Mar Vista! We brought lots of games from home--including Apples to Apples. They also have games you can borrow in the office.

A beautiful creek runs along Mar Vista in a sort of ravine. It's surrounded by huge pine trees and feels like a whole different world!

On the creek trail, we always look for banana slugs. And I always hold them (much to the disgust of my family!). Last year we found eleven banana slugs, but this year we only found two, which is probably due to the California drought. The creek, as well, was lower than ever.

Are you grossed out yet? Here's one more picture.

Don't forget to look up!

You made it to the end of my picture overload! The light there was perfect for pictures, so I couldn't resist. This is a trip I look forward to every summer (and the setting of my dream wedding). I'm already looking forward to my next visit! If you found my note in Cottage 12, leave a comment! Tell me how you enjoyed Mar Vista! 

'Til next time.

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