This is my first wanderlust post. Seeing as I’m the mom of a one year old, I haven’t been doing a lot of wandering lately. So for my birthday I wanted to go away somewhere. My husband (DP) and I hadn’t taken a trip in quite a while. We wanted to take Little Plum with us, since we weren’t ready to be away from her. We also wanted to stay close to home just in case the world imploded when we strayed from our comfort zone and LP’s usual routine. However I also wanted to feel like I was far away on vacation. Since we live in Los Angeles, we opted to go to The San Ysidro Ranch in the Montecito Foothills. It has all the amenities of a luxurious getaway, and it’s only a quick ninety minute drive! Well, full disclosure, by the time we got everything in the car, dropped our dog’s at my parents house, ran back home because we forgot an important item, stopped for snacks and wipes, where we realized we had no gas so another quick stop, only to finally get on the road where LP started screaming because it was time for her to breastfeed so we had to get back off the highway to pull over and feed her, it actually ended up being three hours. But I digress. What was important was that we were within driving distance of our home which eased a lot of the first time travel fears new parents can have, and we we’re able to feel like we were on vacation. San Ysidro is one of the most beautiful properties in the world. The grounds are some of the most stunning I’ve ever seen. It feels magical, you actually feel like little fairies are going to come bursting out of the tree trunks tinkling with laughter and farting little puffs of glitter. It is spilling over with native plants and flowers like spanish lavender, hummingbird sage, roses, poppies and fuchsias. It is the very definition of lush. We we’re blessed with beautiful weather, clear skies and warm sun. It is so quiet there, save for the low buzzing of honey bees and vibrating trill of hummingbirds. Absolute peace.
San Ysidro is composed of suites and free standing cottages set amongst tree lined pathways and bordering a creek. We had the Citrus cottage which had a view of the sea over the property’s treetops. The cottages are luxurious with an eclectic country touch. We were greeted with fresh baked cookies and brownies, as well as a complementary bottle of their house wine.
What I love the most about this property is how baby/child friendly it is, and also how conducive it is to a healthy lifestyle. We arrived to find a lovely wood crib with full pink patchwork bedding set up for LP. They also had a brand new pink stuffed monkey there for her, which fast became her new favorite toy. They also provided us (free of charge) with a bundle of travel size baby toiletries like shampoo, soap and lotion. It was Johnson & Johnson which is full of toxic ingredients so we opted not to use them, but the gesture was truly appreciated. Maybe one day I will try to talk to whoever is in charge and get them to switch brands. LP loved her little crib set up immediately. Mom and Dad’s set up wasn’t so shabby either. We had a beautiful canopy bed, with fluffy fresh linens, and at turn down they would leave a box of homemade truffles with fresh cut flowers, lavender and rosemary.
The grounds are also wonderful for babies and children because there are so many plants and trees to look at. There are large open spaces with grass where babies can roll around and older children can play horseshoes and cricket or lawn bowling or one of those very “new england-y” chi chi games. No idea how to play any of them, but DP can throw a mean horseshoe. There are also wonderful hiking trails all around the property including the San Ysidro trail that is a two mile hike up to a waterfall. We tried to make it all the way up, but it was very cold that morning and LP was freezing her little buns off so we turned back at the halfway mark. Nevertheless it was stunning and peaceful.
There is also a pool for swimming if you have babies or children who like to swim. We never bothered with the pool because many of the cottages have an awesome private patio with hotub and outdoor shower, so we opted to take advantage of that instead. The hotel is also pet friendly so you can bring your dogs! They even have a dog masseuse! Say what!?
One of my favorite parts of the resort is the Chef’s Organic garden. Most of the produce used to prepare meals comes from this garden. It sits at the center of the property and is a beautiful focal point. I had the best time walking LP through the garden and showing her all the beautiful herbs and vegetables. There are also citrus trees and pomegranate trees. Which brings me to the food. Fresh, clean and delicious. With some french fries thrown in for good measure of course. It’s vacay for goodness sakes. Since we had LP with us we didn’t get to eat in the restaurant. The Stonehouse is their award winning restaurant. They also have the Plow and Angel which is their more casual family friendly eatery. We just kept it chill, lounged in our pajamas and ate room service. They have many organic items including salads and smoothies, as well as vegan and gluten free options.
At the end of the day, after hiking the grounds and spending time in the sun, we put LP to bed in the bedroom of our cottage, and sat in the living room in front of the fireplace watching a movie and eating dinner in our jammies. It was the perfect birthday getaway, just what I needed after the wild wonderful ride that is the first year of mommy hood. I highly recommend this resort for couples as well as for young families. It is very pricey, but if you can afford to treat yourself for a special occasion, or for no reason at all! you will love it here. Word on the street is they now have a fully operating spa….just when I thought it couldn’t get any better.