A “staycation” is the poor man’s (or frugal man’s) vacation. It’s actually not a bad idea considering the times that we’re living in. Since I consider myself both a resident of San Diego and Pasadena where I grew up, coming to Pasadena for two days is still a staycation for me. I just got back from an amazing staycation over the weekend which felt more like a 3 day getaway than an overnight trip.
Here was my itinerary:
Saturday 11:00 am – Wake up really late because the alarm clock batteries are dead. Rush in a panic to pack suitcase and feed the cats. Race onto the freeway by noon. Take the back road freeways (i.e. avoid the interstate 5 at all costs since it’s a holiday weekend) and make it to Pasadena in just 2 hours.
Saturday 2:00 pm – Run into hotel lobby of the Langham Hotel and meet up with my friend Deanna. Drop bags off with the bell hop and head to tea.
Saturday 2:15 pm – 4:00 pm – Indulge in the best high tea of my life. Our server was so gracious and attentive and it sounded like she really meant it when she said “Let me brew you more tea instead of just adding water to this pot. You really want your last cup of tea to be a good one.” Also, we were bombarded by incredibly gourmet pastries and mini sandwiches that put all the high teas I’ve had in England to shame. And I paid for those high teas in British pounds! Never again!
Saturday 4:10 pm – Check into room and get an unexpected room upgrade thanks to that wedding party that reserved most of the basic rooms. Our room was huge — almost half the size of my house. The bathroom alone was almost the size of my first apartment. We had a gorgeous view of the hotel’s estate and some nice amenities like a welcome fruit plate which we ate after having just eaten our tea!
After laying on our beds like sloths, we decided to get up an tour the grounds of the hotel. There are private cottages on the grounds of the hotel which are immaculately landscaped and decorated. Someone out there has a lot of money because one of those cottages was receiving mail.
On the way back from our tour, we spotted a nice patio bar area and went over to investigate. We were meant to just take a peek but then decided to have a drink before heading off to a nearby Mexican restaurant for dinner. The waitress who took our drink orders informed us that the bar would have live jazz music in about an hour so we decided to stay at the hotel and just feast on gourmet bar food instead and enjoy the live music. Out came lobster corn dogs, spring rolls, Kobe sliders, and fried calamari. The summer light was slowly fading out with the sunset and the city lights of LA twinkled in the distance. It was a simple but relaxing evening.
Saturday 11:00 pm – Finally get ready for bed and fall asleep around midnight.
Sunday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Reluctantly wake up and then enthusiastically start thinking about breakfast. We took our time getting ready and left the hotel at 11 and ended up grabbing lunch in Eagle Rock. We also did a couple of scenic drives in Eagle Rock and Pasadena and then made a mandatory pit stop at Peet’s Coffee my favorite coffee place in the world. My friend Deanna has a favorite house in Eagle Rock and I have a favorite street in Pasadena. It was also a trip down Memory Lane for me. I’m so glad I never took for granted how beautiful a city Pasadena is.
Sunday 1:30 pm – Say goodbye to Deanna and return to the hotel to read my complimentary LA Times Sunday Edition. An hour later, work out at the hotel’s swanky gym and spa. Shower in the swanky spa area and then pack my bags and check out. I’ve really made the most of this stay.
Sunday 4:00 pm – Window shop in Old Town Pasadena and then settle in for an early dinner at Le Pain Quotidien. Whenever I’m visiting Pasadena and I’m not with my parents, I like to eat the same no-fail meal at Le Pain Quotidien. I always start with their fresh Gazpacho soup which is especially wonderful in summer and then move onto a proscuitto and buffalo mozerella tartine. The meal ends with coffee served up in a small latte bowl. That’s heaven to me.
Sunday 6:00 pm – Head home on the back road highways and experience no traffic. Come home at 8 pm to very appreciative kitties and a dirty litter box.