When it came time to plan a short mother-daughter getaway with my four year old, I decided on a road trip to Santa Barbara, California. We had a slightly bumpy start. While on the freeway, at a point too far away from home (La Jolla, California) to turn back, I asked “La Jolla Girl” if she remembered putting her little suitcase in the car. She said, yes, but I wasn’t so sure. Normally, this would stress me out, but since we were headed to a Four Seasons resort and I knew exactly what to expect, our lack of preparedness didn’t bother me. To top it off, La Jolla Girl had broken her wrist two weeks prior. I almost cancelled the trip, but am so glad I didn’t.
I warned my parents (who live in Santa Barbara) that once we set foot in the lobby of Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara, there was no way La Jolla Girl was going to leave the property. They laughed it off until they realized via her behavior that I was totally serious. “Would you like to get in the car to go to a restaurant?” would be met with a flat “No. We’ll just eat in the hotel.” No one objected because the food was incredible.
Speaking of food, a girl’s trip isn’t complete without frequently indulging in desserts. We did.
Before we’d left, several people had rightfully mentioned the baked-to-order apple pie in the Ty Lounge as a must-try. Equally fabulous was the “It’s It” at the Coral Cafe and Bar. Picture two moist oatmeal cookies with vanilla ice cream in the middle, dunked in caramel.
And, of course, we headed to the spa: A manicure for me and a pedicure for her. La Jolla Girl enjoyed snacking on goodies and drinking pomegranate lemonade in the lounging area. She nearly fell asleep during her foot massage. She declared it the nicest spa she’d ever been to, though I hesitated to remind her it’s the only one she’d ever been to.
At a beachfront property, with two pool areas to choose from, swimming was definitely on the agenda. Because of her cast, the only off-limits activity was the beach, due to the sand. We had so much to do, that La Jolla Girl never complained about it once. The pool on the resort grounds has a retro-style drinks cart in action for adults and sugar-free popsicles as special treats for the kids. I appreciated that the two smaller pools in this area were heated, because I was forced to go swimming there at 9 am.
We enjoyed the ocean breezes at the Coral Casino, an exclusive private club across the street that resort guests can use. There was an enormous heated pool for swimming laps and a private beach. But the kids’ pool happens to be beachfront with the best view in the house. Relaxation is guaranteed.
My favorite part of our suite was the bathroom, complete with radiant floor heating, steam shower and gorgeous Spanish tile. La Jolla Girl was constantly asking to take baths because of the bathtub spout. Her other favorite pastime was lounging on our giant balcony overlooking a courtyard. The entire property is gorgeously landscaped with a mix of California native and tropical plants. As La Jolla Girl points out, why leave?
Katie Dillon blogs at Lajollamom.com.
Katie Dillon writes La Jolla Mom, a lifestyle site covering parenting, travel, cooking with kids, home management and local happenings. After seven years of expat life in London and Hong Kong (Four Seasons Place in Hong Kong was her home for four years), she is now grounded in the seaside community of La Jolla, CA with her husband and preschool aged daughter. You'll also find Katie active on Twitter and Facebook.
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