I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but my husband Brandon and I JUST took our first alone trip. Our child is nearly five and a half. Better late than never, right?

Planning the trip took a lot of coordination. Brandon researched extensively to plan a relaxing getaway to Napa and Sonoma. We’d booked the wineries, the restaurants, and some amazing hotels. Then, the Glass Fire happened. We waited on pins and needles, checking in daily on containment levels and air quality. The weekend before, we decided to cut our losses and cancel our big trip. I was determined not to waste my brother and sister in law’s kind offer to take Lily for a weekend, so we didn’t give up. Eventually, we settled on the Santa Barbara hills.

To be honest, getting there was an uphill battle. I dropped off Lily with her uncle and aunt in Orange County (although Lily was most excited about spending time with her baby cousin), then drove back to Los Angeles to pick up Brandon and the bags. Our drive to Santa Barbara was relatively pain free, but we still arrived later than we’d hoped. Check in at the Belmond El Encanto was less than smooth. They appeared to be understaffed, and we were initially given the wrong room (not upgraded). Once we were finally able to get into our proper room and take a dip in the charming infinity pool, our vacation had begun.

We spent most of our time relaxing at the pool, but we did force ourselves to venture out a few times. We enjoyed wine tasting at Grassini Family Vineyards’ tasting room near downtown Santa Barbara, and we had a delicious tapas dinner with our new friends at Loquita.

On our last day, we headed to lunch at stunningly beautiful San Ysidro Ranch. Stonehouse did not disappoint. The summer melon and tomato gazpacho was perfectly finished with lump crab. The yellowtail crudo was phenomenal. It felt like the quintessential Central Coast lunch…especially with prosecco.

How did Lily fare? She had the best time. In fact, I don’t think she missed us at all. Brandon and I are confident that our next adults only trip won’t be five years away. Now that we’ve finally done it, I think it’s essential to decompress and reconnnect.