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Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort Great for Families

Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort Great for Families

* We were guests of Hilton Hotels & Resorts for this stay and as always, these are our own thoughts and views.

Santa Barbara is one of our family’s favorite places, and over Memorial Weekend we visited this beautiful beach city along the California Coast for a little getaway. We were told the Hilton is a Santa Barbara beachfront resort great for families, and we set out to see for ourselves.

We have actually stayed at this property a couple of times before, when it was formerly known as the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort. With a recent remodel and room upgrade, the property has been reborn as the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. And as Hiltons go, this is one of the best we’ve experienced in the US.

SUP in Santa Barbara

A stand up paddle board lesson on the calm waters of Santa Barbara Bay, taken from Stearns Wharf.

SANTA BARBARA BEACHFRONT RESORT GREAT FOR FAMILIES

There’s a bunch of reasons why the Hilton is a Santa Barbara beachfront resort great for families:

Fantastic Location Across from East Beach

I lived in Santa Barbara years ago, and one of my favorite beaches was always East Beach. The Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort is directly across the street from this beach, with green lawns on either side. A short walk down the sand is Stearns Wharf and the base of State Street. Triton and I got up each morning, grabbed a Starbucks from the lobby and enjoyed a nice quiet walk at the waters’ edge. Later in the day when things warmed up, that same beach served as the ideal spot for some sunbathing and splashing around in the Pacific Ocean.

Helpful Hint: Ask for a room on the third floor for the best ocean views.

sunrise East Beach Santa Barbara

This little seagull friend helped us greet sunrise at East Beach in Santa Barbara.

Activities to Keep the Entire Family Busy

The pool and spa at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort are spacious. Families with kids of all ages played in the water and lounged poolside with cold drinks. Nearby on property, the bicycle rental beckoned us to go for a spin down the boardwalk. We happily rode along under the palm trees, watching a band of standup paddle boarders practice their moves. Out on Stearns Wharf, visitors can spy the occasional dolphin swimming among the sailboats headed out to the Channel Islands. Or pop into the Natural History Museum’s Sea Center to see some ocean life up close.

Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

From Stearns Wharf, you can see the beach, the Santa Barbara Riviera and mountains beyond.

Later, we enjoyed a stroll on Lower State Street, checking out the cool shops, restaurants, and historic train station. Also not to be missed is the gigantic Moreton Bay Fig Tree – awarded as the largest and oldest in the country.

Moreton Bay Fig Santa Barbara

This Moreton Bay Fig tree in Santa Barbara is thought to be the largest and oldest in the US.

Helpful Hint: Right next to the train station, pop into the lobby of the little known Ronald Reagan Museum. Right inside the front door, they have the largest piece of the Berlin Wall in existence outside of Berlin.

Fresh New Rooms

The remodeled Hilton Santa Barbara has all the bells and whistles, and our kids are the ones that notice the most. Both girls inspect a hotel room as though they were the management. We find them looking in every drawer and opening every closet and cabinet.

Balcony view at Hilton Santa Barbara

Our balcony at the Santa Barbara Hilton overlooked a grove of olives, a string of palm trees, and the Pacific Ocean.

My pet peeve is when there are not enough outlets for charging our many (many!) devices. These new rooms had plenty of options. Now if we could just get our girls to stop draining the batteries on their phones from overuse!

Helpful Hint: Each room has a nice mini fridge that fits snacks and drinks. Just down the street is a produce market, where you can buy fresh-picked organic fruit for snacks in the room.

Friendly Staff That Remembers Your Name

To me, hotel staff makes all the difference in the quality of our stay. When team members remember us from previous visits and go out of their way to remember our names? Well, that is hospitality at its finest. From the valet to the doorman to the housekeeper, the team here is exceptional. Real authentic smiles from people that look you in the eye are so rare these days, and our entire family was impressed by this team.

Helpful Hint: Valet park your car. It’s only $6 more per day, and the staff is so wonderful you will appreciate them having your car ready when you want to scoot out.

Close to all the Action

Want to play some beach volleyball? It’s right across the street at East Beach. Or perhaps try some of that famous Santa Ynez Valley wine? There a scores of wine tasting rooms scattered throughout Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, the coolest neighborhood in the city. The Funk Zone is filled with trendy restaurants, fun cafes, craft breweries, galleries and shops, all within walking distance of the Santa Barbara Hilton.

Wine tasting in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is a blast when you’re with your friends.

A short car ride away and we were able to reach downtown Santa Barbara in minutes. The shops of State Street, the gorgeous architecture and gardens of the County Courthouse, and the historic adobes of the original settlers are all here. Up the hill a bit is the gorgeous Santa Barbara Mission and its ocean views.

Helpful Hint: If you visit the County Courthouse (and you really should) go all the way to the top for views from the tower. This historic landmark has some surprisingly beautiful tile work and other adornments that make it a must-see for any Santa Barbara visitor.

How to Get There:

  • Car: 2 hours from LAX (without traffic) and 3.5 hours from San Diego.
  • Train: 3 hours from Union Station in downtown LA.
  • Air: Santa Barbara International Airport welcomes flights from many major US cities and beyond.

Where to Stay:

The Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort offers rooms starting at $ and suites starting at $.

 

East Beach Santa Barbara

Sunning in the warm sand at East Beach in Santa Barbara, looking cool in my new StitchFix clothes.

 


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Road Tripping: Sedona in the Summer

Road Tripping: Sedona in the Summer

Beautiful Sedona, Arizona, is a must-stop for any family trip through the Southwest. We love road trips and although temperatures are rising, our last visit proved it’s easy to have a great time in Sedona in the summer. Just make sure your car has AC! We piled the kids and all our stuff into the sporty Kia Sorento with room to spare, wheeling down the roads armed with Starbucks and an excellent sound system.

Kia Sorento road trip

Our sporty Kia Sorento was a comfortable ride for our summer road trip to Sedona.

Hope you enjoy our suggestions for how to enjoy Sedona in the summer with kids!

Sedona in the Summer With Kids

Take a Jeep Tour

Sedona is postcard-famous for its amazing red rocks and gorgeous canyon scenery. One of the best ways to see it up close is off-roading with Pink Jeep Tours. The 4-wheeling can get a little wild, and sometimes it felt more like being on a rollercoaster instead of a jeep. Still, we were securely belted in and grateful for the shade canopy as we explored dirt trails and streambeds. The drivers are also knowledgeable guides, and we were surprised to learn the whole area was once at the bottom of an ocean!

Pink Jeep Tour in Sedona

The Pink Jeep tour was a highlight of our visit to Sedona in the summer.

From the canyon floor, we wound our way up rock faces and through narrow gullies. Our driver perched us on top of a gigantic boulder – the perfect spot to get out for a closer look and some Insta-worthy pics.

Tip #1: Put the kids in the back where the ride is bumpiest. They laughed and giggled throughout the whole trip, while the adults rested more comfortably in the calmer seats.

Visit a Real Western Ghost Town

If you want to have a great time in Sedona with kids, there’s no better way than to visit an authentic Old West ghost town. Jerome, Arizona is just an hour’s drive away from Sedona and it’s true Old West mining town. With lots of local color and many tales of historical fiction, Jerome may be a ghost town but it is far from dead. We toured several fun (air-conditioned) restaurants, shops and galleries on the downtown streets. If you read my post about the Haunted Whaley House in San Diego, you know our girls are fascinated with ghosts.

ghost town tour in Jerome Arizona

Abandoned lockers at the old Jerome High School haunted me in more ways than one!

To raise our chances of seeing some spirits, we booked a guided tour on the Ghost Town Tours’ Spirit Walk. Although we didn’t see any apparitions, the kids were definitely spooked when we walked through a deserted old high school. It was a ghostly site complete with creepy locker rooms and abandoned gym.

Tip #2: Try to visit mid-week when the summer crowd is even less, and you may end up with your own private tour guide like we did.

Morning Hike at Bell Rock

You can’t talk about having a great time in Sedona with kids unless you include a morning hike. We like to head out before the sun gets too hot. (Our sleep-until-10 a.m. girls grumbled a bit about having to wake up early until they saw the spectacular sunrise.) We drove the Sorento to the trail head, and  kicked off our hike through the red rocks and twisted junipers of Bell Rock.

Bell Rock in Sedona Arizona

The beauty of Bell Rock is just breathtaking, and yes this is a photo I actually took.

Choosing one of the easier hike options, we spied tons of desert flora and fauna along the way. Colorful birds, hawks, bunnies (awwwww!) lizards and butterflies all came out to greet us. The fresh morning air, nature show and the desert in bloom made for some pretty amazing photo opps. It felt like a mashup of True Grit combined with Snow White. (Triton expected at any moment a bedraggled cowgirl would appear with blue birds resting on her shoulders.)

Tip #3: Bring bottles of water, a hat and some granola bars in your backpack. It’s easy to work up a sweat and hunger, and you’ll avoid the kids wanting to run back to the car.

Stargazing in the Desert

One of the things our family loves the most about the desert is the clear night sky, which our kids just don’t get to see in our urban home. Sedona is a designated International Dark-Sky Community, with very few streetlights and far from any big city. The night sky in Sedona is pitch black, making it one of the best places to stargaze in the US. We booked an evening sky tour with Sedona Star Gazing. We geeked out when they heard it would be led by a former NASA engineer, using a real telescope. Plus there was no hiking involved—bonus!

stargazing in Sedona

It was sooooo cool to look through the telescope and see Saturn and her rings.

Sitting in an open field in comfortable lawn chairs, we took turns looking through an enormous telescope. Our guide used a laser pointer to point out one amazing star after another. We even saw Saturn and her rings, Jupiter and some of its moons, and tons of stars and constellations.

Tip #4: Sedona in the summer is colder at night than you might expect, so bring long pants and sweatshirts for extra comfort.

Shopping in Downtown Sedona

When the tours are over, make sure to leave some time for souvenir shopping. We quickly got used to the misters that keep visitors cool as you stroll downtown Sedona. Offering an eclectic mix of art galleries, crystal shops, restaurants and more, downtown Sedona is a bustling scene. The kids had an especially great time in the rock shop. Checking out the large variety of colored rocks and stones, they picked out some special ones to bring home as gifts for friends.

Tip #5: Plan the jeep tour and shopping downtown together. The starting point for the jeeps is right in the middle of the main downtown area.

The cliffs and rock formations surrounding Enchantment Resort are just stunning.

Whether gorgeous scenery, hiking, exploring history, or stargazing, there are lots of ways to have a great time visiting Sedona in the summer with kids.

How to visit Sedona:

Sedona is just over two hours north of Phoenix by car. It’s a beautiful drive as you climb though the Tonto National Forest and into red rock country. The Sedona Visitors Information website has tons of great info and links to hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

Where to stay in Sedona:

There are many fantastic hotels, resorts and B&Bs in Sedona, and we can recommend a couple that we loved:

Enchantment Resort & Spa – This luxury accommodation is tucked into a picturesque red rock canyon, offering rooms and suites decked beautifully in the desert theme. Their spa, Mii Amo, is world renowned and we could totally see why. Summer rates start around $379.

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock – With views looking out over the desert floor directly aimed at Bell Rock, this Hilton comes perfectly equipped. The hotel is decked out with a spa, tennis courts, large pool area, spacious rooms and more.  Summer rates start around $212.

Prickly Pear Margarita at Enchantment Resort

The signature Prickly Pear Margarita was a nice greeting at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona.

 

 


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Hotel Review: Berkeley’s Historic Claremont Hotel

Hotel Review: Berkeley’s Historic Claremont Hotel

When I was a kid, we drove by Berkeley’s historic Claremont Hotel all the time on the way to Cal football games and other events in the East Bay. It certainly stood out – stark and white on its perch overlooking the entire San Francisco Bay. Backed up on a hillside covered with fragrant and green eucalyptus trees, the Claremont became a backdrop for many of my early memories.

Now the Claremont Hotel is reborn under the guidance of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and it’s stunner. On a recent visit, our family loved the lux surrounding and comfy rooms tucked into the eaves. Berkeley’s historic Claremont Hotel is back on top.

The Claremont Hotel views

This was literally the view from our room atop the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. Wow!

Berkeley’s Historic Claremont Hotel

The Claremont Hotel is positioned beautiful on the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay, and on a clear day can be seen from downtown San Francisco. Pearly white against the green hills, The Claremont has been a part of my own family’s history for as long as I can remember.

A Long History

As a little kid the Claremont seemed monolithic. It was so huge and imposing to a child, like a monument or ancient cathedral cut into the fabric of an ancient city. It was simply The Claremont, as though it had always been there.

Later when I was old enough to drive, I hung out with friends in her ballrooms and snuck into the occasional guest room to for a party (or three). In high school it was a thing – a badge of honor even – to sneak over the back gate and then up to the rooftop seven stories up. The hotel had a famed fire escape system shaped like a corkscrew slide, and “some people” would slip and shoot their way down in hysterical laughter. (Note: those slides were removed a long time ago, so no more teen shenanigans for you!)

lobby at The Claremont Hotel

Full of art and natural light, the Claremont Hotel lobby is both historic and modern.

As a college student at Cal I attended official events there, quaffed drinks in the bars, played tennis on the courts. But The Claremont fell into disrepair over the years, and became a shadowy version of her former self. Rugs went threadbare, paint faded, and the whole place smelled of mildew and old ladies. Oh come on, you know that smell as well as I do and it ain’t pretty.

But never in all those years – through highs and lows – did this grand dame look as good as she does today.

Art collection at The Claremont Hotel

The art collection at The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley is stunning, including these blown-glass baubles bigger than our heads.

Reborn as a Fairmont Hotel

Fairmont Hotels has done a spectacular job renovating this historic property to its proper glory. Our room in the eaves of the roofline on the top floor was cozy, large and comfortable with dormer windows looking out over the Bay, San Francisco city skyline, and the Golden Gate Bridge beyond. The girls loved the bench seats under each window, and promptly parked themselves there while peering out at the endless views. We all four fit quite nicely.

Top floor room at The Claremont Hotel

Our room at The Claremont Hotel was tucked into the eaves, including dormer windows for light and views.

And the bathroom – oh that bathroom – was enormous, with both bathtub and large shower. Sometimes when we travel as a family of four, the bathroom is the hardest part. Everyone’s many beauty products and accoutrements that take up a great deal of counter space. Plus you should see the way our girls go through towels. You’d think they were disposable or something. The bathroom at The Claremont, however, could have held a small dance party.

Now I love a good hotel lobby, one where I can sit and people watch. I love to spy an unsuspecting guest and make up an entire life for them in my head. I decide where they are from, what they do for living, and their darkest secrets known only to Match or Grindr. The Claremont lobby and public spaces are sumptuous, well-designed and extremely comfortable. And PERFECT for people watching. I could have hung out for hours.

Claremont Hotel lobby decor

The lobby lounge at The Claremont Hotel is full of sitting rooms with stylish decor and amazing views.

Activities With Kids

There is much to do nearby for families with kids. The Lawrence Hall of Science is a great museum dedicated to inventions and discoveries, with hands-on exhibits for kids of all ages to play and learn. Just up the hill in Tilden Park, acres and acres of rolling hills and old-growth redwoods and oak trees abound with hiking trails. We visited the Tilden Park’s Little Farm, where livestock is kept happy by daily visits from families. Those animals enjoy LOTS of treats hand-fed by kids of all ages. Our girls giggled with laughter while feeding celery to the goats and heads of lettuce to the pigs.

Tilden Nature Area Little Farm

Tilden Park’s Little Farm is a sweet little working farm with a variety of livestock and animals for the kids to pet and feed.

Just down the path from The Claremont is the amazing little Domingo Street with a couple of restaurants, a coffee shop and the Fournée Bakery. Judging from the line out the door, we knew we had stumbled upon a local favorite. Once inside and staring into the cases of pastries, we had a hard time choosing. The girls opted for chocolate croissants, while Triton and I chose more the more exotic bacon and cheese scone and a delicious rhubarb concoction.

pastries at Fournée Bakery in Berkeley

The pastries at Fournée Bakery in Berkeley are out of this world.

Family Friendly

Our kids were treated beautifully by the Claremont Hotel staff, as were we. Our little family enjoyed our stay immensely, and look forward to returning for a round of tennis on those pristine courts. The weekend stay was well worth the price, which was definitely on the higher end of the spectrum. Save your rubles and put The Claremont on your list – it’s modern luxury with an historic flavor.

 


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Downtown Palm Springs is a Great Destination with Kids

Downtown Palm Springs is a Great Destination with Kids

*Our visit to Palm Springs was hosted in part by the Hyatt Palm Springs, and our views expressed here are, as usual, our own.

I’ve been visiting Palm Springs since I was 14 years old. Believe me – that spans many years, tons of good times and a LOT of visits. Now continuing those fun adventures with my own family, we’ve stayed in many different parts of the Coachella Valley. We are convinced that Downtown Palm Springs is a great destination with kids.

After a gazillion visits since the girls were babies, we’ve instilled this same love for Palm Springs in Sophia and Ava. They beg to drive over from San Diego for the hot desert sun, cool swimming pools, date shakes and warm nights outdoors. One of the big draws for them is the downtown Palm Springs area, because there is so much to do, see, eat and explore. Everything is located in an area we can easily walk (or drive when we’d rather ride in air-conditioned luxury).

Hyatt Palm Springs

The Hyatt Palm Springs is located smack dab in the middle of all the action of downtown Palm Springs.

We recently had the opportunity to stay at the Hyatt Palm Springs, right downtown on East Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of Palm Springs. Our experience was awesome because we were right in the middle of it all.

Downtown Palm Springs is a Great Destination with Kids

With so many activities, great restaurants and shopping right outside the front door of our hotel room at the Hyatt Palm Springs, we could easily have parked the car for the weekend and never seen it until time to go home.

Here’s a sampling of why our family thinks Downtown Palm Springs is a great destination with kids.

Lulu California Bistro in Palm Springs interior view with colorful art

Three levels of dining at Lulu California Bistro allow for plenty of colorful people watching!

Downtown Palm Springs Offers Great Restaurant Choices

Downtown Palm Springs is so walkable, we never had to get in the car to head out for a meal. This is a huge plus especially for families with stroller-age kids. Though our girls are much older now, we can still remember the packing up, buckling into carseats and folding strollers into the back of the car. Here, we were able to walk outside and choose from any number of restaurants within a five minute walk.

 Steamed Pork Belly Bun at Watercress Vietnamese Bistro

The steamed pork belly buns at Watercress were out of this world, or as they are properly known, Bánh Bao Thit Heo Kho. (The cocktails there were darn tasty as well).

We particularly enjoyed our meals at Lulu California Bistro, The Tropicale Restaurant, and Watercress Vietnamese Bistro. All were delicious in their own ways, kid friendly, and a short walk from the Hyatt.

The Tropicale Restaurant in Palm Springs

Toasting another fun visit to Palm Springs at The Tropicale Restaurant.

Palm Canyon Drive is a Shopping Mecca

For decades, East Palm Canyon Drive was the center of it all. Teeming with shops and restaurants, the area has enjoyed a resurgence of interest in the last several years. Now it’s is a vibrant and exciting area for strolling and shopping again. Fashion, art, gifts and mementos can all be perused within a several long and interesting blocks. The sidewalks are even decorating with stars that honor famous people who have lived in Palm Springs.

Adding color and fun, the mid-century modern architectural movement is highly celebrated in Palm Springs. There are several galleries and shops downtown that feature decor from that era, now popular again and selling better than ever. Here’s a handy shopping map of Palm Springs to guide you.

Some of our favorite shops are Trina Turk/Mr. Turk, Greetings cards and novelty gift shop, and Modern Way mid-century furnishings.

Palm Springs Art Museum

Right behind the Hyatt is the new location of the Palm Springs Art Museum. This new building contains a surprisingly great collection of pieces, full of color and story. During our recent visit, the museum was hosting an Andy Warhol exhibit with some of his finest and most famous works.

On regular display is a collection of works by such masters as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Robert Rauschenberg and Ansel Adams.

Bike Accessible for All Ages

If the kids have mastered the art of riding a bike, downtown Palm Springs is a safe and easy place for a cruise. Bike rentals can be reserved at several places, and the Hyatt even had a collection for free use by guests. Our family has always loved riding along the flat streets in back neighborhoods, in the areas behind the Hyatt against the mountains.

Palm Springs home of Leonardo DiCaprio

Celebrity homes abound in Palm Springs, like this one belonging to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Many Hollywood celebrities have owned homes in these areas. Today, bike routes can be planned to ride past the current Palm Springs home of Leonardo DiCaprio. Other celebrity homes easily seen from a bike include the former homes of Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and many more.

And if you are uninterested in riding a bike (like one of my kids) you can take an air-conditioned tour of movie star homes with Palm Springs Celebrity Tours. They take you to all the hot spots, and even fill you in on the scandals and stories behind the homes. Plus you get to stop for a date shake, which is a Palm Springs specialty. If you haven’t had one, you must!

The King of all the Starbucks

This story is not complete without a shout-out to the gorgeous new Starbucks in downtown Palm Springs. We’ve been in a few Starbucks locations in our travels, and this one takes the prize. The architectural design is significant in its own right, and it appears that many sustainable elements were used in construction. Fronting on a public plaza, this Starbucks has plenty of seating inside and out. We enjoyed an ice coffee drink outside under the shade of date palms, while watching the world go by.

Starbucks Downtown Palm Springs

The Starbucks in downtown Palm Springs has got to be the most beautiful one we’ve ever visited.

Swim in the Pool

With kids, sometimes these little forays into civilization need to be balanced with pool time. The beauty of staying at a hotel like the Hyatt Palm Springs is that you are steps away from the pool. Several times during our stay, we returned back from shopping or a meal to take a dip. After all, there is nothing like floating on your back in a Palm Springs pool. With the hot sun on your body and the view of purple mountains rising nearby, there is something magic about this place.

Pool view at Hyatt Palm Springs

The pool at Hyatt Palm Springs beckons us on a hot day.

 

We’re already counting the days until our next visit!

 

 


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Kicking Off Summer with StitchFix Men

Kicking Off Summer with StitchFix Men

*We are happy to work with StitchFix as sponsors of this post, and as usual the sentiments expressed here are ours and ours alone.

I’ve always thought of myself as style conscious and a good dresser, but as life gets busier and more complicated I rarely have time to shop anymore. What with raising two teens, playing chauffeur to their activities, keeping the house in somewhat working order and holding down a job, I’m barely able to get dressed in the morning, let alone stylishly. That’s why I’m kicking off summer with StitchFix Men, because – GO FIGURE! – they have an entire men’s service.

StitchFix Men delivers fashion to my door

Unpacking my delivery from StitchFix Men, and then packing it right back up into our luggage.

Kicking Off Summer with StitchFix Men

When I was introduced to the nice folks at StitchFix, I was surprised to learn they also have a men’s service. We have a bunch of women friends that regularly use StitchFix and love it, but none of our guy friends ever mentioned it. Who knew? They have a ton of guys’ stuff, and when I scanned through the brands and clothing examples I realized they could be a great solution to my shopping dilemma.

StitchFix Men delivery is a hit

When our delivery from StitchFix arrived, I was so happy to open it and find these cool items.

They had me at Original Penguin, Rag & Bone and Ben Sherman, which we already have stocked in our closet and are comfortable with the look and fit of their clothes. This made us feel good about trusting them to find us some really good stuff.

WIN A SUMMER VACATION WITH STITCHFIX! Check out this chance to win one of 10 getaways anywhere in the continental U.S., with a bunch of new vacation clothes thrown in. (Not just for men only!)

No Time for the Mall

The shopping mall used to be our playground. Before kids, Triton and I would sometimes just go to the mall without any real reason. We would wander aimlessly through the stores and shops, sometimes buying a bunch of things and sometime a little – but always something. But these days, the mall has become a pseudo babysitter for teen girls. We drop them off in gangs, where they roam wildly in giggling herds until we swing back to pick them up. As I grow older (ahem) I have less and less appetite for being around all that.

Combined with lack of time, and the mall has become a distant memory reserved for a few choice times when I need a retail fix.

StitchFix Men at the Cat Therapy Cafe in Santa Barbara

Visiting the Cat Therapy Cafe in Santa Barbara, I was the best dressed person there!

Enjoying a Personal Shopper

I used to think having a Personal Shopper was for rich people. (Didn’t Kim Kardashian basically get her start this way?) It seemed so nice to think that someone would know me well enough to understand what I like and just bring me stuff to consider. I could just sit in a chair and say “yes” or “no” like some baller. Thinking that was out of my range, I ran around trying to match things to the best of my abilities.

Here’s another cool thing about our StitchFix experience: you are assigned a personal shopper who does it all for you. Our personal stylist is Tiffany, and she worked from some simple questions I answered to find us some great fashion matches. She sent me five things and I said “yes” to all of them. This made kicking off summer with StitchFix Men a more easier thing to continue.

StitchFix Men swimtrunks

I was even outfitted with cool new clothes for the beach, including these awesome swim trunks.

Permission to Move Outside your Comfort Zone

Don’t know about you guys, but when I decide to make a bolder fashion statement outside of my comfort zone it freaks me out. I second guess myself the whole time: Should I buy it? Should I not buy it? Even when I do decide to buy the thing, the whole time I am wearing it I constantly wonder if I’ve overdone it or am out of my fashion league.

Your StitchFix personal shopper may send me things she knows will work for me, and I would never have had the balls to pick out for myself. Somehow with her permission and the comfort in knowing the pieces actually do look good together, I pulled it off without anxious overthinking.

StitchFix Men at the taco shop

I look like a male model eating a taco. (Well at least the taco part.)

Stress-Free Vacation Packing

Because life is hectic, I rarely have time to pack my bags until the night before we are leaving. And making things worse, we invariably have an early morning flight scheduled. Packing amounts to a frenzy of pulling things out of drawers and off hangers, tossing them around to try and make things match. At night. After a long day at work/school. This is almost always a recipe for forgotten items or worse yet, unmatched clothes because I forgot something that matches something else. In these circumstances, I’ve taken up room in my luggage and carted around a bunch of stuff I will end up not wearing.

Sound familiar?

Kicking off summer with StitchFix Men makes the process makes vacation packing a whole lot easier. I already know what to pack and what goes together because my personal stylist already told you so! These outfits were even chosen and sent to me BECAUSE THEY MATCH and can be recombined with other items in all kinds of ways. Tiffany even sent me a note telling me what to wear together, and what we could grab from our our closet to augment the outfits. Brilliant.

Win A Summer Vacation with StitchFix

Check out this chance to win one of 10 getaways anywhere in the continental U.S., with a bunch of new vacation clothes thrown in. (Not just for men only!)

SUP in Santa Barbara

A stand up paddle board lesson on the calm waters of Santa Barbara Bay (photo taken from Stearns Wharf.)

Next Order Already on the Way

No joking, I am so happy with shipment and choices I received from StitchFix that I’ve already scheduled the next Fix. It’s on the way to me now in advance of our trip to Playa del Carmen later this month. I’ll keep you posted on how that package turns out.

Bottom line: StitchFix Men is totally worth it, and I’m sold. Now what to do with all that time I just gained back???

The view from the Hilton Santa Barbara Resort was pretty darn good, just across from the beach and a walk or bike ride to pretty much anything.