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Laguna Beach Recap

 

Do you ever just take a trip to take a trip? One for yourself, because you need to take a break from work life or stress at home? This is not something I thought about doing or grew up doing with my family. Our trips were always pre-planned up to a year in advance with multiple relatives or friends involved, whether it was a trip to Disneyland or a weekend camping at the state park. It wasn't until I met my husband that this type of travel crossed my mind.. literally the night of our first date, he invited me to go with him on two different trips, one starting the next day and the other, an international adventure the following month. I had to decline both offers because, well, I didn't know him and he could have been a complete crazy person.. but as we got to know each other, I realized traveling could be spontaneous and didn't need to be a huge planned out, stressful experience. Since then, when he suggests we go on a trip I say yes and we book it and go!

 One of the perks of traveling with a small child who wakes up insanely early is beating the crowds and taking some photos in the dreamy sea haze lighting.

One of the perks of traveling with a small child who wakes up insanely early is beating the crowds and taking some photos in the dreamy sea haze lighting.

 

A couple months ago, Erik suggested we take a trip to the beach and after talking about our options we both decided a visit to Laguna Beach, CA would be a good idea. Not too far away, not too busy of a town; a place we'd both been to but just for day trips. So we went, and now I want to share a bit about how I now plan less and enjoy more, from packing to organizing each day.

 

packing

I used to get all out of sorts about packing, starting a week or more in advance, tearing my entire closet apart, ending up with an over packed suitcase full of SO many things that wouldn't even get worn on my trip. Then I'd return home and avoid unpacking for as long as possible, anxious about the complicated mess of the combination of dirty and clean clothes. This is no longer the case and the proof is in the fact that I sat down to write this post less than 36 hours before leaving on a four day trip with absolutely nothing prepped or packed and zero stress about it. And I have a toddler, you guys! 

 

Now, for this particular trip, it helps that I used to live in Southern California and I'm a coastal living girl at heart. My style is very beachy with a constant need for adding natural looking waves to my sun-kissed-like, balayaged hair and sincere hate towards wearing socks with shoes. But regardless, my new packing routine usually starts the day or evening before leaving and I feel really good about that.

pro tip: it's all about merchandising! if you want to pack a small and versatile travel wardrobe, you need a cohesive color story and theme. I always start with a favorite outfit and work out from there.

 

In this case, my starter pieces included jean shorts, a casual orange colored tank, and my new Beach Bum crew neck sweatshirt (there's just something about buying something new to wear on a vacation!). Since this trip was all about relaxing and I knew I'd be spending a fair amount of time chasing the toddler around the beach, swimsuits and comfortable separates were my focus. 

 
 When packing, I always work with a color story so I don't necessarily have to plan out outfits. 

When packing, I always work with a color story so I don't necessarily have to plan out outfits. 

 The Inci Turkish Towel pictured here works as a scarf, beach towel, or light throw for the airplane. It's a travel essential!

The Inci Turkish Towel pictured here works as a scarf, beach towel, or light throw for the airplane. It's a travel essential!

 

Here's what I took in total: 3 tops, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pullover sweaters, 1 dress, 1 cardigan, 3 swimsuits, 3 pairs of shoes, and some lounge/sleep wear. I wore all but my dress. I don't typically wear dresses but decided to bring it in case we wanted to eat at a nicer restaurant. *spoiler* our fanciest night consisted of a bottle of cab and pizza to-go from Whole Foods, haha!

 

planning

Thanks to my trusty CoCapsules travel planner, outlining a trip can be as simple or detailed as necessary. For this trip, I jotted down some recommendations beforehand, but waited until our first evening to sit down with Erik and outline the next couple of days. It was still a very loose outline; we knew we wanted to hit up a breakfast spot and check out some state parks so we picked some times that worked best for those and left everything else open.

I'm still adjusting to this kind of laid back travel style.. if it were solely up to me, I'd probably fill up each minute with activities and sight-seeing. But to be honest, going with the flow is much more relaxing and refreshes me in the way a vacation should. I'm able to enjoy the moment in a new way and rather than planning out each detail, I sit down at the end of each day and reflect on the memories made in my travel planner.

 The view from our balcony at the Inn at Laguna Beach on our final evening.

The view from our balcony at the Inn at Laguna Beach on our final evening.

While I took my camera everywhere we went, I didn't snap many photos of this trip. Instead, I watched my little boy explore the beach, walked hand-in-hand with my husband, and engaged in real and deep conversations. Do you ever feel like you take so many pictures you don't even know what to do with? I either take way too many, or not enough. I'm working on that happy medium. Any tips?

 

here are a few highlights of my mini family vacay in laguna beach

 
 

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