Day Seven – Madonna and Malibu

Before I forget (again), here’s a gorgeous shot of Big Sur that I should have included in the last post (Day Five & Six – The Princess Diaries). That’s Bixby Bridge in the background. It was built in 1932 and is still considered one of California’s prettiest bridges. Due to recent landslides, it is only accessible from the north.

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We started “Day Seven” in Salinas, CA with the goal to reach Calabasas (our LA home base) by late afternoon/early evening. Few stops were planned for this day, so when we spotted a sign for the Madonna Inn we had to pull over to explore.

Years ago, Eliza saw the Madonna Inn featured on a Travel Channel special that highlighted the most unique hotels in our country. We were not disappointed! This hotel was built in 1958 and is known for its eclectic design. Every room has a theme, including the common rooms and bathrooms. Guest rooms range from $209-619 per night.

While we could never afford to stay the night, we loved exploring the lobby, dining room, gift shops, and yes, the pink saloon-style bathroom. This is absolutely a one-of-a-kind stop that should not be missed.

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After leaving the Madonna Inn, we drove south for an hour before stopping to eat lunch in Solvang, CA – a danish village that was packed with tourists. Our lunch at the Solvang Brewing Co. was unfortunately very disappointing. Service was awful and the food was only okay. There was, however, a windmill outside! One of only a handful that we spotted during our drive through town (Actual question: Where are all the windmills?)

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We continued on to Santa Barbara where we stopped briefly at the Santa Barbara Mission to explore and stretch our legs. We didn’t linger long, however, because we were all anxious to reach Calabasas, or more specifically, Malibu, before sundown.

And thankfully, we made it! It would have been heartbreaking to miss such a gorgeous sunset. We reached Malibu through the mountain pass that we quickly coined, “The Bob Ross Mountains” for their exceptional beauty that seemed too stunning to be real.

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For anyone who may be wondering, yes, we did listen to Miley Cyrus’ new single, Malibu. Repeatedly. And yes, it was magical.

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