She flips through stations using a secret button on the steering wheel. Kurt Cobain fills the car, then Aretha Franklin, now it’s Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood. Something seventies streams out of the open windows and she reaches up to activate the sunroof. I laugh and lean forward, unsticking my thighs from the hot leather seat.
We’re rocking now to some manic punk song, all furious guitar and lyrics like one, long screaming run on sentence. I look over, and she’s bouncing to the bass, lips curved in a smile underneath oversized sunglasses, one tanned knee leaning against the door.
We whip into Connie & Ted’s, Chef/Restaurateur Michael Cimarusti’s (of Providence) Northeastern inspired eatery on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. “I just started Paleo,” I say as I order New England clam chowder, a hot buttered lobster roll, and a Michelada. “It’s going great!”
Refueled, we’re back in our rolling disco and before long the music has carried us to the PCH. The air now tastes of brine as we wind along the SoCal coast. Beach traffic snarls the route passing Santa Monica and Will Rogers, but soon we’re flying again.
An hour passes easily. We stop by Paradise Cove for something cold and boozy in a coconut, but opt out once we see the mad crush of people waiting inside the café. We ask about outside, but it also requires a queue. We silently agree to move on. We share many things, telepathy it seems, and a distinct lack of patience.
Luckily, Malibu Beach Inn is a short drive away, and then we’re pulling into valet. “Good afternoon ladies, checking in?” We confirm, and I’m thrilled to see Laura Willens inside the breezy building housing reception off the main. I’m sad to miss Jordan Morosco, but include her in our overwhelming thanks! A heartfelt hug and a couple of signatures later, and we’re escorted to a newly renovated King Premier Ocean Front room.
Cool greys and blues invite instant peace, setting a tone of serenity with the coastal chic. Tiffany and I comb through the room oohing and aahing over the subtle evidence of its thoughtful design: the full size bottles of premium wine and spirits, Nespresso machine, and Dean & DeLuca sweets and savories…
Inside the bathroom a remote controlled bidet whirs open upon entering, a full board of buttons on the wall available to customize one’s experience. The sink is one, long trough with two faucets and the large, walk-in shower features a handle on one end and shower head on the other. This is one of my favorite touches, solving the age-old problem of how to avoid getting doused while adjusting the temperature. Molton Brown products round out the amenities.
The room itself is well laid out. Recently reimagined by Waldo Fernandez, every detail compliments the whole…custom white oak furniture, Frette linens, 55” and 49” LCD HD TVs, and a Bose Bluetooth speaker. The sitting area features an electric fireplace. There’s something kind of magical about watching flames flicker while waves crash outside.
The property is only three stories, low slung and compact, making the most of its beachfront roost. Downstairs one walks immediately into Carbon Beach Club: the inside bar and bright dining area that opens up into a glorious open air terrace. Our bellman had already arranged for us to have chairs on the sand and as we approach a freckled youth scurries out to take our drink order. As we settle in I can’t imagine a better place to be.
Tiffany rattling the ice cubes in her piña colada stirs me out of my sun-induced snooze. “I wanted this blended,” she fake pouts. I ask our beach boy, but he apologizes, no blended drinks are available. “Let’s go find one,” I suggest. We decide to walk down the beach to SoHo House’s Little Beach House Malibu where a photographer friend of hers is making the most of the 80 degree weather.
He meets us outside and ushers us in. He’s charming, Italian, and very good looking. We settle into a table for three amid assorted familiar faces. Astonishingly they don’t offer frozen drinks either, and we wonder at the blender ban on Billionaire’s Beach. We settle for rosé instead and order a snack of Ahi tuna poke and avocado dip with taro chips and crudité. There’s something infinitely cheerful about the way sunshine glints off a glass of sparkling pink…especially served in a vintage crystal coupe as they do.
As the afternoon wanes, we head back to the hotel to enjoy the sunset from our balcony with a cold bottle of crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Our reservation time arrives, and we check in at Carbon Beach Club to be seated at a candlelit table by the water.
Fresh oysters and California calamari open the meal as the last rose gold tones of the setting sun stain the horizon. Darkness gathers, and we open a bottle of red wine to stave off the cold. The eclectic choices of king crab risotto and grass fed truffle burger betray our need for comfort food after an exhausting day of doing nothing. The deep dish chocolate chip cookie with vanilla gelato concludes the experience, a single candle paying homage to her belated birthday. A candy colored box of macarons with a note from General Manager, Gregory Day, await us back upstairs. Firelight fills the room with a warm, ambient glow, and we fall asleep with the balcony door open to the sound of the ocean.
Like clockwork I awake at 8 AM. I squeeze one eye open to see Tiffany still resting peacefully so I close it and go back to sleep. I play this game until 11:30 as check-out approaches at noon. A quick call secures 1 PM so we take our time showering and enjoying a slow rise to wakefulness. She makes me coffee while I dry my hair. It’s another perfect day.
At one o’clock we call for a bellman to pick up our luggage and place it in the car while we brunch on cold lobster and avocado toast. We raise our rosé to a successful girl’s getaway before returning to the beach to finalize our weekend’s tan.
The tide tells us when it’s time to go. Reluctantly we bid our little piece of paradise adieu. We’re much more subdued on the road this time... “You know I still want that piña colada…” she says turning to me, a mischievous smile playing at the corners of her mouth. “Let’s do it!” I squeal, clapping my hands together with the excitement of our mission, our continued purpose. Immediately I’m on my phone, thumbs working to pull the information we need, but she already knows where to go.
As if on cue Moonshadows appears, a deceptively weathered looking building with a long valet line of Mercedes, Porsches, and other Audis. We jump out and have the miraculous good fortune of instantly getting a table. The restaurant hangs over the Pacific and there’s a DJ spinning outside. The pièce de résistance, however, comes in the form of two enormous, icy whipped piña coladas complete with cherries on top. It’s the most magnifiecent piña colada I’ve ever seen, a true trophy of a frozen beverage. It provides the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. Our quest had come full circle.
Until the next adventure… This was our #MalibuMoment.