Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mini-Moon Revisited: San Ysidro Ranch

*** The lucky winner of my gift card giveaway is... AubreyOhDang!  Thank you everyone for entering! ***

My short vacation is sadly coming to an end, but I had a great time and thought I'd share what I've been up to.  When hubby and I got married, we never actually went on an official honeymoon because of time constraints... but we did spend some time at an amazing place called San Ysidro Ranch which is a short drive away.  They offer private individual cottages and a secluded and peaceful atmosphere, as well as amazing food and impeccable service.  It's definitely a splurge but we loved it so much that we had to go back!

We stayed at a different cottage this time, and here's a quick tour starting with the private entrance:

The foyer:

A welcome message & treat:

The fluffy & romantic canopy bed:

The window desk overlooking the back patio:

The bathroom:

The free-standing tub:

The picturesque private patio surrounded by forest green...

... complete with a hot tub and outdoor shower!

The bedside fireplace to snuggle by after hot-tubbing in 50-degree weather :)

The cottage also has a separate living room, and here's where we ate most of our meals:

One of the best parts about staying at SYR is that we could order room service from the excellent on-site restaurant menu.  We took tons of food pics but this post is getting long, so I'll just share some of our favorites.

They make the most amazing crab cakes I've ever tried:

And the best tortilla soup in the world:

Pan-Seared Salmon with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, Baby Bok Choy, Soy Ginger Sauce:

16-hr Braised Beef Short Ribs with Boursin Whipped Potatoes, Broccolini, Smoked Sea Salt:

The food was great, but I also loved the little touches like fresh flowers with each meal:

I brought a few outfits along to take pictures of, but ended up doing mostly nothing except for lounging around and watching HGTV.  Here's as close to an outfit pic as I got on this trip:

We did spend some time trying out a new lens for our camera, which I thought turned out pretty nice pics for its relatively inexpensive price.  I know this was a picture-heavy post, but I hope you enjoyed the vacation recap!


  1. What a lovely place! I am glad you and your husband enjoyed the mini vacation. It sounds very peaceful and relaxing. I need one of those vacays. Thanks for sharing the pics with us. They're lovely. Have a great weekend!

  2. wow, this looks like an amazing secluded little vacation spot! i fireplace and hot tub look amazing. i can't wait for a vacation myself!

    cute and little

  3. I love all of the vintage details in your vacation get away~! The food looks divine, oh dear is that salsa on top of the crab cakes ... le drool.
    Heehee, I see your husband made a little cameo in your blog post too! Love the dusty mauve color on you, I'm now kicking myself for not buying it when I had the chance. >,<

  4. I knew from the pictures that you either had a nice camera and/or lens. The colors and foreground/background depth perception is amazing in the photos. Thank you for sharing these pictures and I'm glad you had such a great time!

  5. Very enjoyable pictures! The vacation spot looks beautiful.......and soooo relaxing! I'm glad you got to take some time off ;)

  6. Love the new lens and pictures! I love how the place wasn't your typical-looking 5-star hotel. Very cozy but luxurious-looking all the same. And you look great in the AT Ruffle Shell :)

  7. love the pictures, it's like being there already!

  8. Wonderful wonderful photos, Liane! I'm drooling at the salmon w/ wasabi potatoes and 16 hour beef...

  9. I think the hotel should use your photos for their brochure, lol!

  10. It's sooo beautiful here! I'm going to be staying at an Inn in Victoria BC, so hopefully I get some of this retro romantic kind of a set up like your place! The mirrors in the bathroom, bath tub, and fire place are some of my favorite pics on this post : ) So vintage!!

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  12. omg what a beautiful place! i love it. i'm sure it was a great place to kick back and relax. the food looks absolutely delish...*drooling*

    the pics are beautiful btw

  13. Gorgeous photos! So glad you got to go back to the setting of your mini-moon - looks like you had a wonderful time with lots of good food :)

  14. Wow!!! Love the pictures of the place, the food, and you! Next time I'm visiting CA, I will definitely keep this place in mind. You look lovely in the chiffon shell. :)

  15. Wow! This was NOT picture-heavy at all.. I need more!! haha The room looks gorgeousssssssss. And you are making me drool with those food photos.. omg. Which camera are you holding there? I can't really see it ><

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  16. WOW! The ranch looks so amazing! I love their welcome back message. That's such a treat! <3

    Your food photography is the best I've ever seen!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

  17. EDIT: now that i got the chance to reread the comment (didn't even remember leaving one to begin with!)

    Thanks for the virtual tour! The place looks amazing and the food appear to be decadent! I love the shot of the flowers!

    May just be me, but HGTV is my tv-crack. Love that channel with food network.

  18. Great photos! Your pictures are so clear!!! Thanks for sharing:D

  19. Sounds like you had a relaxing and wonderful time! The pics are really terrific too. What lens did you try?

  20. I feel relaxed just looking at your vacation photos! The food and the cottage all look amazing!

  21. whoooo hoooo!!!! I won I won! booty dance.

    mmm is that mango salsa on the crab cake? I <3 mango salsa.

  22. Yay! Congrats to Aubrey!!

    Wow! That place looks amazing! I would love to eat everything you ordered!! Yum!

    My husband and I have never actually gone on a honeymoon, either! Actually, we have not gone anywhere alone...we travel as a family, and have our own room...that sort of counts. :p Our ten years (five married, ten together) is July...probably should do something...truly alone!!

  23. @PetiteLittleGirl - We really did... and I know you're looking forward to your next vacay too, can't wait to see where you guys end up going!

    @kileen - We loooved that hot tub! It was freezing cold outside but we used it anyway... twice a day lol. Good thing there was a fireplace to warm us up afterwards! :)

    @Banhannas - Those crab cakes were amazing... and yes that's mango salsa! Good eye noticing my hubby's first cameo appearance on the blog :)

    @Cee - Omg we love the new lens! It was less than $200 but made a world of difference in the quality of the pictures we got from our new DSLR.

    @Callandra - Ah I wish I were still there now! Too bad it's so expensive or we'd go every month if we could!

  24. @R.L. - I think cozy is the perfect word for it. We're usually drawn to more modern decor but loved the rustic-ness and seclusion of this whole experience!

    @tinymum - Thanks... I wish I were there now! :P

    @PetiteAsianGirl- Oh Jean... I still miss the food lol... thanks for the high praise. I'd give them my photos in a heartbeat if they'd give us a complimentary stay every so often lol.... or even just a discount so we can afford to come back more often :)

    @Danielle C - Oh I hope you take lots of pictures!

    @Ping - Thanks Ping! We sing the praises of this place to everybody we know... and it's well-deserved! :)

  25. @SewPetiteGal - Thanks... we had such a good time :)

    @Vicky - Thanks Vicky! Definitely check them out, although I hope your kids won't be too bored... probably not the most kid-friendly place but very romantic for you and your hubby! :)

    @The Little Dust Princess - We have a Sony a55, which is pretty new and I know it's not one of the big two (Canon/Nikon), but we're really happy with it so far :)

    @DSK Steph - Aww thanks for saying that! If only I can take credit for making the food too :P

    @Gracie - Lol... it's definitely not just you! I watch HGTV non-stop whenever I go on vacation. It's a good thing I don't have cable at home or I'd never get any work done!

  26. @Really Petite - Thanks Annie... we took tons of pictures and tried a lot of the different settings to get to know our new camera.

    @Petite Mom We got this lens and it was so worth the $$!

    @Alterations Needed Mission (relaxation) accomplished! :)

    @i love mochi - It was! :)

    @AubreyOhDang! - Congrats Aubrey! And yes, mango salsa! Soooo good :)

    @Michelle - Wow you guys have been together for so long! I think some solo honeymoon time is in order! Definitely before you have kids because it'll probably be impossible to then!


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