# half moon bay

Earlier this month my aunt–whose birthday is TODAY–graciously asked me to be her Plus One on her work’s achievement trip to the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco. It took this Wyoming Girl all of two seconds to scream ‘YES!’ and have her bags packed. We’ve had a lot of adventures together and we’re birds of the same {middle child} feather when it comes to enjoying vacation. The keys to our success: a lot of good food, a lot of good company, a lot of relaxing, and a lot of laughing.


In fact, after meeting at the hotel, it took less than five minutes to be in our room with mimosas laughing.


And unpacking the Hurts Donuts she brought with her.



Honey, hush! Doughnuts and champagne might just be the best way to describe me.

The first jaw-dropping moment I had on this trip was the view from our room. It was phenomenal.


That large fire pit was hardly vacant the entire time we were there, so we took the first opportunity we had to warm our feet and listen to the ocean.




That night was a meet-and-greet at a Peruvian restaurant (also right on the ocean).


No longer being in Wyoming, I thought I could get away wearing the sundress and linen jacket I first wore in Hawaii, but, hello…that coastline of California is 200% wind. Give me everyone’s jackets.


At least we had a front-row seat for the sunset, which was lovely.




The next day she had a morning meeting and I had the best breakfast of my life. Seems fair, right?


This is the Ritz’s Farmer’s Market Benedict with wild mushrooms, spinach, cheese (I think they substituted cheddar when I said I didn’t want goat), tomato hollandaise and pesto. Holy smokes. If I were in my own home, I would have licked the entire plate, but you know…manners.

Afterwards I headed out on the coastal trail.




It was incredible, but the wind was so strong I had a massive ear ache when I returned. I realize this is a ridiculous complaint when seeing these views, but I’m keepin’ it real here.

It was sometime this afternoon, after we had been to town and back, that I was reading under the covers and Pam comes running into the room and says “Do you have pants on??”  Haha! A valid question when traveling with me. She just realized we had Club Lounge access, which was a private room with 24-hour free food and drink. Like anything you want. At any time. Including this fancy wine machine…


…and all the club soda and gummy bears I could manage. (Spoiler: A lot)


It was basically heaven. And we spent a good deal of our time there for the rest of the trip. (They changed the food spread every three hours, and had games and more amazing views minus the wind and crowds.) It was like a 24-hour five-star restaurant you had all to yourself. Why would anyone want to leave?


That night we celebrated all of the participants at a fancy dinner on site. Fancy for me: pearls and contacts.


Saturday, our last full day, was a spa day (compliments of the trip), so we started on the same coastal trail I trekked yesterday, but this time hitting up the beach at low tide.




Half Moon Bay is the home of the famous Mavericks surfing contest. Those waves were no joke, even at low tide. But, again, gorgeous. We had the entire beach almost to ourselves.



After our massages and a million trips to the Club Lounge, we went to dinner with Pam’s longtime friend Jane.


This is us with our blood orange margaritas, which were to die(t) for. We also had roasted mushroom and pear salads…


…and Pam had her first, her FIRST, bowl of homemade gnocchi. This was literally MY crowning achievement of her achievement trip.


I had a “Highway 92” pizza with roasted butternut squash, garlic, caramelized onions, feta, parmesan, arugula and sage. Mouth is watering…


It was a fabulous way to go out. The next morning’s fog perfectly captured how we felt about leaving — sad, gray, but also so THANKFUL.


Good food — check!
Good company — check!
Relaxing — check!
Laughing — check!
Club Lounging — triple check!

Pam, I’d celebrate you and WITH you any time. Thanks for letting me join your adventures and recognize your hard work. Happy birthday to one of the most amazing, generous, funny and loving people I’ll ever know. All the hearts!


3 thoughts on “# half moon bay

  1. I can’t get over all of that good food!! 😍 And the Hurt’s Donuts cracked me up…we had those in Wichita and they were delicious. Glad you ladies had such a wonderful time.

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