I've died and here is heaven....

I don't want diamonds and I don't want furs (I'm told they're inappropriate anyway) and I don't need a Mercedes (although one would be appreciated).  If my husband wants to get me a lavish gift for an anniversary or my birthday or simply because he's a nice guy & we've just won the lottery - here's a big fat hint: take me to the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara....and then teach me how to pronounce it.  

San Ysidro Ranch reception area - check out the view
Built In the 1930s by Hollywood actor Ronald Colman (who?) and hotelier and former Senator Alvin Carl Weingand (again, who?) it started as a citrus ranch and was transformed into a haven for the rich and famous.  The elite clientele over the years ranged from Audrey Hepburn (my fave), Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx to Winston Churchill, and Sinclair Lewis. Scarlett O'Hara herself - Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier were married in the garden, and cooler still - John and Jacqueline Kennedy honeymooned there. Plus, John Huston completed the script for African Queen during a three-month stay at the ranch.  Wow. Wonder what that tab looked like.

The Kennedys
Today, San Ysidro Ranch remains a popular destination for romance for the well-healed as well as common folk with deep pockets.  It was recently named #1 in Travel + Leisure’s list of top resorts in the U.S. and Canada. 
Orange Living Room. My favorite movie is on! "Roman Holiday"

The ranch has several levels of accommodations.  There are 3 types of "ranch rooms" ranging from a studio to a one bedroom, "cottage rooms" with king beds, hot tubs and an outdoor rain shower, and "cottages" which are free-standing, private and secluded. The Kennedy Cottage where the famous couple stayed oddly has 2 master suites, 2 bathrooms and 3 fireplaces.  It's been renovated since they left, so perhaps changes were made after the honeymoon.  The Warner Residence, with it's private drive and private entrance is the largest and probably perfect for the aging Hollywood star who's just had a "little work done" and needs some down time.

Private pool at the Warner Residence

Rates range from (an average) $650 per night for a ranch room to the Warner Residence sporting a hefty $5,000 per night price tag.  See what I mean about winning the lottery?  Oh well, a girl can dream....


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About Me

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I didn’t dip my toe in an ocean until I turned 25 and my friend Sandy and I traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. After that week, I was hooked. I loved being somewhere new; smelling the smells, tasting new food, seeing how other people lived. It energized me. As luck would have it, I landed a job that allowed me to travel all over the US and often to Canada. Being a sports event television producer, I was on the road all the time. That's when my love affair with travel began. Now, its 20 years later and still no one gets more “geeked up” about planning a vacation than I do. All I need is a destination and some travel companions and my fire is lit! I start delving into my favorite hotel sites, sifting through photos and reviews, comparing, contrasting -it’s like an addiction. The travel shows with tips and trends? I study them like a playbook. I LOVE doing the things most people hate doing before they go on vacation. Whether it be searching for a food tasting tour with a local or discovering a romantic B&B in the middle of New York - I’ve found it and I’ll share it with you. So....where should we go?