Los Angeles Recap: Getty Villa and The Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch

Hello! How’s your day? Going alright? Sun is shining brighter? I hope so!

Today we’re recapping my spur-of-the-moment/gotta-get-out-of-town-because-TDY trip to L.A. If recaps aren’t your jam, check back in later. No harm, no foul. If they are (and they are for me because I’m incredibly nosy), then let’s get started!

Thursday, March 30th

Wednesday evening into Thursday mid-afternoon were some of the worst hours of my life.

I know. What a way to begin a fun and festive recap.

For those who travel and have pets, you might have had to drop your little furry friend off at a Rover for a few nights. We’ve used Rover countless times for our trips to Milwaukee, Germany, Ireland, New Orleans, and more. We love it!


Because I was leaving DC for L.A., I needed to find a place for our dude, Tuki, to stay. After dropping him off at his new digs for a few days, I made my way back home to start packing and cleaning and wrapping up work so I could get outta town.

My phone rings about forty-five minutes after being home only to find a hesitant voice on the other end.

“Hey Kaitlyn. Tuki got into some chocolate. I’m not sure how much, but the bag says 4lbs…”

You know the meme floating around with Chrissy Teigen’s awkward awards show face? This one?


That was my face after hearing that the most important creature in the whole wide world to my boyfriend could maybe be nearing his last moment’s on earth with us because of an accident that could have been avoided.

After hauling ass, and I mean HAULING ASS, to pick him up, I rushed him to the vet where he was admitted into the ICU, had his poor stomach pumped, and attached to an IV all night. I got home around 10:30 p.m. and cried myself to sleep because I’m dramatic.

This was all on top of another incredibly stressful and devastating mistake that could have been avoided, so long story short, I was drained and a complete and utter emotional disaster.

Tuki is fine. I picked him up the following morning, monitored him for the day, and rebooked an amazing Rover who loved Tuki and cared for him. We will use her again. My heart feels better.


Friday, March 31st

Friday morning began with a super early cab ride into Reagan.

I got to the airport and went through security and sat at my gate feeling anxious and excited for this solo adventure to La La Land (they played this on the plane – how funny is that?).

My first flight was to Boston and less than an hour later, I was en route to Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, I had a middle seat and was sandwiched in-between two gentlemen. The one to my left was in a constant state of head-bobbing-up-and-down sleeping and the older fella to my right was alternating between playing Solitaire and monster truck racing games on his phone.

The flight was six hours.

I popped my headphones in and listened to the first half of S-Town, which WHOA DAWG. Have you listened to this podcast yet? Get on it. If you like winding, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and life-ruining stories, you’ll love S-Town!

Six hours and one refreshment + one small pack of airplane pretzels later (what the heck, American Airlines?) I landed at LAX and after freshening up in the airport bathroom like the classy lady I am, I made my way to ground transport where my friend Erin was waiting for me!


After experiencing my first bout of L.A. traffic (and L.A. road rage, which honestly reminded me of my own), we ended up at Erin’s apartment, dropped off luggage, and headed out for happy hour at a little restaurant in her ‘hood called Alcove Cafe.

Alcove Cafe is this adorable little spot that’s half restaurant and bar, half bakery. We opted for the bar side because they have wine there, and though I am an avid fan of baked goods, I am also an avid fan of a wine buzz, especially after coming off of a very long, cross-country flight that only provided a half-glass of water and three unsalted pretzels as sustenance. Again, what the heck, American Airlines?

After finding a spot at the bar, we immediately ordered chips and guac, sliders, and a glass of wine each and spent the next few hours catching up on life, love, and if our bartender was worth Erin’s flirting tactics to get us free wine.

Verdict? It was.

Saturday, April 1st

I woke up around 4:30 a.m. because my body thought it was 7:30 a.m., and because I have #goals, I’m an early riser. Being in L.A. meant that I was an extra early riser, also known as a freak of nature who can’t sleep in.

The morning started out with iced coffees and bagels before hitting the road for Getty Villa, which was our main event of the day.

Getty Villa is a beautiful museum and gardens located in Pacific Palisades (in-between Santa Monica and Malibu, if I’m not mistaken) that focuses on ancient Greece and Rome.


The weather was beautiful, and we were greeted with the friendliest of staff, beautiful views, and very interesting art.


I wonder who he pissed off.

There also happened to be a make-your-own-ancient-perfume station there, so we thought why not?


The perfume gals had a display of multiple base notes, top notes, etc. that were all derived from ancient times.

I played it safe and stuck to mostly rose water, cinnamon, and a bit of frankincense, but there was an option to add… cat pee… to your concoction. Erin and I opted out of that one for the time, but if you have an enemy you’d like to gift a perfume to, I suggest checking that out!


Leaving a wish prayer for our homegirl, Venus.

We wandered around the museum and gardens for awhile before our stomachs told us it was lunchtime. Erin tossed around the idea of heading to Malibu and grabbing wine and lunch at The Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch.

Okay, let me just say that this place is amazing. In my mind, it was a cross between a grownup, outdoor playground and Golly’s backyard-y wind chime garden. Know what I’m talking about?


Harriet the Spy, FTW.


There were several little pop-up restaurants, an actual sit-down restaurant, and many a bars to hit up, plus games like giant Jenga and corn hole.

Fun fact: I had no idea corn hole was a thing when I lived in New Orleans. Do we just not play it there while everyone else in the world does? Why are we missing out? 

We grabbed a glass of wine and a table and sipped while brainstorming food ideas.


Sauvignon blanc for me.

Eventually, we decided on the sit-down restaurant because we’re ladies who lunch and also charcuterie boards > BBQ at the moment.


And, of course, we had another glass of wine for good measure.

After eating and drinking and chatting, we walked around the cafe grounds for a bit and finished our wine by the lagoon, which reminded me a lot of City Park in New Orleans. They even had mosquitos!!!!!!!!!!

We left around 5pm and made the drive back to Erin’s hood where I’m pretty sure we ended with episodes of Grace and Frankie and beer.


New favorite: Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin, as seen on my Instagram (let’s be friends!).

Let’s hear it!

If you’ve been to L.A., what’s your favorite memory? 

What’s your favorite beer that’s a must-try?







What do you think?