Sunday, March 26, 2017

BCS Pt. 1: Rancho Pescadero.

Winter in the Midwest is rough. You leave for work, it's dark. You come home from work, it's dark. After a white Christmas, the snow really loses it's novelty. Every year it leaves me wondering WHY, why did I decide to leave perpetually sunny Los Angeles, and come back to the arctic tundra?
Then, just in the nick of the time, the winter gives way to spring. A flicker of hope that tides us over until the glorious Michigan summer graces us with perfectly breezy 80 degree days. The sun just barely sets at 10 p.m. and all is right in the world. I think it must be akin to childbirth, all the warm and fuzzies allow you to forget the pain...at least until the next one! 

For better or for worse, we're here for the long haul. That doesn't however, exempt us from needing a break from the cold. My mom and I actually started the tradition of our annual 'Mother Daughter Winter Escape' back in 2011 when I was living in Chicago. I had stumbled upon a little resort called Rancho Pescadero in Food & Wine magazine, and convinced my mom we needed a getaway. 

the beautiful pool area - someone take me back!
Well, six years later and we're still coming back (can you blame us?)! It must be something they put in the coffee, or the wine? The tequila? I digress...

Rancho Pescadero is a self-proclaimed "outrageous ocean-front oasis", and they're pretty spot on. This is not the place to go if you're looking for foam parties in the pool, or body shots out of belly buttons. Rancho is where you go when you want to escape the daily grind, disconnect, fill up on organic farm fresh food, drink craft cocktails and totally zen out by the pool (or in yoga, if you're more motivated than I). Adults 18 years and older are welcome at the resort, no kids please! Trust me, leave them behind - you will not be lonely! Every year that we've visited, we always leave with new friends from all around the country. 

Rancho sunsets are divine. 

 
I spy a cozy fire pit.

The property has 28 beautifully appointed guest suites, so there is no 5 mile hike from your room to the beach, no getting up at the crack of dawn to reserve your spot at the pool (praise be!). You are in fact, so close to the water you can hear the enormous waves of the Pacific crashing against the shore all night - no sound machine required! When you finally awake from your most peaceful slumber ever, you'll find the sweetest basket of coffee, fresh fruit, and pastries awaiting you. How do I sign up for this service at home?! Did I mention it's complimentary? As is morning yoga, but again...I'd hate for the pool to be lonely. 

I could definitely get used to waking up to this.

our basket of love.

a view of the property from one of the upper level suites.
Another thing that sets Rancho Pescadero apart is their cuisine. They have their own organic farm on the property, that yields the most flavorful fruits and vegetables, used in all their dishes and cocktails. This is not your typical Mexican dining experience. Everything is fresh, delicious and healthy! That's right, this is not the trip where you gain 5 lbs of queso weight. In fact, with all the green juice I'm drinking I feel like I may even come home a better version of myself! Ok, that might be a bit much..but I'm at least cancelling out the cocktails!

If you love to cook like I do, taking a cooking class at the garden restaurant is a must! It is such a treat to cook alongside such talented people and have the most luscious ingredients at your fingertips. Save your meal planning for the work week and let chef guide you to the most delicious meal. The best part, you helped make it! 

produce that we picked from the garden.

salsa verde.

don't you just want to dive in? just me?

adding the finishing touches.

The very best part of Rancho is, hands down, their phenomenal staff. Over the past six years, these people have really become friends and we anxiously await our annual reunion. Karla, who manages the property, and her husband Danny, bar manager and cocktail aficionado are just about the best couple you could ever hope to know. Seriously, if you don't absolutely fall in love with them, you need to book an appointment with your therapist STAT. 

Danny Sanchez, mixologist extraordinaire. 
Admittedly, during our visits to Rancho it's hard to pull me away from the resort. However, the town of Todos Santos is just a few miles up the road and is certainly worth a visit. A small, but vibrant community, full of restaurants, art galleries and shops, it's a great place to spend an afternoon exploring. More on that in another post!

  
you can already feel the calm when you enter the resort. 

the 'lobby' restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch.

the despertarse - recipe coming soon!

a field of palms and hammocks. no this is not a dream.

view from the garden restaurant, open for dinner and cooking classes with the chef.  

fresh vegetables from the garden, ready to be made into salsa.

and cocktails!

fennel and tomato in a cocktail? it works!

Danny and his garden.
       

                         
every. single. morning. learn how to make it here!
every. single. afternoon. 


an evening stroll to the garden restaurant.
velvet choker from Zaful - exact here.

duster from Naked Wardrobe - exact here.

frayed denim from Anthropologie - similar (and a steal!) here.


upper level guest suites. 
the magical, misty pacific coast. 

Our annual trip to Baja is far and beyond my favorite 'winter' activity. What do you do to survive the winter? Any beach destinations I should be checking out in Mexico or beyond?! If you plan a trip to Rancho Pescadero let me know! I'd love to hear about your experience or help map out your visit!


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