Summer is my favorite season! Summer also means traveling to my family!!

A New Tradition

A few years ago, I even started a tradition of a family day-cation!! As much as I love hotels, like most people I can’t afford to stay in them as frequently as I would like. But about 5 or 6 years ago, I created a back-to-school tradition for my daughters and I.  We have a day-cation where we enjoy a day of exploring and the fun of vacation without the cost of a hotel. 

San Luis Obispo

Normally just a few days before school starts, we go somewhere fun. Just so they can soak in their last free moments of summer break. I remember our first, end of summer break day-cation. We visited the little town of San Luis Obispo. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of the famous quirky hotel The Madonna Inn. We made the two and half hour plus drive up the coast. I swear if you love vintage and you love pink, then this is the place for you!

We ate at the Copper Café. I fell in love with the iridescent, glass goblets and it didn’t hurt when I ordered ice tea and it had rock sugar to sweeten it!! But let’s be honest I drove 2 plus hours to try that infamous pink, champagne cake. And I know you’re asking……..did it live up to our expectations??? Well, yes it did! Put it this way, I ended up driving there to get my daughters’ birthday cake from there the next year. But enough about the food.

The pristine gardens and the colorful ambiance made for a fun filled day. Also, FYI…… I have stayed in their rooms in the past several years. My favorite is the, Austrian room. The view alone is glorious!!

RELATED TOPIC: Take a Road Trip to San Luis Obispo

Santa Paula

Another day-cation we have gone on is the little town of Santa Paula. I personally think some of the most beautiful people live here. The locals are so kind. You can tell how proud the people are of their town. The town is full of lots of old brick buildings and charming old churches. They make for the perfect stroll to walk off your dinner.

Also, they are known for their beautiful railways. Did I mention food? Of course, I can’t forget the food!!

We have become regulars with this hidden gem there. It’s a Cajun and Creole restaurant that’s called Rabalais. The building alone will make you feel like you are back in the French Quarter. The ambiance, Louis Armstrong, plays on the speakers and the special touches of the Fleur de lis ironwork is so authentic and just magical. They have their own bakery and yes, they make fresh beignets!! My favorite is the strawberry cake. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of my favs are the fried catfish, Po’boy sandwiches and of course the fried green tomatoes. My husband loves the gumbo and jambalaya. My kids like the grown-up mac and cheese and clam chowder. I had to ask a server on my second visit. “Do you guys advertise?” The answer was, no. It’s all by word of mouth.

Our Next Adventure

I think this next mini adventure will be to visit the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo and then head off to the beach. We are ready to make a new memory and add a new spot to our family day-cation list.

Everyone have a wonderful and safe summer!!


  1. I love the idea of doing one last summer hurrah with your kids before the school year starts. These are fun ideas. I want to check out the restaurant in Santa Paula you suggested now!


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