Family/ Mom Stuff/ Travel

Our Central Coast Road Trip with the Kids

Forgive me for finally having a moment to post about our family road trip that we took two weeks ago down to the Central Coast! We had the best time and I’ve been getting a ton of questions from many of you who want to plan your own road trip soon. 

Adam took the day off of work on Friday, we packed the car and drove the four hours down (okay so it was supposed to be four hours but with kids it ended up being 5.5…who’s counting?!) to a little seaside town called Cambria. Fun fact – Adam and I flew down to Cambria a few days after we met back in ’09 to look at a winery we might do some work for. I hardly knew him but we were told we were traveling together – just the two of us – to check out the winery. If you feel lost on the whole story, you can read about our interesting story here but please don’t judge me on all the bold font and terrible photos. We’ve come far, friends. We’ve come far. 

ANYWAY, flash forward nine years and we went back! Not to that winery, but to Cambria as a family and we had a really wonderful time. We stayed for two amazing nights at the Cambria Pines Lodge and I would highly recommend it!

The lodge itself was built in the late ’20s, I believe. The hotel was a collection of rooms and cottages that surrounded 25 acres of beautiful gardens. We stayed in one of the King Suite cottages (I don’t know if they actually refer to them as “cottages” but it seemed very cottage-like to me so that’ what I am calling it!). The setup was absolutely perfect for our family because it was two rooms. Adam and I had the bedroom – obviously – and the boys slept in the living room. There was a door separating that we could close at night and when Luke took his nap. The rooms got VERY dark so it was perfect for sleeping toddlers.

Now usually when we travel, Grayson sleeps on a little inflatable toddler air mattress. He has been sleeping on one for about two years now when we travel and it works out great. Here is the link to the one we have and love. It’s very sturdy and we’ve had zero issues. However (!), we forgot to pack the charger to the air pump so we didn’t actually use it on our recent trip. Grayson slept on the murphy bed in the living room and it worked great! It was so funny to see him sleeping in this big bed and because I am a paranoid mom, I surrounded the bed with pillows so he couldn’t fall out. Luke slept in his portable crib (here’s the one we have) and it was no issue. My kids go to bed on the early side, at 7pm, so it was so nice to have them in their separate space. I just closed that door and Adam and I watched the Olympics in bed. It was SO RELAXING. 

The grounds at the resort were beautiful and the boys loved being able to just walk out of our cottage and down the little garden path to the “cafe” (not really a cafe but Grayson started calling the lodge restaurant a cafe) where we ate breakfasts both days and dinner one night. The food was very good and I was told that all of the vegetables were grown right on site at their organic garden. We don’t usually stay in hotels when we travel so it definitely felt like a real luxury having a complimentary breakfast buffet that we could walk to in the mornings right when the kiddos woke up. I appreciated the fact that breakfast starts at 7:30am. 😉

Adam and I agreed we would definitely stay at Cambria Pines Resort again in a heartbeat if we were visiting the area. We took some time to explore the little town of Cambria, which was adorable and had a few really good restaurants. The town was only a four minute drive from the hotel, and I actually think you COULD walk but we did not. 

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend eating at Robin’s and ordering the green curry! I was so glad that a local family with little kids told us to check this place out. It was our favorite meal of the trip. The green curry was just fantastic and Adam’s pork chop was also very, very memorable. If you’re around, please go there – you won’t regret it! They have a really large back patio that’s perfect for kiddos. Just typing this makes me crave that super spicy curry again…

We stayed in Cambria for two nights and then we packed up and drove to San Luis Obispo for the morning before heading up to Monterey. Neither of us had ever been to “Slo” as they call it, and I had a lot of recommendations from you guys on where to check out! 

We LOVED Scout Coffee and Firestone Grill. If you’re in the area, the tri-tip sandwich must be tried! It was so good. I actually ordered something else but after trying a bite of Adam’s sandwich, made him trade with me. 😉 

Monterey is only about 2.5 hours north of Slo so after stuffing ourselves silly with delicious food, we made our way. We stayed at an absolutely lovely Airbnb right in Pacific Grove that was very walkable to everything. It was advertised as a one bedroom but, again, the kiddos slept in the living room and it was fine. Luke was in his portacrib and this time, Grayson slept on a pull-out couch. My kids always wake up ridiculously early when we travel so there’s that…but they did sleep very well! I’m not going to toot my own horn TOO much…but I will say I have a knack for picking out amazing Airbnbs that are affordable, and this one was awesome! I almost don’t want to let the secret out because I know we will be returning soon!

We took the kids to the big aquarium on Monday morning and then headed home! My goal was for Luke to nap in the car but yeah…it didn’t really work that way. Oh well! We still had an amazing time. Grayson went back to school this morning after having last week off and when I asked him what the most memorable part of his trip was, he said “the apartment!” (the airbnb in pacific grove – LOL). 

And there you have it! I’m sorry this is ridiculously long. If you guys have more questions about our family travel, let me know! I mean, it IS a haul when you travel with two little kids but at the end of the day I always do feel like it’s worth it, you know? The kids had a blast and the change of scenery was good for all of us. Thank you to Cambria Pines Lodge for a very wonderful and memorable weekend – as always, our opinions of this trip and recommendations are completely our own. 



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  • Lisa
    February 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    If your room was free you need to make that clear in your review as this is a violation of the FTC if not explicitly stated.

    • Shelly
      March 14, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      So aggressive. I’m sure she will fix it if she left that out in error. She’s only been blogging for how long now???? Geez…..

  • Our Central Coast Road Trip with the Kids – Gym Buddies
    February 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    […] post Our Central Coast Road Trip with the Kids appeared first on Eat, Live, […]

  • Kelli H
    February 26, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    We’re traveling to Truckee this week with our 5 month old. It’s our first family vacation and I’m nervous but we’re going to leave at her bed time and hopefully get there before her dream-feed. This gives me hope it’ll all be worth it! Looks like you had a wonderful long weekend. That apt does look nice!

  • India
    February 26, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    I love the central coast! Love it so much. How fun you got to go with the family. SLO is wonderful (I went to Cal Poly) and walking into Scout makes me feel so happy. Thanks for sharing.

  • Erin
    February 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    So did Cambria Lodge pay for you to stay there for this review?

  • Rachel
    February 28, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Sounds like a perfect family trip! Wish you could have stayed longer in SLO— it’s my retirement dream. The Thursday night farmers market cannot be beat. Thanks for documenting and sharing with us!!

  • Becky
    March 1, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Kind of crazy but that’s how I found you and started following your page was when you were in that contest. Don’t remember how but here we are 9 years later and 2 babies for you and one for me. Glad to see you so happy.

  • MummyandMonkeys
    March 6, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Gosh it seems it’s only the beginning of the journey, but Grayson is on way to getting all the support he needs! You’re doing so well and raising a handsome little boy ? X

  • amanda
    March 9, 2018 at 9:17 am

    I love cambria! Stumbled upon it many years ago. We usually stay at the sea otter inn, they deliver your breakfast to your room in a basket. Linn’s is also a must stop restaurant there. It looks like Cambria Pines Lodge fixed itself up a bit based on your photos, it always looked deserted when we saw it. Such a beautiful area.

  • Karen @ Keto Karen
    March 16, 2018 at 9:30 am

    My family drove from San Fran to San Diego and back on a Cali road trip when I was a kid, stopping in “Slo” and Monterey on the way. Such fun places!

  • V
    March 28, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I guess you stopped blogging again?

  • Amy
    April 17, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Pretty photos!

  • click here
    August 24, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    nice post

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