You have to rally when it is a good friend’s 40th birthday. I almost didn’t. I was feeling overwhelmed with work and family obligations, but I knew it would do me good to get away.

My friend’s birthday fell on Inauguration Day so she really wanted to celebrate this year for many reasons. The weather was so glorious and we were headed to this resort called Seascape in Aptos, California. Just a few minutes south of Santa Cruz, this lovely spot is a great respite from the frantic city life I call my existence.

Five moms were headed to this condo to celebrate our good friend’s momentous birthday. The trip started out like some AbFab meets Sex in the City moment with three of us in a Volvo in heels, driving down Highway 1 at 10 p.m. It was pitch black and we were jabbering away about the economy when I thought I heard a plane crashing (the USAIR flight crash landing on the Hudson River fresh in my mind). Turns out, the front tire blew. It was terrifying….

I won’t go into the sitcom-esque story but suffice to say after our husbands insisted we could change it in the pitch black with no flashlight;  we decided it was not going to happen since none of us felt confident in our tire changing skills. Ultimately, a very cute tow truck driver came to our rescue (cue the laugh track).

With the trip off to an ominous start, we arrived at the condo and drank heavily, cherishing the moments without the kids, who were due to arrive with the husbands the next day. I retired early, sure that I wanted to enjoy the glorious surroundings in the morning more than partying. I awoke to brilliant sunshine and the pools and Jacuzzis beckoned.

After scones, yogurt and fruit I rallied the troops and we took a walk on the grounds. One of the big things, that the kids loved once they arrived, golf carts scoot around the property and take you anywhere you want to go. The drivers are very friendly and helpful. We decided to hoof it and work off our hangovers and breakfast before a yoga practice overlooking the surf. The setting couldn’t have been better, the sun warming our souls and shoulders. I had to keep reminding myself that it was January and most of the country in a deep freeze.

The children arrived and the mood changed; they frolicked in the pools and had a great time. That night all the adults went out to eat in Santa Cruz and the birthday girls’ husband had arranged for two babysitters in a separate condo. After margaritas, champagne, cake and beer in the decorated condo we all played a rousing game of Taboo — hampered a bit by mixing tequila and champagne.

The next day the beach was on the agenda. The weather was almost warm enough to body surf but we opted for sand castle building and magazine reading on one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to in Northern California. There were fire pits and we noted that one could even request equipment for marshmallow roasting to be delivered by golf cart, something my kids thought sounded simply magical. The price tag was more than $50! Not in my budget.

The condo was very comfortable and we were lucky, one of our party’s parents owned it and let us use it for free. Normally prices run between $300 and $700 depending on size and season. It is not cheap and I found mixed reviews on tripadvisor, which surprised me. We brought our own food but there is a restaurant with a great view on the premises.

This is not the sort of getaway I take often, but one I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. I would recommend it for a splurge and a taste of the good life in California. The site couldn’t be more stellar, made picture perfect by the weather and company. I definitely felt rejuvenated.

Filed Under Adventure Travel, Books, California, Cruises, Family Travel, Feature, Northern California, Santa Cruz, South America, Spa/ Resort, United States, Yoga


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