Call it a weekend getaway or a stay-cation, but shortly after my arrival at Terranea Resort, I knew my weekend stay there would feel exactly as advertised – like a land far away that isn’t far at all. The drive to Palos Verdes, approximately 31 miles south of Los Angeles, took an hour — and that was on a Friday afternoon.
For full disclosure, the special weekend was hosted by the resort for media and social media influencers, of which I was humbly one selected to participate. As my co-vixen wasn’t available, I had a friend and honorary vixen join me for what I knew would be a fun and (hopefully) relaxing girlfriend getaway.
I’d heard of Terranea for a couple of years, but had mysteriously never found – or made – the time to go, as it really is so easy to get to. Arriving without expectations, we met the rest of the group that evening for a cocktail reception at which we were given a “passport” of 20 things to do and experience at the resort over the weekend.
At first, it seemed that the passport items were just helpful suggestions. But then it became clearer that this was actually a contest! At the end of the weekend, someone in the group would be named the brand ambassador for the year ahead. (That meant 12 stays over the year and a $1200 resort credit).
While I’m not usually someone who likes going to the same place more than once, I could definitely see that changing with a place like Terranea. The rooms were lovely, the food options were plentiful, the entertainment and activities were right up my alley, and the views were quintessentially “SoCal” at its finest. I actually think there’s something quite nice about people knowing your name and being a “regular,” so why not start that tradition now? I was in.
My competitive spirit kicked in and it was game on. I was determined to complete each and every activity in the passport with exception to one — it had something to do with USC, and as a UCLA alum, I just can’t – won’t – have anything to do with red and gold. Sorry, Trojans. Once a Bruin, always a Bruin.
For anyone following me on social media during that weekend, you know what happened next.
At every second of every day. No kidding. At one point, following a visit to Trump National Golf Course down the coast from the resort, I had to pull over the loaner Lexus (which I borrowed thanks to Terranea’s partnership with the brand), in order to tweet, Facebook, and instagram that moment. Realizing that I had probably posted seven times in just a couple of hours, I said to my friend, “I’m finding MYSELF obnoxious! I’m feeling the unfollows coming.”
You see, making your way through the passport meant completing each suggestion and confirming it by posting on one or all social media platforms. Needless to say, insta- and tweet-bombing became a necessity.
In the end, I didn’t become the brand ambassador – I mean I couldn’t really compete with someone who had gotten married at the resort! Kidding, mostly. Regardless, I had such a beautiful weekend with my friend, and I absolutely loved the resort, the spa, the restaurants, the pools, the views, the gym, the activities, the giant pretzels and fireside S’Mores at Nelson’s… And it was terrific to meet some new bloggers and social media mavens based in SoCal, like Christina Conte of Christina’s Cucina, Kerianne Mellott of e-Harmony, and Dana LaRue (now Park) of Broke Ass Bride. What a great group of people they pulled together for a special weekend. Turned out that the passport was actually a great idea to experience the entire resort and all its offerings!
And surprise, surprise — I look forward to going back if for no other reason than the crispy walnut shrimp at Bashi and the down-low burger at Mar’Sel.
Let me take a moment to tell you about this burger — I’m a burger lover and though I don’t splurge often, I’m serious about my burgers. This burger is seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. In.My.Life. It’s not on the menu, hence the name “down-low” and rumor has it that one of the local farmers the resort sources produce from once requested the chef make a burger — this is what came out — and he’s come back regularly ever since for the same one. Once you try it, you’ll understand why. As I type this, in fact, I’m thinking about how soon I can get back there. It’s that good.
With a SeaBeans latte in hand, we hit the road on Sunday afternoon, getting home in an easy, breezy 40 minutes… But not without stopping for one last photo. We pulled over on Palos Verdes Drive to capture a final picturesque view, and there to our right was an elderly couple, content as could be, walking arm and arm to take in the view.
I put down my phone and put it away for the rest of the weekend in their honor, remembering that the best moments are no less valid if not captured on film – er, iPhone – but are just as memorable or special if simply captured by your heart.
News from the Terranea team: for spontaneous travelers looking for a ‘hot’ offer, this week Terranea launched #TravelTuesday.
The promotion will be ongoing throughout 2015 where each week they will feature a new and exciting resort offer for guests only via social media. Whether it’s a room stay special, dining offer, spa, or golf discount—the only way for guests to know is to follow along on social media. Click here for more info.