Over this past Labor Day weekend, the three of us were on our own, and we decided to take a quick trip (especially since our jaunt to Santa Barbara was such a great time).  Los Angeles is quite central to many wonderful spots, but we figured we didn't want to go too far, and it had been a little too long since we had been to the place that we used to call home.  Malibu is a 30-minute, incredibly scenic drive north of us.  We called the executive hotel at the business school at Pepperdine, where our families often stayed when we lived on campus for those three years, and grabbed a room (we get the alumni discount which makes it very reasonable).  As soon as we arrived to that cool, ocean air, James and I enjoyed a bit of hotel room fun, jumping on the bed, running to see the ocean view.  In a certain way, it felt just like home again.

We took it pretty easy that night, enjoying many of the same outings that we had loved for so many years.  We love the Malibu Country Mart, just down the hill from Pepperdine, and we grabbed some yummy dinner to go back to the room from our favorites, including Cafe Habana roasted corn (strangely delish -- you must try it), Taverna Tony's Greek sampler platter, and some sweet desserts from K Chocolatier and Crumbs Bake Shop.

We tried to find the most family-friendly movie available, but "Indiana Jones" seemed a bit much for James (hence the hiding under the covers and pillow).  Though we only had one big family bed to share (fun for a little while, then James starts with the sideways sleeping and kicking faces), we got creative and made a little baby bed that worked just perfectly!

The next morning was spent eating at our favorite breakfast spot and frolicking on our favorite beach.  After such a wonderful, though short time, doing a few, simple things around Malibu, I wondered, did we really take advantage of the years when we actually lived here?  Did we live life to the fullest then, now that life has brought us to such a different place?  As we drove off with Malibu in our rear view mirror, heading back to the new place we call home, I felt a sense of peace, not regret.  Though Malibu is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever seen, and it's still hard to believe that we shared our first 3 years of married life there, I can look back on that place with fond remembrance, not deep loss, because I know that fabulous chapter in our lives was part of the story that brought us to where we are today.  And I loved where we were then, but I love where we are now even more.