Saddle up your cowboy boots & hats because Marina del Rey is going country thanks to a series of concerts organized by Hornblower Cruises & Go Country 105 FM! This exclusive new country lover’s cruise is two hours & features live performances by Country Showdown finalists along with raffle prizes, cash bar, food for purchase and Go Country’s 105’s on air personalities Christine Martindale, Debra Mark & Paul Freeman! Yee-haw!

Our office had the chance to hop on-board last week & what an absolute blast it was! Country fans came ready to dance & twirled one another on the dance floor while seated fans swooned to the music with cocktails & champagne in hand. The band – D.L Marble – was awesome (think country mixed with soul). We were also impressed with the sound quality of the concert. Music poured through the loud speakers & filled the yacht with sweet tunes making for a relaxed (and dare I say romantic?) vibe.

D.L Marble takes the stage

D.L Marble takes the stage

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Serenading the crowd

Hornblower Cruises, Go Country & Marina del Rey CVB enjoy the concert with our mascots, Marty & Swinton!

Hornblower Cruises, Go Country & Marina del Rey CVB enjoy the concert with our mascots, Marty & Swinton!

The cruise runs for another 3 weeks with upcoming concerts by:

  • Sheyna Gee (August 27)
  • J’Rose (September 3)
  • Honey County (September 10)

Ready to join the fun? Here are the details. Tickets are $35 per person (tax, service charge & landing fee additional). The cruise boards in Fisherman’s Village (13755 Fiji Way) at 6:30 pm, with a departure time of 7 pm & returns at 9 pm. Special group rates available for parties of 20 or more.

As if you need another reason to hop on, how about for our Marina sunsets? Simply can’t be beat.

Sunset view from the yacht

Sunset view from the yacht

See you on the dance floor!

Marina love,
Valerie

Pizza. It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch & dinner. And when our office hits our regularly scheduled (i.e. daily) pizza craving, we’ve got one number on speed dial, Pizzarito, N.Y Pizza by the Slice.

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Enter cheesy goodness

Pizzarito is located in the Marina Marketplace  (nestled between Pavilions & CVS) & truly delivers on quality pizza. No muss, no fuss. Just good, solid (and did we mention delicious?) portions of a true favorite. You can get your pizza filled with meat, veggie friendly or with loads of toppings! They sell by the slice & offer other items like sandwiches, garlic knots & salads (word on the street is they make their own ranch dressing in-house). I also swoon over the homemade marinara sauce (perfect for the garlic knots, btw).

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Pizza for days

 

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Oh so good garlic rolls

The restaurant also has a casual feel to it. Guests enjoy the indoor area, but also opt for delivery to devour the goodness behind closed doors (we’re completely guilty of the later).

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Interior

TIP: Pizzarito is cash only so be sure to have enough bills to cover your appetite ;)

Marina love,

Valerie

Nothing says 4th of July like a spectacular fireworks display & what better way to celebrate than with a front row seat to one of the biggest shows in town?! This year, we let freedom ring on Hornblower’s ”Fireworks Observation Cruise” which included a boarding glass of champagne, tray passed hors d’oeuvres, a two-hour cruise through the Marina harbor & an adoring audience who ooohed & ahhhed with each sparkle that lit up the sky.  Oh, what a night.

Fireworks!

Fireworks!

Best seats in the house!

Best seats in the house!

Enjoying the show!

Enjoying the show!

Needless to say, Hornblower provided the ULTIMATE in viewing locations & for that we had an absolute BLAST (cheesy pun gleefully intended).

But don’t just limit the fun to America’s birthday. Hornblower offers public excursions weekly. Looking for a new happy hour spot? Try its sunset cocktail cruise that departs every Wednesday (summers only). Want a boozy brunch on the water? Check out its weekend brunch cruise that not only serves endless champagne, but boasts a bountiful buffet – dessert, included.  Or how about a night of dinner & dancing? Yup. They’ve got that, too, every Friday & Saturday with live entertainment.

Thank you Hornblower Cruises for celebrating America’s birthday in style! Wouldn’t expect anything less ;)

Marina love,

Valerie

All aboard the FREE summer beach shuttle!

All aboard the FREE summer beach shuttle!

If Memorial Day is known as the unofficial kick-off to the summer, why not head to the beach in celebration?! Thanks to the FREE summer beach shuttle you can – in a no muss, no fuss kind of way (with the exception of a little sand in your beach bag).

The beach shuttle service begins Friday, May 22 & ends Sunday, September 27 which just about covers your summer needs. Visitors & locals can hop on at any of the shuttle’s nine drop-off/pick-up locations throughout the Marina & Playa Vista, including Fisherman’s Village, Burton Chace Park, Marina (Mother’s) Beach & the Venice Beach Pier. The shuttle will also provide service to the FREE summer concerts in both Marina del Rey & Playa Vista. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?! ;)

For shuttle schedule, route & other info, click here.

So where will the beach shuttle take YOU this summer?

Marina love,

Valerie

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Entrance to Spa del Rey

Tucked away in the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, is Spa del Rey – a coastal escape for those wishing to retreat from the hustle & bustle of the ever-so-busy Los Angeles. With eight treatment rooms and a dedicated nail salon, Spa del Rey is intimate yet sophisticated and offers specialty massage treatments, body scrubs, facials, mani/pedis – all of which are the perfect recipe for showing your body a little pampering. After all, muscles need love, too.

On a recent visit, I received a 60-minute signature Spa del Rey massage. My masseuse was Ann Marie, and, boy, did she get the kinks out! She was patient, thorough and a total professional. She worked hard on certain areas and took notice a couple of injuries I had. She was also an absolute delight – wonderful energy and super friendly. I felt 100% at ease with her and was very confident in her ability.

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Treatment room

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Beautiful pedicure station

 One of the nice things I like about the spa is the setting. The dim lights,candles and special scents that are spritzed throughout, however, my favorite feature of the spa is the eucalyptus steam room. The second you enter this little slice of spa heaven, you are hit with the most intoxicating scent of eucalyptus. And it IS INCREDIBLE. Reinvigorating. Cleansing. The ultimate cherry-on-top for pure R&R bliss. It only takes a few seconds before realizing it’s also the perfect treat for your skin – I know I felt my pores doing the happy dance.   After twenty minutes or so (I would’ve stayed longer if I had the time), I emerged feeling like a whole new person. My face was radiant with that post steam-room glow, and I felt so fresh and so clean. That amenity alone is more than enough for me to happily return.

Relaxing lighting in the Spa del Rey lounge

Relaxing lighting in the Spa del Rey lounge

Some perks for visiting Spa del Rey include access to the Ritz-Carlton’s amazing pool (yup, that means lounge chairs and Jacuzzi) and its state of the art gym with yacht-filled views (which is signature Marina del Rey). Guests also receive complimentary valet parking – how easy is that? The space can also be reserved for bridal parties and groups.

After your treatment, lounge poolside at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey

After your treatment, lounge poolside at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey

What also makes Spa del Rey so appealing is that aside from being a top spa on LA’s Westside, it’s also 4 miles from LAX making it the perfect destination where travelers can spend their layover. Have some time to kill before your next flight? Hop in a cab and head straight to the spa for a pLAY-over. In a matter of 20 minutes, you can be wrapped in a plush robe, sipping on cucumber water as you make your way to your treatment room. Your body will thank you when you’re 30,000 feet in the air.

The spa also offers amazing deals so be sure to follow them on Facebook or sign up for their newsletter to keep up with its latest specials. You won’t regret it (I can smell the eucalyptus as I type).

Marina love,

Valerie