My husband recently attended a long-weekender Nike Tennis Camp up in Malibu and it was our bright idea to join him up there while he did so. We decided to splurge on a nice hotel for the experience, and the kids really had a blast enjoying the things SoCal is so notorious for: swimming pools, gardens, and a new swath of ocean!
We drove up the coast on a Friday morning and checked into the Four Seasons Westlake - it was a 20-minute or so drive to the Nike Tennis Camp he would be attending on the campus of Pepperdine University.
The kids had a blast roaming their gardens and playing putt-putt golf.
Another plus for families: the game room.
Perhaps the best amenity of all was their spectacular indoor family pool, which came complete with toys.
How many hours can kids swim? A LOT.
There was an adults-only pool upstairs that was pretty happening, but the closest I could get to that experience was ordering a pina colada by the family pool. Not bad, all in all.
The Nike Tennis Camp delivered all that was promised and then some. These coaches provided amazing specialized training and intensive personal workouts.
... all on the beautiful campus of Pepperdine University.
And while he was playing tennis, I decided to take the kids on a very uniquely Malibu mini-adventure.
We hiked along Zuma Beach.
The waves were so intense that we witnessed some local divers getting assistance from a lifeguard near the cliffs.
We were also awed by the rock-climbing up the sheer cliffside.
My middle girl brought her Barbies and asked if we could see "the real Barbie's house in Malibu." I told her she could bring a couple of Barbies to the beach in Malibu instead!
The real Malibu Barbies?
They then enjoyed the beach for hours...
I took the opportunity to try to snap a few portraits.
We found some good fish-and-chips fare.
Then it was off to our next outing, which was their favorite! Trying SUP with Malibu Surf Shack.
Now I've done SUP before and loved it, but I'd only done it in the calm waters of Mission Bay in San Diego and was a bit nervous about teaching the kids with only my two hands and the choppy, open water of the Pacific Ocean. Thankfully the Surf Shack and our very entertaining and strong instructor Troy (seen here allowing our youngest daughter to take a selfie on his phone in the sea) was there to help.
Our little son got right up and paddled around.
Check out a shaky little video of the experience here:
Back at the Shack, everyone fell in love with the canine ewok better known in the Surf Shack as "Bosco."
That night we explored the library at the Four Seasons. Sadly, the kids found a book of baby portraits and proceeded to laugh their heads off at the naked babies. Luckily we had the library to ourselves for that.
The paddle-boarding was such a hit that we went again the next day, this time just me on my own with the kids, taking my youngest daughter on my board and letting the other two ride their own along side me. No pics of that trip because I thought my GoPro housing was leaking... but suffice it to say that they adored it even more!
Next we briefly hit the hot foodie joint on Malibu Pier known as Malibu Farm.
Because they are so very organic/fresh/local, they were actually out of the first couple of things I asked for: a smoothie, oysters on the half shell, and an oyster shooter. No matter! I still got a Bloody Mary.
We got enough of a taste of Malibu to know that it's worth the drive up the coast to visit this sweet little beach town, so we'll be back again!
~ Aloha Malibu ~