Labor Day Weekend in San Diego

I have to preface this post by telling you I am a Serial Vacation Overplanner.  It all happens very fast.  One moment, I am dreaming of all the fun we’ll have and the next, I am picking the exact restaurant we’ll go to after checking into our Airbnb at an exact time and scrutinizing the menu to pick the exact meal I’ll eat.  Before I know it, my brain has wrapped itself around this plan so tight and any delineation from that plan sends me into a complete tail spin.  It ain’t pretty.  And it’s also a lot of work making and sticking to this plan, so often times vacations can leave me feeling more exhausted than refreshed.

When we started dreaming up this vacation, I decided I wasn’t doing any of that planning.  The thought of waking up in the morning and just then deciding what we’d do that day sounded thrilling.  So that’s what we did!  We had a few things decided — Rockies game, meeting up with Fletcher and Josh, maaaaybe driving to Disneyland — but that was it and now that I’m on the other side of that more-spontaneous-than-usual vacation, I feel GREAT.

Ran into Food Network Star alum Matthew Grunwald not once, not twice but THREE times, including once at Whole Foods after we grabbed lunchtime tacos at Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill.  He was incredibly nice and those tacos were incredibly good.  Posted up at the beach while we waited to be able to check into our Ocean Beach Airbnb.

Got checked in and semi-unpacked before walking just a couple of blocks up to the Ocean Beach Farmers’ Market which was HOPPIN’ and even though we bought the prettiest bouquet from the friendliest vendor and the teensy squash were too cute for words, it was all a little much for me.

My girl Jessie lived in SD for four years so she hit us with her best food/coffee recommendations and we picked One Door North for dinner.  It is totally decked out in camping/adventuring/outdoorsy stuff — think tents, lanterns, wooden tables and antler chandeliers — and we couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t busy inside.  What a VIBE.

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Woke up the next morning and had toast and coffee before hitting the road for Disneyland!  Because the first thing you do when you get to San Diego is drive two hours to Anaheim, right??  We debated going for many months then rented that car the night before we left and I don’t regret it for a single second because we had the best time!  Joey does not even love rides but he rode them all for me and Disneyland has not lost a single bit of magic since the first time I went as a kid.

Slept in the next day and did some casual beach strolling and deck reading before grabbing lunch at Wonderland Ocean Pub, which was just at the end of our street.  It had an upper deck with giant windows opening out to the beach and probably a spectacular sunset view, but we got a good view of a homeless man dancing in the grass instead 🙂

Met Fletcher and Josh and Josh’s sister Mia and her fiancé James at the Del Mar racetrack for a thrilling afternoon of horse betting, or just losing all our money.  I did learn some betting lingo though.  Headed back to Encinitas (where Fletcher grew up) for burritos at Rico’s Taco Shop.  I ordered a HEFTY “Justin Burrito” that I sadly did not even come close to finishing, followed by an epic game of Jenga at Beachside Bar & Grill.

Saturday morning, we took those public scooters (so fast, but so fun!) up to Sunset Cliffs for a run overlooking the ocean.  Not our fastest but the view was lovely.  Afterward, we headed to Better Buzz and abuzz it was!  Took so so long to get Joey’s iced coffee (a drink that requires very little work) and it was far too loud in there but this avocado toast was divine.

Took the trolley downtown for the game that night but stopped first at Duck Foot Brewing where we attempted to order off their Grand Opening menu before learning they were only serving a portion of it??  Still makes no sense to me.  Then secondly to Harvest by The Patio, which was so-so, but after Joey ate those wings, I proceeded to eat all the fried bits and herbs that had fallen off and that turned out to be a very good decision.  All smiles at the game because we had front row seats, Charlie Blackmon threw Joey a ball and WE WON!

Sunday was my favorite day!  We woke up and scootered over to Jake & Eggs, which was the cutest breakfast pop-up with the biggest mugs of coffee and then we found a rental place in Mission Beach so we could get chairs, an umbrella and boogie board for Joey.  Spent a few hours at the beach before walking over to O.B. Smoothie Bar & Subs and grabbing lunch to go, then read on the deck for the rest of the afternoon.  Cleaned ourselves up and made our way to Belmont Park to see the sunset and experience sensory overload in the arcade before a late dinner at BO-beau kitchen + bar.  It was all the very best ♥

On our very last day, we finally had açai bowls a couple blocks over at The Lazy Hummingbird and look, I’m all for eating it, but can we stop pretending a smoothie topped with granola and more peanut butter than even I can condone is healthy?  Anyway, after we packed up and checked out, we drove over to Coronado Island.  The beach looked nice, the Hotel del Coronado was cool to see and the houses there are BREATHTAKING but there’s only so many shops you can walk into before all the stationary, candles and beach decor start to blur together.  One last meal at Liberty Public Market and even though it was crowded and loud, I LOVED it there!  Specifically the Mess Hall, where you could get different size pours of beers on tap.  Sitting outside with a lobster roll, fries and a brut IPA, I felt like my happiest self.

And thus ended a most perfectly spontaneous or spontaneously perfect vacation to San Diego.

The 3rd of July

Right now, my brain is a jumble of thoughts like, “wait, what day is it??”  “Which member of the family has a teeth cleaning today??”  “Will I have this headache forever??”  “Were the past three days real or just a perfect dream??”  We spent two days in a tiny house village and it was the most entertaining!  Bobby and Becca got married and the wedding was SO perfect!   The 4th of July was low key, with spur of the moment dessert plans and our dog didn’t give a $&!% about firework noises.  So despite how discombobulated I feel, everything is actually very fine and good.

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The wedding was in Lyons, so Joey and I decided to make a mini-vacation of it and spend a few nights up there.  We headed up Monday night, where we proceeded to check into our tiny house and were SO delighted by it!  I think we’d been there all of two minutes when I proclaimed “I live here now!”  In all seriousness, staying here was the most fun… but only for two nights 😛

Afterwards, we walked to dinner.  We had our hearts SET on this taqueria for WEEKS but found out that morning that it’s closed on Mondays!  WHY?!  But it was okay because Oskar Blues was our back up and despite it’s mediocre star rating on Yelp, it was actually really great.  I loved my beer and the fish tacos were perfectly fried and had an amazing buttermilk sauce.  Only acted slightly like children when we got back to our tiny house but to be fair, any space with a ladder, is a space not to take yourself too seriously in.

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Saturday morning, we walked over to The Stone Cup and had an impressive-for-a-coffee-shop breakfast of Huevos Rancheros x2 then did a little bit of exploring at the LaVern M. Johnson Park.  That water was FRIGID, but it was very hot outside and we could not bear the thought of walking all the way back to our village so we forded the river, like the true adventurers we are.  We also walked into town so Joey could eat a triple scoop of ice cream (“you only let me have three scoops yesterday!” is a real thing he said to me the next day…) but mostly the day was really low-key and I even finished Order of the Phoenix and moved onto Half-Blood Prince!

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The wedding started at 4 PM and what can I say except that it was PERFECT ♥  So well organized, so pretty (The Lyons Farmette is just lovely!) and just so full of love.  Not to be too sappy, but witnessing this couple’s love for each other and all their family and friends’ love for them was truly incredible.  I felt so honored to be a part of it and just so happy for the two of them.  Also drank approximately 50 glasses of wine, danced to Backstreet Boys, petted an alpaca and just had thee most fun.

Also, Marriage Advice: Find someone who wants to act a fool on the dance floor as much as you do!

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Honestly, this 4th of July felt so weird!  Everyone on was out celebrating and I just felt like “but the big celebration was yesterday!”  Our 4th of July felt like a haphazardly thrown together afterthought, but that being said, it was actually really great.  A couple of weeks ago I was considering prepping some ribs ahead of time so we could grill but then Joey told me he’d round up a few meal options and we could just decide day-of what we felt like.  HE’S A GODSEND.

We ended up feeling like pizza so, after picking up breakfast burritos for the road, retrieving Andi from my parents, inspecting our garden (snap peas looking good!) and resting for a bit, we headed to Whole Foods for pizza ingredients and made the spontaneous decision to try no-churn ice cream for dessert.  It all turned out even better than expected!  We did one red sauce/mozzarella/roasted garlic/black olive/basil pizza and one olive oil/mozzarella/fig/goat cheese/arugula/walnut pizza (+ shishitos grilled to perfection) and I loved both so much.  Plus, the ice cream turned out SO GOOD.  It was MEGA-CREAMY and we threw some peppermint extract (1 teaspoon) and mini chocolate chips in.  This feels life-changing!  Also, our neighbors set off fireworks late into the night but Andi didn’t even lift his head at any of them.  THANK GOD.

I hope you all had the best 4th of July but for me, it was all about the 3rd 🙂