Labor Day Weekend 2019 ♥

Can all weekends be three days, please?  I felt like I had enough time to do every thing I wanted, everything I needed, plus extra time leftover to semi-nap on our deck sofa, see a 3 hour movie and like every Telluride Film Fest-related tweet 😛

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Wow, Friday feels SO LONG AGO.  I’d really been wanting to see Where’d You Go, Bernadette since I just read (and loved) the book, but it felt like I kept putting it off, for reasons that are probably Rotten Tomato score-related but also because it kept showing at either 6 PM (so early!) or 9 PM (so late!).  Can’t a girl get a 7:45 PM movie??  Anyway, after Joey told me to stop acting like I’m too old to go to a 9 PM movie, I acquiesced.  Look, the book is obviously better and there were major changes made (especially toward the end) that I felt significantly lessened the impact of the plot, but I still liked it!  Joey and I laughed a lot over the really badly edited photos of younger Bernadette and her husband.  Was it supposed to look so bad and fake??

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Woke up Saturday and made us some banana bread buckwheat pancakes because, as Joey put it, “WE OWN EVERY FLOUR!” and buckwheat was one of them.  Turns out buckwheat not only looks like sand, but tastes like it?  No thank you!  Afterward, we hit the farmers’ market and two different grocery stores!!!  I was very proud of our stamina.  We were hosting a family BBQ on Sunday and weeks ago, when we planned the menu, I was elated over the prospect of buying fresh produce at the farmers’ market.  It was just as exciting as I thought it’d be 🙂

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We spent the rest of the day cleaning the house, which is not exciting, then cleaned ourselves up and headed out for dinner/Rockies, which was exciting (until the game sucked).  We’re nearing the end of Rockies season, so I’m running out of time to try all the Biker Jim’s dogs, eek!  Joey and I traded halves so I could knock out two — Elk Jalapeno Cheddar and Rattlesnake & Pheasant — and both were great.  I fear I’m going to get to the end of this experiment and tell you what you already know — Elk Jalapeno Cheddar with classic topping is the best.

It was a perfect night at Coors Field weather/sunset-wise, but woof, that game!  We left early to go grab ice cream at Smith + Canon, only to find they had sold out and closed early, noooo!  Luckily, Ice Cream Riot is just down the street and though not quite Smith + Canon level, still very very good!

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I remarked on Saturday that I couldn’t remember the last time we’d gone on a weekend run, so we woke up and did just that on Sunday.  My left quad is SO SORE and I have zero clue why, so we maybe walked a little, but “that’s what weekend runs are for” Joey says.  After cooling down for a bit and eating breakfast, we jumped right into BBQ prep.  Joey was outside cleaning up the front and back yard and I was in the kitchen whipping up potato salad and squash and corn salad, then prepping a tomato salad and burgers.  Go figure, I only got a picture of one of those dishes, but that tomato salad sure looks pretty!  Also, while I cooked, I had Titanic on and I’m never not blown away by that film!

This whole BBQ was supposed to function as a “Garage and Deck Christening,” thought up by Joey’s grandma, who wasn’t feeling well and ended up missing the whole thing, bummer!!!  But Joey, my parents, my sister, Wayne, Lori, Adam, Joey’s grandpa, Jory, Betsy, Lorenzo, and Ellie were all there and my heart was so full.  Lori got us the sweetest sign for our deck ♥  I asked my mom to bring a dessert, so naturally, she brought two.  I maybe loaded my plate with peach cobbler (MY FAVORITE!!!) and vanilla ice cream, plus almond cake with whipped cream and strawberries and my mom saw and said “I’m so proud of you!” HA!  Half the party went home around 8, but those that were left, watched A Goofy Movie on the deck and it was the best ending to the best day ♥

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How great it is to host a Sunday BBQ, then get a day of recovery afterward??  Amazing!  We slept in till 8 (when did 8 become sleeping in??), then took ourselves to Weathervane for giant coffees and breakfast on the teensy front patio.  We wrapped our heads around September — we leave for Italy in one month and I do not feel ready, but we’ll get there… I think! — then headed to my parents’ to pick up our pup, who was not invited to the BBQ and it was so good to have him back… and then to leave him at home while we headed to Golden.  A day off, with nothing to do, felt like the right time to visit a brewery and I’d heard good things about New Terrain.  It wasn’t so busy when we first got there, but when we left a couple hours later, it was PACKED.  My Golden Haze was so so good and I only had a headache for a day and half afterward!  (Why???)  Also, what a view!

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It was an actual 100° degrees outside, so we were looking for something cool and dark to do afterward and a movie sounded like just the ticket!  I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but we have the Alamo movie pass, so we pay a monthly fee and then we can see as many movies as we want!  The only thing A) we wanted to see and B) was showing at the right time happened to be Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, which yes, we’ve already seen but it was “free” and can I please endorse the concept of the re-watch?  You catch so much more on a second viewing.  We still really really loved it, but found extra lines to laugh at and maybe clutched each others’ arms when we saw Leo get out of the pool and head to the tool shed.  Also, shout out to Zoë Bell, whose brief but brilliant scene is just so good!

Back at home, we relaxed on the deck, walked the pup, ate BBQ leftovers (from now until forever), dreamt of not drinking beer or overeating and crashed into bed.  I loved every single second of this Labor Day Weekend and fear the post-holiday weekend blues that are sure to follow, but I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.  I hope yours was just as good!

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.