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.

img_6043-1

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.

Memory-a-Day in August

Wednesday, August 1st: Listening to Amos Lee live in KBCO Studio C and wondering how he always sounds so good.

Thursday, August 2nd: Hooking a piece of rigatoni with my fork as I sat outside, eating dinner with my sister and Joey.

Friday, August 3rd: Waking up and reading on the couch for 10 minutes instead of just jumping right into the shower.

Saturday, August 4th: Giving a negative assessment of everything we’d ordered for lunch before I’d even tasted any of it, then being so so wrong about it all.

Sunday, August 5th: Feeling like the morning had been so long in a truly good and productive but not rushed way.

Monday, August 6th: Eating breakfast alone on our porch swing, putting my phone down, and realizing how quiet and calm it felt.

Tuesday, August 7th: Looking up at the scoreboard during a Rockies game I was barely paying attention to to find we were losing 10-0!

Wednesday, August 8th: Sipping an iced latte that tasted like Cheerio milk, in a very good way.

Thursday, August 9th: Realizing I’d left my phone on the kitchen counter and admittedly feeling slightly panicky about it.

Friday, August 10th: Feeling extremely bored as one of three people in the office on a Friday.

Saturday, August 11th: Giving my mama a real big hug before leaving her office.

Sunday, August 12th: Doing okay keeping score for Joey while he grabbed something to eat at the Rockies game.  “It’s a K or a backwards K, but which is which??”

Monday, August 13th: Sharing a spoon with Joey because he dropped his on the Colfax sidewalk after we got ice cream.

Tuesday, August 14th: Groaning when I realized I was still 150 pages away from a book that just wasn’t doing it for me.

Wednesday, August 15th: Feeling the urge to tear out a lot of things in our garden, but settling for just trashing our mostly dead snap peas.

Thursday, August 16th: Reading an article about the new Alon Shaya restaurant opening in Denver and how it’s 70% female-staffed!

Friday, August 17th: Listening to Queen Aretha in my office.

Saturday, August 18th: Freeing a bee from our pre-packaged container of baby spinach.

Sunday, August 19th: Walking up to Civic Center Park and feeling so happy to be spending a Sunday afternoon with Joey.

Monday, August 20th: Burning my tongue on some piping hot coffee.

Tuesday, August 21st: Feeling so so indecisive about whether to have leftovers or curry takeout for dinner.

Wednesday, August 22nd: Taking off my shoe to shoo away a bee while I ate dinner by myself in the backyard.

Thursday, August 23rd: Being shocked that I ran an 8:47 third mile despite how tired and slow I felt.

Friday, August 24th: Leaving my notebook at the office for the weekend and thinking it might be okay to live without a list for once.

Saturday, August 25th: Feeling that buzz of excitement as we sat in a movie theater and saw previews for things coming out this fall/winter.

Sunday, August 26th: Having the energy/motivation/time to clean a few places in our house and feeling really happy about it.

Monday, August 27th: Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing I’d slept in my contacts!

Tuesday, August 28th: Feeling sad that no one else in my book club loved the book as much as I did.

Wednesday, August 29th: Feeling that genuine buzz of excitement about going on vacation.

Thursday, August 30th: Holding tight to Joey’s arm as we got on our first ride of the day at Disneyland!

Friday, August 31st: Watching, with terror, as a giant beetle repeatedly tried to fly into the restaurant we were having lunch in.