Up the Coast

A couple weekends ago we traveled north to California’s central coast area. It was a last-minute trip, but I’m glad we did it because it turned into a nice way to celebrate our anniversary. On Saturday we drove up to Half Moon Bay from Santa Cruz, making stops whenever we felt like it. Our first was, of course, a coffeehouse because it is always our mission to find the best iced mochas wherever we are. Caffe Pergolesi was cool because it was an old Victorian house, and it was packed with people hanging out in every room. The vibe was very Santa Cruz.

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Driving up the coast at this time of day was so beautiful because the sun was starting to set. I snapped a photo of this lighthouse, which is a hostel, and the rocky shores before heading to dinner.

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Finally we got to the place we’d talked about since planning this trip: Miramar Beach Restaurant. We first ate there a couple years ago and were blown away by the clam chowder. Do you ever consume something, rave about it forever and then fear you actually built it up way too much and it won’t be as good the next time you have it? That was us with their clam chowder–and  we were thankfully just as satisfied our second time having it. We sat in the outdoor area right next to the water with lights and fire pits that multiple parties can gather around. I have a theory that people who live by coasts are the friendliest, and that night was no exception with the people we were around. It was also nice to get some “congratulations” for our first anniversary and hear stories of others’ marriages (one going strong after 49 years!).

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The next day my husband went scuba diving and I walked around Monterey’s Cannery Row. I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was a real treat. I spent about half my time staring at the sea otters (I caught them as they were playing with each other), and the other half being mesmerized by the jellyfish.

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If you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend it. The location itself serves as a gorgeous backdrop, and they definitely let guests enjoy it with the windows and viewing areas. I hope we get another weekend like that again soon!

 

Pumpkin Season

On Saturday, my husband and I took my godson and his little brother to Tanaka Farms in Irvine. It was mine and the boys’ first time there, and it was so much fun! First of all, the place itself is beautiful. Maybe it was the time of day or the rows and rows of pumpkins, but the light and colors all came together for a really lovely afternoon.

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Weekend Getaway to Big Bear

Last weekend my husband and I celebrated our birthdays by going to Big Bear–a place I’d remarkably never been to, despite how close it is to us. It was exactly what we needed, and a great way to escape the triple-degree temps at home. And, I’m already planning the rustic chic decor in our imaginary lake house.

Big Bear was in full fall mode. The local shops had a seasonal contest going on, so we walked by several adorable displays that made us feel like it was autumn (something we don’t get the pleasure of doing every year in Southern California). We meandered through the streets on the way to the lake, stopping to admire the occasional tree with leaves that had actually changed colors. Oh, and the high altitude made us out of breath, so at least we felt like we were getting a good workout in.

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Lovely Blooms

My husband and I went took a day trip to Carlsbad to see the famous flower fields. With all the vivacious colors, it’s impossible to be there without feeling cheery and in awe of the beautiful, abundant blooms. When we stood at the top of the hill, we could even see the entire field, plus the ocean in the distance. I think I stopped every five steps to snap a photo. Can you blame me? The day was topped of with some delicious BBQ for lunch and some serious deals scored at the outlet shopping center nearby. Spring is officially here!DSC_0105 DSC_0108 DSC_0111 DSC_0119 DSC_0124 DSC_0130 DSC_0137 DSC_0170

New Orleans

Last week I took a business trip to New Orleans. I’d been there before, and the thing I was looking forward to the most was definitely the food. I remember even the street hot dogs tasting like heaven, so the thought of trying out some new restaurants was pretty exciting. Here are some of the dishes I ate and places I visited:

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I liked Port of Call because it was away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, and it looked like a place locals frequented for burgers.

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