Is it crazy that I’m longing for the autumn season already? I was gently reminded of the reasons why I love the season so much: the cool wind blowing throughout the house, cuddling under the covers, thinking about all the different comfort dishes and soups I love to cook, the smell of spice cookies baking in the oven, our annual Starbucks date, spending our Friday nights at son’s football games, the SD Chargers, the fall fashion of boots, jackets and chunky sweaters, and of course being so close to Christmas time. Until then, I will enjoy the last days of summer. Surprisingly, it has been the coolest summer in at least the last 5 years. I think we’ve only turned on our AC 3 times this summer…not bad, and very good for our utility bill. :)
Friday, August 20
Our adventure began. We filled our bellies with a huge breakfast hashbrown burrito from El Patron – none of us was really able to finish the burritos, they were THAT huge – but oh so good. Then we took our time on the road, expecting the LA traffic, but surprisingly made it to our first destination without any delay. We took our kids to the Grammy Museum – a place Hubby and I enjoyed a couple months ago. And as we anticipated, the kids loved it. The Grammy Museum ranks up there on our list of things to do in LA – it’s affordable, not crowded and there is so much to do, see and listen to. Our kids are like us – music-lovers – so it made sense to share this experience with them. My favorite part was singing together in a recording booth – ALL of us. It was both hilarious and memorable. :)
After the Grammy Museum, we decided to take the kids to a late lunch at the place where I first tried Pad Seeyew (and fell in love) – Noodle Planet in Westwood. Then we enjoyed a little afternoon dessert at Diddy Riese, another one of our favorite places!
We checked into our hotel, the Anaheim Hilton. We scored a great deal of $85/night. The hotel was very modern and the room we stayed in was comfortable, although there was no view outside our window or balcony. But it served the purpose so we can’t complain. The kids took a dip in the pool at dusk on Friday, Ella included!
Saturday, August 21
The big part of our day started early in the morning – Breakfast with Minnie and Friends. If you have little ones in the family, and even if you don’t, this breakfast was well-worth your dollars. The food was delicious, characters frolic throughout the restaurant so right away, you get to meet them, and it’s all you can eat! We made reservations weeks in advance and enjoyed a nice, hearty breakfast “Minnie Mouse” style.
Here’s a clip of Ella dancing in the parade – this was absolutely my best memory at Disneyland. I was so happy for her!
We didn’t stay for the fireworks – it was already a very long day but wanted to make sure the kids did some school shopping with their allowance and money they earned from their report cards. Thankfully, the Block at Orange was open until 11pm. They had a blast shopping all night long.
Sunday, August 22
We checked out of the hotel and decided to take the kids to the LA Fashion District to do more school shopping. By Sunday, I was spent! Sadly, it was hot and crowded and I had a grumpy toddler in tow. But the kids found awesome deals and honestly, I’ve never seen them enjoy shopping so much until that weekend. I’m so happy they had a wonderful time and I look forward to our next family vacation together!
We had the best time at my good friend Gary’s 40th birthday celebration at the Ultimate Sky Box which is the 15th floor of the Diamond View Tower. Floor to ceiling windows, amazing views of the Coronado Bridge and PetCo park, and delectable hors de vours and desserts. He had a Signature Drink he named the Garyade, which was very good! He asked all of his guests to wear vibrant colors, so as you can only imagine, it only added to the bright, happy occasion. Hubby and I were so honored to be part of his special day. There were so many touching moments throughout the event – I even had to move to the back of the room to wipe my tears. ;)
Hubby and I were blown away at how awesome the venue was – we’re brainstorming ideas for a future celebration.
With our busy work schedules and growing families, my girlfriends and I have been trying to get together once a month for a Girls’ Night Out/In to unwind, laugh, catch up and enjoy new experiences together. This past weekend, we celebrated my sis-in-law turning twenty-twelve in downtown SD. Although the plans changed slightly and the parking in downtown was limited and challenging, we had a blast!
We tried to go to a new bar in downtown called Analog Bar, but it was closed until 10pm for a private party. So we had to switch gears. We tried to go to another popular/new place called Neighborhood, but an hour wait???? Mmmm…no. So we walked around the corner and ventured into Bar Ninety, another new joint. Perfect name for the “theme” of our GNO. :) All the ladies were asked to bring a wrapped gift reminiscent of the 80s or 90s, and let me tell you – some of these gifts were hilarious! Here are some highlights from our night out.
Although none of us were familiar with Bar Ninety and only chose this place based mostly on convenience and not having to “wait”, the experience had its highs and lows. The highs – the food was delicious and portions were generous, especially the skewers which were $5 for 3 (soy glazed beef skewers were my fave), and happy hour is later than most places (7pm-9pm), the interior was pretty swanky but we couldn’t figure out the theme (medieval maybe?), it wasn’t crowded, we sat on loungey seats reminiscent of a living room as opposed to stiff dining tables. The lows – the service, the speed, the attentiveness…sorry to say, she didn’t get a good tip from us.
So after dinner, we decided to venture out to a dessert place. We packed it in the XB and drove around for a good while until we FINALLY found parking around the corner from the super-cute Caffe Italia in Little Italy. It was perfect – lots of seating (we pretty much had the whole back section to ourselves), great coffee drinks and delicious desserts. By the way, tons of laughter during the hunt for parking – TONS! LOL.
Overall, we had an awesome time – all the little flukes in the plans made for an even better time – I’m still giggling on the inside. Heeheehee. Yay to Girls’ Night Out! Can’t wait for September.
Look what’s new on the Jack in the Box menu and for just a buck – mini funnel cakes! It was delightfully good and is perfectly portioned for one person. You no longer need to wait for the fair to enjoy one of these. :)
I am so proud that we just paid off our Sequoia – woohoo! I’ve been tapping my fingers on the calculator for months and planning for the day we get our third vehicle. With our 17 year old driving, it was time to pass along the Civic to him. That meant that we needed a third vehicle in our family. I had been eyeing the Scion XB for sometime now. I didn’t really dig the older boxier models – but I absolutely fell in love with the curves of the newer models. I didn’t want to go broke over car payments and wanted a vehicle that had enough room for a carseat, groceries, a couple of kids and the Hubby too, so that we could take it on roadtrips while saving on gas! I feel like I am getting so much value for my buck – it was built in Japan, it’s spacious, small like a car but large enough to feel like a mini-SUV, great reviews, and it has a quirky-ness about it that I love. The Yakima roof racks and my new TRD wheels are on order, so soon my new baby will be accessorized with a new hat and new shoes! More pics to come. :)
My Bestie gave birth to beautiful Maya today. I smile with joy thinking about my Bestie’s new life as a Mommy and the joy that little Miss Maya will bring to her life. Congrats R+M and welcome Maya. Love you guys…
Living in sunny San Diego, you become spoiled with perfect weather that if you were to travel anywhere else in the world, all you can think about is the sunshine, warm air and cool breezes of “home”. I thought I’d post some creative ideas that are So-Cal appropriate for a San Diego summer party, courtesy of hostesswiththemostess.com. For more details and ideas,click here.
And why not have an ice cream bar party? That can be any day of the year here in San Diego! Check out the deets here.
Hubby and I are always excited to explore the latest new food/restaurant craze and always strive to plan fresh and fun dates! We decided to check out a new SD restaurant called Analog Bar recommended by my good friend and fellow foodie J-Dils. The appeal to us was the old school vibe they had going on – Street Fighter on the flat screens, Pee Chee folders that served as menus, turntables and vinyl – you get the picture. Always doing my research before visiting an establishment (as I do not like “surprises”) I got the feeling that they were still working on the “customer service” aspect – and although I don’t have a high tolerance for bad service, I at least knew what to expect while hoping that I would be surprised with fantastic service. Eh. Food bloggers were right about the bad service – what a bummer. But Hubby and I made the most of it, and sadly the wait staff suffered with a mediocre tip. Overall, the vibe was good, points for the vision, and the food (while I feel like I can make most of it at home) was creative and pretty tasty.
After dinner, we headed to this new cigar/hookah cafe called Tabac. When Hubby and I were first dating, we used to frequent this cigar/hookah cafe in downtown called Gran Havana until they shut down. That was a sad day – we loved going there! Recently, Hubby found out that the owners of Gran Havana opened up a new place so we were excited to check it out to have dessert, coffee and of course enjoy a couple of cigars!