scott’s birthday in san diego

This past weekend, Scott turned 28 and I took him on a surprise getaway to San Diego to celebrate! He knew that we were going on a long weekend trip but he didn’t know where we were going, what we were doing, where we were staying, etc. It was so fun to pack the weekend full of surprises!

We left on Friday night after work and flew down to San Diego. We went to San Diego last year as well (for Memorial Day) and I knew I wanted us to see a different part of the city this time, even though we loved having Ocean Beach as our home base last time. So, we stayed at an Airbnb in South Park which turned out to be a lovely, walkable neighborhood not too far from anything we wanted to see or do!

IMG_1931On Saturday, we woke up and went to brunch at Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro. This spot was yummy but we agreed most of what we ordered was way too rich. After this, we had “Scotty’s Choice” time (time I built into the trip with options for him to choose from)…and we wound up doing a bit of shopping at the Westfield UTC and then scootering and eating in Bird Rock! The weather was amazing and we loved Bird Rock—riding motorized scooters around multimillion dollar waterfront mansions is not something you get to do every day! That night, we went to dinner at a delicious Italian spot called Piacere Mio. It was clear this place was a neighborhood favorite—it was full of locals who knew the staff by name (a good sign)!

IMG_1944On Sunday (Scott’s birthday), I surprised him with the Bluegrass Brunch at Urban Solace. Holy wow—so delicious! We split a cinnamon roll (complete with a candle to blow out and a birthday tune by yours truly) and enjoyed bluegrass tunes by a live band on the heated patio. Scotty got steak and eggs and I presented him with his birthday cards: one from his parents (with cash to cover the brunch!) and one from me, revealing that we’d be spending the day at the San Diego Zoo! To say he was excited is an understatement.

IMG_2046IMG_1988IMG_1963We had the best time seeing the zoo. We went last year, but many exhibits were under renovation, so it was great to see the space in its prime this time around! Again, we were blessed with great weather. Our favorite animals were the baboons, orangutans, gorillas, and pandas. (Though all the animals were amazing!) There was one orangutan named Karen that had me crying laughing because she was putting on a show for us, rolling around on the ground carrying on right in front of us.

That night, after a much-needed nap, we went to the South Park Brewing Company for dinner and some board games. I crushed Scott in Boggle! Then we headed back to the Airbnb for some ice cream and Netflix.

IMG_2076On Monday, our last day of the trip, we kicked things off with a visit to Nomad Donuts. We once again rode some motorized scooters (so nice we did it twice) and enjoyed Vanilla Bean donuts. From there, we headed to Coronado to check out the famous Hotel del Coronado and dip our toes in the water. We took a drive around the island and had a good laugh looking up home prices on Zillow. (Fun fact: the house of my dreams was more than $6 million!) We started to get hungry for lunch, so we headed to SEA180 for an amazing, waterfront bite. We had the heated patio to ourselves and it was so serene and honestly, a perfect end to our weekend. We soaked in that time before heading back toward San Diego (we were only .5 miles from the Mexico border…). Since our airline sent us a notification of a flight delay while we were on the way, we had time for a quick stop at the Ballast Point Brewing.

IMG_2122A flight of beers later, our time in San Diego had come to an end. We headed to the airport, returned our rental car, and flew back to the land of fog and $5 toast…aka San Francisco!

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i don’t know about you, but i’m feelin…23

As I start a fresh new year as a 23-year-old, I can’t help but reflect on what age 22 brought to me.

At 22, I graduated from college and started a full-time job.

At 22, I chopped off eight inches of hair.

At 22, I discovered who I want in my corner – people who build me up, make me smile when I see their name pop up on my phone, encourage me and support me.

At 22, I began writing a novel and I read a lot of books.

At 22, I found out that there are people out there who will treat you better than you ever thought you could (or deserved to) be treated.  I learned how surprisingly nice it is to have a Valentine.  I also found out what it’s like to fall for someone and wind up getting hurt.

At 22, I made a bucket list.

At 22, I realized that it is impossible to sustain a one-sided relationship, and that some people have to leave our lives to make room for those who have yet to come.

At 22, I took vacations, moved to a new apartment, wrote letters, went to concerts, drove with the windows down and binged on television shows online.

At 22, I spent a lot of time assessing who I want to be, how I want to be known and what I want to accomplish.

I hope now that at 23, I can start making a true dent in those things.

21 things that 21 taught me

In honor of turning 22 today, I thought I’d reflect on some of the things I learned while I was 21.

21. Pants are always optional.  You don’t have to wear them at home and in public you can wear skirts or dresses (or substitute leggings as pants if you’re that kind of girl).

20.  Have an arsenal of playlists ready for any occasion.  You never know when you’ll need “driving,” “songs about love” or “harmony.”

19. If hair is dirty, clean, tangled, smooth, pitiful or pretty…it can and should go in a high bun.

18. Sub sandwiches can comprise 50 percent of your diet.  You’ll be fine.

17. TWINKLY LIGHTS ARE GOD’S GIFT TO BARS AND RESTAURANTS.  Seriously.  Why would you ever sit indoors when there is a sparkly paradise outside?

16. Laundry is overrated.  Don’t do it.

15. Cooking is overrated.  Don’t do it.

14.  …unless you’re a guy reading this and you like laundry and/or cooking and in that case let’s get married.  21 has taught me that I need to find someone who can help me meet my basic needs once I live somewhere with no Larry’s.

13. Forget what your parents taught you.  Talking to strangers rocks.

12. Have at least one person in your life who speaks with a foreign accent.  It’ll serve as a reminder that hotness, I mean adventure, is out there.

11.  College in your pajamas is a thing; it’s called online classes.  Game.  Changer.

10.  You know someone has become your close friend when you  no longer feel the need to shove all the crap from your car into your trunk before you pick them up.  Have a seat right on top of it, my pal!

9. If you’re ever truly broke, look on the ground outside of the drive-thru window at a fast food restaurant.  Boom.  70 cents richer.  (Note: you must go at night.  Let the change accumulate throughout the day.)

8. Some say you shouldn’t shop for groceries while you’re hungry; I agree.  Just go to the grocery store, try all the free samples then buy a sub and leave.  No shopping necessary.

7.  You don’t need a boyfriend to be happy.  You just need friends who also don’t have boyfriends.

6.  Don’t fight it.  Allow Netflix to be a part of your routine much like grocery shopping (ha) or the gym (haha).

5.  You can use beach towels as bath towels in non-summer months.  (See #17)

4.  When you feel ugly, look at high school pictures of yourself.  Feel better now?

3.  In need of a serious laugh or cry?  Or the classic laugh-cry?  Go check your bank account.

2.    Know that even if you’re 22, and single, and without any real prospects on the horizon, life still rocks…

1.  …because you’ve learned to be a completely unedited, vibrant, carefree version of yourself.  Life’s too short to be anything else.

Thank you to everyone who has eaten a sub with me, laughed at my misfortunes in love, binge-watched old television shows with me or otherwise supported me as I transition into this 22nd year of adult (gross!) life.  You make the dull parts of life shiny.