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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march in monterey

This past weekend, Scott and I took a little one night getaway to Monterey! We woke up early Saturday morning to hit the road and it was so worth it—we made it to Monterey before lunchtime and were able to spend the whole day and night exploring. We saw lots of gorgeous gardens and of course we ate and shopped on Cannery Row.IMG_9298One of the highlights was eating at The Fish Hopper. It is a waterfront (more like water-top…it’s literally on stilts over the water) restaurant right in the heart of Cannery Row and it was awesome! The food was delicious and the views from our table were spectacular. Even though it was a bit noisy for us, it was so special to have a fancy dinner together and watch the sunset over the Pacific right outside our window!IMG_4274IMG_6858Monterey is only about 2-ish hours from San Francisco, so the drive is really easy and doable. With that said, we knew we wanted to spend one night to really make the trip worth it. We stayed near the beach Saturday night and ate a delicious brunch Sunday morning at Wave Street Cafe. I’ve told Scott that we have to eat at this place every single time we come to Monterey in the future—it was that good! The french toast was the hit of the morning, though the eggs benedict was delicious too.IMG_5231We did a little more shopping and sightseeing on Sunday afternoon before heading back in the evening to San Francisco. It’s amazing how a little time away together out of the city makes us feel so renewed and upbeat! I’m already wondering when we can go back to beautiful Monterey…Scott and I agree June might be the perfect time, and I can’t wait!IMG_1459IMG_2908

a weekend to remember

When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about what an amazing weekend I had.  Every single part of every day was wonderful!  I am sharing about it here partially because there may possibly-but-not-likely be someone out there who is interested in hearing about why my weekend rocked so much.  More so, I want to be able to reference this post and remember fondly what a great last full weekend I had as an undergrad at the University of Florida.

Friday

On Friday, one of my best friends, Cameron, turned 21.  Cameron is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met.  We ate dinner at the Swamp restaurant (classic Gainesville) and then went on to the stadium (also known as the Swamp) to watch the sunset.

After that, I went with my friends Blaire and Nicole to see a movie called “The Other Woman.”  Since I don’t have cable and I never go to movies, I rarely know what’s in theaters, but I went on a whim to this one with the girls.  IT WAS THE FUNNIEST MOVIE I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME.  I loved it so, so much and want to see it again as soon as possible.  I officially have a girl crush on Leslie Mann.

After that, I met back up with Cam and our friend Joanna and we went line dancing!  We had a great time laughing our butts off attempting to keep up with what seemed like a bar full of professional line dancers.  It was pretty funny because, although I own two pairs of cowboy boots, I wasn’t wearing them this particular night.  So, surrounded by boot-clad girls, I line danced in my gold sandals.

Saturday

On Saturday, I slept in and met up with my friend Blaire for a Publix sub.  I am convinced that the best days always start with Pub subs.

We went on to the pool where we met up with about 10 other Cicerone seniors for a relaxing day of sunshine and daiquiris.  (Our friend Tyler literally brought a blender to the pool. It was 50 percent hilarious and 50 percent genius.)

After the pool, I went home, showered and changed and Drew picked me up for what would be the most random, spontaneous night of adventures.  First we got snow cones; then we snuck into Sam’s Club to sample foods.  Yes, you read that right.  We’re rebels.  Well, Drew is a rebel.  He walked in like he owned the place.  I, meanwhile, went with the “Wait up!” method of chasing after two random strangers and their baby past the card-checker and into the store.

After an underwhelming selection of samples, we went to the La Chua trail to see the wild horses/hogs/alligators and a stunning sunset.  It’s always crazy to me to find places of such open, natural beauty so close to a crowded college campus.

We then went and played beach volleyball which was an event in itself.  We met what might be the weirdest, goofiest kid to exist at the University of Florida.  He dove into the sand on every play and spent time saying things like, “I’m going to grab this sand so hard it’s going to turn into diamonds!”  What time I didn’t spend trying to serve or hit the ball, I spent laughing at this little oddball named Nate.

After that, we went to a late dinner at Outback (another entertaining event–there was plastic in the Bloomin’ Onion) followed by a spontaneous (and incredibly complicated) card game with some friends and watching Pride and Prejudice.  It was my first time to see that movie and holy mackerel did I love it!  My favorite part was, of course, at the end, when he was kissing her and calling her Mrs. Darcy.  Sigh.  So sweet.

Sunday

On Sunday, after a great church service with friends and lunch with my Cicerones executive board replacement, Cynthia, I went to play a modified game of backyard softball with friends.  It was called sloshball, and it involved drinking beer while you play.  I partook in the softball but not the excessive beer drinking; 2 p.m. on a Sunday just isn’t really my ideal time for that.

Afterward, I baked chocolate chip cookies and went to our Cicerones Bible Conversation, which had a record turnout!  It has been so cool to see this group grow from 3-5 people meeting sporadically to a group of more than 30 people gathered to discuss the Bible and share life together.  I feel so confident leaving the organization I love so much in the hands of the new leaders that are stepping up.

After Bible Conversation, a Cicerone named Avery and I went to the Black Community Awards.  Several of our friends were nominated for awards, and we went to support them.  It wound up being one of the most entertaining events ever.  Between seeing our friends on stage, laughing about various A/V problems and taking in an array of performances (including a rapper named “Bandz” who had two hype men on the stage with him), we had a fabulous time.  I sat right between my friends Reggie and Brianna, and that seat is one I would choose again and again for every show I ever go to!

Avery and I went for a spontaneous milkshake after the event was over.  We had what turned out to be such a memorable conversation as we sipped on our shakes.  One of the things I like about Avery is that he’s able to have such a good time and be so goofy and confident (we were changing the lyrics to “A Whole New World” and singing them out loud as we ordered in Baskin Robbins) but then shift into a serious, far-below-surface-level conversation.  I am someone who thrives in the balance of these two dynamics, and it was special to find someone else who can switch so easily between the two.

One of the things Avery and I wound up talking about was our mutual love for Cameron (see Friday night’s birthday festivities).  This, of course, led us to going over to Cam’s place to see him.

I scooted Avery home and then found myself thinking about how much I’m going to miss the people I’ve become close with during senior year, one of whom is leaving today.  Before I knew it, I was outside Leah’s door waiting for her to let me in!

We had a great late-night chat, discussing the summer she’s about to spend in the Middle East and our uncertainty about the future.  We also decided that the skirt I was wearing, which is long enough for her to wear in Qatar, would become a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Skirt.”

At last, around 1 in the morning, I went home and slept blissfully with my fan on full blast.

I am so thankful for this place and the friendships I have formed here.  To say I had a stellar weekend is an understatement.