Tag Archives: San Diego

West Coast Leisuring

Hello from San Diego!

I’m out here visiting my mom, brother, and nephews and living the life of leisure. My nephews picked me up from the airport which was a whole new realm of weird since I knew them when they were zero years old. HOW ARE YOU A MILLION FEET TALL AND DRIVING ALREADY?

That’s a picture from last year since I haven’t gotten a group picture yet this time.

My days consist of waking up in the morning, going for a run, eating, napping, and eating. It’s the life I’ve always dreamed of. Speaking of running, my runs have been getting better. I haven’t tried a speed run yet but my breathing on my regular runs has improved as long as I’m not running up a damn hill. Here are a few views from my runs:

That is a season the locals like to call “fall.”

The whole itching thing has also gotten about 80% better and I’m assuming it’s from my school semester ending and the increased amount of nothing I’ve been doing. I don’t think the steroid pack that the doctor prescribed helped anything and the cause was psychosomatic like she said. I tell you, there is nothing more irritating than going to the doctor to find out your problem is in your head.

I go back home to Orlando tomorrow and I’ll be sad to leave. It’s fun getting spoiled by family and having your mom hand you $20 bills because “you look like you need it.” In the meantime, I’m going to finish the second batch of cookies my mom made and soak up the lack of humidity while I can.




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Picture Post with Some Words and Stuff

Oh hai.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written because I haven’t felt very chatty lately but I have been busy! I hate catch up posts so instead of calling this a catch up post, let’s call it a picture post with some words and stuff.

I’ve been reading a lot now that school’s out for the summer. I’ll probably have another book post coming at some point. I just finished The Storyteller, which is probably one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I have a few more in my queue that I want to read but my friend, Keith, is trying to sway my reading in a particular direction.


Now I have no lack of Rizzoli and Isles books. Also, I’ve decided that people who don’t love e-readers just have extra space in their house to store books. I don’t even know where to put these. I’m tempted to read them right away just so I can give them back, which I’m sure is part of Keith’s evil plan.

Hubs and I made it out to Cocoa Beach a few weeks ago. When I say made it out to the beach, I mean we made it to the pier bar and stayed there all day.


I rarely drink pina coladas but I certainly thought it was a good idea to have three of them with rum floaters that day.  I literally don’t remember what I had for dinner that night even after seeing an itemized list of what we had. So I guess it was a good day!? (Don’t worry, our friend drove us home.)

At the end of April, we saw Evanescence in concert.


All my pictures were crap, but the show was great despite what the two bored ladies with primo backstage spots in the background seem to think. I’ve seen them probably four times and they’re always good. I heard they have a new album coming out so I was hoping to hear a couple new songs but they only sang all the old stuff. Not that I’m complaining!

I made it out to San Diego to visit my mama last week.


The weather was bee-yoo-tee-ful. So nice that I went out for a run every day and sat out on my mom’s porch just because.

While I was there, my brother had free tickets to see Beyonce, so we did that.


Neither of us are fans of her music but we thought it would be a good show. I guess she’s just not my thing. I appreciated what went in to making the show and I appreciated that Beyonce seems to really appreciate her fans. but in the words of my brother, “I’m not embarrassed that I saw her in concert. But I’m not proud.”

We also saw Lukas Nelson. He’s Willie’s son and I had never heard of him before but he was GREAT. I liked the show so much that I bought his new album when I got home.


The supermodel, a.k.a my mom, wanted to see the Spruce Street suspension bridge in San Diego which was about 30 minutes from her place.

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The bridge crosses a canyon so the part you can’t see behind us was really pretty. It was a fun little day adventure, minus the part where I was driving and had no idea where I was going.

We also had a few family dinners and breakfast at Swami’s twice (so good, I need a Swami’s in Orlando).


My mom will order a drink, take about 4 sips out of it, and then give it to me. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement if you ask me: my mom doesn’t waste drinks and then I get more drinks.

And since Pants hasn’t been getting much blog action lately, here she is hanging out and looking adorable.

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So that’s about it. Lots of concerts, some nice family time, and hanging out with the hubs. 🙂


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The Rest of Vacation

I’m back from San Diego. I love visiting my family, but man it’s hard leaving. I only get to see them once a year since they’re on the other coast. Leaving makes me sad for weeks because I know how long it’s going to be before I see them again. We didn’t all get a picture together this time, but here’s the one from last year.

(From the left: my nephews (who are now taller than me), mama bird, brother, moi, niece, and my SIL’s sister)

I took the red eye home on Friday and had the whole row to myself. I love when that happens. That’s when the armrests go up and Paula gets to stretch out her 5’9″ body. I’m not good at sleeping on planes but I love red eye flights so I don’t end up wasting a whole day traveling. I can usually get that spotty, drooling, head-whipping-forward-and-waking-me up sleep on the plane and then I take a little nap when I get home and I’m good to go for the rest of the day.

I wanted to write a little more while I was out there but was too busy reigning as the Queen of Leisure, so here’s what went on during the rest of my vacation:

1. I went on a two hour bike ride (25 miles maybe?) with my SIL’s sister, Kate.

That’s her riding in front of me. I don’t think I’ve been on a real bike in five years. It was a lot of fun. It was super foggy the entire time, so it was nice that I wasn’t baking in the sun but not so nice that I could barely see the view of the beach on the right. I’m pretty sure if I lived in Carlsbad, she would be my biking buddy. Those hills do not mess around. It’s like an outdoor spin class out there. As I was struggling to get up the hills, I’d pass people running them like it took no effort. Those hard-bodied jerks with their wonderful stamina.

I love that California has bike lanes and paths everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another state that caters to outdoor activity as well. If Orlando was more activity friendly, maybe I’d attempt to go outside more than once a month. I mean, probably not. But I like having options.

2. I met a parrot.

I ran across that little fella on the bike ride. Kate asked the two guys behind him how old he was and they told us they had no idea. Some guy just ask them to watch his bird while he got coffee at Starbucks.(?!?!) I’m telling you, people were swarming around this bird, taking pictures with it, and asking the guys questions. If you’re having trouble meeting that special someone, get a bird. Trust me. It going to work. They will come to you.

3. A half hour into our bike ride, this happened.

It was 10 in the morning and I knew it wasn’t a good idea but someone was a terrible influence.

4. After our bike ride, we took a three-mile walk at Batiquitos Lagoon. The fog never let up, but the view and trail were still really pretty.

It was nice to get off that bike seat for awhile and stretch my legs. Plus, we had to mentally prepare ourselves for the Starbucks frappuccino we stopped for after the walk. So basically we burned 200 calories and then consumed 300. This is my favorite way to exercise.

5. Big brother and I went out to dinner at the Wild Note Cafe with a couple of his friends.

That dude can eat whatever he wants and stay thin. I don’t even understand it. I work out five or six days a week to sort of fit in my pants, and he works out one or two times a week (if he feels like it) and holds back if he starts to sweat because he doesn’t like sweating. He actually said that to me. He’s lucky he’s still in the family after that one.

6.  After dinner, we saw Everlast next door at Belly Up.

If there’s anyone that loves live music as much as I do, it’s my brother. He usually finds a show for us to go to while I’m in town and it’s always a good time, even when I don’t know the band.

I was checking out Everlast videos before the concert and found this one for you Aaron Paul fans. 🙂

7. And finally, my last meal before I left town.

That’s the grass fed Kobe burger from Encinitas Ale House (Gruyere, Gorgonzola, Onion Straws, Tomato, and Baby Greens). I shared half of that burger and half of another one with my bro. Mom got the fish and chips with a bucket of tarter sauce. That woman loves her sauce like no other.

I had a five minute worry that getting on a plane after a giant burger was not going to go well, but good news, I made it home without incident. So besides the napping and shopping and adult beverage drinking, that is how I spent my week vacation with the birthday girl.



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A Little Celebration

My mom’s birthday was a success! The brother and I took her out for dinner at Peohe’s on Coronado Island. We knew it would be good because Peohe’s is a Chart House restaurant. It was dark by the time we got there so I felt kinda dumb taking pictures. So, my mom, brother, the pu-pu platter appetizer, my candied walnut salad, and crab-stuffed tilapia got no photo love, but I managed to get the one important picture.

My love for molten lava cakes knows no bounds.

I went to the restroom right as dessert was brought to the table and my brother waited for me to come back so I could take a picture for the blog. What a guy. Amirite? Although, he scolded me for my poor bathroom timing and even called my cell because I was not back to the table fast enough for him. This family does not mess around when it comes to dessert.

We sat outside by the water and had an awesome view of downtown San Diego that included some birthday fireworks!

Ok, maybe they were Labor Day fireworks. But probably most likely birthday fireworks.

We had a nice time and even took a walk on the pier afterwards. I was ready to hibernate for the winter after that meal but then I remembered how hot and muggy it is here with no winter in sight, so I just rolled around on the floor and complained about how full I was.

The next day, mom and I got birthday pedicures. She was basically in heaven.

Before we left, I told her I was thirsty and her response was, “want a Mudslide?”  It was 10 in the morning. <— I know, amazing  I love that all it takes to keep my mom happy is pretty toes, a full belly, and tons of booze.


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Hills. Ugh.

Why is it so hot and muggy here? Didn’t California know I was coming?

The high is supposed to be 72 and the low 55. That is the only weather I will accept. Get with the program California. And here I thought you were perfect. Hmph.

Don’t even get me started on the hills.

Mygodthehills. They’re everywhere. If I wanted to run up a hill, I would increase the incline on the treadmill which I’m not going to do because that’s just silly.

What I’m trying to say is, I ran. During that run, I took a turn on a street called Cerro, which was just a bad idea all together. Luckily, this was part of my view.

And that right there is how California tricks you into coming back for more.

I ran 2.5 miles (9:43 pace), stopped back at the house to walk a mile with mom, and then ran another 2.5 miles after I dropped her off. The second half was slower by 10 seconds. I felt super impressed with myself because I hated every hot, hilly minute of it. Even though it was split in two, I’m calling that my long run for the week.


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Birthday Surprise

I flew out to San Diego last night to surprise my mom for her 75th birthday. I tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than waiting quietly for a 75-year-old woman to walk into her house so you can yell Happy Birthday.

Good news: her pacemaker works.

If she wore pants, I’m fairly certain she would have pooped them. I wish I recorded her reaction because it was a beautiful blend of excitement to see me and relief I wasn’t a murderer. So this week, I’ll be hanging out with my mama and brother and enjoying a week off of work.

So far, the birthday girl requested lunch at Islands Restaurant. This was her meal.

That’s what you do when your 75. Get exactly what you want. No shame. She’s like the honey badger. She don’t care.

We’re going to dinner tonight, so I ordered the turkey burger off the lighter menu.

Then I proceeded to eat half of mom’s fries so that idea was a bust. (Seriously the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. Let’s add Islands to the list of places we need in Orlando.)

Anyway, I need to get ready for tonight’s celebration. Mom is making herself a mudslide as we speak and it’s not even 5:00pm. That’s a woman after my own heart. Happy Birthday Mama Bird!


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The Other Stuff

I’m back from California and I think I brought the weather with me. (You are welcome Florida.) While I was there, I went on a run (or three), celebrated my brother’s birthday, and spent a day in Julian (< – tee hee, sounds dirty). Here’s the other stuff that went on while I was in the Whale’s Vagina.

1. Fall

I will miss running by you, tree.

2. Laziness.

My brother has two cats that look almost identical – one named Boy and one named Girl. Girl took a liking to me.

3. Scenic drives to the mall.

This was on the way to La Jolla. It looks like we’re driving into the ocean. So, so pretty. Also, there is a small town that mom and I drove through called Torrey Pines that smells like Christmas.

4.  Buying things I don’t need.

We’ll call this, “reasons I should never shop at Bebe.” I love everything in that store and none of it is remotely in my price range. I have no idea where I’ll wear this but I’ll wear it grocery shopping if I have to.

5.  Getting lost.

Driving to the mall took exactly three left turns, but my mom and I ended up getting lost on the way home anyway. We stopped to ask for directions that didn’t take us on the freeway, and found a ton of ducks chilling by a little creek. It was so cute. I would get a duck as a pet if I could. And a squirrel.

6. Seeing Joss Stone in concert.

Joss Stone came to Humphrey’s in downtown San Diego and my brother and I scored 8th row seats from a scalper about an hour before the show.

We both recognized two of her songs and the concert was still great. I can rarely say that I love a show when I don’t know the music, but this was an exception. It was definitely the best night I had in San Diego, but it’s almost impossible not to have a good time with my brother.

7.  Going on a blogger date with this little cutie.

Do any tall bloggers wanna get together with me? Just wondering…

Shannon just started a new blog, but I’ve been reading her old one for awhile now so it was destiny that we meet eventually. She likes to run, she loves beer, and she insists on posing with bats hanging from the ceiling. All things I approve of.

8. Spending a day at Pechanga Casino and Resort.

Pechanga is the closest thing you can get to a Las Vegas hotel that’s not in Vegas. Mom and I made the 50 minute drive there, which was arguably prettier than the road to Julian. Lots of adorable little towns and mountainous freeway.

My mom and I had lunch and she played the slots. I’m not a big fan of gambling and wasn’t going to play until my mom put money in a penny slot machine and made me sit down and play. One hour later, I was still sitting there having fun. I guess moms really do know best. I won a big $16.00 and plan to retire on that little nest egg.

And that’s about it for San Diego. I had a really good time visiting my family and now it’s back to real life.


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A Day Trip to Julian

On Wednesday, my mom and I took an hour an a half drive up in the mountains to Julian, a little old West looking tourist town known for their apple pie. The drive is super picturesque with all sorts of winding roads and sharp turns.

There was one area where the mountains were covered in gigantic boulders, which was really cool yet freaky to drive by.

That picture just does not do it justice.

The town doesn’t have much to it, but it does have a bunch of little mom and pop shops and restaurants, a bed and breakfast, and things to do like horse-back riding and…watching paint dry.

My mom and I wandered around town for a bit and checked out all the shops with cute things for sale.

They even have public toilets you have to pay to use. It’s a quarter to do your business unless you catch the door when someone else is walking out, which I’m thinking could be awkward.

I was starving by the time we got there, so I complained about being hungry until my mom agreed to go to lunch. We walked into a few places, but they were all jam-packed with people so there was nowhere to sit.

We picked the Julian Café and Bakery because it had the most tables and the best chance for us to sit down sooner than later.

The place was super cute and had great food.

Oh, I forgot to mention that during our shopping adventures, I may have made one purchase.


Best two dollars I’ve ever spent.

Since Julian is known for pie, we had to get pie. It’s law. I chose the warm apple pumpkin crumb pie and OMG it was amazing. I know people say that what they eat is the most delicious thing ever but this was definitely the best piece of pie I’ve ever had.

We asked the server how it was made and she said the owner won’t even tell her. She just knows he bakes the apples on the bottom first, then puts the pumpkin in and bakes it some more, and then puts the apple crumb on top. So it tastes like it’s all baked together in the best marriage of food since peanut butter and jelly.

After lunch, we walked around a little more. Since Julian is so small, it doesn’t take long to see everything. We spent a few hours there, and then headed home.

We made a stop on the way home at Moms because it just seems wrong if you don’t stop at Moms with your mom.

She had been to Julian once before and said she bought the best fudge of her life at this place. Of course, they had every flavor but the one she wanted. It wasn’t very busy when we were there, but it must have been a slow day because I heard the woman working say that they make 1000 pies a week. I’m definitely in the wrong business. Someone needs to teach me to bake.

We survived the trip home and had a nice time. It’s a cute little town and worth the trip for the apple pie and the pumpkin pie fudge. (< — I die.)


P.S. The AHS recap will be a little late this week since I’m an idiot and thought it was on Thursday instead of Wednesday and now have to wait until I get back to Orlando to watch it. Boo.


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CA So Far

I’ve been in San Diego for three days now and they have been packed with just the right amount of fun and lazy. I arrived Saturday morning and my flight was 40 minutes early. I didn’t even know that was in the realm of possibility for planes. I’ve been on flights that were 15 minutes early and then the extra time is spent sitting on the runway waiting for a gate. But 40 real minutes? Crazy.

After I dropped off my things, my mom, brother Tim, and two nephews went to Swami’s for lunch. My niece couldn’t make it as her priorities are totally not in order.

I just learned how to take screen caps with my phone. Fun!

I don’t know if Swami’s is a chain, but it’s similar to how you order at Crispers and has a menu similar to First Watch, except the atmosphere is more like a real restaurant and bar. I had an amazing (and healthy) egg white/spinach/tomato/feta/jalapeno omelet with rye bread.

After clearing my plate,  I proceeded negate my healthy meal by eating a pancake the size of my face. I know people say that all the time, but it was literally the size.of.my.face. I should have taken a picture holding it up to my face, but that would have furthered my shame. It was enough that, as I was putting butter on it, my 14-year-old nephew said, “that’s a lot of butter.” I think I liked him better when he was young and silent. 🙂

That night, we all went to see End of Watch.

It was really good but I thought the shaky camera was too much in some scenes. Also, it seemed like they were trying to do first person camera the whole time but there were camera angles that couldn’t have come from any of the three cameras that were being used by the main characters. So, I guess that was just out of place for me. But overall, it was really emotional, funny, and action-packed.

Later than night, my brother and I went out for a couple drinks and ended up chatting by the fire pit at Stadium until last call.

I swear my brother told anyone who would listen that it was his birthday and he actually got someone else that was also having a birthday to buy him a shot. That is talent.

Sunday was his actual birthday, so the family got together for Lupper (Linner?) at The Beach House in Solana Beach.

My niece, who I held as a newborn, drove me there. (<— omg, no words.) Tim continued to tell anyone who would listen that it was his birthday which got him a free dessert and no upcharge on premium liquor. I am going to use this strategy for all future birthdays.

I wasn’t going to drink but you know what happens every time I say that.

Plus, I figure that I have 5 good years of making my niece my designated driver until she graduates to drinking buddy.

My mom showed us all how to get drunk without spilling anything.

Tim had an oyster shot, which repulsed me in so many ways.

That’s vodka, tomato juice, and an oyster. *shudder*

There was yummy food too. I had the surf and turf kabob.

The steak was pretty over-cooked but everything else (including the appetizers that disappeared too quickly for pictures) were delicious.

We even got a family picture.

Which looked normal once we told the Terminator to take off her glasses.

From the left: nephews Ted and Cal (yes, twins), mom, Tim, Me, McKenna, and Kate (my SIL’s sister).

Side note: Kate’s name is Catherine and she went by the nickname Betsy all her life. When she moved from Chicago to San Diego, my brother decided she needed a more “California” name and insisted everyone call her Kate. What a nut.

The night ended with a carrot Nothing Bundt Cake that McKenna picked up that morning. I had one for the first time at a friend’s wedding in May and while they look plastic, they taste like angels and unicorns.

Tim made us sing Happy Birthday to him and then made us all start over half way through when he didn’t think it was good enough. My brother is a trip to be around and now he has three spawn that are turning out just like him.

We all had a lot of fun. Mom and I were even saying on the way home how we had a really good Tim’s birthday. It almost felt like we were celebrating our own. Ahhh, I love my family.


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Scenes from a Run

I’m having an awesome time with my family in San Diego but I think I brought the crappy Florida weather with me because it’s been cloudy, humid, and raining or misting since I arrived. The weather let up for a little bit this morning, so I went for a short run and took a few pictures to share with you.

Fall leaves in my mom’s front yard. We’ll call this, “things we don’t have in Florida that excite me.”

See, Melissa? I can go on pretty runs too.

The hills here always kill me. They look so innocent in pictures.

This one brought me to an almost 13:00 minute mile pace. By the time I got to the top, I had to stop and put my hands on my knees to catch  my breath. Nothing like a good hill to make you feel out of shape.

You may have noticed, I haven’t been bitching about my running shoes lately. I’m still rocking the Brooks Ghost 5’s and they’re treating me pretty well.

In the end, I ran 3.13 miles in 30 minutes. That’s a 9:36 pace which isn’t too bad considering I suck at hills because I never run them.

Plus, at least I was still faster than this guy.

Now I’m off to get my nails done and go to the mall with my mommy. 🙂


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