Thursday, 6 February 2014

San Diego...The Last of our Stateside Adventures!

"Let's go to San Diego, yeah that's where all the kids go" is no secret to those who know me that I have been a hardcore fan of San Diego since I was about 15 and it has always been my lifetime goal to one day live there! So I was super excited about bringing Byron here!

We stayed with another random host on air b'n'b, a lovely girl called Robyn whose apartment was smack bang opposite Imperial Beach so we were pretty well located! We wasted no time in checking out the beach the evening we arrived.

The next morning we drove over the bridge to Coronado Island, and I posed with the San Diego skyline in the background!

I hadn't ever been to Old Town before so we decided to check it out...I loved how cute it was!

Definitely a step back in time!

We found this amazing shop selling exclusively jerky and root beer!!

Man, oh man, I was in root beer heaven!! I have never seen so much root beer all in one place!

I, of course, had to try one I'd never tried before...and get a new bottle to add to my collection! We asked the lady working there for recommendations of the best one! and described how we like our root beer on the creamy side so she recommended Caruso's - it was completely delicious and the perfect refreshment on a warm day!

We enjoyed browsing around the fun market, and got some cool Christmas tree decorations as we like to pick up new decorations from every place we visit! 

Mara and Mel had recommended we eat at Old Town Mexican Cafe.  It was certainly colourful inside! and there was even sombrero wearing guys playing guitars which was fun!

They make all their tortillas themselves, you can watch them doing it in the window! so these tortilla chips were super fresh and tasty.

Our actual food was just so-so and not the best Mexican ever, I think we were spoilt by really good Mexican in Vancouver!

We headed downtown to the Gaslamp Quarter of the city, where Comic Con happened to be we got to see some people dressed in crazy costumes!! It was pretty hectic down there!

I managed to track down cupcakes! because apparently I can just sniff them out!

Heavenly Cupcake had a great variety, even if the lady behind the desk couldn't tell me what all the flavours consisted of because apparently she didn't usually work there - not especially helpful!

So I played it safe with Oreo - we ate them before bed later that evening!

The next morning we headed back to Imperial Beach because how many times can I say it, that boy cannot stay out of the water! He bought himself a boogie board...and went wild for a few hours!

We drove through Mission Beach and had a quick pizza stop, we checked out the actual beach and Pacific Beach and tried to swim there for a while but there was crazy kelp and seaweed which literally attacked you every time you went in the sea -not fun!

So we kept driving along the coast until we got to La Jolla.

The seals were out in full force!

We wondered through the town and co-incidentally came across Bardot which I had remembered seeing on a blog I had read a few months back!

We had to try out their fun gourmet magnum style ice creams!

It was hard to pick, there were sooo many scrummy flavours - see those ones with whole Oreos on the front!

In the end though key lime pie won out for me, a layer of meringue, graham cracker and key lime filling all encased in white chocolate ice cream! It was suuuper tasty! and By was loving his mango creation too!

Sadly, it appears they've since closed down! but they were certainly a welcome treat at the time!

We finished up our last evening in San Diego, and last evening of the trip down at Ocean Beach - where else!

and this time we both did a last minute spot of swimming/boogie boarding - yes I even got on the board myself, I have to indulge that husband of mine from time to time!

A lovely lady offered to take our picture! Hooray for more pictures together! (By beats me hand down with his tan every time!) So we thanked her for taking the picture and gifted her with the boogie board we no longer needed for her 12 year old son so it was win win all round!

We also took this little picture, so that we could announce our exciting news with it on facebook when we got home! The funny thing is just before we took it, a giant wave came and wiped out mine and By's converse! They got soooo wet! Luckily baby B's survived with no damage!

Doesn't this picture just scream California!

We made one final stop at the San Diego Temple - pretty much the reason I fell in love with San Diego in the first place, I love that building so much!

Sadly it was a Monday and it was closed! We couldn't even get in to the grounds so we had to snap away from a distance!

and we stayed the night with another random host who had these 2 dogs.  Rupert - the one I am stroking here was quite quite charmer! He pretty much loved on us from the second we walked in the door! The other one in the background, Chubbs...well that's a whole other story! When we arrived at the house our host wasn't home from work yet so his flatmate let us in, he said he had to run to the shops and as soon as he left that little black one Chubbs started going crazy barking at Byron! I basically had to lock myself in the bedroom because he was about ready to attack!!

Fortunately he didn't! and when the flatmate got back he was totally chilled out again! but we enjoyed our cuddles with Rupert - he was a right cutie!

We had time for one last lunch stop before the airport, so we went to Phil's BBQ because the reviews were insanely good!

Sadly pulled pork is something I had randomly gone off while being pregnant, shocking I know! so this pulled pork sandwich defeated me after about only 2 bites! We'll just have to go back for some more some time!!

Funnily enough this time around, San Diego didn't have me as excited as the first time I went there.  I think Newport Beach was probably my fave area of the whole of California, and Malibu was By's fave area! So we'll see where we end up one day!

By took this picture as we flew back across Washington to Vancouver - isn't it awesome! The Pacific North West cannot be beaten for it's scenery that's for sure!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Newport Beach...Living the O.C life!

Newport Beach was one of the places in California I hadn't visited I was super excited to get here! and of course because of my teen days loving the O.C! Sadly on the day we arrived my anti nausea pills had run out and I had extreme all day sickness which was rather embarassing because we had arranged to stay with my lovely cousin Stephaney and her family who I had never met before! and I'm not sure spending a whole two days in bed and being sick at someone's house creates the best first impression! but I was very glad at this point we weren't camping and Stephaney looked after me very well!

While I lay in my sick bed Stephaney's husband Asher and son Tamir took Byron over to Balboa Island on the ferry.

Look at that beautiful beach! Doesn't it look so calm and serene! 

Actually it is known as 'The Wedge' and is a rather iconic surfing spot - sometimes producing waves of up to 30 feet high! and actually some of the waves can be so dangerous that people can quite often die here!! Pretty scary stuff!

Byron took a video of it to show me when he got home...

Afterwards, he got taken to an amazing Mexican place called Bear Flag Fish Co.

All the different varieties of fish were out in front of you and you picked which one to go into your taco or burrito...can you see how fresh and tasty that looks!

He also tried tuna ceviche which he said was incredible!

The next day, after finally heading to a doctor and getting some ridiculously overpriced anti nausea pills to last me til the the end of the trip, I was finally feeling more human! and so I was able to leave the house! By wanted to show me Balboa Island as he knew I'd like it!

I loved how all the cute little houses were so decorated! and they all had amazing outdoor furniture...I guess it really never rains there so they don't have to worry about it getting wet!

This cow was out in all it's patriotic glory!

We went to the Balboa Bar stand - Dad's Original, which is meant to be the best! and By opted for a frozen banana! I was still sadly not eating at this point! He had his dipped in chocolate and then oreo crumbs, and it looked amazing!

I loved all the cute little streets and old fashioned lights!

When I heard there was a Sprinkles in town, we had to check it out...

Especially when I heard it was the ice cream store! because that's a pretty recent addition!

The only problem is we were sooo spoilt for choice! did we have a cupshake - a cupcake mixed with a milkshake? or a cupcake cut in half with your choice of ice cream in the middle, or 2 homemade cookies made into an ice cream sandwich? The options were endless and all delicious sounding...

In the end, the ice cream sandwich won! We picked a milk chocolate and a double chocolate cookie and then sandwiched it with vanilla bean ice cream! This was seriously amazing and a good way to break my 2 days of not eating!! I only wish I'd been well enough to order my seems criminal looking back now that I only managed a few bites!!

We also checked out this little place called Pirate's Cove - not quite as isolated and turquoise as Pirate's Cove in Turks and Caicos, but pretty cool all the same!

On our final night with the Avital's, we got taken to Ruby's Shake Shack which is somewhere I was very excited to go due to my love of all things milkshake!

Even though Stephaney and I live 5,000 miles apart and had never met until this must be in the Jones family blood to have a love of milkshakes!

Ruby's did certainly not disappoint! They were super thick, just the way I love them and I had mint oreo flavour - my fave!

Ella was pretty excited with her shaved ice! It's also a great view over the ocean as we sat slurping away.

We headed down to the beach for a closer look...

It was a beautifully calm evening...

Stephaney showed us this little beach cottage where the film Beaches was set.  We were even able to peek through the windows and step back in time to how it looked!

We posed for a few family shots!

and managed to get one of the two of us for once - thanks Stephaney!

and one last group shot before we headed home and hit the road to our next stop!

It was great to catch up and meet some of our family on the other side of the world! and they were so hospitable and lovely towards us that by the time we left we felt like we'd always grown up knowing them! I guess that's what family is all about!