going to my happy place

November 02, 2012
I’m California bound tomorrow and couldn’t be more excited. I love California. I will be in LA//Simi Valley this weekend for one of my best friends’ wedding. Next week I will be heading down to San Diego to train my replacement, then I’m heading up to San Jose for the weekend to spend time with my best friend since preschool!

I’ll take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite things to do and places to eat in San Diego County, if you ever decide to visit, which you should.  These are the first 10 things that came to my mind.

Kinaly Thai    
Best pad thai ever. Seriously, ever. It’s authentic and amazing. Don’t say you want it spicy, say you want about a 3 on a scale of 1-10. Be safe and get a 2. We thought we were total badasses the first time we visited, because we love hot food—little did we know a 5 was pretty much a 500. I have never, nor did I know it was possible, to sweat and get dizzy when eating hot food!

Stone Brewing Co.
What’s better than a fresh brewed Stone IPA, Pale Ale or Arrogant Bastard? Stone’s Beer Garden & World Bistro is not to miss. We used to live 5 minutes from it and would go as often as possible. Whether you’re filling up a growler, grabbing a pint or having dinner—you must go, and if you live in the area—you must take your guests.

If we were to get married again, it would be there. It is beautiful. You are in a whole other world when you’re there.

Rockin’ Baja Lobster
I love seafood. Rockin’ Baja isn’t that extraordinary, but it’s a favorite place to go. The one located on Oceanside Harbor is relaxing and peaceful. Their buckets are delicious and they usually have pretty good drink specials. The atmosphere and food are a great combination.

& it’s not because I work at corporate. Rubio’s is a fish taco and seafood grill. I know you probably just puked in your mouth. Where I come from (Michigan) tacos are great and so is fish, but not together. WRONG Rubio’s introduced the USA to the Original Fish Taco 30 years ago (in  January).  You must try an Original Fish Taco, I promise you will fall in love. With the perfect blend of salsa, cabbage and white sauce on top, it is delicious.

My other favorite tacos include: Langostino Lobster (available until early January), Fish Taco Especial, Mango Habanero Mahi Mahi, Grilled Gourmet Shrimp and the Shrimp burrito. Seriously – you have to have them all. Pair it with a craft beer or Black Mango Iced Tea and you’re good to go!

As simple as that, in and out. It’s a very simple menu with delicious burgers and fries. You’ve got to go at least once. You won’t feel greasy and nasty after eating it either.

Seaport Village
A fun little area full of shops on the coast. Grab an ice cream cone at Ben & Jerry’s and walk around and check out the unique shops while the salty breeze blows through your hair.

USS Midway
Ever wondered what it would be like to be in the Navy, or a Marine that deploys with Navy ships? I didn’t really wonder until my Marine deployed on a Navy ship. We headed down to the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier (ship) museum (retired ship, now museum). It was awesome to see the ins and outs of the ship, all of the ladders they have to climb, the coffin racks they sleep in and the chow hall. It’s quite interesting.

Hornblower offers brunch, dinner and sight- seeing cruises. The cruise around the harbor is great for a few drinks and to see the area, but I highly recommend the weekend brunch. Go hungry. It’s a gourmet buffet with endless champagne and amazing views—it doesn’t get much better than that.

Just go to Carlsbad, by the beach. Stroll around Carlsbad Village—full of cute shops, then grab a slice of pizza and an ice cream cone and head to the beach. You can go down to the beach and hang out or walk the 2.5 mile boardwalk—every Sunday morning, Brady and I used to walk the boardwalk (5 miles, about 2 hours) and it was so relaxing and amazing.

Del Mar Dog Beach
An amazing off-leash dog beach. Goose and Maverick loved it. There is a little inlet so it’s less wavy. There are surfing dogs and dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds. I thought Goose would run away as soon as we let him off leash, but he loved playing in the water and with other dogs. Everyone is happy there—even the lady that got peed on by Maverick. Whoops.

There you have it, my top 10 must visit places in San Diego County. Sure there are a lot more, I mean you’re reading this post from the former editor of 101 Things To Do San Diego Magazine—you should probably pick up a copy of that while you’re there so you can have plenty of things to do.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, I’m headed to my happy place.


  1. Have a great time! I'm about an hour from San Jose, pack a jacket!