DAY 1: TRAVEL DAY
The day got off to a bit of a rough start. I worked a hurried half day and then headed to the airport with the family. In classic Siegel style, we arrived to IAH suuuuper early, only to be greeted by a 2 hour delay.
Fast forward 3ish hours and we landed in beautiful, cool San Diego. We were starving and had already missed our reservation at George’s, so after a quick Yelp search, we decided to hit up Hodad’s in Ocean Beach for a greasy burger and a few too many giant onion rings. While this was a last minute decision, it’s one I’d do over again and highly recommend. Hodad’s is a super casual (if not borderline grungy) burger spot, frequented by (surfing) locals and tourists alike. We all got a kick out of reading the custom license plates that lined the walls while we waited for our food.
After Hodad’s, we drove out to La Jolla and checked into our cute, quaint Airbnb and tucked in for the night.
DAY 2: GASLAMP + LA JOLLA
Our bodies were still on Texas time, so we got up early and sat down for breakfast at Cody’s, which came recommended by one one of you on Instagram! We ordered coffee (stat) and were pleasantly surprised by how notably rich it was. We kept a server nearby throughout the meal for innumerable refills. In an effort to not overeat as we had the evening before, we split three entreés (Bacon and Cheddar Omelet, Challah French Toast, and Chicken & Biscuits) between the four of us. Not sure if we succeeded on that mission, though, as we explored downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp district for the rest of the afternoon, skipping lunch.
After a brief respite at home, we made up for the previous evening by scoring a reservation at the highly acclaimed George’s. In order to take full advantage of its renowned view, we ate on the Terrace, an outdoor dining room on the restaurant’s third floor. The views were, indeed, spectacular, but I have to admit that I was pretty unimpressed with the restaurant. The place was packed and super loud, and I found the food to be pretty mediocre and overpriced. The highlight of my $39 halibut (supposedly the best item on the menu) was the corn it was served on top of. The rest of my family had the fish tacos, linguine, and yellowtail fish special. I suppose I’m glad we went so we could say we did, but it was by far the least remarkable (and most expensive) place we ate all trip.
DAY 3: LITTLE ITALY + CORONADO
My sister and I started our morning off with a walk to the beach and along La Jolla’s main street, Avenida de la Playa. We grabbed coffee at Brick & Bell and then got in the car with our parents toward the U.S.S. Midway. I had a lingering feeling in the back of my mind that I was distinctly uninterested in touring the aircraft carrier museum, so when we happened to drive by the most glorious farmers market in the middle of Little Italy, I demanded we make a pitstop. My dad pulled over, Julia and I jumped out, and we agreed to meet a couple hours later. 6+ blocks of fresh produce, baked goods, and other handcrafted items, and it was safe to say we made the right call.
Speaking of calls, we then heard from our parents and met at Broadway Pier for the ferry to Coronado Island. We didn’t end up getting to the island until about 2pm, so we stopped in for lunch at Leroy’s (a solid rec from Sarah; get the burger), and then did a quick self-tour of Hotel Coronado before grabbing an Uber back to the city. Dinner that night was at a cozy little Italian spot in La Jolla called Barbarella. After all the heavy eating I’d been doing (plus a healthy serving of their warm, fresh bread), I had a light chopped salad for dinner.
DAY 4: RANCHO SANTA FE + DEL MAR
As usual, our day started with food– for me, an acai bowl for breakfast at Shorehouse Kitchen. The bowl was actually exceptional, but what was more amazing was seeing Max Greenfield (aka SCHMIDT from New Girl) casually stroll out of the restaurant with who I can only assume are his nice Jewish parents. My mom unabashedly snapped a pic (full volume “snap” and all), and while I was embarrassed at the time (so not chill), I’m ultimately glad I have photographic proof.
The rest of our afternoon was spent recovering from our first celeb sighting and strolling through the Rancho Santa Fe farmers market, where I had an amaaaazingly delicious vegan lunch. We dined in Del Mar for dinner at Cucina Enoteca, a very hip Italian spot. Its decor reminded me a bit of Benjy’s in Houston. We started with a meat and cheese plate and lots of bread, followed by a chopped salad and bucatini with guanciale, which I split with my sister. Yum.
DAY 5: TRAVEL DAY
Our ride out of San Diego was much smoother than our incoming trip. And, in a celeb sighting bonus round, TI was going through the security line at the same time we were! He is not TSA pre-checked, but was able to cut the entire line. Not sure if they made him take off his shoes or not though…
Phew, that was a lot. All in all, it was a holiday weekend well spent. I have such little time left in Houston (5 full days), so I was happy to spend some quality time away with my family before I take this show on the road to Austin.
As a follow up to this post (and all of my indulgences), I want to write a piece on how to bounce back after a vacation. Let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d like to see!