Thursday, February 12, 2015

Travel Thursdays: The Land of Palm Trees and 80 Degrees

Looking back through all these photos of my trip makes me want to book a one way ticket to Cali and never come back. Seriously it's sooo tempting. Anyways I'm excited to share with you all my recap of my week in California! Me and my mom booked an impromptu trip out to the west coast for a few days. It's funny because exactly this time last year I was out in California. I might make this an annual thing, every February I take a trip out there! ;)  We were out there for 'business' and leisure so our time was split. We were in the North San Diego County area for half our days and then in Carlsbad for the rest. 

This is going to be a very picture heavy post but it'll be a lot of fun, promise, so stick with me! Let's jump right in!

Tuesday//

In flight essentials! 

 We had an eeeearly flight like it departed at 6am which meant we had to be at the airport at around 5am which meant we left our house at around 4am which meant I was up at 2:30am. Oh and I didn't get to bed till about 12:30 the night/morning before.... needless to say coffee and concealer were my saving graces. 


 We had a layover in Dallas Fort Worth. The monorail thing is so cool! I wish my airport had one! We pretty much just sat at our gate since our layover was only 45 minutes. Once we boarded it was almost a 3 hour flight from DFW to John Wayne Santa Ana airport. We got off the plane, picked up our rental car we were immediately hit with sunshine and palm trees and it was glorious!




Standing on one of the roads through the hills overlooking the canyons. It's just insane the roads and how windy and high they go. 


 We stopped for lunch at my faaavorite place for food in Cali, The Habit Burger Grill. Their food is soo good! I get their chicken club and it's the greatest sandwich I've ever eaten. It's a grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, bacon, avacado and mayo on toasted sourdough. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 


After lunch I honestly can't think of what we did. We stopped by the beach for a bit in the early evening but it was super cold and we missed the sunset. After we checked into a cheap hotel because we were so tired. We were exhausted with our day and travelling so we didn't do anything that night. 



Wednesday// 


 We checked out of our hotel and went to grab some breakfast. We stopped at The Coffee Bean for some coffee and picked up some apple fritters from Albertsons. I ordered the dark chocolate latte and HOLY CRAP! This is literally hot chocolate with coffee. It was the best thing ever and I HIGHLY recommend it! 


On Wednesday we spent the majority of the day doing our 'business' stuff. We were in the car driving through the hills and stopped off at a fruit orchard. It had oranges, lemons, tangerines, grapefruits and avocados. We sampled a few and they were the sweetest, juiciest fruits I've ever had. I'll never eat fruit from the store again. Fresh plucked off the tree is the way to go!


Once we were done there we decided to head down the coast to see the beach. We decided to stay in Carlsbad at this quaint little oceanside hotel. 


After we had finished our business things it was time to check in to a hotel and make our game plan for the evening. After some Googling and review reading we find this gem, Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort in Carlsbad. All the reviews I read were excellent and rated super high, I don't think I found a bad review among the bunch. It's a bit pricey but my mom and I split the cost so it wasn't too bad. This was the nicest hotel I had ever stayed in. It was definitely worth the money. We stayed in a cheap hotel our first night and like the saying goes, you get what you pay for. I'll have more details in a full recap of the post! 



How cute is this little towel animal?!




After resting a bit in our room we were hungry for some dinner. The staff said the Mexican restaurant, Norte, right next door was pretty good so we decided to check it out. I was not impressed at all by their food and neither was my mom. It was probably some of the worst Mexican food I ever had. Their 'salsa' was more like the mild sauce from Taco Bell and their chicken burrito had no flavor. I would not recommend going there. I was super disappointed. We came back to our room and relaxed then went to bed pretty early since we had another full day. 

Thursday//


We got up on Thursday, walked downstairs to grab some delicious coffee and then headed next door to the breakfast restaurant/cafe. The Daily News Cafe is a quaint little cafe, very mom and pop style. It had seating inside and then a beautiful patio that overlooked the main intersection and little 'village'/ shopping area.

 My mom and I split their daily special which was an omelet, our choice of red potatoes, and our choice of a blueberry muffin. Ohmygoodness the food was even more delicious than it looked! The omelet was probably one of the best omelet's I've eaten. It was packed full of the meats and toppings and very filling. Two people could easily split the breakfast no problem. 


After breakfast we had some time to walk around the village for a bit. I loved that there was this British style telephone booth right outside the cafe! My two favorite things, California and England! It actually had a phone in it and you could actually call someone!


We stopped into this surf shop called Sun Diego. I loved every piece of clothing, it was very laid back Cali cool. They had everything from diving gear, to skate/longboarding to surfing and pretty much everything SoCal in between. 



We walked back to freshen up, check out and go to our next 'business' meeting. I had to take an obligatory shoe picture because of the marble walls. I was sitting on the toilet lid and had my legs up. I pretty much got in an ab workout. 

We were out pretty much all day again and by the evening time we were wiped out. We checked into another cheap hotel and just got some fast food for dinner. I was so tired that after eating I hit the sheets. 

Friday//

My mom and I grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonald's and then headed off for just one short 'business' meeting in the morning. After we had almost the entire day to ourselves! We decided to walk around the shops/mall and spend some time at the beach. 


There was a Starbucks nearby so we stopped in to grab our daily dose of coffee and then headed out to walk around. How cool is this mural?! There was a sign (which I'm standing in front of) that read 'Best vacation photo in Carlsbad!" So naturally I had to stand there and get the best vacation photo in Carlsbad. 



After walking around and the temperatures warming up we grabbed our stuff and headed down to the beach. We walked down a little ways enjoying the sun on our faces, the sand between our toes and the sound of the ocean roaring beside us. 


Finding a nice spot on the beach we set up shop and enjoyed our time in the sun. It wasn't too hot or too cold to lay out in but that perfect temperature. It was heavenly. 



Unfortunately it was too cold to actually get in the ocean, as it's 'winter' in California but nonetheless I walked down and got my feet wet. 


We laid out on the beach for about an hour or so then decided to pack up and check out the local shopping mall which was only about a 10 minute drive away. When in Cali and on the beach you gotta take a duckface selfie.


We headed down to the mall, sunroof open on our car, blasting Uptown Funk. It was kinda the best thing ever. 


I absolutely love the floral arrangement!

The mall we went to was a 'premium outlet mall' that was filled with designer stores like Michael Kors, Coach, Ralph Lauren and tons of others. This is something we don't have back home so I was thrilled to window shop!



One of the stores in the mall that I HAD to go into and ooh and awh over was the Kate Spade Outlet. The second I stepped inside I was transported to the fun, bright, colorful, gorgeous land of Kate Spade. I wanted to take every single thing home with me! I absolutely loooved their gallery wall and their necklace display! I wish this was in my room! We shopped around for it a bit more and soon it was time for dinner. 




By the time we arrived back at our hotel, the super nice one, the sun was setting and I wanted to get some sunset on the beach photos before we left. We had missed them the two nights before so we raced down to capture the stunning sunset. The picture don't do it justice on how vibrant and deep the colors are. It was picture perfect. 



After sunset pictures we were starving for some food. We were in the pizza mood and there was a pizza place within walking distance. We waited in line for a bit, ordered, waited some more, got our delicious pie and headed back to our room to indulge. Oh man was it good! After dinner we relaxed a bit and then headed off to bed. 

Saturday// 



After waking up, getting ready for our day we headed back to the little corner cafe to eat some breakfast! We split a meal again and ordered another omelet, hash browns and a biscuit this time. Holy the food was sooo good! It's good ol' country breakfast food. Yum!


We headed back to get our things and check out for the day. We had one last 'business' meeting to go to at around noon, so we hurried off to it since we had to be at the airport by 2pm.


 Before we left our room we had to take advantage of the killer lighting and take a few selfies. We went to our business meeting then had to hurry off to the airport. We finally arrived, went through security and were at our gate. We didn't eat any lunch so we traipsed across the airport with our luggage till we found a place to eat. We decided on Subway and split a footlong and it was delicious! A sub really hit the spot. 


After we had about an hour till our flight departed so we waited at our gate, ate our lunch and I flipped through my new magazine. Before long we were boarding, sat in our seats and waiting for take off. Our flight was pretty empty so we got to move up about 6 rows. Before long we were in Phoenix for our layover. Our last flight was packed and almost 3 hours long. We boarded and got comfortable and soon were flying up the night sky.

I love flying at night and seeing all the sleeping cities.

I slept for a good chunk of the trip then logged onto the on board WiFi to watch some videos. Soon we landed at the airport and were back at home and I was back in bed after a long day. 





I had a great trip with my mom. It was nice to escape for a few days and relax and enjoy warm weather, palm trees and sunshine. California has a special place in my heart and I'm sure I'll be back again soon! 

I know this was a super long post but thanks for sticking with me! You rock! :)

Have you traveled yet this year? Where have you been? Leave me a comment letting me know! 

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"travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer"

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