A fun and relaxing trip to sunny San Diego

This past weekend was a very good one. Dave and I traveled down to San Diego to visit his parents, and we even brought our little Rudy pup along for the trip. I have so much to share about this fabulous getaway, but let’s start with the highlights …

  • The weather was complete perfection. It was pleasantly cool in the mornings and nights, yet sunny and warm during the days. Dave’s Dad said the weather was actually a little bit more moderate than normal during our stay (not too hot or cold), and we loved it.
  • I had the most amazing acai bowl at a local coffee shop in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, and I’m still thinking about it. I love everything about eating acai bowls. I could eat one every single day.
  • I learned how to play backgammon, and it’s not quite as easy as it looks, folks. 
  • We went to a most wonderful jazz concert in the park on Sunday on the island of Coronado, where Dave’s parents live. That evening, we picnicked and salsa danced among a large group of people in front of a gazebo. So fun.
  • Our little Rudy pup took his first plane trip, his first boat ride, his first ride in a convertible and even had his first encounter with a cat, all in the span of three days. He was a great traveler — with only a few cries and yelps on the plane when he was fully zipped up into his traveling case. Although it was expensive to take him on the plane, traveling with a puppy is not difficult at all, and we’d do it again in an instant.
  • We spent a ton of time outdoors, whether we were by the pool, kayaking, on the boat or eating (a lot of eating …), we soaked up plenty of fresh air.
  • I sat in a massage chair (which Dave’s parents have in their guest room), for about an hour total over the course of the weekend, and it was very relaxing. I’m pretty sure I’m going to put one of those on my (long-shot) Christmas wish list.

Now, let’s get to a little recap of the happenings …

A short flight to San Diego on Friday with a nervous puppy 

On Friday morning, after teaching BODYATTACK, I showered up and zipped up my suitcase, then Dave, Rudy and I headed to the Oakland airport for our lunch-time flight. We got there plenty early in order to get Rudy checked in, and the process of traveling with a pet was a breeze — although he was pretty shaky for much of it. The flight was quick, and in just over-an-hour, we had landed at the small San Diego airport.

San Diego trip with Rudy via A Lady Goes West blog

By the way, your in-cabin pet is supposed to stay under the seat in front of you for the duration of the flight, but we may or may not have let Rudy stick his little head out and up when he needed it. And at one point, he was on my lap in his carrier, and the flight attendant made me put him back down. After she did that, another flight attendant came by and said she wished that Rudy could stay out, because he was so darn cute. I agree. Needless to say, numerous people approached us to pet Rudy at the airport on the way there and back.

An evening boat ride and dining al fresco on Friday night

Dave’s Mom picked us up from the airport, and we crawled through some bad traffic on the way home to Coronado. We had never been to his parents’ new place in the Cays area, where they’ve been for a few months, and it was just gorgeous. They are on the water and have a lot more space than their last home, which was closer to downtown Coronado.

San Diego trip boating and eating via A Lady Goes West blog

That evening, we took a boat ride on the water behind his parents’ house with the family and then enjoyed a nice dinner outside on the deck.

The gym, the pool and some pampering on Saturday 

On Saturday morning, Dave, Rudy and I swung by Panera to pick up breakfast. Once breakfast was complete, Dave’s little sister, Gwena, and I rode bikes to the nearby hotel gym to complete this hotel-gym workout together. I showed Gwena some new exercises, and we had fun sweating and talking. By the way, Gwena is a Zumba instructor, and was totally jealous of my experience meeting Beto and taking a class from him at IDEA BlogFest with Sweat Pink in LA a few weeks ago.

San Diego trip at the Loews Hotel via A Lady Goes West

After spending about 45 minutes in the gym, we rode our bikes back home, put on our swimsuits and went back to the Loews Hotel again with the whole family to lay by the pool and have lunch. We got some sun, then Dave’s Mom, Gwena and I hit up the fancy spa to sit in the hot tub and shower. From there, we went to get manis and pedis at a brand new nail salon in downtown Coronado, while Dave and his Dad went on the boat. It was a great manicure and pedicure, full of some funny moments, like when my manicurist spilled numerous things on me throughout the course of my services.

Beachside dining in Imperial Beach on Saturday night

On Saturday evening, we all went out to the Imperial Beach neighborhood for dinner at SEA180 Coastal Tavern in the Pier South Resort on the water. While the Imperial Beach neighborhood is not super nice, this particular hotel was pretty cool.

San Diego eats at SEA180 Tavern in Imperial Beach via A Lady Goes West

I loved the decor of the restaurant, and the food was great. Some highlights from our meals included the brussels sprouts appetizer, and the mashed purple sweet potato that came under my macadamia-crusted fish dish. Because the dessert selection wasn’t quite up my alley, we swung by Von’s for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and a massive slice of carrot cake for us (me) to enjoy at home.

Kayaking and exploring San Diego and the beaches

On Sunday morning, Dave and I made another trip to Panera for breakfast. Then, we came back and took a little loop on the kayaks behind the house. The water was super calm, and it was a peaceful activity, in which we got to look at the back of many beautiful homes. I was totally content to stay inside, but Dave insisted we go on the kayaks, and I was so happy we did. It was a great way to start the day.

In the mid-morning, Dave, Gwena, Rudy and I loaded up in a convertible and went on a tour of San Diego with the top down. We drove through the Gaslamp Quarter, which is a trendy restaurant and bar strip in downtown San Diego. Then we went straight to Ocean Beach to Newbreak Coffee & Cafe, a place that Gwena swore had a great acai bowl. She knew I needed to eat a good one, because my last acai-bowl experience in San Diego in November was sub-par. Well Gwena’s recommendation came through. The three of us all got delicious and huge acai bowls and sat outside in the sunshine slurping them down — with Rudy on Dave’s lap, participating in all the action.

San Diego trip to visit Ocean and Pacific Beach via A Lady Goes West blog

From there, we drove to Pacific Beach, parked the car and walked along the sidewalk just above the beach. We had planned to walk on the beach, but found out that dogs weren’t allowed during the day hours, so we had to stay off. Gwena thought we would like to see Pacific Beach, because it’s a totally casual and laid-back scene, with little huts, surfers and shops all crowding the coastline, and she was right.

That was our last stop on our adventure before heading to the grocery store for picnic supplies. And I must say, it was the perfect selection of San Diego spots. Gwena did an awesome job showing us some new areas, yet we barely scratched the surface of all there is to see in SD.

Sunday night concert in the park on Coronado

On Sunday night, the whole Pitt family loaded up and headed to downtown Coronado at Spreckels Park for the Coronado Promenade Concerts in the park, a free weekly event which takes place during the summer on the island. We packed some chairs, some cheese and crackers as well as some wine, and set up an area in the crowded park. I will say that this was by far my favorite time during our great weekend trip. The scene was wonderful. It was super family-friendly and everyone had elaborate picnic set-ups.

San Diego Coronado concert in the park via A Lady Goes West blog

The musicians of the night made up a live jazz band, Louie Cruz Beltran, who were total crowd-pleasers and played a lot of Latin music. At one point, there was a salsa instructor giving lessons, so of course, Gwena and I joined in. Toward the end of the concert, most people were dancing, and even Dave hopped up to take me for a swing on the grassy dance-floor. 

After that, we went back to home for a final delicious grilled meal outdoors, which Dave cooked up for us. The weather was so gorgeous, and the sun was down as we were eating pretty late into the night. We had some dessert, and then called it a night shortly thereafter, totally fulfilled from our day of fun.

Heading back to the Bay Area on Monday morning

On Monday morning, Dave and I packed up our stuff, said our goodbyes to his Dad and little sister, and his Mom dropped us off at the airport. We arrived very early, super hungry and were a bit disappointed with the food selection in our terminal. We had to settle for breakfast at Einstein’s Bagels, which was not-so-good. But at least our flight was on-time and easy, and by the mid-afternoon Dave was back at his office, and I was heading home with Rudy to unpack, hit the grocery store and collect myself before heading to teach. 

Overall, it was an awesome weekend. Not only did we enjoy a lot of quality time with Dave’s family, who I just love, but we also relaxed, ate good food, explored new areas and totally changed up our normal weekend routine with extra outdoor activities. I can’t wait to go back to San Diego, because it’s definitely a place I’d like to see more of. And that concert in the park on Sundays? Count me in! We need Walnut Creek to offer something like that near us each week, because I’d become a regular. Thanks for the fun, San Diego. We surely enjoyed the weekend and hope to see you again!

San Diego trip via A Lady Goes West blog

That’s the story. We’re back in the real world for just a few days before heading down to Monterey this weekend for a wedding. And the Hawaii countdown? We leave in 23 days! We don’t normally travel so much, but I’m totally loving the fact that this summer has included so many trips. Have a fabulous Tuesday, folks, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow to talk about food.

Questions of the day

Do you travel with your pets?

Have you ever been to San Diego before?

What’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?

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52 Comments

  1. Looks like you guys had a blast! I have to ask, where is your brown tunic shirt and bright flower dress from? I love them both!

    1. Hi Jess! Thank you! The brown tunic is a super-old sweater thing from Macy’s, and the pink flower dress is from Nordstrom Rack. I can’t find the exact, but here’s the brand: http://goo.gl/28zOPv. I added my own belt to it. Have a lovely day!! πŸ™‚

  2. So impressed that you took Rudy, and I’m glad that you all survived! I think it is kind of like traveling with children πŸ˜€ I’ve been to San Diego once, but I had a great time, and yes, the weather is fantastic. Chicago has a similar concert series, but it gets swamped with people. Oh, City living!

    1. Hi Susie! Yes, city living is a beautiful thing, but you have to fight the crowds during free events. And we LOVED taking Rudy with us. It’s just one extra bag to carry on with him in it heehhe! πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday!

  3. I love San Diego! It was my first (and only so far) taste of California and I loved everything about it. I’m glad Rudy was such a good flier. I love when people travel with pets. I always just want to play with them and it puts me at ease somehow too.

    1. Hi Stacie! You need to experience San Francisco and wine country to get more “California” on your next visit. And yes, it seems like no one around us minded having Rudy on the plane with them hehe!:) Happy Tuesday!

  4. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about San Diego- I have a friend who lives there and have been dying to visit her but haven’t had the chance to make it yet πŸ™

    1. You need to make that visit, Annmarie! There’s so much to see and do in San Diego. Lots of great running and fitness areas outside as well, which I know you would enjoy!

  5. Oh my gosh, reading all this is making me homesick for San Diego! I want to hop in the car and drive the 12 hours to get there right now! I know all those places you mentioned and have fond memories of lots of them. We actually tried to get stationed in Coronado on this next tour, but it wasn’t available. But, I think we will enjoy Japan very much. Hawaii?! I LOVE that place too!! We went there twice while living in San Diego. I remember the first time I went to meet my husband there at the end of a deployment. My plane ticket was a whopping $244! This was about 16 years ago or so. Glad you had such a wonderful time. And, I’ve never had an acai bowl before. I’ve heard lots about them, but there aren’t any where we live. I should make my own!

    1. Hi Melissa! Oh man, it would be awesome to have gotten a spot stationed on Coronado. It seems like more than half of the island is made up of military bases. And yes, you can try making your own acai, — pick up the Sambazon Acai packets in the freezer section as the base. Happy Tuesday, lady! πŸ™‚ And yes — you’ll love Japan for all the new things you’ll get to do and see there!

    1. Hhaha Hi GiGi! Thanks, I think he’s pretty good looking too. And you really need to explore San Diego, if not just for the acai bowls and food. πŸ™‚ Go for it!

    1. Hi Carrie! You’ve got to get down to SD! And thanks, I figured concert-in-the-park called for something casual and flowy! πŸ™‚ Happy Tuesday, lady!

  6. What an excellent weekend! I am moving down to SD in a few weeks for grad school and your post made me so excited πŸ™‚ I’m definitely trying that acai shop in Ocean Beach!

  7. What an incredible trip!! I’m right there with you, an acai bowl a day keeps the doctor away… that’s the saying isn’t it? : ) I’ve never been to San Diego but would love love love to get to Southern California within the next two years! Hope you have a fabulous day!!

  8. I’ve been to San Diego & SoCal a lot. I love the laid back vibe of San Diego & the restaurants downtown are so quaint & unique. My only complaint is that it’s too cold there! I’m so glad you guys had a great time!

  9. I have never been to San Diego and would love to go there one day!
    UCSD is actually on the list of places I am applying to, so at least going to see the campus would be nice. Do you think it is similar to L.A?
    Btw, loved loved loved all of your outfits, and especially those dangly earrings, so cute!

    1. Hi Niki! I think SD is much less crowded and crazy than LA overall. It’s a smaller place too. I’d choose SD over LA for sure! πŸ™‚ So cool you are applying to UCSD – so yes, you should visit! πŸ™‚

  10. That pink floral dress you have is ah-maz-ing.

    I haven’t been to San Diego since I was little but my fiance and I are heading down their for our honeymoon in October! This post got me so excited πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Aleah! That’s awesome you are honeymooning in San Diego. Apparently there is an awesome dessert place in downtown called Extraordinary Desserts that we didn’t make it to, so check that out. And my dress is from Nordstrom Rack. Here’s the brand: http://goo.gl/28zOPv, but it doesn’t look like the exact one is still available.

    1. Hi Jill! That’s awesome! You have to get some Mexican food (which I didn’t get this time, but did the last visit) and an acai bowl when you go! Have so much fun!! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi MacKenzie, We had so much fun in SD! And you totally need to try an acai bowl. You can make one yourself too if there are no places near you that sell them — much like a smoothie with some extra toppings. Happy Tuesday, lady! πŸ™‚

  11. I am jealous for so many reasons! I have never been to CA, much less San Diego. I have never had an acai bowl before. And, I have never been to an outdoor concert and had a picnic. Clearly I have some living to do!
    I am glad you guys had such a fun trip!!

    1. Hi Heather! You could do all of those things on one trip to San Diego haha! Or plenty of places. At the very least, make yourself an acai bowl at home, lady! πŸ™‚ Get on it! heheh!

  12. What a fun weekend! So glad Rudy had a good flight, we haven’t done anything other than a road trip with our pup.
    I love doing active-y things on vacation, it makes you feel a little less guilty about eating whatever I want ;). This year I tried SUP in Jamaica, the year before I did snuba in Grand Turk, and in Hawaii I tried kayaking and some other things. Being land-locked in Missouri, it makes it a bit difficult to get to the beach, but when I do get there, you better believe I’m gonna do it all!

    1. Hi Jessie! I know, I was glad we did some movement during the trip. I tried SUP in Jamaica on my honeymoon years ago and would love to do it again. πŸ™‚ I bet you miss the water while at home in Missouri!! Happy Tuesday πŸ™‚ Rudy says hi!

  13. My husband is in San Diego for work and I am even more jealous right now that he’s there after reading this recap! I’d love to go to San Diego! Everything about your trip just looked perfect and I’m so glad you had a great time!

    1. Oh Heather, I’d be way jealous if I were you! San Diego is a wonderful place to visit. Hope you’re having a great week so far! πŸ™‚

  14. So happy you posted about this – I’m headed to San Diego for the first time in early September and cannot wait! I’m visiting a friend from law school who grew up there and is now back there to work, we are driving down after running the Disneyland Dumbo races together. It looks so pretty and we will have to check out the concert in the park!

  15. That’s pretty brave to take your dog on an airplane. We have traveled with our beagle before. They’re pretty good car travelers, but I think our huskies would not be the most fun to travel with because of all the shedding. πŸ˜›

    Your vacation looks like the kind of vacation that I would love to go on sometime this year. πŸ™‚ I love sitting around reading books, working out, eating some good food, and just enjoying the outdoors.

  16. Capitola has Wednesday night concerts on the beach you may enjoy. I am a CA native so San Diego I have visited a lot. It’s not my favorite due to the traffic but fun for activities . I traveled with my elderly cat twice and the stewardess were so mean and so we’re other people on the plane but my cat was amazing. She was quiet and perfectly behaved. It’s so easy to travel with your pet and so fun. Better then any brat ever on the plane!

  17. What an awesome weekend! It sounds like Rudy did really well too! I think it’s ridiculous that they made you put Rudy back down on the floor during the flight. As long as he’s in his carrier and not disturbing anyone then what does it matter?

    But I digress, San Diego looks amazing. I need to go ASAP! Oh, and I love your dress in the last pic. You look gorgeous!!

    1. Hi Sarah! Thanks! And yes, about Rudy, I mean — he wasn’t bothering anyone, so he should have been allowed to stay out. And as far as San Diego – you would like it. It’s like the nice versions of Florida cities in many parts. πŸ™‚ hehehe

  18. I love SD! Kyle used to travel there for work a lot when we lived in Minnesota and I definitely took advantage of his trips a few times. The weather always seems to be perfect! So glad you had a good weekend and flying with Rudy went so well.

  19. Glad you had a great trip! Walking/running the boardwalk in PB is my favorite πŸ™‚ I didn’t realize dogs weren’t allowed, but it makes sense. It’s definitely crowded with bikers, roller bladers, runners, etc… I could see some disastrous results with a leash.

    1. Hi Breanne, Dogs weren’t allowed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and it was super busy, but I feel like Rudy shouldn’t be classified as “dog” hehehe. πŸ™‚

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