Christmas 2015 in San Diego

To keep the holidays alive just for a few more days, today, I’m sharing all about Christmas 2015, which I spent in Southern California!

Merry Christmas 2015 in San Diego via A Lady Goes WestA little sunset photo-shoot had to happen, especially with a view like this.

After a fabulous birthday in Los Angeles, on the morning of Christmas Eve, Dave and I packed up and headed south to San Diego. About a year-and-a-half ago, Dave’s parents relocated to Coronado, an island off of San Diego, from St. Petersburg, Florida, and this was our third trip down to see them. We had a great time there for Thanksgiving last year and this past July. The weather is great and there’s plenty to do, so we expected much of the same during this visit for Christmas.

Reasons why? All of Dave’s four sisters had made arrangements to be there from far and wide, and it was the first holiday we’ve all spent together in several years. So good to see the greater Pitt clan!

Christmas Eve conversations

When we arrived on Christmas Eve, we joined the family around the living room table to chat and catch up. We also got to meet the newest addition, Dave’s niece, baby Rumi, born just three weeks ago. An afternoon nap was in order, which took place before we sat down for a delicious dinner at the table. Once dinner as over, we opened our special holiday pajamas, put them on and got comfortable by the fireplace.

Due to travel for many of us, we all were more than ready for an early bed-time that night, so tucked away we were before 10 p.m.!

Christmas Day presents and food

On Christmas Day, the family took their time getting up and having breakfast. We were joined by some other visiting family members and had a big group sitting around the living room to open tons of presents. It took a few hours to get through the gifts, which included a “Secret Santa” exchange among the siblings and spouses. Wouldn’t you know that I pulled the name of the person who drew my name too? And yes, we both loved each other’s gifts.

San Diego Christmas 2015Stockings, presents and beef tenderloin? Looks like a holiday to me!

After we opened presents and put away our loot (I got some great stuff, which may or may not be coming to a “Friday Favorites” near you soon!), Dave and I hopped in the car with Rudy to head to downtown Coronado for a little snack and to pick up some last-minute ingredients and groceries for Dave’s Mom for dinner. For our dining pleasure, we stopped by Juice Crafters for a protein acai bowl and split it in the car. It was full of fruit, nuts and almond butter and was quite delish!

In the early evening, we had a festive and tasty dinner with the big group, drank a little wine and played a game of “celebrity,” which is a mix between charades and a “Who am I” game. And that pretty much rounded out the day. Once again, another early night was in order for us all.

Day after Christmas Gaslamp tour

On the day after Christmas, Dave’s parents, his little sister and I drove into downtown San Diego to explore the Gaslamp neighborhood, which is a trendy spot full of shops and restaurants. We parked, walked around a bit (it was cold and windy!) and found a fabulous lunch spot called Cafe 21, marked for its healthy food options.

Cafe21 brunch in San DiegoI’ve been dreaming about this omelet, which was filled with salmon, ever since I licked that plate clean. Good work, Cafe 21.

We were all super impressed with our meals and had our eyes on plenty of items we didn’t get to sample during that visit. In fact, I hope to go back there one day and order one of the famed sangria flights, which I saw many tables indulging in. After lunch, we walked around a bit more to shop and then headed home for a very chill evening with Dave’s older sister and her boyfriend.

That night, after a few family members had left, our smaller group played Super Scrabble and Smart Ass, ordered five uniquely topped pizzas from Fire + Fly and dug into some chocolate cake and ice cream. Rudy was the star of the show that night and continued to provide constant entertainment for the entire group — especially with his brand new hilarious little growl he does every-so-often when he gets scared. It was perhaps my favorite part of our entire visit, laughing with the family and trying our hand at trivia.

Of course, once again, we hit the hay early in order to prepare for a big drive back. Yes, we got a lot of sleep over the course of just a few days in San Diego, so it must have been needed for the both of us.

Scenes from after Christmas by A Lady Goes WestJust some casual boardgame fun, a happy road-tripping puppy and my delicious turkey sub from the one-and-only Subway, consumed in the car.

A long trip home

On Sunday, Dave and Rudy and I were on the road by 8 a.m. to head back to the Bay Area. Although we had no problem getting down to L.A. or San Diego earlier in the week, we didn’t have such good luck on the drive back at all. In fact, what should have been a seven-to-eight hour trip took us more than 10 hours, filled with traffic slow-downs. Not fun! However, Rudy sat on my lap in the front seat the entire time like an angel, so he provided some good distractions for me. I’m pretty sure we’ll go back to flying rather than driving on our next visit to San Diego. Nonetheless, a lovely Christmas was had by all — made even sweeter by time with Dave’s family — and now we only have to wait 360+ days until the next one!

A relaxing Christmas in San Diego looks like this ... #travel #SanDiego #California Click To Tweet

Questions of the day

How was your Christmas holiday?

Would you rather drive or fly?



  1. A 10-hour drive home?? Good thing your Christmas made it totally worth it! Sounds like you had a lovely time with Dave’s family. That omelet looks dreamy- smoked salmon + avocado = perfection!

  2. Scrabble!!! I love it, but I’m not very good at it. My brother is really good at it. Christmas was a welcome day of rest and quiet, remembering the reason for the season. <3

  3. It looks like such a great holiday for you πŸ™‚ I hope you both have a great New Years as well πŸ™‚ I would rather fly..I’ve always loved flying and never had any issues (knock on wood!) Plus- free food and drinks and entertainment? Yes please!

    1. Hi Gretchen! We had been flying SO much this year, that we decided to try something different. But back to the airport we go heheh! πŸ™‚ Glad you’ve always had smooth flights, lady!

  4. Awesome Rudy was so good during the trip. Idk that even my attention span is that good…

    Road trips don’t bother me. My husband and I drive to Hilton Head, SC for vacation every summer (about 12 hours from here.) We stop and sightsee so it’s not bad.

    1. Hi Gen! I actually like long roadtrips too, but when you’re crawling in traffic – and waiting in line at every bathroom rest stop because of the crowds is just not fun! BTW, I LOVE Hilton Head and hope to go back one day! πŸ™‚

  5. Aww! You should frame that sunset picture of the 3 of you, too cute! Looks like quite a lovely Christmas :), We played Taboo, Clue, and some card games when the weather turned, it was fun! Can’t wait to see your Friday Favorites :).

    1. YAY for fun games with family over the holidays — that’s my favorite thing to do. It’s been a while since I printed a picture – perhaps I will heheh πŸ™‚ Have a great day, Jessie!

  6. Happy Christmas!!! Sounds like you had a great holiday. It’s always really interesting to hear what goes on on the other side of the Atlantic – I can’t believe you managed to go shopping and get something to eat on Christmas Day!! Everywhere closes here, there is only one shop in my area that stays open (which I managed to buy scissors and sellotape from.. )

    It’s also a shock to hear you drove for 10 hours. I don’t think driving the length of Ire;and would take that long…

    1. There wasn’t much open on Christmas Day outside of the grocery store, Starbucks and a couple of restaurants. πŸ™‚ And yes, California is BIG! Hope you had a nice holiday! πŸ™‚

  7. Happy holidays, Ashley! Sounds like a phenomenal holiday, and glad you got to spend it in California! I have yet to do the drive, but heard it was gorgeous. Gotta love California for it to be so easy to find acai bowls! That omelette looks and sounds sooo good – one of my favourite things to do with memorable meals from vacations is try and recreate it – you should give it a go and share the recipe with us all πŸ˜‰ I love that your holidays was full of games – big chess players over here, so we are always looking for more games so I’ll check the ones on the list. I actually prefer driving to flying { i like the scenery, and get bad plane anxiety } but do love how flying can take you to some far away places! So glad you had a great holiday and have a happy new year!! xx SS

    1. Hi Shannon! I used to think driving is better because of the scenery, until I experienced holiday travel on the freeway hahaha! NOT good! And yes, I love to play games and eat good food. And I’ll certainly let you know if I try to recreate the delicious meal. Hope you had a GREAT holiday! πŸ™‚

  8. What a great Christmas – and beautiful weather it looks like! 4 sisters – wow! Driving vs. flying…that’s a tough one. I hate flying because it can be a pain. Sometimes it’s just easier to hop in the car. But, that CA traffic – yuck. I’ve sat in many hours of traffic on those freeways and it’s maddening at times. But, flights are pretty cheap from SF to SD – I think?? So maybe fly for sure next time. πŸ™‚ Our Christmas was quiet and low key. The hubby had duty on the ship – so he had to be on the ship all day and night on Christmas. We woke the kids up super early, opened presents and then daddy went to work. We did have lunch on the ship later on in the day. It was fun to go check out the ship since we’d never been on it before. Happy Holidays!!

    1. Hi Melissa! Ohhh that’s too bad hubby had to work, but I bet you are used to that! And believe it or not, the flights are NOT cheap to SD at all. Surprisingly expensive. πŸ™ But I guess we’ll choose that option next time anyhow to save time. Is it already New Years there? hahahah

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