Happiness Is…


The fun started way before we landed in sunny San Diego this morning – check out these views of the Grand Canyon from the plane!

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Cool, right?!

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Ok, ok, this still beats that… ;)

I. Love. California!!!

I started smiling like a maniac when I felt that first whoosh of cool, NON-HUMID SoCal air hit me as I stepped off the plane and onto the jet bridge. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve felt that?

Ben and I hopped off the plane, cabbed it to our hotel and 10 minutes after checking in we were back on the streets. Destination: Tin Fish for fish tacos!

Tin Fish is the first restaurant we ate at the last time we came to San Diego, and honest to goodness, I have not stopped thinking about their fish tacos for FOUR YEARS. We ordered up and sat back with an ice cold Tecate Light while we waited in anticipation for them to come out.

Perched at a table outside the restaurant under the warm sun, with a cool breeze washing over us – we were in serious it doesn’t get better than this territory. It was so great that I started getting anxiety about coming home, even though our vacation had just begun.

Then our fish tacos arrived, and I said to heck with that!

Ok, I have no other grilled fish tacos to compare these grilled fish tacos to, but holy buckets these are SO good. SO SO GOOD.

Fresh halibut it lightly seasoned and grilled, then topped with a creamy sauce, fresh pico de gallo and ‘slaw. They were even better than I remembered.

Served with a side of ‘tators that tasted like they were seasoned with Old Bay. Crazy.

I could eat this every day of our trip! :D

For dessert, we headed next door to Pinkberry!!

I tried Pinkberry for the first time in Dallas last year and it 100% lived up the hype.

Almost sour-tasting fro yo comes swirled in a cup and topped with your choice of fresh fruit, candy or cereal toppings.

Today I rocked a mini cup of original flavor with fresh raspberries, mango and oreos.

And it ruled.

And I was so happy!

Afterwards we hit up San Diego’s historic Gas Lamp district for some window shopping and planning. There are SO many fun restaurants and bars on this street alone – it’ll be hard to choose which ones we want to come back to!

On the way back to the hotel we stopped by a little wine/beer shop and picked up a fruity six-pack to enjoy…


on our own balcony – whee!!!

Happiness is sipping cold beers with your husband while taking in the view of the San Diego Marina no further than 100 yards away.

It doesn’t get,

much better than this! :D

I am off to go pick up my registration packet for the conference, then Ben and I are going to go wander around the marina and re-visit those trees on the right hand side of the picture above. That’s where he got down on one knee. ;)

See ya!

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  1. I love San Diego! Enjoy :)

  2. Fish tacos are my FAVORITE! I crave them all the time, and I know San Diego must have some bomb ones down there being so close to Mexico & right on the ocean. Looks like the beginning of a great trip!

  3. Lauren 08.04.2011

    Oh this makes me so excited for our trip to Cali next week. So I just realized I am vacation stalking you! LoL Remember I went to Vegas last year right after you did and now we are going to CA next week too! We’ll be in Napa so totally different parts of the state, but still ironic. Have a blast!

  4. kelly 08.04.2011

    I love San Diego. Have a great trip!

  5. Anita 08.04.2011

    So beautiful!! I’m heading down to Southern California in a few weeks for college and you’re making me even more excited to get back there!

  6. Karin 08.04.2011

    Have fun in San Diego. What a great place to explore. I’ll have to remember this place for fish tacos, the next time I travel south (I live in Northern CA). Blogging conference should be fun.

  7. Krystina 08.04.2011

    Oh man, I was *just* there a few weeks ago (for Comic-Con ’cause I’m a nerd like that) – it’s fun to relive it all again through your site! I went to both Tin Fish & Pinkberry and I could not get ENOUGH of the Pinkberry salted caramel with graham cracker & raspberry. I was actually kind of sad on the plane coming back about the fact that we don’t have it here in the Midwest until I found out they just recently opened a Chicago location.

  8. James 08.04.2011

    If you don’t try the Salted Caramel pinkberry with waffle cone topping, caramel drizzle, and a pinch of rock salt, you will really be missing out! Have a blast here in California!

  9. Abbey 08.04.2011

    I have sisters that live in San Diego and absolutely love visiting there. A couple of suggestions to check out… Blue Water Seafood (http://www.bluewater.sandiegan.com/) for Ono fish tacos, Cucina Urbana (http://www.cucinaurbana.com/) for Italian, Hash House a Go Go (http://www.hashhouseagogo.com/) for the biggest most delicious breakfast ever, and Yogurtland (http://www.yogurt-land.com/) for self serve frozen yogurt (better than Pinkberry in my opinion).

  10. Erin D. 08.04.2011

    Your Grand Canyon photos are great! Where is your striped tank top from? Sorry if you’ve answered that a million times before…

  11. San Diegan :) 08.04.2011

    Welcome to America’s Finest City!!! I’m from SD and I dig your blog, so on behalf of my city, so glad you’re here!! Love the Tin Fish, great for people watching and their fish tacos are not bad at all!! As for other gaslamp bars, here are some of my favorites…

    Altitude (on the top floor of the Marriott by the ballpark) has awesome views of the Bay.

    Vin de Syrah (on 5th and E – right next to the Melting Pot) is great too, they have live music some nights and a really cool setup inside.

    The Field on 5th and Market, a fun Irish Bar that always promises a good time…most of my memories of trips there are pretty fuzzy:)

    …and right next to the Field is a speakeasy called Prohibition, it’s really easy to miss, but very cool when you get inside. Much more low key than some of the other gaslamp bars but they have awesome drinks and live jazz.

    Have a great weekend!!

  12. Jenni 08.04.2011

    So cool to see pictures of my city on your blog!

    To follow up San Diegan’s suggestions — if you want some great food and even better margaritas, La Puerta on 4th Avenue is excellent. I like going in the afternoon when it’s a little less clubby.

    Enjoy your weekend, the weather should be great!

  13. Erica 08.04.2011

    I was there in April and the pool was not yet finished. Enjoy it! I’m just a little bit jealous. :) And although it’s a chain, we stopped at the yard house in the gas lamp where they have hundreds of beers on tap! The blueberry and apricot beers are delish!

  14. so jealous of you guys! i have never been to california but your description made me want to go even worse than i already want to! your top is awesome – where is it from?? and could you guys be any cuter?? have a great trip!

  15. Jennifer 08.04.2011

    Great post!!! I always love your travel posts. So FUN!
    I have to ask- where did your hubby get that Whigs t-shirt? Is it for The Afghan Whigs (band)? I would LOVE to surprise my hubby with that shirt.
    Have an awesome trip! I saw that Ree Drummond is going to that Blogger Conference, too. All the best bloggers under one roof=awesome!

  16. Maggie 08.04.2011

    My husband and I were there in May and on a suggestion from a water taxi driver went to a small bar called The Regal Beagle. They have about 30 different craft beers on tap and most are local. My husband is a beer lover and said it was one of his favorite parts of the trip. Google it, you’ll probably have to take a taxi as it was about a 15 minute drive from our hotel in Seaport. I’m guessing Ben would love it. Have fun!

  17. Kristen 08.04.2011

    if you have time, you MUST go to La Jolla and eat @ George’s!
    view is breathtaking and food is even better

  18. Dawn Marie 08.04.2011

    You look like you belong here! Have fun!

    ;-) I don’t know how a blog could beat out SoCal, but that’s cool, I am glad it did!
    Gotta hear that though.

  19. Sarah 08.04.2011

    Some unsolicited San Diego recommendations, heh:
    -Best fish tacos EVER: Mariscos German in South Park. It’s a tiny little taco truck, but trust me, they’re the best ever. And cheap.
    -Delicious Italian: Cucina Urbana in Banker’s Hill
    -Delicious dessert: Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy or Banker’s Hill

    Hope you enjoy your stay! The weather in San Diego this weekend couldn’t be more perfect. =)

  20. Oh my gawd, those fish tacos look amaze! I have been craving fish tacos for a long time–and halibut–but there aren’t any places around here that serve them! Gah. Definitely not like that, either. I may have to make my own, or fly to SoCal, haha. Either way, I am getting fish tacos SOON! :)

  21. MyThy 08.05.2011

    You’ve got to try Hash House A Go Go! It’s huge and sharable but delish! Yelp it!

  22. Hope 08.05.2011

    It looks like you are having a great time!! Those tacos look really good and I don’t even like fish! :)

  23. jad18 08.05.2011

    San Diego and the Grand Canyon! Two of my favorites in the same post. Someone already mentioned it, but try to visit Extraordinary Desserts. There is one in Little Italy and the chocolate cake is amazing. Also, if you two have some time take a trolly tour. We were only in town for a few days and it was a great way to see a lot (Balboa Park, Old Town, Coronado) in a short period of time. Oh, and it looks like we are headed for some cooler/nice weather here in Iowa mid to late next week.

  24. SO jealous! Looks like a great start to the trip, have fun :)

  25. Kristin from MN 08.05.2011

    Wow it looks so gorgeous there & you take awesome pics! Have a fabulous vacation! P.S. I love your striped tank! Where did you get it?

  26. Angle 08.05.2011

    Go to The Mission on Mission Blvd by the beach for a fantastic breakfast! We used to go every weekend when we lived there. Also, Georges in La Jolla is great and there’s a Nordtrm Rack not close to Fashion Valley Mall.

  27. kylee 08.05.2011

    I want to go to San Diego even more than before!! Thanks for sharing.

  28. Betsey 08.05.2011

    Beautiful – it look like you’re already having a great time! Hope the conference goes well and you enjoy the rest of your time there!

  29. […] where to find them in Rochester? This entry was posted in Daily Update. Bookmark the permalink. ← […]

  30. AJ 08.05.2011

    I love San Diego. If I was going to move away from Iowa, I would go to the west coast. It looks like you are having an awesome trip so far! I agree, PinkBerry is sooo good!!! We need to get one in the Des Moines area.

  31. Jess 08.05.2011

    If you can find the coconut brew from Kona Brewing Co., it is fabulous!!

  32. 1. Your new shirt is soo cute! Love it
    2. How cool to fly over the grand canyon??
    3. I love California too. I have a layover in San Diego tonight and I wish I could step outside of the airport, even if just for a second.
    4. Have a wonderful time at the conference and with you hubby!!

  33. Natalie 08.05.2011

    Looks like an awesome trip. If you like frozen yogurt you have to go to Yogurtland! It’s the bomb! They are all over OC (where I am), but I see a few sprinkled in SD.

    Karl Strauss also makes a very good Red Trolly Ale.

    Have fun!

  34. AlisonP 08.05.2011

    As a San Diegan myself, I can’t help but give some unsolicited restaurant suggestions:

    -Cucina Urbana as someone else already noted – GREAT

    -Bencotto in Little Italy is SUPERB. Totally delish Italian. So homemade goodness and totally chic. And it’s close to Yogurtland that someone else mentioned.

    -I give La Puerta a total thumbs up.

    -El Camino in Little Italy is also fun – they have an outdoor patio where you can see the planes flying into the airport right overhead. Their food is delish and margis are top notch.

    -Craft and Commerce in Little Italy has AMAZING unique handcrafted drinks that will boggle your tastebuds.

    -Searsucker in the gaslamp on 5th & Market is a fun place. Gets kinda packed later at night, but the food is fun and quirky and the drinks GOOD. Get the Alesmith Nautical Nut Brown beer if you go – AMAZING.


  35. Alyssa 08.05.2011

    I hope you to get meet The Pioneer Woman!!

  36. Nicole 08.05.2011

    I’ve never thought to take pics from the airplane! Love it! San Diego is one of my favorite places and ase in the running for where to move when I left my hometown (ended up choosing Chicago). Have a fabulous time!

  37. I LOVE Wailua Wheat! (And San Diego!) Have a blast!

  38. Kristin 08.05.2011

    Kona beer! You have to try the coffee flavored one – it is awesome, but heavy on the alcohol. I so wish we could get that in Iowa!

  39. Deanna 08.05.2011

    I love that area…we used to go sailing out of that marina all the time. Remind me why I live 2 hours away again??? ;)

  40. I love San Diego, and fish tacos! Have a great time.

  41. Eileen 08.05.2011

    I was just reading an article called “Top 10 Restaurants to Watch a Sunset” and there is a place in San Diego mentioned. It’s called George’s at the Cove and here’s a link to the article! Enjoy your trip!

  42. Leesa Garcia 09.03.2014

    Hi there Kristin…

    Just found your blog while searching for a recipe then got totallly caught up with your travel section… I am from San Diego, but have been living in France now (Paris burbs) for 8 years now and travel a lot, all over and esp. in Europe.. LOVED your posts about Italy… and then I found your pics of San Diego and it got me homesick! I just LOVE all your pics and I miss Mexican food a lot, but make it myself in France…. Nothing like fish tacos, and nothing like California… In all my travels, I still think it’s one of THE BEST places in the world.. Glad you and your hubby got to experience it, and some of the best places, too!
    Cheers, Leesa

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