Cruisin’ Down the California Coast

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I couldn’t come all the way to California and not venture more than a mile outside of downtown San Diego, so Ben and I stayed an extra day to explore the golden coast!

Sunday morning we got up bright and early, hopped in our rental car and headed straight for Cardiff by the Sea – my favorite, sleepy beach town about 30 minutes north of San Diego.

Home to the most hoppin’ breakfast place around – Pipes!

The line to eat Pipes’ fast, filling, phenomenal breakfast yesterday morning was just as long as it had been when Ben and I first visited nearly 4 years ago.

The wait is soooo worth it though.

We ordered, then posted up at the corner breakfast counter, which overlooked waving palm trees lining the street outside.

THEN THIS HAPPENED!

1 Vegetable Scramble with eggs, tomatoes, onions and chopped tortillas served over a bed of Pipes’ signature breakfast potatoes, positively smothered in cheddar cheese!

No seriously – suffocated – in cheddar cheese!

It was the best breakfast I have ever had. There. I said it.

Can we talk about the genius that is putting sliced flour tortillas in an egg scramble? The thick, warm and chewy strips were all around life-changing. Can’t wait to recreate this a home!

Ben ordered a Breakfast Burrito that was bigger than his torso.

And it was basically the best thing he’s ever had as well.

After breakfast, we rolled ourselves to the beach located less than 100 yards away.

It has been my experience that southern California mornings tend to start out cool and hazy.

It’s the perfect time for surfers to come out and play.

It’s also the time when this Midwestern girl questions her current living situation.

Seriously, people live like this. Everyday. It’s wild!

And so did we, if only for the day.

After a nice long walk in the silky smooth sand, we headed up one of the towering staircases dotting the coast, connecting beach to town.

It was just then that the morning haze started to burn off and the water turned a beautiful shade of sparkling blue.

Bliss.

We strolled back through quaint Cardiff (where I would absolutely insist on living if we ever moved to southern Cali) before heading back to the car to continue our sight-seeing adventures.

Oh, right. Check out our whip.

Ben calls from the rental place – “Well the good news is they gave us a Camero. The bad news is it’s canary yellow.” Work it!

And so we drove our bright-yellow, rented Camero down the coast, soaking up the views from our windows like they’d be gone tomorrow.

‘Cause they would be!

Next stop on our tour de San Diego County – La Jolla!

La Jolla is a gorgeous coastal town also north of San Diego.

It’s home to incredible beach-side homes, restaurants (George’s) and shops.

And seals!

Those suckers are fun to look at, but shoooo do they stink!

Our walk along the cliffs that tower above the ocean in La Jolla brought us to some tide pools to explore.

Lots of crab and fish here!

After a nice hike around the area we were going to try and make it to Coronado Island, but traffic was getting horrific, and we’d explored most of the island on our last trip to SD, so we did the logical thing – headed back our hotel for drinks on the balcony!

Are you sensing a recurring theme here?

I was still stuffed from breakfast, but these Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips I picked up from the expo hall during the conference looked mighty fine to my chirping sweet tooth. Umm, they taste like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Awesome!

Cold beers were tasty as well.

Our stomachs started to rumble a few beers later, so we got showered up then headed to the hotel’s pool bar for a happy hour cocktail before heading to dinner.

A Classic Margarita on the rocks was refreshing to the max.

Which we enjoyed with some new friends we made – Chris & Erin from Portland – whee!

It was um, dark, by the time we tore ourselves away from C&E, but we knew right where we were headed for dinner. Neighborhood.

Neighborhood’s décor and menu is fun and funky.

Pasilla Steak Frites – charred pasilla pepper, gaujillo crema feta, cotja & gorgonzola cheese, sweet potato fries, cilantro and tomatillo salsa – practically leapt off the page, calling to me.

May I introduce you to sweet potato fries smothered in multi kinds of cheese, topped with steak and served in a meatloaf pan?!?!?!!

I know I keep saying this, but O.M.G. I cannot even go into detail about how mothwatering this was.

It was as completely bananas as it sounds AND looks, and was easily my favorite meal of the entire trip.

And so our sunny California getaway ended in a blaze of cheesy, meaty, potato glory. Sounds about right!

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Thank you all for following my posts from my trip to the BlogHer Conference and shenanigans in San Diego! I am so grateful to the folks at American Express for sending me, and actually had a lot of fun tracking my trip budget using their pre-paid card.

BlogHer was everything I thought it would be AND more. The sessions I attended were informative and inspiring. I feel refreshed and more excited than ever to keep plugging away on IGE. I would totally recommend this conference to anyone that is considering attending in the future.

And with that – it’s back to real life! As much fun as I had, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Ok, you know what? I’m not. That was really fun and I kind of wish I could do it all over again!

Ah well, there’s always next year.

Regular programming to commence tomorrow! Have a great night!

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