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California Part 2

We continue our vacation recap with more fun from California. You can catch Part 1 here.

We spent Saturday at Long Beach. Tim and I wanted a little beach time to enjoy the sun and I love time reading a good book. It was a little windy but our cute little umbrella survived.

(*Note to self: Long Beach has a dog beach, about a half mile strip where dogs roam free like Free Willy. If you don’t have a dog, make sure you walk past the dog beach onto calmer beach land. We didn’t put two and two together until we were all set up. Dogs running here and there, licking your legs, barking at other dogs… not my cup of tea).

Did you know? The Port of Long Beach is the United States’ second busiest container port and one of the world’s largest shipping ports? You can see ship after ship coming into port when looking out into the ocean.

We took a stroll along the beach. These lifeguard posts remind me of Baywatch.

We strolled along the Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier where we saw a lot of people fishing. There were even stations to gut and clean your fish. Kind of gross, but also, kind of cool.

We woke up early on Sunday at headed to San Clemente. We grabbed breakfast at The Bagel Shack and headed to the beach to eat and enjoy beautiful views. A couple things. First. The Bagel Shack had the best bagels I’ve ever tasted. I ordered a breakfast sandwich and it was SO amazingly delicious, it’s hard to put into words. The bagel was soft, yet chewy with a butter exterior. The bacon was crispy, eggs extra fluffy and cheese a little melty. If you don’t stop by the next time you’re in town, you’re cray!

Second. Look at our beautiful view. I can’t imagine a better way to start a day. Truly blessed.

After breakfast we grabbed a couple of family photos

We strolled along the pier.

While walking along, we discovered San Clemente is a big surfer city. I overheard a lot of “gnarly man” and “far out.” There were a ton of surfer’s out catching waves and “hanging ten” (??? I don’t know…)

After strolling around we headed to the San Clemente farmer’s market. They had a lot of great artists and food venders.

Tim and I fell in love with Geoff Glenn and his amazing photography! We had a hard time choosing, but we eventually chose three original photos of waves to hang in our new home. These photos will hold extra special meaning because they represent one of favorite places, S. Cal and we actually got to meet and learn about the artist. I’m in awe of the amazing photos that Geoff takes while surfing. How he captures these amazing images is beyond me. To learn more about his work, check out his website here. You can also follow him on instagram: GeoffGlenn_photo.

Here is an example of his work:

We headed to San Juan Capistrano and visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano. San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782. We got some great photos from the outside and promised ourselves to visit the inside on our next trip.

We enjoyed some great cocktails and one of the best appetizers at Sun-dried Tomato. They have great happy hour prices on drinks and apps.

We ordered the Mini “Rustic Jars” filled with sun-dried tomato, pesto and whipped goat cheese torte served with flatbread. This dish is on my list of things to recreate at home! This appetizer is a party in your mouth, oh-so-good, lick the jar clean type of dish.

We spent the rest of our vacation close to home, relaxing by the pool, shopping and movie day with Jenese, golfing for the men and eating at some great local restaurants. I’ve got to share two of them with you. If you are ever in the Fullerton area, you’ve got to try them. No joke – Tim and I wanted to start our own franchise of these eateries in Des Moines.

The first is Pieology Pizzeria. It’s like the Subway of pizza. Personal size pizza, unlimited topping, all for $7.50. It doesn’t get much better than that. You get to choose your sauce(s), cheeses, toppings and after bakes. I went with herb butter, mozzarella, grilled chicken, meatballs, green pepper, tomatoes, basil and finished with red pepper. This place is completely genius, I only wish we had one here in Iowa.

The second place we loved was Kentro Greek Kitchen. Kentro replicates a space for someone traveling through Greece. The name is inspired by a city center, or “Kentro”, where artists, students, musicians and people of all ages gather. It’s a common place that enables Greeks to talk, discuss art, politics and current events. Citizens enjoy simple luxuries: great food, good wine and great company. (Kentro is my new motto for my home and kitchen). Not only does Kentro Greek Kitchen have a laid back vibe with great decor, the food is AMAZING. My Greek husband definitely gave this place his stamp of approval.

Ok. That’s all I’ve got.

We had a FANTASTIC vacation. Full of relaxation, amazing food, new sites and most importantly family. Thank you Dan and Jenese for showing us a great time!

Have you been to Southern California? What are your favorite hot spots?

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