#mycaliforniaroadtrip: San Diego - Orango County

July 10, 2014

We made it.

 

8 amazing days of road trip fun.

 

First – if you ever want to take a road trip, I highly recommend a trip up the California coast.  Our trip was full of breathtaking views (x100), outdoor activities and AMAZING food.  (I swear I had some of the best foods on this trip… best pork tacos… best pulled pork sandwich… best ice cream waffle cone…) I’m glad we got so much walking in along the way, otherwise I would have been in big trouble.

 

I plan to post about our trip in stages.  I took over 500 photos and the thought of blogging all at once is too daunting.  I’m starting with our first two days.  San Diego to Orange County.

Day 1

 

Our trip started off great.  We were blessed by the airplane gods and flew first class with on-time flights! We took the tram to Alamo to pick up the rental car and we were soon off to Old Town San Diego for lunch.  If you are looking for delicious mexican food, you have to head to Old Town San Diego.  Walk down the street and pick any restaurant – you can’t go wrong.

 

We stopped at Cafe Coyote.  They have great outdoor seating and the food was delicious.  We loved their salsa, not too spicy with a little chunk.  Tim ordered the seafood burrito and I got the pork tacos.  You can watch them make their fresh tortillas and we even got live entertainment from a couple of guitar singers.

After lunch we walked around Old Town San Diego State Historical Park (right down the street).  They have souvenir shops, crafts and local food venders.

After lunch and a quick walk we headed to our fabulous hotel.  Dan and Jenese helped make our trip extra special with a night at The Bristol Hotel in downtown San Diego.  The Bristol is a premier boutique hotel – comfortable rooms with great amenities.  I’d highly recommend staying there if you’re in the area.

Once we got checked in we headed out for a walk around San Diego.  We walked along the Embarcadero and Seaport Village, up through Gaslamp and back around.  Gaslamp is great for a night out – full of shopping and great restaurants.

 

We didn’t have time to tour the The USS Midway Museum, much to my father’s disappointment I’m sure. But we did grab some photos.  While on the ship, visitors can experience life at sea aboard one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers. 

Lots of boats!

We had a great happy hour at Cowboy Star Restaurant. While there, I had the most interesting drink called the Broken Arrow.  It started off with a grapefruit flavor and turned into a smokey burn. While reading the menu my brain went straight to seeing it being served in a martini glass and skipped the part where it mentioned pineapple chipotle simple syrup.  Yikes! Despite the drink not being my favorite, the Cowboy Star offered a great happy hour atmosphere, full drink menu and the service was great!

After happy hour, we walked to Petco Park to watch the San Diego Padres play baseball.  The Padres were playing the Reds and they actually won the game!  The Padres don’t have the best winning record and to help with attendance, they completely transformed the stadium a couple of years ago to make it all about the experience.  Great food vendors and outdoor park seating make it different from other games I’ve been to.  It was a great way to kick off our vacation!

Day 2 

 

We woke up on day 2 and went for a walk along Mission Beach.  It was a great way to start off the day! A little overcast but warm non-the-less.

Tim and I love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD) on the Food Network.  We thought it would be fun to go to one of the restaurants from the show.  We landed on Crest Cafe in Hillcrest.  Breakfast was DELICIOUS! I kept it simple with scrambled eggs, crispy hashbrowns, bacon and toast.  Tim ordered the spicy breakfast omelet.  This was a great spot for breakfast – the food was delicious and the service was quick and friendly.  I’d highly recommend it to all.

After breakfast we stopped by the Torrey Pines Golf Course to grab some pictures and take in the views.  Tim hopes to play at the US Open in 2021.  Hey, we all have goals.

We stopped at our favorite, The Bagel Shack in San Clemente.  If you’re in the area, grab a breakfast sandwich (seriously – THE BEST) and head to San Clemente Pier.  It’s a GREAT morning activity with gorgeous views.

On the way to Fullerton, we drove around Newport Beach.  This is a great place to walk around.  We normally would have stopped but the traffic was CRAZY!  If I were a millionaire, I would buy one of these beautiful homes.

Tim and I ALWAYS stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes when we are in the area.  Instead of cupcakes we went to their new store Sprinkles Ice Cream.  It was pretty fantastic.  Tim got coffee almond ice cream with chunks of chocolate cupcake on top.  I got vanilla bean ice cream in a “waffle” cone.  I say “waffle” because it tasted more like a vanilla cupcake in waffle cone form.

We made it to Fullerton by late afternoon.  Just in time for cocktail hour at Tim’s parents home.  We had a great night catching up over a home cooked meal (recipe coming soon).  I only wish we had more time to spend with family on this trip.  But there is always next time!

That’s it for now.  Next stop: LA to Santa Barbara.  Stay tuned.

 

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Hi, I'm Liz

I'm a midwestern girl who lives in Iowa with my amazing husband, Tim and our incredible son Theodore.  I love to cook, entertain family and friends, visit unknown travel destinations, and enjoy the occasional martini.  

 

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