We love our neighbors to the south.  Our families love San Diego and visit often.  MaryAnne recently posted a fabulous overview of the Westin Hotel and nearby restaurants.  We will continue to add to this because San Diego is such an ideal getaway for us OC folks.  Also, I lived in San Diego for several years since I did my undergrad there, so I would love to share some of my favorite local hangouts!  

Best burger in San Diego:  Hodad’s.  Go there!  Seriously.  Although there are a couple of locations, including one in Pet Co Park (there are so many good food and drink options-and yes, we will definitely share a post of this fabulous ball park).  There is one in the East Village, an up and coming neighborhood just east of Gaslamp District and Horton Plaza.  However, my favorite spot for a Hodad’s burger experience is in Ocean Beach, or as the locals fondly call OB.  It is just south of Pacific Beach, which is the more popular beach frequented by lots of rowdy frat boys and tourists.  Don’t get me wrong, PB is a fun hangout and eating destination, but OB is my kind of beach town.  Many moons ago when I was a San Diego local, OB was the quieter, local beach community with that boho, hippy vibe.  Although it has gotten more populated with touristy bars and souvenir shops, it still retains a bit of that hippy charm.

Located on Newport Ave., a busy street lined with other bars that lead directly to the beach, you will find Hodad’s by the long ass line out the door.  Don’t be turned away because the long line goes fast.  And really, you can enjoy the always picture perfect San Diego day and people watch while you wait to be let in.  I like that you are given a table after standing in line, before you make your way to the counter to order your grub.  I am not a fan of balancing trays of food while waiting for a table to open up with children hanging off me.  So wait in line, grab a table, order your food, get a number and have a seat! 

Let’s talk about the menu:  order a burger and order some fries.  I could just end here.  Oh alright, we can talk about the variations.  They are known for their bacon burger – so damned good!  Hubby and I always get the bacon cheeseburger with everything – mayo, mustard, onion, ketchup, pickle, tomato with choice of cheese.   Hubby has done the double, but it’s just too much even for him – and he is a midwestern meat eater!  

We get the basket which comes with either fries or onion rings – we like to do one of each.  I am usually a shoe string fries gal, but Hodad’s wedge cut fries are perfectly seasoned crispy on the outside, fluffy and soft on the inside.  And I’ve not met an onion ring that I didn’t love – and these are good, crispy, but not overly greasy.  The mini burgers the perfect portion for the kiddos, and probably even sufficient for a smaller adult portion (just so we’re clear, that is not me).  

The shakes are killer, huge portion and creamy and delicious.  One order is plenty for our family of four.  Don’t forget to grab a beer!  

Nothing like sitting in the open air funky spot with an ice cold beer in hand.  If you can grab the counter seats that face out into the sidewalk with the bar stools, you can do some fun people watching.  This is one of hubby’s favorite spots in San Diego, perfect with or without the kids.  But they love it too.  

Depending on if it is a family day, you can go next door to the candy store, and the kids can load up on some treats before you take a walk out to the beach.  They also love browsing the souvenir shops nearby, I know, kinda cheesy, but also fun for them to explore and pick up a little trinket.  If you are not with kids, walk over towards the beach and cross the street.  Head to South Beach Bar & Grill to the rooftop bar to enjoy the the ocean view.  You can’t go wrong when you’re in OB.



5010 Newport Ave.
San Diego, CA. 92107
(619) 224-4623


NAMM Show 2018 – NAMM aka music makers mecca, is an annual music convention held at the Anaheim Convention Center held every year. This year it was held on January 25-28 and was even bigger than last year. Tons of exhibitors were there, representing products from more than 7,000 brands.

NAMM Show 2018

(NAMM = National Association of Music Merchants)

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Did you know there is a great Hawaiian restaurant right here in Irvine? Da Luau in northeast Irvine is one of our favorite family owned local spots for a casual meal.  It’s conveniently located in the Cypress Village Center off of Jeffrey and Trabuco just off the 5 freeway, with plenty of parking.

Hawaiian Restaurant Irvine


Sweet Taste of the Island!

Da Luau is great for an early morning (ok, in my case, late morning) breakfast, after game get togethers, meeting spot for Dole Whip or shaved ice, or catering for your next birthday party.  The inside seating has a Hawaiian restaurant theme that is casual and comfortable and offers plenty of elbow room. View Post

Looking for the best wine bar in Orange County? Did you know that we love wine?  And wine bars?  If not, please see bio, or Instagram, or Facebook….  We have searched far and wide in our OC for that perfect vino watering hole – and we finally found it!  We were very diligent!  Well friends, welcome to Five Vines Wine Bar: our favorite wine bar in Orange County is located in the quaint Historic District of San Juan Capistrano.  

Best Wine Bar in Orange County - Five Vines

You have arrived!

Note to other wine bars:  dim those damn lights and cozy up the place! This is one of the cutest and most comfy spots to lounge and sip!

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We recently enjoyed a San Diego Gaslamp Getaway. It’s our go-to weekend staycay spot! We stayed at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, which is conveniently located next to the Westfield Horton Plaza Shopping Center. A hotel next to a mall? This made our teenager so happy! I love that San Diego is less than a 2 hour drive away from our home in Irvine. Just a quick road trip and we’re in a totally different and fun place.

gaslamp San Diego Westin

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