Let’s do a little lead up to Valentine’s Day. Groupon is offering this awesome deal right now for a day of pampering at the spa at Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Go alone, go with your besties, or go with your honey. My girlfriends have enjoyed this package and they love it! It’s local, easy, and affordable. Buy this Groupon now and it’s good for another 60 days. Enjoy a massage and toast to love with your complimentary glass of bubbly.

You can go in the next several days and get out of the rain with a relaxing massage and snuggle up in their lounge for a hot toddy, or wait for the next warm day and hang out at the pool after your massage with a cocktail.

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Looking for a great restaurant in San Juan Capistrano? Have you explored the quaint Los Rios Historic District?  If you live in central or north Orange County, it is such a quick jaunt down the 5 freeway, or for a real treat, take the train a few stops from the Tustin or Irvine station, since it will drop you right in the heart of this town.  

So here is our favorite weekend itinerary: take the kids to Zoomars in the morning, Zoomars is the sweet little petting zoo filled with furry guinea pigs for them to pet and feed, goats to groom, and horses/ponies and a mini train to ride.  We have been taking them to Zoomars for years, and we even threw a birthday party for my son there, but it is still one of their favorite outings, even for my eleven-year-old!  For a successful family outing, we always try to have something for the kids, then also something for the adults.  Specifically, I like to end a kid’s activity with a good meal and a glass of wine.  Everyone is happy!

Quaint San Juan Capistrano Restaurant – The Ramos House Cafe
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Looking for Mexican food in Anaheim? You’ll love Tortilla Jo’s at Downtown Disney. If you like tequila, sit near the tequila wall and enjoy some cocktails.

First of all, guys, look at this tequila wall….life goals!

MaryAnne and I love all things Disney! After checking out all the new purple merchandise that Disney just recently released – ahhhhh! – we went in search of food and drink! Parched and hungry, we looked around at the many options in Downtown Disney. Have you all been out to Downtown Disney lately? There are some cool new restaurant options that we are definitely excited to try – I’m eyeing you, Ballist Point Brewery! But for this outing, we decided on our tried and true spot, Tortilla Jo’s, one of my kids’ favorite restaurants in this area. It’s a great family and friends stop after a few hours at the park or a fun day wandering and shopping in the downtown area – so much to do in this reinvigorated area.

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Potion Purple Disney merchandise? As soon as we found out that purple has taken over Disneyland, we had to visit Downtown Disney’s biggest store, World of Disney to take a look.

It was the third day in a row of rain in Southern California. We were going stir crazy from being indoors so much! We were due for an outing, no matter what the weather was like. We hopped in the Ford Flex for a 20-minute ride to Anaheim.

With our umbrellas up to keep from getting too wet, we took in the crisp air as we strolled Downtown Disney. The upside to visiting a usually crowded place like this is that fewer people get out when it’s raining. East Coasters, Seattleites and other rain dwellers must be laughing at us So Cal people right now!

Pluviophile: a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. (Urban Dictionary)

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I can’t believe the holidays are here again!  It seems like yesterday when MaryAnne and I were doing the rounds sitting on as many Santa’s laps as possible…for the blog of course.  *Please see last year’s post for a list of our favorite Santas!

It has been an amazing year, full of friends, family, fun, and so much love.  And you all know that we love to share all of our favorite places to be together.  As we look back and reflect on the past year, we have been filled with all the emotions that come with life:  sorrow, joy, but most of all gratitude.  This year has seen so much joy in the new friendships and partnerships formed, old friends continuing through lighter, fun times, but also through tougher times with steadfast support.  I have felt very lucky starting this blog as a way to share our interests and passion for exploring, eating, drinking, and writing.  And although that is how we found each other, I have seen deeper similarities and shared values between us.  Our ties to our families, friends, and community.  As we share and celebrate all the moms and dads that we see around us starting their own blogs, small businesses, pursuing their passions and dreams we are finding ways to collaborate with these inspiring friends and look forward to an interesting and fun future.  MaryAnne and I value our family ties:  spending most of our weekends with our immediate and extended family members.  We both took epic multigenerational family trips this year.  Our children spending special moments with their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  We will tell you guys all about our trips with some travel tips in upcoming posts.  

Reflections Going Into the Holiday Season

We are excited to re-engage with our online community again.  You may have noticed that we have been away for a bit.  We have had some personal challenges and losses of special people in our lives, and we both had to focus directly on our loved ones.  My daughter spent some time in the hospital with a serious condition that really shook our family.  She has been home and back in school, and it has brought me the deepest sense of gratitude for every moment that I have with my family.  MaryAnne has experienced some personal loss of loved family members.  And our community suffered a loss of a beloved member as well.  But we go through these difficult times with the love and support of family and friends.  We celebrate by eating, drinking, and simply being together; and as MaryAnne says, “Live, Laugh, Love.”  PurpleWays is that journey.