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. View Post

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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Although I have lived most of my life in the United States as a legal permanent resident, I did not become a US citizen until 2017.  Having recently gone through the naturalization process for U.S. citizenship, I cannot begin to imagine how daunting it must be for so many new arrivals or even those who have been in this country for years.  Our family is involved with an organization called Advancing Justice, which works on civil rights and immigration rights for Los Angeles and Orange County.  

my path to U.S. citizenship

Saranya with her family after getting sworn in as a U.S. Citizen

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Happy New Year: 2018 The Year of Purple

Happy New Year friends!  We are so excited to kick off 2018:  the year of purple!  Our beloved purple, or more specifically, ultra violet, has been named the 2018 color of the year by Pantone.  Pantone forecasts global color trends for many different industries, as well as branding and product development.  They are recognized as the leading source for color trends.  A great big thanks to Pantone for helping us spread the love!  Purple represents so many things to us:  imagination, innovation, and vision towards the future.  Check out the Pantone website announcing the color of the year and paying tribute to our much loved color: 


happy new year 2018 the year of purple

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