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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Montage at Laguna Beach

One of my favorite watering holes are hotel lobbies, and the spot that takes lounging to the next level is The Lobby Lounge in the Montage Laguna Beach.  

Montage lobby

Lobby decked out for the holidays

So let’s talk about the stages of my life:  there was a time when standing in a crowded bar or club trying not to spill my precious Bombay martini that is filled to the rim in a very impractical long stemmed glass was a regular and appealing night out.  Nope.  Not doing that anymore.  Fast forward ?? years. Please show me the way to comfy seats with table service.  If it has not occurred to you to hang out in hotel lobbies when you’re not on vacay, well, let’s think about it!  They are open late, you can lounge without getting the stink eye from servers,  and you can always find a comfy seat.  One of my favorite hangouts with my honey, with girlfriends, and even with the whole family are hotel lobbies.  That’s right, they are pretty good places to hang out with kids.  Order them a snack, hot chocolate, and bring a deck of cards or a board game – everyone is happy! View Post

Grand opening for Habana at The Irvine Spectrum is here! Monday, November 13th!  We love the Orange County staple for Cuban food in Costa Mesa.  But for those of us in south OC, the highly anticipated opening at The Spectrum has arrived.  We were treated to the soft opening in mid-October, and then returned to a hosted “Friends and Family” night; and wow, wow, people:  we have a feeling that we will be having many boozy “work meetings,” girls’ nights, and date nights at this location.  This is going to be one of our regular haunts for drinks and food.  It is tucked away in its own little oasis, away from the other expected chain restaurants in the mall.  Habana has transformed this mall space into a beautiful and romantic breath of fresh air by erecting a 1950’s style mansion.  This elegant cafe is reminiscent of old world Cuban glamour.  The interior feels airy with its high ceilings, and the cafe-styled tables are generously spaced apart, while the outdoor seating is romantic.  Habana is striving to provide a unique dining experience in Orange County – reasonable and delicious food with a fine dining flair.  Let us also sing the praises of the staff:  the service is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. 

habana hostesses

Habana’s friendly hostesses

habana waiting lounge

Waiting lounge

habana main dining room

Main dining room

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Great Wolf Lodge has come to Southern California!  Located near Anaheim in Garden Grove, CA, Great Wolf Lodge has a booming business here in the OC. We realize that Great Wolf Lodge has been extensively covered by every mommy blogger out there with excellent reviews, tips, and recommendations. (Try Sandy Toes and Popsicles or Trekaroo for great info and tips.) But our focus is fun for kids and adults.  Our latest trip was our third trip with our kiddos, and we discovered that it is a fantastic place to meet up with other families and friends, especially if you are locals like us!

great wolf lodge family fun

Great Wolf Lodge is fun for kids and adults! 

Sip & Slide Means Fun for Everyone

Did you know that Great Wolf Lodge has awesome bartenders?  The bar staff has been consistent and stable since the opening of the Garden Grove location in February of 2016.  We chatted with our favorite bartender, Ricardo.  Ricardo has been with Great Wolf since its opening.  He is a seasoned bartender in the business for over 10 years.  What we love most about Ricardo is the pride he takes in his work and his attention to customers.  He shares his tips and recipes with his fellow bartenders, so you will get consistently good drinks.  And this was our pleasant surprise:  the drinks are delicious!  Look, we were pleased with the premixed, frozen margaritas from machines that you can buy at Buckets Incredible Craveables, conveniently located right inside the park.  Sometimes a sweet and tangy slushy that packs a nice punch is just what you need for the 84 degree temperature and for the humidity.  

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