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

Aloha!

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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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