Birthday Getaway to San Diego, California - Away Lands
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Birthday Getaway to San Diego, California

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Following our Santa Barbara glory day at The Biltmore, we took the long drive down the coast all the way to San Diego. Despite being born and raised in California, the times I’ve spent South of Los Angeles have been so few and far between – I don’t think I had actually been to the bottom of the state in about 10 or 15 years. There are so many blogs and articles that talk about “being a tourist in your own city” and I’ve always rolled my eyes a bit at the idea, but it’s true – there are so many things near home that I’ve never seen, never eaten, and never experienced; and it was a amazing to actually take the time to see the rest of this place I call home for a few days.

We stayed at the wonderfully chic and modern Tower23 hotel, on Pacific Beach – a place I loved because the design aesthetic reminded me so much of New York – concrete, hard lines, and great design – and with endless sunset beach views.


Five observations about this slightly-more-southern California:

  1. The ocean water is SO much clearer and SO much bluer – I had no idea it could be this nice here.
  2. The craft beer selection at the grocery store was nothing short of amazing
  3. What they call an “easy bike path” is actually a hilly route through neighborhoods, major streets, and with tons of twists and turns
  4. The best burrito in the world is at the smallest hole-in-the-wall Tommy’s Burrito
  5. Visitors get so close to the seals in La Jolla – I’ve never seen anything like it before. I felt awful for the seals, as they barked at tourists that got too close, and obviously felt threatened.



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The hotel sunset views. The little houses along the pier are the cutest little vacation rentals I think I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the weather never got above 60 degrees, so we could not enjoy the beach right in front of us.


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The hotel details and gloomy skies.


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Two-piece dress: 6 Shore Road by Pooja


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Brandon’s birthday breakfast feast at the famous Mission Cafe. And ran into one of our favorite people in the world – who just happened to be a few blocks away.


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This water! How is this even California?



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On A: Sunglasses – Forever 21, Bag – 6 Shore Road by Pooja, Jeans – A Gold E, Top – Free People On B: Shorts – J Brand, Shoes – Nike

We rode bikes along the beach path and through the nearby towns up to La Jolla Cove – the neighborhoods we passed were so incredibly beautiful, and so incredibly expensive. These beaches were so nice that I wished it was warm enough to get in  – but I always do.


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The seals were everywhere! We had so much fun watching them play with each other and wiggle around the rocks.


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Just as the sun was about to go down, the clouds opened up and we finally got to see the beautiful, golden late afternoon light that I just crave.


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And we rode our bikes back down to the hotel into the sun. A very nice man working in his yard saw us taking photos and offered to take one of the two of us. They always come out blurry since no one seems to remember how to use a manual camera – but we still appreciated it.



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We made it back to the hotel for just the last bit of the sunset.


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The only real way to end a California day.


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For Brandon’s birthday dinner, we went downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant, JRDN – a fancy little place right on the water. Brandon filled his birthday dreams with a giant steak – I think he got to it so fast we didn’t actually get a photo.



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The birthday dessert tray that we were surprised with was an overwhelmingly decadent sugar bomb – and we ate the entire thing.


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We’re pretty sure this restaurant may turn into a club after-hours, it has the perfect wall for photos.



The party elevator back up!



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1 Comment
  • Kayla

    January 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm Reply

    This hotel looks so cool!!!!!

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