Hello and goodbye

Morning, friends!

us (2)

It’s our last morning in San Diego…


We’ve had such an amazing time, and as sad as it is to leave,

seals (2)

[Please come home with me, seals!]

I can’t wait to watch Bella try to shake her tail off her body

teach a Zumba class

sleep in our own bed (even though the hotel bed was also a Tempur-pedic, not the same]

and cook!

I’m always blown away by the amount of food options when we travel to Cali. I feel like we have it pretty good in Tucson (lots of healthy options and inexpensive organic grocery stores/farmer’s markets), and then I come to Cali and the Tucson selection pales in comparison.

Dinner last night:


Vegetarian green corn tamale with salsa verde, black beans, broccoli and fresh, perfect tofu.

Dinner was pretty mind-blowing, but what I was most excited about was the company:


Whitney and her hubby joined us 🙂

I have been wanting to meet this girl for at least a year. We’re twitter friends, fellow former lulus, and I always love reading her blog. She even more fun and sweet than I imagined, and the Pilot enjoyed chatting with her hubby, who was also super cool. We had a great time hanging out with them <3

After dinner, we came back to the hotel for a little blast from the past:

sarah and celeste 

Two of my good friends from high school, who now live in San Diego, came to chill and enjoy cocktails and mocktails with us. It’s funny because I won’t see my friends from high school for quite a long time, but whenever I do, we pick up where we left off. Loved seeing you girls <3

We’re off to grab bfast and then hit the road!

See ya later with a Family post on my recent shopping adventures…



Hotel deets:

While we were here in San Diego, we stayed at Tower 23, which is located right on the beach.


The hotel room was extremely clean and modern- we also loved that they had a Tempur-pedic bed


and the location was perfect- 8 minutes from La Jolla (where I practiced yoga, ate gluten-free cupcakes, and shopped), 17 minutes from downtown and the Zoo.

We splurged a little, since we drove here instead of flying, and stayed in the Surf Pad, which has full ocean views.


As amazing as the hotel room and location were, the hotel itself was pretty mediocre as far as service and amenities go. They don’t have a gym or swimming pool –I was kind of looking forward to floating around since the ocean is very cold right now- and there’s also a $20 per day valet fee (which is fairly high, but WiFi is free, so I think it balanced out). The service was also ok- nothing extraordinary.

Would we stay here again? Maybe. The room was very expensive, and while the view and location were worth it, we might scope out some other options next time we’re in town.

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  1. Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine on November 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Looks like you had a blast Gina. 🙂 Now you need to come to Southern Cali! I can help you out with lots of recs since I live here, haha. You two would love Pasadena—we have so many restaurants and fantastic shopping!

    • Shaina on November 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      I second that! I live in South Pas and this area is amazing.

      • Julie (A Case of the Runs) on November 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

        Third! I work in that area and am spoiled/lucky to be able to walk around there during lunch!

        • Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) on November 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm

          I agree! I live in SD now, but grew up near Pasadena and LOVE it there. I definitely think Gina would love it…

          although technically, SD is in Southern CA 😉 haha

  2. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on November 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    AWEEEE love! You don’t even look preggo in the picture! That is a magical shirt. Seeing high school friends is always so nice, it literally is a blast from the past!

  3. Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe on November 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Have a safe trip back – looks like you had an awesome time. Thank you for the review of the hotel too, so helpful!

  4. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Love that you go to meet up with another blogger! I can’t wait to get to do that for the first time. I’m the same way with my high school friends, it can be years since we’ve seen each other but it feels like two days. That tofu looks amazing and the view is stunning. I wish the rest of the amenities at the hotel lived up to that oceanside view for you!

  5. danielle on November 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Can’t wait to see what you bought!!

  6. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on November 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Gorgeous view out that window! With the exception of the Ritz, though, I rarely consider super expensive hotels to be worth their crazy prices sometimes.

  7. Mary on November 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for taking us along on your vacay…I enjoyed your pics and updates!

  8. Gillian on November 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    i used to work with Whitney at lulu!

    hope you guys had a great time!

  9. Michelle on November 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I want that tamale!!!!

  10. Sana on November 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I think it’s totally worth it for the views 🙂

  11. Kristen @ Chocolate Covered Kristen on November 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    There is a beachfront lodge on the Naval base on Coronado Island in SD. We stayed there for a family vacation when I was in high school. Coronado Island is so SO cute and fun, and the hotel is definitely not luxury, but it is cheap and allows for some splurging in all of the cute restaurants and shops on the island.

    • jen b on November 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      This is also what I was going to recommend! It’s right on the beach & affordable. We’ve also stayed at the San Diego Naval Base, which is more kid friendly. You can walk to the commissary & there’s a kitchenette to eat healthier.

  12. Laura @ She Eats Well on November 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I have just got to say. I hope I look 1/2 as good as you when I am pregnant. Seriously. You look so healthy!

  13. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on November 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Sorry to hear it was only a mediocre hotel, but it’s all about the good company, right!? 🙂 Looks like you and the Pilot had a lovely time. I also loved the dining options when I visited California last month, but wasn’t there nearly long enough to try all the ones on my list! Guess that means another trip is in order. Safe travels! 🙂

  14. Amanda on November 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Despite the so-so hotel, overall it seems like it was a pretty great trip.

    That tofu looks particularly good. Now I’m craving it! Maybe for dinner…

  15. Cat @Breakfast to Bed on November 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I really don’t think seals like the desert. But holla for your own bed!! Also, a $20 valet fee? holy mackerel!

  16. Emily on November 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Your dinner looks delicious! do you remember what the restaurant was called?

  17. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on November 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Anywhere La Jolla near the beach tends to be uber pricey and the rooms are usually nothing super special in and of themselves (paying for the location) and usually pretty old properties, i.e. 60s and 70s. Rehabbed but still older. But the views are breath-taking 🙂

    Glad you were able to meet up with some new friends and old and that you’ve enjoyed your trip here! The weather cooperated 100% for you (every day I thought to myself…well, it’s sunny for Gina and Pilot on their trip) so that’s great and safe travels back home.

  18. Ali on November 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Aww, leaving vacation, especially if it is a shorter one, is always the hardest. But I am like you, I miss the comforts of home and my routine. I am glad that you had such a good relaxing time before all the craziness of your life starts again!!

  19. Emily on November 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I’m glad you had a great time! Safe travels home:)

  20. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on November 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! Glad you enjoyed your trip! 🙂

  21. [New Balance] Nicole on November 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    enjoy your last day! You deserve it!

  22. Paula on November 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I’m glad you had a great trip! The view from your hotel room is amazing! A great vacation is always worth a little splurge in my book 🙂

  23. Drisana (SoulShineBlog) on November 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    That dinner looks pretty perfect in my book! Yum 🙂

  24. Angela @ MyPinkyToes on November 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    That definitely is a beautiful view!
    Don’t you love how girlfriends always have a way of catching right back up. I love it.

  25. Natasha Brown on November 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Dinner looked Deee-vine! Yup – that is Cali for you…the healthiest, most delish selection on earth…sigh…I miss it so – minus all the crazy valets! That always killed me…I would find the closest parking lot rather than someone park my car for $$ – kinda makes me wonder what they might do to your car! Some LA peeps might freak if they had to park em’ by themselves…

  26. Alexa @ Simple Eats on November 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Ah I love seals. I want to lay around on the beach all day, too. 😉 Looks like you guys had a blast!

  27. chrissy on November 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    that hotel looks like my kind of place!! Love it! will have to keep it in mind:)

  28. Lara @beingLA on November 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I think life is 10X’s better when you’re next to the water. Just hearing the waves crash and the tide moving in and out relaxes me and puts me in a good place. Even though the hotel wasn’t phenomenal, at least your location was just right. So cool to hear that you got to meet up with another blogger too! California will miss you no doubt 🙂

  29. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on November 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    That’s too bad the hotel was only mediocre – especially when it was so expensive! 🙁 But at least it gave you an excuse to spend more time exploring outside of the hotel! It sounds like you had an amazing trip.

  30. liz kaczmarek on November 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    That hotel looks amazing! Especially those views of the beach! Too bad I’m stuck in freezing cold Wisconsin 🙁 haha

  31. Carrie on November 17, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Why do I have a mental pic of you guys driving back with the seals (in disguise, naturally) in a big ol’ tub of water in the backseat? Honking along to “On the Road Again”???? 😉

    It was so awesome of you to share this trip with us…I always feel like i’ve been there when you write travel entries!

    So glad you guys took a big trip before the Nugette arrives! What a sweet memory.

  32. jacki on November 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your trip! Would you or your readers have suggestions for us on where to go at the beginning of December. We will be in Windsor, CA (about 1 hour North of San Francisco) for 6 days. Never been there and I’m sure it’s a change from IOWA.

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