It's always important to have some down-time. Besides enjoying a much needed vacation with my boys and husband it does wonders to recharge my creative batteries. This July we headed to sunny Phoenix, Pasadena, San Diego and L.A. for a month of pool side relaxing, "best of" foodie stops, soccer games and Disneyland. Here is a list of our top spots along with some tidbits.
Little Miss BBQ - The best BBQ we've ever had. Served by weight, cooked using oak, pecan & mesquite on a massive offset smoker. The owners dad honeymoons as their pit master and took time to chat with us while we were in the long line. Get there early before they're sold out for the day!
Sweet Republic | Artisan Ice Cream - Fresh local ingredients, made from scratch and named best ice cream in Phoenix. Try the salted caramel shake or in-season Cherry Yuzu Cream Cheese ice cream. Yum!
Trader Joe's For Cookie Butter - Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter is really just ground up cookies mixed with sugar and oil but it is DELICIOUS. A big thanks to my sister in law Lori for introducing us! We'll be packing this in our suitcase on the way home from our annual Phoenix trips!
Tower23 Hotel - Derives its name from the lifeguard tower 23 positioned on Pacific Beach by the hotel, this mid century modern boutique hotel is the perfect mix of cool meets coastal. Since it's located ocean side I was able to have my morning coffee out on our cabana and set the boys up with some virgin mojitos and their iPads after our day of touring - all while watching the surfers and tides roll in. We loved it! Also the exclusive resort community of La Jolla is just north of the hotel.
The Baked Bear | Custom Ice Cream Sandwiches - Pick your own flavour of ice cream and two cookies, brownies or waffles (baked in store). My boys went straight for mint chocolate chip ice cream, brownies and red velvet cookies. They also had snickerdoodle and "funfetti' cookies. Worth the line up!
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier - Explore a floating city at sea and relive nearly 50 years of world history aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. We spent the better part of an afternoon here with our boys (ages 5 & 6); we enjoyed it so much we walked through parts of it twice.
C-Level Restaurant - Located on Harbour Drive (only a few minutes from the USS Midway) you can enjoy lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We loved their fish tacos and for a nice change their kids menu had a 3 oz filet mignon. #toomanyhotdogsonthistrip! Also their pinapple upside down cake was heaven. Covered in a pool of rum-caramel sun-dried cherry sauce & topped with cardamom ice cream.
Langham Huntington Hotel- We were in town for the Manchester United vs L.A. Galaxy exhibition game. This hotel is close to Lacy Park and the Rose Bowl Stadium. We really enjoyed their outdoor pool; it wasn't too crowded, was really big and there were a lot of loungers with shade where we enjoyed a poolside lunch before the game.
Rose Bowl Stadium - Check out a Manchester United game when they're in their off-season. Maybe they'll be back next year? We also went to the open training session the night before.
Old Pasadena - This eclectic old town area is filled with museums, galleries, and music events, as well as movies, shopping, restaurants, and outdoor cafes. If it hadn't been so hot (35 that day) we would have spent more time walking around. A cute area of the city!
Soarin Over California - Their are plenty of experts online about Disneyland so I won't even go there but one ride did stand out. This one was our favorite! At one point you fly over orange fields and you can smell the scent of fresh squeezed oranges. Beautiful!
If you're heading to any of these spots for vacation and have any questions please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!