carlsbad blogger Last week we took a break from the rainy Portland weather to catch some serious sun rays in Southern California. 80 degree weather to be exact. I love that my hometown is now a vacation for me. And I'm amazed at how much more I appreciate the things I took for granted growing up there.

Our first stop was Mexican food and the BEACH. Or, as I apparently inherited from my Portland living, "the coast." Parker couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the ocean. I'd imagine he was thinking that he was about to hop into the biggest bath he's ever seen. :)

Anyway, after our brief (and very important) stint at the beach in Carlsbad, we headed out to Temecula to stay with Tyson's family in wine country. This was when our little happy, sweet boy turned into a monster. Parker? A monster? Yep.

I'm going to go ahead a say that this was just due to being out of his element because I can thankfully report he is back to his sweet, kind self. But, we endured 5 days of one completely different kid. Picture: Tantrums in public, hitting everything and anything, NOTHING making him happy, painful car rides. At one point Tyson and I just agreed that this was the new norm and possibly payback since he has been such a great baby.

Then, day 5, he was back. Fun, silly, happy Parker baby. Although I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs many times, I didn't. I just kept thinking in my head, show him love and patience and KEEP YOUR COOL, Linds.

Okay, back to vacation...

Blogging about the resort at pelican hill

We spent most of our time in Temecula, but also made time to head to Newport Beach for a night. We stayed at the Resort at Pelican Hill, and can I just say, WOW. I've stayed at a some really great hotels, but this one was pretty spectacular. They didn't miss a single detail in their guest rooms and the resort is so beautiful and QUIET. It was great as a family, but I can only dream about going back just as a romantic overnight with Tyson.

The location was also great. Great as in, next to the beach, close to Zinc Cafe and also close to my favorite outdoor mall, Fashion Island.

lunch at zinc cafe blog

It was great to just spend time outside and have no agenda. 
asos poolside dress
Dress: Asos | Shoes: Target

It was also really nice to workout OUTSIDE...

running in temecula valleyAnd you know, have time with my family. I'm such a dork saying this, but I really just want to be with them all day long (said the girl who used to be super independent). My boys make me over the moon!

Leoness Winery Dinner Blog

On the way back to the airport we had an afternoon to kill, so we headed to Little Italy to walk around and grab some lunch. Can I just say... wow! That area is finally cool. It has seriously evolved into the cutest neighborhood.

And it really sealed the deal that they have Cafe Gratitude there. SOLD!

I loved how they designed this location... Well done, CG!

Here are my top picks for things you've got to do while in SoCal:

Temecula Wine Country:

1. Hot Air Balloon Ride.
2. Leoness for music, a glass of wine and then dinner.
3. Ponte Winery and Wilson Creek Winery for tastings (we loaded our suitcase with Wilson Creek's Almond Champagne).
4. Lodge at South Coast Winery Resort
5. Go for a nice walk or run outside.
6. Head to downtown Temecula and have lunch at Goat & Vine.

Newport Beach: 

1. Stay at the Resort at Pelican Hill
2. Spend all day their Crystal Cove Beach.
3. And then spend another full day at their pool.
4. Standup paddle board.
5. Hike.
6. Catch brunch at Zinc Cafe.
7. Spend an afternoon shopping... you deserve it!
8. Rent bikes and ride along by the pier.

Downtown San Diego: 

1. Airbnb a place in Little Italy: Option 1 | Option 2
2. Eat brunch at Cafe Gratitude 
3. Grab panini's to go at NAPIZZA (take them to the waterfront)
4. Ride bikes to Seaport Village
5. Walk through Balboa Park (my favorite place) and check out the museums.

What are your favorite things to do down there? I need more suggestions for the next time we head down there. I'm thinking we might actually spend longer downtown San Diego now.  I also want to go out to Joshua Tree next time. I can't believe I've never been there!

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