Home sweet home, my beloved California

2013-09-18 12.20.28

After a blissed-out 12 days in Hawaii, we felt ready for the rush that we knew our time in California would be. Even so, it was with heavy hearts that we bid Kauai adieu…We had less than 6 full days, and in that time I had to show my boyfriend around my hometown, introduce him to all my family, friends, family friends, and neighbors. Phew. Oh, and I had to introduce him to Mexican food as well…

And that I did. We went on the Mexican food tour of North County San Diego…

Our first stop, on the way home from the airport, was Juanita’s in Encinitas. Perfect for a late-night greasy snack. We had chicken tacos and veggie burritos.

The next day, it was off to my favorite Mexican restaurant for a sit-down meal and margaritas, Norte in Carlsbad.

Beef Enchilada with Rice and Beans

Beef Enchilada with Rice and Beans

Chicken Taco with Rice and Beans

Chicken Taco with Rice and Beans

When my friend Kate came down from LA, we hit up Bull Taco and the campgrounds in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Not only is the food creative and amazing, but the view is pas mal...

Taco's Galore:  We tried beef, shrimp, fish and duck.

Taco’s Galore: We tried beef, shrimp, fish and duck.

Content with his Bull Taco meal and endless refills of Coca-Cola (a uniquely American phenomenon that he cannot wrap his head around!)

Content with his Bull Taco meal and endless refills of Coca-Cola (a uniquely American phenomenon that he cannot wrap his head around!)

Twinsicles: Kels and Kate

Roomies from San Francisco reunite: Kels and Kate

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On our second to last day we met best friends Lisa, John and their daughter Layla at Tony’s Jacal in Solana Beach. It’s not my favorite, but it has a good atmosphere.

Sweet little Layla Loo...a true California kid, with Mexican food all over her face...

Sweet little Layla Loo…a true California kid, with Mexican food all over her face…

Mexican food isn’t the only tasty thing in California. On our last day in So Cal, I took Toby to the legendary In-n-Out for burgers. This is the one fast food joint that I support.

That's the face of someone tasting In-n-Out for the first time: wonderment

That’s the face of someone tasting In-n-Out for the first time: wonderment

Fast Food Perfection:  Animal-Style Cheeseburger, Fries and a Strawberry Milkshake

Fast Food Perfection: Animal-Style Cheeseburger, Fries and a Strawberry Milkshake

In between stuffing our mouths with burgers, tacos, tamales, enchiladas and burritos, we also managed to see all of my good friends in San Diego, have a BBQ in Toby’s honor so he could meet all of the family friends and neighborhood friends, go to the beach, laze in the jacuzzi every night, visit an amazing guitar shop, Buffalo Brothers, so Toby could meet his email corespondent owner James Hood, oh, and we went up the the Bay Area for less than 12 hours…

Despite already being crunched for time to do everything we wanted to do in San Diego, and being very sick of airplanes, we hopped on a flight to Oakland so Toby could meet my brother. We met up at Gather in Oakland for brunch. Toby and Jess meeting was always a concept I dreaded, so I was happy that there was plenty of food between them to prevent any potential hyperglycemic meltdowns, which are known to happen from time to time in our family…

Pizza and a hungry brother

Pizza and a hungry brother

Little Gems Salad

Little Gems Salad

Things seem to be friendly...

Things seem to be friendly…

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

At brunch, someone threw around the idea of driving to Sonoma to visit one of our favorite winery’s, Iron Horse,  and somehow enough of us thought it was a good idea at the time to go ahead with the crazy plan. Don’t get me wrong, I love Iron Horse. And it was Oyster Sunday. Oysters, champagne and a killer view still weren’t worth it for the long drive there and back when we’d already spent a big chunk of the day driving and flying.

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But the whole excursion was worth it so that Toby and Jess could finally meet.

Also for the views of the famous rolling golden hills of Northern California that I miss so much…

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Oh, and the views from the Richmond Bridge…

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And the epic sunset that saw us off as we drove back to the airport that night…

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A couple of days after our whirlwind trip to Northern California, we were packing our bags and leaving San Diego. My time in Southern California never seems long enough, but this time it seemed particularly rushed. I’m looking forward to my next visit when I can just stay put in one place for a couple of weeks!

After our short week in San Diego, we had a night and a half day in New York to squeeze in some more cuddles with my nephew Rowan, and then it was back to Paris to Rennes to our quiet little corner in the Breton countryside.

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