SoCal: the land of IPAs

A couple weeks ago Lance and I took our first trip alone as a couple since having Jack.  Before this we had only had one night away from him at the same time.  Such is life when you live plane rides away from grandparents (before you have kids=cool, after you have kids=not so cool).  So a few months ago I bribed my Mom into coming out for a weekend by promising another grandchild in the works (cough cough…eventually…)…and of course she was happy to oblige and brought along my Stepdad too so he could do things like build us a new fence.

Since we live out west California is an easy destination…and since we had done Napa/Sanoma before we decided to explore the Southern part near San Diego.  Neither of us were really interested in the tourist stuff San Diego has to offer so we decided to stay up North in San Marcos…and explore the coastal towns (and breweries)!

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Lance trying to take a selfie…me disapproving.

We really only had two main objectives for the weekend…relax and drink good beer.  So it should come as no surprise that our first stop was the La Jolla Brewery (fave beer: Glider Port Pale) and then we ventured off to Ballast Point  which was in a weird location but had a great deck for trying one (or 10) of their brews on tap.

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I tried so many I forget which one was my favorite…but I definitely enjoyed the Calico Amber and the Fathom IPA…weirdest beer we tried was the Habanero Sculpin.  Shocking…it was as awful as it sounds.

Then we made it to our little abode for the weekend… the Lakehouse Hotel.

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This place is so cute!  It was just completely remodeled about a year ago and it shows…a true Instagramer’s delight.

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The view from our lakeside room



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Champagne on arrival!

We made our way to a Trader Joes to stock up on snacks and wine…and then headed to dinner at Pizza Port in Carlsbad.  Their seating is all communal…which I guess is the hip thing these days…and the place was jammed with people…but we somehow scored two seats at the bar shortly after we got there.  The pizza was fantastic as were the beers.  They brew their own as well as have a ton of the local stuff on tap.  I had their Pale and it was a nice break from the heavy IPAs.

The next day we headed toward the coast/Solana Beach area where we ventured out to the water and walked up the beach a bit.

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We weren’t totally hungry enough for lunch at this point so we decided to kill some time at another brewery…Culture Brewing.  This place was like a giant open garage which was awesome for people luxury car watching.

photo 5If there’s one thing about California…they sure LOVE their IPAs.  Don’t get me wrong I too love a good IPA…in fact they used to be my beer of choice back in the day…but living in Utah (oh and having a kid) has really killed my adventurous beer spirit and after day one of beer tasting I was ready for something light(er)!  So I claim their Hefeweisen as my favorite (GASP!)…whatever I’m weak. (The Amber was really good too)

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After we had our fill of beer we headed north for lunch at Las Olas in Cardiff.  This little place is located across the street from the beach…with fun outdoor seating.  Maybe it was the booze, or the beach breeze and views, or just the vacation happies…but dammit if their fish tacos weren’t AMAZING.  Good lord…I want one right now as I’m typing this.

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Then we continued north and stopped at another bar (shocking!) Union Kitchen in Encinitas.  This place was packed at 2pm on a Sat…people “brunching”  which is apparently what you do in California.  We hung out long enough to have some fun cocktails and watch the Preakness.  Then it was back to the Lakehouse for some pool time.

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Since we were feeling lazy for dinner we opted to go to the local Pizza Port and grab a pint and a pizza to go…perfect end to a fun and relaxing day.  There was a wedding in the “boathouse” that night which was really close to our room…so we spent the rest of the night on the deck listening to the music and creeping on drunks as they left the reception.  Typical vacation stuff.

We headed back home on Sunday feeling refreshed and ready to see our little redhead trouble maker.  I think he was less than thrilled with our return because the grandparents did fun things like go to the zoo and aquarium…and introduced him to chocolate milk.

I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed himself while we were away…as did we!  Maybe next time we’ll take him along 😉


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