{TRAVEL} I Left My Heart In San Diego

As my husband and I sat squished in the corner of a tiny tiki bar, sipping on our overly-garnished and generously-poured boozy drinks, a couple sitting next to us shot a knowing glance our way. We could tell that they were thinking the same thing as us: we were too old to be in this bar that was jam-packed with peppy 20-somethings.

“Looks like we were put in the ‘old people’ section” the man said to us with a nervous laugh. It turned out they were also parents, trying to enjoy a quiet night out without kids. Like us, they had enjoyed a nice dinner and were having one last drink before calling it a night. We chatted casually like old friends, bonding over stories of parenthood, politics, and plans for the future, and when we parted, they kindly wished us well and went on their way.

Goofing off at Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

We met several friendly characters like this during our 3-day stay in San Diego, and I realized later that each person who crossed our path represented something equally as endearing and unique about the city in which they lived.

Check out my post for BC Living on how to eat and explore your way through San Diego in 3 days, including an itinerary you can totally steal: READ MORE.

There was the 20-something surfer girl (our kayak tour guide) who epitomized the beach bum lifestyle. As she guided us through the waters of the cove, she spoke passionately of her surroundings, her love of adventure infectious and her glowing olive skin and laid-back attitude mesmerizing. She reminded me of Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush, working just enough to make rent, living for the sun and surf, feeding off the adrenaline rush of adventuring through nature’s playground.

Kayaking in La Jolla (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

There was the quick-witted VIP hotel concierge/aspiring food blogger, who served us drinks while sharing his passion for food and lust for life. He spoke with sincerity and listened with intent, making us feel interesting and appreciated even though we knew that he spent most of his days doing the same with every guest who walked through his door.

And there was the restaurant server/aspiring sommelier with a sparkle in his eye and an avid passion for the culinary world. I could tell he was an introvert at heart, whose inner extrovert only emerged when he spoke of his love for wine and travel to an attentive audience. While he rushed through the restaurant to ensure guests were happy and meals were delivered in a timely manner, he also stood patiently as guests asked him questions, projecting an air of confidence and calmness as he worked.

Strolling through Coronado (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

San Diego is a city full of as much passion, aspiration, and inspiration as the people who call “America’s Finest City” home. From the “surfer girl” feel of La Jolla Shores, to the colourful history behind the city’s Gaslamp Quarter neighbourhood, to the up-and-coming culinary hot spot that is Little Italy, there is something unique about each person, and each region of San Diego – and I loved them all.

San Diego Sunset (Instagram: @bitsofbee)

{TRAVEL} My Top 4 Trips of 2016

The past year was filled with travel! I discovered some new destinations, and revisited some old ones, and I’ve loved sharing my adventures, discoveries and tips with my readers. Here are the places we explored in 2016 – both with and without our kids:

BOWEN ISLAND, BC
(September 2016)
BC LIVING – Where To Enjoy Nature and Namaste on Bowen Island

My most recent trip was to a fairly local destination. Only a 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay (and a total of only 40 minutes from my home), I was surprised to discover all there was to see and do in this beautiful little ocean-side community. Visiting with a friend and enjoying a 2-day yoga retreat at Nectar Yoga B&B made the mini vacation extra special, as we bonded, relaxed, and enjoyed the natural surroundings of Bowen – immersed in serenity by the sea.

The geodesic dome at Nectar Yoga B&B in Bowen Island, BC

DISNEYLAND, CA
(June 2016)
BC LIVING – 10 Reasons To Stop Putting Off Your Trip To Disneyland
BITS OF BEE – Dashing Off To Disneyland

I hadn’t visited Disneyland since I was 9 years old, so I was excited to see the changes and experience the Most Magical Place On Earth with my two oldest children. We surprised our children with the trip on the day of departure, and dashed off to Disneyland to celebrate the 60th Diamond Anniversary and enjoy all that the destination had to offer. The trip exceeded my expectations and left me buzzing for months afterwards.

World of Color – Celebrate The World of Walt Disney Fireworks Show

SUMMERLAND, BC
(May 2016)
BC LIVING – 5 Things To Do In Summerland (Besides Golf and Wine Tours)
BITS OF BEE – A Sweet Escape To Summerland

Another fairly local destination that I had yet to explore, Summerland was a sweet escape. My oldest daughter and I enjoyed a special mother-daughter trip and joined some fellow writers and their families for an action-packed tour of the local wineries and eateries. Since our visit we’ve been eager to return with our entire family in tow!

Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa

HARRISON HOT SPRINGS, BC
(March 2016)
BC LIVING – Harrison Hot Springs: The Perfect Spring Break Family Getaway (On A Budget)

Harrison Hot Springs is one of our favourite not-too-far-from-home destinations, and we visit at least once a year. While it’s most well known as an ideal Summer destination, I shared about how it’s also a great (and budget-friendly) destination for families to visit in the off-season. We love it there and look forward to our next visit.

Harrison Lake

MAUI, HI
(February 2016)
BITS OF BEE – A Week Away in Kihei (Sans Kids)

This last-minute adults-only definitely topped my list of 2016 trips. It was a very last-minute getaway, made possible by some friends who own a beach-side condo in Kihei (and with the help of some long-accumulated Aeroplan points). We lazed on the beach, toured lava caves by boat, visited a pod of playful dolphins, and took in the views from the top of the Haleakala volcano (and did so much more! It’s amazing what you can pack into a trip when you don’t have 3 little kids in tow). We hope to return with our kids sometime soon.

At the top of the Haleakala volcano

With a new year comes a new list of exciting adventures! Next stop: SAN DIEGO, CA (sans kids)! I have a jam-packed itinerary and can’t wait to explore a new city for the first time. Stay tuned!

Bee xx