California Dreamin’

Father's Day

Mike and I decided to take the girls on a last minute trip to San Diego for Thanksgiving. It’s totally not my style to book something last minute, and we even discussed a trip like this back in the summer but opted to not book anything, and then, well, here we are having gone anyways! Maybe it won’t kill me to be a little more spontaneous. Especially if it involves sunny destinations.

LOVE San Diego. What a beautiful city! Definitely a place we will go again. We took in some sites–a trip to the Zoo being our big day– and then chilled out at the pool and beach. I know Zoos don’t have the greatest reputation, but wow does San Diego Zoo do an amazing job! Filled with big, well-kept and beautiful spaces for the animals, from an (all-be-it limited knowledge) outsiders perspective, it was impressive. We didn’t take in any other “theme” parks– our kids are little and it’s really just kind of exhausting to go, go, go all day long. By the end of our Zoo day Miss V was requesting the hotel. #diva. San Diego Recap:

The Boardwalk and Seaport Village: We love boardwalks! It’s kind of our thing. We get up in the morning and go get a coffee (me), doughnut (Mike- shocking haha!) and walk with the kids. And when we don’t have a nice boardwalk-style location to walk, we complain (i.e. Mexico 2015). The walk along the water and marina is beautiful day and night. One of my favourite things was ending our day heading out for dinner and catching the amazing pink sunsets. Gorgeous!

A trip to Coronado Island: We took the ferry (10 min) over to Coronado Island to visit what’s claimed as one of America’s finest beaches in front of the Hotel Del. We rented a beach umbrella and parked ourselves in the sand for a few hours. Except for Aria. She crawled everywhere like a little sand monster and made sure that every inch of our belongings and beings were completely covered in sand. V loved playing in the sand too–a far cry from the girl who wouldn’t touch the stuff last year.

The Zoo! As mentioned above, we really enjoyed our time there. If I were to plan this trip more my style I would have been all over the “plan your day” (no one should be surprised by this) feature on their website. Lot’s of walking, and lot’s to see. A full day is needed. I of course loved the giraffes, my favourite animal. V’s and Mike’s favourite was the polar bear, they got an up-close encounter during it’s snack time.

Balboa Park (specifically The Carousel and Miniature Train): V really loved the train ride. Balboa park, which includes the Zoo, is a massive space filled with gardens, museums (15!) and attractions. If we had been more on our game we would have tied these two quick stops into the same day we went to the Zoo. Hindsight. You could really spend a full day (or more) in this park, but like I said, we like a few sights paired with some good down time.

Pool! We stayed and the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. We chose this hotel specifically for the pool, which is like a tropical resort’s pool. It was perfect! Our room was spacious and the hotel location was fantastic. We would recommend this place for families– get a larger room with a pull out in the living space. And the location is perfect, it’s right on the boardwalk and only a few minutes to walk to Seaport Village.

The only major downside of the trip is that Kelowna doesn’t offer a direct flight. The flights aren’t long, but the day is, anyone traveling with kids will attest to this. Our return flight started out with Vienna having a squeeze pouch– little did we know that Aria had become seriously addicted to these things having had them everyday on the trip, leading her to lunge at V’s squeeze pouch to grab it and then fight to keep it while Mike tried to get it away from her. Squeeze. Pouch. Everywhere. V was screaming about it being on her seat. Aria was covered it in, front and back.  And I’m pretty sure Mike swore at Aria. Not our greatest flight moment. Like we were that family on the plane with the out of control chaos. And, as Mom karma would have it, RIGHT before this happened I did a side-eye glance at another family facing a similar scene (even though I KNOW better). Gah.

Plane chaos aside our trip was wonderful. I am SO thankful for this crew of mine. We had the most amazing Thanksgiving vacation (and don’t worry– I don’t intend to completely sugar coat life–there was a fair dose of arguments, fussy kids and exhaustion mixed in there too 😉 ) Happy Belated Thanksgiving! xo









Mama Writes


  1. This trip sounds so fun! I want to visit that hotel simply just to swim now!! Glad you enjoyed a spontaneous vacation. Hopefully I can do this sometime soon!

    1. Thanks for your comment! It’s such a great spot Andrea! Hard to be spontaneous with kids sometimes, but so worth it 🙂

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