Anyone who knows Rob and me has seen us move a lot the last couple of years. After we got married in May 2013, we relocated to Seattle for Rob to attend law school there. That summer, we spent back in Santa Barbara for an internship he had, and then we moved to Washington, D.C. so Rob could transfer to Georgetown Law. (Luckily, I'm a freelancer so all of this moving around didn't keep me from continuing my magazine, online and fiction writing.) A couple of months ago, we packed our bags again to head to Los Angeles for Rob's summer associate position at a prestigious law firm downtown.
As we filled box after box, I tweeted that moving isn't easy for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for people like me who grew up in foster care (I lived in six towns during the six years I was in foster care, not to mention the different homes I lived in, so I moved a lot!). Several people favorited it, and that was that. I didn't think much about the tweet until the next day. That's when I woke up to see DoubleTree by Hilton's verified Twitter account responded, offering me a free night at any DoubleTree for some R&R, linked to its #nicetravels promotion. Surprised and at first a little suspicious, I soon realized the offer was for real and became super excited.
Fast forward to several weeks into our summer in LA, and Rob and I found ourselves busy visiting friends in LA and Santa Barbara (mostly me), exploring our neighborhood (again, mostly me), writing (all me), and working his butt off at his summer job (all Rob). We realized a weekend away would be just the thing for us to get some uninterrupted time together. We chose the DoubleTree's downtown San Diego location, near the harbor, and packed our bags.
We drove out on a Friday night and checked into the hotel, impressed but not surprised by its fanciness. They gave us warm cookies immediately upon arrival, A+ in my book already. We checked in, paying for our first night and using our certificate for our second night so we could make a weekend out of it. After we dropped our luggage off in our spacious room, we took some photos (obviously), and headed back downstairs to the bar. Our bartender gave us tips on places to visit during our weekend, including the farmer's market in Little Italy and Seaport Village.
The next morning, after hanging around in the room for a while (since, why not? It's fancy, remember?), we made a quick pit stop on the roof to check out the pool. I dipped my toes in while Rob began his duties as "Instagram Husband" for the weekend, which I jokingly called him in hopes that he'd document our trip, given that A.) prior to law school, he was a professional photographer and B.) I thought maybe I'd write a blog post about our weekend.
Next, we enjoyed the summer sun as we walked through the farmer's market, trying out tasty blueberries, chips and salsa, and a cake pop.
We had lunch at a waterfront restaurant on the harbor, Anthony's Fish Grotto, starting with a white wine flight for me and then oysters.
Rob had some kind of manlier drink of which I can't recall the name. My crab and cheese sandwich hit just the spot. We walked through Seaport Village and played tourists, taking lots and lots of pictures.
We visited the Unconditional Surrender Statue ("the kissing statue"), before heading up 40 floors at the Hyatt, for a bar with an incredible view of the surrounding area and ocean. After sharing a bottle of red wine, a meat and cheese plate and some chocolate fondue, we headed back to the hotel for a nap.
Unfortunately, Rob had a migraine so our plans of eating dinner in Little Italy changed. I ordered room service for us, and we watched true crime shows, per our usual when we stay in hotels - it's become our tradition. Rob felt much better by the morning, so we packed up our stuff after a late checkout and drove to Snooze, a breakfast restaurant that friends and Uber driver alike highly recommended to us.
I don't say this lightly, but the hour and a half wait for a seat at Snooze was completely worth it. Bustling with young people and families, the restaurant popped with bright colors and trendy light fixtures. The cranberry-lemonade mimosa (not on the menu - it's a mixture of the cranberry mimosa and lemonade mimosa) fizzed delightfully. It was the perfect blend of sweetness and beautiful to boot.
Rob and I both ordered the Bella! Bella! Benny, (poached eggs, prosciutto and taleggio cheese topped with cream cheese hollandaise, balsamic glaze and arugula on a toasted ciabatta), and a side of Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes. Drizzled in warm chocolate syrup, the gooey pancakes melted in my mouth and tasted more like dessert than breakfast. Hands down, best breakfast I've ever had.
We took the scenic route home, hoping to catch sight of the ocean on the Pacific Coast Highway rather than merely the back of just another bumper on a Sunday afternoon traffic-fest. Driving through San Clemente, we texted Rob's BFF Brandon to see if he was working that day at his job in Laguna Beach. He wasn't, but he and our friends Stouff and Evan were at the beach nearby, so we joined them.
After sitting around and chatting, watching Stouff catch a few waves, and taking pictures, we headed to Brandon's house for a barbecue.
What a great way to end an already amazing weekend!
Thanks so much to the DoubleTree by Hilton for giving us a free night for that R & R we really needed! We had a great time and hope to visit another DoubleTree again sometime during our many travels!