When you grow up somewhere, day to day life often interferes with playing tourist in your own city. Now that San Diego is no longer my hometown I find myself continually returning to see my city favorites, and maybe becoming a little bit of a tourist myself, but with an insider's perspective.
When my Mom picks me up from the airport, we immediately head to Cedros Design District. Just streets away from the coast in Solana Beach, Cedros is lined with boutique shops carrying home decor, furniture, fashion, and antiques. First stop, is Orange Blossom Cafe for a morning coffee. My favorite is the Smores--the owner is usually the one who whips one up, using a kitchen torch to melt the marshmallows and toast them to perfection!
Along with the shops, are cafes that dot the street. I am perpetually craving the perfect caprese panini, and there are a few stops here where I can indulge in this favorite, namely, Zinc Cafe and just off Cedros on Lomas Santa Fe, Caffe La Bocca (where they also serve homemade gelato). This time, we opted for something different: Claire's on Cedros, a green restaurant focused on sustainability, the materials used in the restaurant interiors are made out of organic materials along with their organic and seasonal menu.
I also always make sure to pop into Bixby & Ball. This shop housed in the most adorable cottage is relatively new to Cedros, and the young owners couldn't be friendlier. Inside you can find an array of great finds from delicious scented candles, to John Robshaw products, to furniture, artwork, and also an array of jewelry. This time I picked up a pair of green chandelier earrings, which you may be able to spot below.
We also don't blink an eye when considering making a quick day trip to Orange County. I lived in Orange County prior to moving to Texas, so I amassed a few favorites places here as well. My go-to restaurant is True Food Kitchen in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. The bright and airy ambience along with the delicious food and drinks--make sure to try the Cucumber-Kumquat Skinny Margarita--is so refreshing. The restaurant concept is based on the famous Dr. Andrew Weil's diet, but even though it is "healthy" there is no lack of flavor. Everything tastes fresh and divine.
Since we are at Fashion Island, of course we have to hit up a few of my favorite stores. They make it easy as Trina Turk and Jonathan Adler sit side by side.
The Trina Turk Fashion Island store was also designed by the famed Kelly Wearstler.
|Images via Travelmoon|
I also spent a lot of time at the interior store Room Service, as they have a lot of fun, unique finds, and can also customize many of their products.
There was more family time, dinners out at Luc's Bistro (parmesan truffle fries, another favorite!), and with my girlfriends in La Jolla (on Prospect) overlooking the ocean. I guess we were having too much fun to take pictures!