Our dog friendly family trip to San Diego

We’re getting pretty good at traveling over night so we decided to take off 12 hours south to San Diego for 5 nights (3 in the city and 2 traveling). Moonshine came with us again, so it was essential that we find the dog friendly beaches we could all enjoy.

During our time in San Diego, we spent the most time in Ocean Beach (at dog beach – at lifeguard station 5). We loved the old school hippie vibe in the area. We arrived early in the morning and Connor got to wake up on his 5th birthday on the beach 😊

It was also easy to find outdoor dog friendly restaurants everywhere in Ocean Beach which was awesome since we don’t leave Moonshine behind. We loved everywhere we ate; the list is as follows:

Ocean beach people’s organic market (a wonderful local organic market to grab anything you’re looking for; we grabbed snacks and breakfast items for our Airbnb here).

Raglan Public House (great burgers, fries, speciality drinks and an amazing cookie and ice cream skillet).

Wahoo’s fish tacos (it was rated very well on google reviews and it was decent; we wouldn’t go back the next time we visit though).

Pizza port ocean beach (amazing pizza – the sauce was tangy and sweet) and they had a wonderful cider on tap.

The baked bear (custom ice cream sandwiches to die for)!

Little Lion Cafe (an adorable breakfast spot with a large assortment of breakfast drinks and speciality meals). There were only two outdoor tables offered but we arrived right when they opened and got lucky to get a seat.

We also visited Coronado beach. It was not quite as large or as busy as dog beach. The vibe in Coronado was a little too affluent for our taste but it was a great place to visit nonetheless!

The last beach we briefly visited (only one time) was on fiesta island. While it’s dog friendly everywhere (no restrictions to this) there wasn’t a lot of real sand, no shells for Connor to find and the ground was pretty dirty overall. It was ok to visit but it was our least favorite and we wouldn’t return when we go again.

For our last night in San Diego, we left our Airbnb and went to downtown to stay one night at the Hotel Z (stay pineapple – a hip and very dog friendly establishment). It was in the Gaslamp Quarter which was a great central location that had a lot of great restaurants that were….you guessed it – dog friendly!

Barleymash had a large patio and great salads!

Rustic root was an upscale farm to table restaurant that was really good. Connor enjoyed his crab cake (and Mac and cheese with bacon)!

We’re suckers for ice cream so Cali Cream was a must try! The cookies and cream with cookie dough was amazing!

For our last breakfast in San Diego, we hit up Richard Walker’s pancake house and tried a Bavarian pancake (we had other items, too but who wants to see those over this)?!

And last but not least, on our last day, Jerry and Connor did a tour at the USS Midway Museum. It was a similar sized ship Jerry had been deployed on twice when he was in the Marines and Connor wanted to see it.

While I finish up this blog post, we’ve had one refreshing night of sleep at home again, are back to our normal cooking and eating at home and the boys are planning to camp tonight and give me a much needed break 😊there’s never any true downtime with Connor around unless he’s sleeping or gone with one of us; so until next time, you’ll find us encouraging Connor’s mission to wake, explore, repeat!

celebrations · family

Connor’s 5th Birthday “Party Animal” Bash

We originally planned to only take a family trip for Connor’s 5th birthday and then somehow in addition we ended up deciding to have around 30 people over to celebrate with us the week before his actual birthday. When you have a forever only child and 5 only comes once, well, to hell with trying to be conventional 😂 We’ve only had one other party for him so far and that was on his 3rd birthday. The every other year big celebration is working well for us thus far!

We booked Scales and Tails to come to our house and they were a hit with Connor and his friends! This was the second time we’ve booked them and we were even more pleased than last time; they just do a phenomenal job teaching about the reptiles and engaging the kiddos.

We also had a handmade piñata, animal themed veggie and fruit platters (in addition to pizza, local spinach/strawberry salad and homemade BBQ chicken) animals on top of multiple cakes with party hats and a large helium dinosaur with a Polaroid camera for a party favor.

We all had a lot of fun (even though Connor was a little overwhelmed a couple times and we joked that’s how you know it’s a good party)! 😂 We will definitely throw another party for him in the future. Next time around, we would love to do a hike with a handful of friends (but we realize it is hard to coordinate that with everyone and not all kiddos his age are interested or able). As he gets older, hopefully that will become more possible!

In lieu of presents, Connor asked for dog/cat food or toys for donations to the local humane society. He received many things and we delivered them a few days after his party. He was so proud to help! This is definitely something we want to continue doing in the future.