So long, SoCal

It's been a while since my last trip recap because, well.....it's been a while since we've gone anywhere noteworthy.  We just got back from seven glorious days in Encinitas, California.  Why Encinitas?  The Mr. used to spend summers there, where his best friend's dad had a sprawling house overlooking the coast.  I was obviously friends with the wrong people ;-)  A few years ago, the dudes started their own tradition of taking a dude-bro surf trip out to Encinitas.  This year, the Mr. wanted to bring us crazy gals along & so we decided to make it a family vacation.  

It was a great trip, albeit a little less relaxing than vacations used to be (side-eyeing Quinn).  The SoCal weather was perfect, the waves were epic, & above all else we LOVED experiencing everything thru Quinn's eyes.  Parenting a toddler has its moments, but I'm being honest when I say that it's truly a pleasure & privilege to be raising this spunky little gal (minus the meltdowns).

We rented a cottage just a couple blocks from one of the beautiful beaches.  In between, we explored La Jolla/the Cove, Carlsbad & Solana Beach.  We took Quinn to the Aquarium and a gorgeous Botanic Garden (where there was an amazing tree house for kids that Quinn was obsessed with; we had to literally throw her over our shoulders to carry her kicking & screaming out of there).

We ate our weight in fresh-caught seafood, dining al fresco 95% of the time.  Quinn developed a love for salmon sashimi (raw) & shrimp.  And of course, we clocked in plenty of beach time.  

By far my favorite time of each day was after dinner when we'd gather up a couple towels, a bucket of beach toys, the Mr.'s surfboard & trot down to the beach to watch the sunset.  There were only a handful of us, all spread out, each winding down from our respective days.  Seeking the calming energy of the ocean washing ashore & the invigorating salty evening breeze.

{Some of these are from my Instagram}

The perils of wearing anything strapless around a toddler 
(I forgot my halter strap back at the cottage) ;-)

I had the pleasure of popping into Bixby & Ball, a chic lifestyle boutique with the coolest storefront, while we were in Solana Beach's Design District.  Co-owner/interior designer Melissa & I have been Instagram friends for a while & I'm so thrilled that I had a chance to meet her.  Instagram worlds colliding!  She is just as fabulous/hilarious in person; there was a bit of poking fun at ourselves & our InstaWorld ;-)  Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to welcome us, chat & laugh with us, M!! (We couldn't resist buying a rad mirror for the mudroom from Bixby & Ball.  This design addict could've have spent many hours/moola there.)
Steps away is SoLo, another must-go for the design/vintage-obsessed (moi).

There were even a couple of urgent care visits sprinkled in.  Aside from me spraining my ankle on Day 5 & the Mr. gashing his forehead (requiring 5 stitches) on Day 7 when his surfboard fell on him after riding a phenomenal wave, it was a pretty perfect vacation ;-)

Hope your summer is swell so far!