North Park in southern San Diego has become known as the hipster foodie paradise, with cute new shops and restaurants springing up throughout the past few years. These places often provide unique backdrops for photographs, inviting artistic Instagram users to come and snap some truly adorable pictures to decorate their feeds with. One such cafe joining the ranks is Holy Matcha.
3118 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
For June’s date, we decided to go strawberry picking! To avoid the heat, we got up early and set off to get our hands dirty.
Several strawberry picking places to choose from.
$20 for the bucket and entrance fee.
Carlsbad Strawberry Company
1000 Cannon Road
Carlsbad, CA 92008
After trying the “Pig Meets Ramen” at Tajima last time, Tiffany and I got into a ramen phase. We’d been hearing really good things about Menya Ultra since it opened earlier this year so we thought we’d give it a try.
8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Suite M
San Diego, CA 92111
Worried about having to wait hours for our ramen, I decided to take a half day on a weekday and go for lunch after we ran some errands. We got there a few minutes before it opened, yet a line had already formed outside.
Somewhere on a gorgeous street filled with historic character, a tiny, unassuming cafe lies hidden. Upon entering the little space, this cafe doesn’t look like much. A single smiling barista waits behind the counter to take your expensive order. After about twenty minutes, you receive your latte: a hand-crafted, unique 3-D artwork miraculously created from simple foam–a creation to take multiple pictures of and post to Instagram. And that, after all, is why you decided to come here in the first place.
Love To Go
307 S Mission Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776
There are few better ways to unwind after a long day than to collapse on a cushy sofa, shut off the brain, and enjoy an hour [or a couple] of effortless television-watching. Growing up, I didn’t watch much TV at all, but since marrying someone with a Netflix account, I’ve happily discovered the wonderful world of international television. Michael and I seem to prefer foreign shows [mainly British] over American, so this list reflects that preference. Ah, the American life: melting into a comfortable seat before a screen for hours until your body begins to mold itself to the couch, feeling your brain ooze into a glamorous pile of nothingness. What could be better?
Melodic strains of song streamed through the atmosphere, slicing through hardened hearts, the familiar words hitting their mark in a poignant new way. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. A shiver ran through me as the reality of these words I’d heard countless times before sank into the depths of my spirit, still raw from the brokenness I had witnessed only weeks before. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause. I turned to my husband, usually so stoic, and with a shock saw tears endlessly streaming down his face.
At the end of the service, as we walked out hand in hand, I asked him what had caused this uncharacteristic show of uncontrolled emotion. He paused a moment before replying, “I was thinking of my baby, and so many abandoned, unwanted babies in the world.”
Tajima is a well-known Japanese restaurant in San Diego, touting a 4-star rating on Yelp with over 3000 reviews. Tiffany and I have both been there over the years, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve eaten there. The reason we went back this time is because of a special collaboration for the month of June between Tajima and Carnitas Snack Shack, another one of our favorites here in San Diego. Even though it was hot day, not even the heat wave could keep us from our pork belly ramen!
4411 Mercury St, Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92111
It’s a tiny bit embarrassing to admit, but even though I have lived in San Diego my entire life, I have explored very little of my own city. To be fair, I relied on my parents to transport me anywhere for most of that time. 😛 So when I discovered a scenic drive all conveniently mapped out for us, I jumped at the chance to play the tourist and see more of our lovely San Diego.
Map of the scenic drive
FREE! [unless you want souvenirs, food, and such]
Time for another San Diego food post! To mix things up, we decided to review a restaurant that’s good for a casual weeknight dinner.
Pho Ban Mai
8991 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126
One could say that we live in the part of town where there is a pho restaurant on every other block. It can sometimes lead to decision paralysis when there is such a plethora of choices. However, ever since I came here for the first time few years ago, Pho Ban Mai has slowly become my go-to for some classic Vietnamese beef noodle soup. It checks all the boxes and I really can’t find much to complain about this place. The food is good and conveniently close by, making it a perfect spot for a quick and inexpensive weeknight dinner.
During the rainy month of April, we ventured out into the lush state of Washington for a quick getaway. Discontent to linger in the busier city of Seattle, we instead made our home base on secluded Whidbey Island, about an hour’s drive from that great city. Surrounded by rolling green hills and towering pine trees, with intermittent showers and a moody landscape, we found ourselves at home among the whispering woods, waking to the cacophony of cheery bird songs in the early mornings. We took our slow, sweet time to explore this charming island, untouched by the frenzied environment that defines our usual daily lives. Here, one could breathe deeply, walk slowly, and absorb the ancient wisdom of the trees into our often unsettled minds.