Tags: travel

Date Night and VRBO Travel Tip

My husband and I had a fun date night last night.  We went bowling and I lost terribly, but it was a lot of fun.  My husband is like some sort of secret ninja bowler.


I was so excited that while we were out (bowling and running errands), I got to actually get something at a drive-thru!   Every time I go through one, I think, people can really do this?!  I never eat out, or very very rarely.  Why?  Because I’m uber healthy.  Ha!  Not so much.  Due to food allergies.  So, at Wendy’s, I got an all-natural lemonade (after confirming all ingredients of course which I must do every time, even if I’ve had the product before)!  It’s rare for me to be able to have anything pre-packaged.


I was so thrilled! I mean, seriously excited. I also got a fruit cup. That was my dinner.  Don’t feel bad for me, I rarely go hungry.  :)  And, this was a treat!   So every time you go through a drive-thru or eat out in a restaurant, eat a little extra for me.

We also spent some time preparing for an upcoming trip to Austin, TX.  We went to college in Austin.  It’s one of the most scenic and cultural cities in Texas.   Speaking of food, we try our best to get a full kitchen when traveling so that I can make meals and not starve.

In the course of looking at possible vacation rentals, here are some that we came across on VRBO.com.

VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Owner.

Did you know it is possible to stay in actual homes/ condos for the cost of an average  hotel room?   If you have a family, this is a great way to travel.  That’s my tip.

I just loved the ceiling and stairs on this one.  Plus it kind of goes with the Lemonade…



Again, an amazing ceiling!  (Click the images for more information.)


Okay, so read this caption.  Seriously, that is the master?!


I thought this one was well designed.  Love the striped wall.


You get not only bikes with this one, but chickens?!


And, wow, what creative design here.  A fish tank toilet.


I love looking on VRBO.  It is a fantastic source for vacation rentals and there are all price ranges on there, depending on your needs, from luxurious to basic.  And, the same with sizes, anything from an efficiency to a palatial mansion.

Looking forward to our future trip.  We found just the right place in the right location for us, that was available at the right time for a quick business trip.

But, wanna know what I actually look forward to most?   I actually found a restaurant in Austin that I could eat at.  So what if it’s just a burger joint and took me hours to find and several phone calls.  It means I can eat a patty wrapped in lettuce and french fries!


Remember this little VRBO tip the next time you travel.  Have you ever used VRBO?   (I know this sounds like an advertisement, but I’m not being asked or paid to write this.)


San Diego Trip – More Photos

Yesterday, I shared photos from Coronado Island which is located just 5 miles west of downtown San Diego, California.  Today, I want to share some photos from the rest of my tour of the area.  That’s me on the boat cruise that toured the harbor which is the narrow body of water between the mainland and Coronado Island.  Can you say windy?!   I almost lost my hat a time or two.


Again, to orient you, here is a map of the general area.  Most of these photos are from near downtown, north of the map on the coast or of the north bay.


Now, I feel a little silly, but… many of my inland photos did not turn out well because the camera settings got changed in the course of pulling it out of my purse at some point.  So, I lost many photos.   After Coronado Island, we went through Balboa park, La Jolla, Old Town and on a tour of the bay/ harbor.

We started in the Gaslamp Quarter.

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Balboa park is located just north of downtown and is the home to museums and the zoo.


This is one of the largest pipe organs.  They have weekly concerts here on Sundays at 2pm.


Then, off to La Jolla.  Now, these pics are some of those that were ruined, but, I wanted to show you something, so here are a few.  I really have to go back to La Jolla as the beaches were awesome and the shopping was amazing.

Driving into La Jolla.  One thing that you will find that is different here than many places is that the suburbs are compartmentalized due to the hills.  When on the freeway, you are often driving between hills which is very different from most freeways where you can see expanse off to the sides.


The beach.  Doesn’t that look like a giant hand in the cave?


I loved seeing the seals on the beach!


And, a few, though messed up, of Old Town.  Old town is the original downtown of San Diego before it was moved closer to the bay.  It’s now tourist shops.


This is when my foot started hurting.


Then, off on a cruise of the harbor.  Here is a glimpse of our tour boat.


The city from the boat.


You know you are protected, if not by the Navy, by the coast guard or police!



I loved seeing all of the different types of ships in the harbor.  There were so many!






I love this shot as it shows the boats, the city and the airport.  See the big yellow jet?




If you really like ships and history, there is the Maritime Museum where you can tour the following ships.  This is a ship that was seen in Pirates of the Caribbean.


This is a Russian submarine that was seen in the Hunt for Red October.


And, this is the Star of India.  She went around the world 21 times and is now retired in SD.


We also saw seals and sea lions sunning in the harbor.




A submarine out of the water, yet carefully guarded.


That shadow of land is Tijuana, Mexico.


And, back to shore.  On the way back, docked at the mainland is the USS Midway.  It’s a naval aircraft carrier that is now retired.  We toured her the following day.


Hope you enjoyed seeing more of San Diego with us!  Despite the injury, it was an awesome trip!


Crutches and Coronado Island Tour

We had a fabulous trip to San Diego last week.   We loved it!  It was our first true time to be there, as the only other time was picking up a youth who was traveling when her dad died, and escorting her back to KC.   Having lived in Phoenix for three years now, it’s about time, as SD is only a 6 hour drive.

My favorite part about San Diego, besides the beaches and the way the mountains are just inland?  The temperature.  No doubt.  San Diego has a very consistent climate that averages 70 degrees year round.  We went from 110 in Phoenix to 72 in San Diego.  Glorious!


I’m feeling a lot better from being sick last week, by the way.  However, I now have the lovely task of learning to get around on crutches with no weight on my foot.   So, let me say that if I ever had the thought of anyone being a bit of a baby while on crutches, I was wrong.   It’s hard and you can’t get much done.


The pain on the outside of my foot (cuboid bone area) seems to just be from too much walking… in flip flops.  Yes, flips flops.  They were Ugg flip flops, so a little more cushioned, but yes.   It just hurts when I put weight on it, more and more intensely as I walk further.  I’m sure it will heal up in no time.

I wanted to share some photos from our trip.  We went out there on business, mainly for my husband.  We stayed in the Gaslamp Quarter which is a revitalized area with lots of history near downtown.  It has lots of shops, restaurants and hotels.  Today, I’ll share Coronado Island with you.

To help orient you, here is a map from Google maps.  The “A” is downtown San Diego.  Across the bay is Coronado Island, and then out to the left is the Pacific Ocean.  It’s also good to note that below that white line at the bottom is Mexico.  It’s only 15 miles from San Diego.  You may also notice that half of the “island” (really a peninsula) is a Naval base.


I went to Coronado Island twice – once by ferry and once by tour bus.  It was my favorite San Diego spot this time, but there are still so many left to explore on the next trip.  Coronado means crowned one in Spanish.

Here is the bridge as we drove over to the island.  This was taken from the bus.  The days started a little dreary due to what they call the Marine Layer, but ended up bright and sunny.

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The highlight of the island was Hotel Del Coronado, located on the Pacific beach.  It was built around 1888 and is a true American treasure, with 11 presidents having stayed there.  When built, it boasted 399 rooms and 75 bathrooms.  That’s right 75 bathrooms.  It has since been modernized and was remodeled last in 2001.


As you enter the lobby, you notice a breathtaking and large chandelier.   Look at that trim work as well!


As you walk through the center of the hotel, you enter a beautiful courtyard.  The grounds were perfectly manicured.


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And, the back of the hotel, near the ocean.

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As you walk along the side of the hotel to the ocean.

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In the distance is Point Loma which is on the mainland as the bay opens to the Pacific ocean.

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On the other side of the hotel is the Pacific ocean and beach. They claim that it’s the widest expanse of sand on the California coast.  It was also declared one of the best beaches on the Travel channel.

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I loved how the boulders mixed up the scenery of an otherwise fairly flat beach.

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Notice how so many are in shorts rather than swimsuits.  The water there is pretty cold.  It was 69 degrees that day, and 72-74 on land.  So, there isn’t a lot of swimming going on.  Very different than the beaches in the Caribbean or in Texas that I’ve been to.

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Everyone was super friendly.  I made a friend in each spot that I visited.   So glad because being by myself and watching the kiddos look for crabs could have seemed creepy to some.

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They found a starfish here!  You can’t really see it, but it’s on the side of a rock.

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Along the beach and next to the hotel, you will notice mounds.  You can’t tell what they are from the ground, but you can from the sky.  They spell “CORONADO.”


I love how you can just see the relaxing, yet upscale nature of the island.

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Across from the beach is the house that has been on the news as the mansion with the mysterious deaths – the son dies from a fall and the girlfriend was found dead.


Further down the street is the first home that was moved by barge from the mainland in San Diego to the island.


And, on the island, here are some shops and such.

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And, from the trolley.

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And, to get the affect of the ferry, here is the view from the ferry as I was going to the island.

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Once we landed, here is what I saw.

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And, the city from the island.

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And, a view of the city from the bay.


Hope you enjoyed the island!  I already want to go back!  If this peaks your interest, there is a video that centers around the history of the island that is worth seeing.

More pics to come!  I also saw La Jolla, Old Town, Balboa park and the harbor via a city tour.

I also wanted to warn you guys that I’m going to change my posting pattern from daily to being a little sporadic, as I have things to post and time to post.  So, it won’t be as often, but I am still around for sure, so please don’t give up on me!  :)