Since I was a kid I have been going on summer beach trips with my family… to me it’s the perfect way to embrace the lazy days of summer and enjoy time together before the hustle of our everyday life and school routines start back up. Don’t get me wrong, I love exploring exotic cities and seeing the world, but sometimes taking it slow, feeling the sand between your toes and chasing waves with your lovelies is all you need to embrace life…
Punta Mita is a 45 minute drive outside of Puerto Vallarta. This trip was about being together and relaxing at the beach so I did not explore the town or local areas… we really stayed on site all 5 days except for 1 dinner off resort…and I could have spent much more time there and been blissfully happy. We arranged transport via FS and were met by a nice driver, cold bottled water and a car with car seat included. It was a quick drive and we were greeted at the lobby with fruit drinks, goodie bags for the kiddos and efficiently taken by golf cart to our room… The beautiful entranceway and personalized check-in service made for a great welcome.
WOW…I am surprised we ever left the space…it was a huge 1 bedroom garden suite with a private plunge pool. In typical FS style the kids were welcomed with their names spelled out in sponges, adorable little turtle stuffies and a basket of cookies (with their names spelled out) and chocolate milk. It really still feels like a dream. We used the plunge pool several times a day, while baby was napping, just before bed or just because it was there and ready. My parents had a typical garden view room without the pool and it was lovely as well, but I was greatful for our room which was perfect for our family…The closet was huge, there were 2 bathrooms and space to lounge around.
The place was beautiful and huge. Walking the space you are greeted with iguanas, funny looking chicken -birds and beautiful landscape. They have golf carts ready at all times to take you to any location and the kids enjoyed the ride. There really was something for everybody and it never feels crowded. The kids loved the lazy river, tons of fun beach toys for building sandcastles, snorkels, kayaks and hourly samples of slushies and of course the kids area. We loved the infinity pool overlooking the ocean, the cabana’s by the beach ,the breathtaking ocean and the fun activities available. My parents did a tasting class on local alcohols and I enjoyed a morning yoga class on the rocks…
We were worried about going in the ‘rainy season’ but we were greeted with sunny skies our entire 5 days there. 2 days we had a small drizzle around dinner time which cooled things down but did not prevent folks from swimming or walking by the beach…Of course its HOT…but being from Houston we are use to that. I think its gotta be better to go in the spring when its not so hot but we had no problems with rain and really enjoyed ourselves despite the heat…you are at the beach!
Breakfast was definitely our favorite, they had a buffet with something for everyone. I loved the daily fresh juice drinks.
Ketsi - its the casual restaurant near the pool over looking the ocean. We had breakfast here and a few lunches. We enjoyed the fresh fish tacos both by the pool and at Ketsi
Bahia - is the restaurant by the ocean and we had dinner here a few times, delicious steaks, salads and seafood. The ‘catch of the day’ fish, esp mahi mahi was amazing with their tasty sauce concoctions.
Si Senor .. we went off site for dinner once in the Punta Mita town and loved this restaurant. Concierge will arrange a quick taxi over and back and the food is amazing (and less expensive than on site) If we had more time we definitely would have returned here and checked out other restaurants in the local town. We shared an assortment of dishes from blue shrimp, grilled octopus to lobster and every dish was delicious. Really the prices are excellent for the freshness and quality of the food you get!
Overall, this trip was about Four Seasons Punta Mita. We picked the resort and then planned the flights/trip. We really never left and every second was paradise. Its a perfect place to spend with family, kids or as a couple. The people were friendly, the kids had a blast, the resort was beautiful and the beach was more amazing than the pictures you will find. We would return in a heartbeat.
Pondicheri is an Indian fusion restaurant inside the loop in the West Ave area. The location is perfect for meeting up and has a rare trendy urban feel inside Houston. You can almost feel like you are in NYC or Chicago…well almost… When the weather permits it would be great to eat outside as well. I have been here for breakfast and lunch but breakfast is definitely my favorite. Love the Indian twist on breakfast; omelets with saag paneer top it with their own version of a spicy Indian ketchup are delicious. The breakfast sandwiches (Masala Pav) are amazing…brioche with lamb curry topped with chutney and a fried egg.
Indomie Mi Goreng
Usually ramen reminds me of that time I was busy, the fridge had nothing but expired milk and some nondescript vegetable covered in mold, and I was missing home and left to scour the pantry looking from something slightly edible.
This is different though, I promise. I truly crave this tangy ramen packet!
One of my favorite ramen dishes. The noodles are toss with sweet and spicy flavors and so addicting… My little sister introduced me to these dried ramen noodles and they are crazy good! Not the soupy instant ramen you are use to eating, instead these Indonesian noodles are meant to be eaten dry, so read the instructions carefully when preparing. You boil the noodles and DRAIN the water and then toss them with the packets: sweet thick soy sauce, flavor powder, chili powder and chili oil and fried onions.
Tasty alone or mix it up a bit. I usually add in some veggies or a fried egg so that I don’t feel guilty for eating ramen. Promise you will enjoy it, so go find it in the ramen section of your asian market and give it a try. Let me know if you love it as much as I do!
Hotel Del Coronado
Located on Coronado Island, this wooden Victorian style hotel is beautifully nestled on the beach. The actual rooms are nothing fancy: the main building rooms have old ‘Victorian charm’, some are slightly newer style (at the California Cabana or Beach Tower area), and of course there are the Beach cottages that you can rent… it’s not the actual rooms that makes this place special but the location right on the beach as well as the amenities. This place is huge and open to everyone so people come for the restaurants, bars and beach space…..as a result , you can’t expect personalized service or staff to know your name and give you that extra TLC you would get at a boutique luxury hotel. But it’s really a great hotel/resort that can fit so many types, families with kids, couples and weddings, or chilling at the beach bar types. I have been to San Diego a few times and stayed at different hotels and I find in the summer San Diego can be overpriced for what you get. It’s hard to find a nice hotel on the beach that has a lot of amenities and can fit your bill. We enjoyed this stay and would return here again to enjoy all that San Diego has to offer. There are shops, ice cream parlors, pizza joints, bars, beach side restaurants, fancy restaurants, coffee shops and even s’mores on the beach! We had a great time and enjoyed the option to stay on site and have a meal and lounge at the beach or to take the car and go off to explore as we wanted.
… on site at the hotel Del.
…remember, prices are always higher when you eat on site so you just have to reset your expectations. And overall the service is very slow everywhere, but you are on vacation so relax and enjoy….
Sheerwater – waterfront restaurant at the hotel - It serves seafood and traditional American style meals, we enjoyed our dishes and it’s well situated overlooking the main walkway towards the ocean.
1500 Ocean - this is the pricier version of Sheerwater on the resort. The restaurant is more fancy and the prices are a bit higher but I felt the meal was similar to Sheerwater. Because we had the kids with us, we preferred Sheerwater for its casual atmosphere, but if you are having a romantic meal, this is a better choice.
ENO pizzeria and wine bar – Small space on the resort that serves excellent pizza cooked right there in the outdoor oven. Most of the seating is patio side but it’s a great place to grab a drink, some good salads and tasty pizza.
Babcock and Story – this is a casual bar/restaurant on the resort and open more extended hours so you can grab a bite at off times. We had some very tasty meals here when we were just trying to grab a last minute bite and I wish we had eaten here more in retrospect. Everything we ordered was great from the breads, cheese , soups to the entrees. Deceivingly good food and probably my favorite place on site for food (not atmosphere)
Sundeck Bar and Grill – deck side casual place right on the beach, it is great for grabbing a burger and some drinks.
And of course there is so much good stuff in San Diego you have to try offsite as well…
Clayton’s Coffee Shop – close to the hotel Del, this was our go to place for breakfast. Set up like a diner and serves solid breakfast foods. I enjoyed the corn beef hash.
Taco’s el Gordo – tasty pork tacos, many locations so give it a try.
Neveria Tocumbo – now I stumbled across this random ice cream shop that sells mangonada and I loved this stuff. Fresh chopped mango over mango ice cream lathered with chomoy sauce (a spicy Mexican tamarind mix). Nothing located near this place and its truly out of the way and just a typical Mexican ice cream shop…but I love this snack so much…wishing I could find the same here
George’s at the Cove - this restaurant has one of the best views of the coast in La Jolla. Serves solid dishes and you really cannot beat the view. Make reservations
El Pescador Fish Market – small place with great seafood in La Jolla, tasty soups, delicious sandwiches and seafood dishes. Grab this and enjoy it at the park!
La Jolla area – a beautiful part of town, perfect place to stroll and explore. You can enjoy shopping in the small town or go along the water and watch for seals, relax on the lawn or explore tide pools.
San Diego Zoo – amazing zoo and although we only spent 1 day here, I’m sure you could do a few and still enjoy it. Perfectly set up with so much to see. Go early and start at the back and work your way forward. Take the double decker bus tour around the park, enjoy the onsite safari ride and of course the cable cars that bring you up to the sections further back. Everything you have heard about this place is true and more. I don’t know how you could not enjoy this place!
Legoland – now this is a good place if you have younger kids, maybe toddler age up to 10 would enjoy this place. My boys worship legos so this is a fun place for us. We enjoyed the rides, the kids liked driving their own cars and getting a ‘driver’s license’, they have a section of entire scenes created by lego master builders that is really neat and the water park is fun if you have the time…also I LOVE the fried green apples desserts I found here…..really, if you find this place ,try it…I kept going back for more and even looked up recipes after we came home to try to recreate it! So good!!!!
5 - year journal
For someone that is so commitment-phobic it seems a daunting task ….. Keeping a journal for 5 years?!? But really it’s one of my favorite moments in the evening, to sit down and capture the essence of my day in just 5 little lines…..of course I have crazy weeks where my schedule is whacked and I’m running low on sleep and I may not fill 5 words let alone 5 lines, but it’s so amazing to look back and see what I was doing or thinking or eating that same day 3 years ago….it really brings me back in time and makes me laugh or cry…I’m a sucker for memories and trying to slow down each precious moment and somehow locking away that feeling or smell forever….
its truly a game changer, this thing called Motherhood…
I’m suddenly aware of all the lovelies around me, hardly able to contain my excitement at sharing what yesterday seem to go unnoticed…
the way the sand glitters like gold reflecting back at the sun, the tiny sand crabs frantically burrowing under as the waves wash by, the cool swishy feeling of digging your toes into the ground…each day really is more beautiful than the last with ‘mini-me’ by my side.
I’m NOT like a bird…love traveling and the anticipation of exploring a new place, but the physical act of flying makes me a little lightheaded, gives me palpitations and that swirling sensation in my belly on take off, landing and every single ’ we are experiencing some turbulence’ moment…but sometimes, just looking out the window is so awe-inspiring…I mean WOW, takes away all the petty little things that run through your mind…how can any of those small things matter when you are soaring like a bird…the world really is bigger than any of us…
Code black : Life in the ER
Who works a stack of 12 hour nights shifts and then watches a movie about work just before switching to a 6am shifts?!? An ER doctor of course…
A great peek into the reality of our current healthcare system and a must watch for anyone not just an ER doc…. We all have been or know someone that has had to navigate the complex halls of a US emergency department and this is a good look at both how broken it is and how vital it is…. It offers an unfiltered look at the flawed system without pretending to have the answers…
We watched this at Sundance Cinema in the Theatre District of downtown Houston. Glad to finally discover this place, perfect setting for date night or a movie with friends…. It has a restaurant/ bar so you can grab some drinks or pizza and enjoy a nice show together… Try to get there early so you have time to relax and pick up the food … Definitely will be returning soon…