Happy Friday to my friends of fall.
Yes, it’s true, fall has officially arrived. But by the look from my past weekend you’d never know it.
I’ll be getting into this week’s list of Friday Faves in just a minute, but first a little bit about last weekend’s, last of summer beach escape.
As a former resident of SoCal, even thought most would think it, I know that June and July aren’t the best summer months to vacation there. Nope. The insider secret is that September and October are always more stellar. The crowds have thinned, the ocean water is warm and you can still count on blissfully gorgeous days at the beach.
So last weekend we headed to Coronado Island for our annual pilgrimage. Actually our generous friends invite us every year to go with them to their condo and we happily oblige.
Hotel Del Coronado
The Hotel Del reigns as the premier destination when you visit Coronado Island, a peninsula that sits just 10 minutes over the Coronado Bridge from San Diego, CA. A National Historic Landmark, the hotel sits as the grande dame of Southern California hotels and is as well-known for it’s storied history of hosting Hollywood royalty as it is for it’s high levels of service, amenities and gorgeous scenery and grounds that sit right at the edge of the Pacific ocean.
But don’t get the idea that this is all butlers and black tie. No way. We’re at the beach baby! And The Del embodies that better than anyone with it’s laid-back but perfectly appointed style.
The Del is always on our to-do agenda to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset, but on this visit we had the opportunity for a taste of more of the hotel’s luxuries.
Spa at The Del
First stop: the spa.
The boys were spending the day at the naval base for a car race featuring antique cars (yawn) so the girls headed to the Spa at The Del for some serious pampering. While my gal pals and Smudge enjoyed the Swedish and deep tissue massages, I tried the signature Shell Coronado massage. Mary, my therapist, explained the shell therapy was developed by an Escondido local, who after visiting Malaysia and seeing masses of shells thrown away, had an epiphany. He turned them into smooth vessels that are heated and chilled with natural botanicals that produce steam and vapor to impact the lymphatic system.
I don’t know biology or shell-ology, but I know it felt awesome.
I liked it a far cry more than a stone massage because the shells held their temperature better. And Mary had just the right pressure and touch for this gal to relax to. Thank you Mary!
We lazy-dayed it at the private pool, sunning ourselves as if we were one of the rich and famous. It’s the perfect place to put yourself in someone else’s glamorous shoes for a day. Even if they are just flip-flops.
Dinner at Sheerwater
There’s not much better about a Southern California vacation than relishing in a sunset on the beach. Add a dinner and cocktails as you watch the sun go down, and you are more than on your way.
Sheerwater is just one of the Hotel Del’s outdoor restaurants, and sports a perfectly poised view for the ultimate selfie at the beach for people of all ages.
We dined on fresh fish (I had the Chilean Sea Bass on a bed of fresh pea risotto), rib eye steaks (that my husband NEVER orders out because he says he cooks them better at home, but this time he found his rival) and all the sides of truffle butter mashed potatoes, California cheese and grits, baked mac ‘n cheese WITH lobster, asparagus, brussels sprouts with bacon, and more, More, MORE!
But the real show stopper came at the beginning of the meal with not one, but TWO Grand Seafood Towers loaded with oysters on the half shell, fresh tuna poke, ceviche, chilled lobster tail, chilled shrimp, lump crab and house smoked salmon.
I could have stopped right there. But I’m so glad I didn’t.
Our server Cody was simply stellar, and had great timing and grace, not to mention he’s funny and friendly too. Be sure to ask for him when you go. Snickerdoodles are in your future Cody! Special thanks also go to Richard, the general manager, and John, the assistant general manager who made sure our evening and every desire were attended to.
Cheers to the Hotel Del and thank you for hosting us for the day, and making the end of our weekend something to toast to.
If you’re looking for more places to dine in San Diego, check out my Food Bloggers’ Guide of Where to Eat in San Diego.
Workin’ It Beyond the Blog
Once I finished all of my galavanting, it was back to work and a week of design projects for other bloggers. First, I told you about a cookbook I designed (and how about that cocktail!) and then…
Launching next week is Gluten-Free for Beginners, the 30 day meal plan and guide for going gluten-free that I designed for Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats. This girl did ALL of the hard work and created a totally comprehensive guide for anyone who’s making the transition to gluten-free but doesn’t know how to start.
She’s offering 25 great bonuses to anyone who signs up on September 27 and a deep discount on the course until September 29. Head here to sign up and purchase!
And now, how about this week’s list of Friday Faves…
Holy crap. This pasta has stolen my heart. (and cheers to her almost here wedding!)
10 pretty fall table settings for brunch. Who’s inviting me?
This is an oldie but a goodie and I’m craving it NOW!
These meatballs say GAME DAY!
Now THIS makes for a smart breakfast!
But then THIS is a seriously tasty looking weeknight dinner. I love noodles.
photo: Rated Giana
It is totally unheard of that a celebrity studded award show would sneak up and surprise me without me knowing it, but this year the Emmy’s did. I didn’t even see it! SHOCKER!
So to get my fill of glad-handing and glamour, I surfed the web and found:
My friend Giana’s Emmy red carpet and behind the scenes access. Giana! John Stamos was looking RIGHT AT YOU! And Kyle Chandler…Coach, you’ll always have my full heart.
This compilation of behind the scenes celebrity Instagrams from the Emmys. (whoa! Mario Lopez was sweating like a pig! I heard it was hot, but still…)
16 animated celebrity reactions downsized to animated GIFs.
Good news! Has Serial finally found it’s subject for season 2? They say it IS so.
In related news of a higher brow…
Time to bone up on your cocktail party conversation education: 50 of the New York Times best stories.
Arnold is taking over for the Donald but the big question is can he come up with a catchphrase to beat, “You’re fired!”? Conan, you’re funny.
We’re decorating the full-meal Halloween deal this weekend. I bought this new trick or treat dog and the real ones aren’t sure what to think of it. I can’t find it anywhere online, but if you’re in local, they’re selling them at Smith’s. I think he’s a fine addition to the brood.
She wasn’t always the Mrs. Clooney you see today. Amal’s fashion transformation. Proof that there’s hope for the rest of us!
While I was in Coronado we stopped into a local boutique and I bought this cute sweater. So if you see me this fall, you’ll be seeing me in it. Over and over and over…
Also spied this bag that I’m going to order for my husband’s birthday. We’ll see if he actually reads the blog or not if he busts me.
Smudge has been using this technique for her fingernails, but I LOVE this idea for a fun DIY for holiday gifts!
This is kind of much needed necessity at my house. And it would be easy enough to make yourself!
7 steps for an at-home mani/pedi. But will I save any money if I have to bribe my husband for the foot massage?
Summer is officially over but that doesn’t mean we can’t still take the plunge in one of these 27 pools to dive into. I’ll totally take the house with #4.
EVIDENCE! that Martha doesn’t do it all herself. But she still has a damn fine farm.
“Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you…. If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.” 20 inspiring quotes about passion and making things happen.
Make yours happen today!
Blog Biz Links
What I Pinned This Week
Here are a few of the goodies I found on the www this week. And now you have too.
Apple Oatmeal Pancakes
All the flavors of the season in one or eight flap jacks. Plus Kathryn has big news!
Cider Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Portobello Mushrooms
Cider isn’t just for drinking, it’s even better than best for braising. Break those chickens dowwwwwn.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Dough Cups
Are you kidding me right now? And there’s only like 5 or maybe 6 ingredients? My diet hates these so bad. But not me.
Have a great weekend friends, and cook something good!
The Hotel Del Coronado graciously hosted my party for spa treatments and dinner. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.