#thirtyonederful (my life lately)

Happy belated Halloween! 🎃👻 I’ve been working on a post about our road trip to California, but it’s gotten so long that I think I’m going to have to split it into a few parts - not a bad thing, since we took a TON of pictures! Since that’s not finished yet, I thought I’d share some highlights from last weekend - including my 31st birthday!

Dinner at Cloak & Petal

My birthday was on Sunday this year (gross) so we decided to go out to dinner on Friday. We tried a spot in Little Italy called Cloak & Petal. This was a great date spot - there are huge (obviously fake) cherry blossom trees in the middle of the dining room, and they have large windows that open onto the street. It’s still a novelty to be able to enjoy nice weather in October, and since we were seated by the front windows we could watch kids walking by in their Halloween costumes! The food was very good - my favorite thing we ordered was the Cesar Chavez & Main St roll, full of spicy tuna, jalapeño & habañero. I love spicy sushi rolls and this didn’t disappoint! I ate it too fast for a photo but I have one of our oysters (also delicious) and my cocktail, the Absin-tea-ism.

We were able to try out a few other spots Friday night as well - pre-dinner beers at Bolt Brewery and a nightcap at El Camino afterwards, both just a short walk from the restaurant. I enjoyed both spots (love Bolt Brewery’s lightning logo, obviously) but especially liked the kitschy dive bar feel of El Camino.

Potato Chip Rock

On Saturday we got up early to check a San Diego bucket list hike off our list. We drove out to Ramona to hike up to this classic photo spot. We took a shorter back route up to the top, which was only about 4 miles round trip but was pretty steep. Next time I’d take the longer route from Lake Poway, which apparently has better scenery - but we still got some great views!

 October 27th, 2018 - A view from near the top of the hike. So cool to live within driving distance of mountains!

October 27th, 2018 - A view from near the top of the hike. So cool to live within driving distance of mountains!

 October 27th, 2018 - You can see all the way to downtown San Diego from up here (can’t tell from the picture, though).

October 27th, 2018 - You can see all the way to downtown San Diego from up here (can’t tell from the picture, though).

 October 27th, 2018 - Nervous but excited to be conquering fears!

October 27th, 2018 - Nervous but excited to be conquering fears!

I was also extremely proud of myself for getting up onto Potato Chip Rock considering my fear of heights. The only way you can tell I’m super nervous is because I’m standing really far from the edge!

 October 27th, 2018 - A cool sculpture in the Rashelica Winery & Art Garden

October 27th, 2018 - A cool sculpture in the Rashelica Winery & Art Garden

Afterwards we grabbed brunch in Ramona at Marinade on Main. Everyone keeps telling me that California is full of tiny, healthy portions… but the “salad” I ordered was more fried chicken & goat cheese than anything else! The portions were huge but delicious, and luckily we were super hungry after our hike! I thought I had some pictures but they seem to have disappeared, unfortunately.

On our drive back, we randomly stopped off at the Rashelica Winery & Art Garden because we were distracted by giant letters on the side of the road proclaiming ART. This place was pretty bonkers - we couldn’t even tell at first what exactly it was! A nursery? An eclectic person’s backyard? An outdoor museum? They appear to have a restaurant on site but the real highlight is definitely the enormous art garden with some truly strange sculptures, big chess set, and pretty plants. Worth a stop if you’re in the area for sure - it was free and there’s a parking lot as well.

Mac Sabbath at Casbah

Sunday was a pretty easygoing day because we had been out at a Halloween party the night before, but we made up for it on Monday night. We headed to the Casbah, an old-school rock/indie/punk venue in Little Italy. I liked it right off the bat - very divey and very small. Great place to see a show! First up was Franks & Deans, who cover Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra songs complete with a burlesque dancer (they are from Vegas, you can tell). We hadn’t really been expecting much but they were actually pretty fun to watch since I grew up listening to those songs.

But the real reason we went was to see Mac Sabbath!

This was so weird and awesome and I loved it. In case you can’t tell, they’re a McDonald’s-themed Black Sabbath cover band and they are bonkers - even their Wikipedia article is a real delight. The highlight is definitely the costumes and the stage spectacle (I wouldn’t say they’re really very good), but if you like Black Sabbath and you’re into weird stuff/Halloween/junk food, this is a blast. Definitely the most fun I’ve had on a Monday night in a while, and it was fun to check out a music venue in my new city.

Spooky Halloween Things

I did dress up for Halloween last Saturday, but because we moved recently and I’ve been a bit distracted, I wasn’t really super happy with my costume. I needed something low-cost and easy, so I ended up dressing as Mugatu. It turned out alright for a last minute job! I’m glad I got to celebrate my favorite holiday still, even though we’re not totally settled in yet!

 October 27th, 2018 - the only real photo I got of my Mugatu costume :(

October 27th, 2018 - the only real photo I got of my Mugatu costume :(

We’ve also been spending most nights the last week or two watching the Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. I loved it! It’s creepy-scary (not gory at all) and I regularly ended up with goosebumps, and it’s a one-season show so it’s not a huge time commitment. It’s worth a watch even though Halloween is sadly over.

I’m planning on checking out the traditional Dia de los Muertos celebrations later today - being so close to Mexico it’s no surprise that San Diego is home to some pretty spectacular-looking parades & festivals. I’m hoping to bring my camera along - if I end up with some good photos, maybe I’ll write a separate post about that!


That’s pretty much what I’ve been up to lately! I’ve been feeling inspired by some "daily life” blogs I’ve discovered lately (my favorite is Sleepy Waldo) and since I’m mostly sharing this with family & friends far away/back in Chicago, I hope to do more of these kind of posts. I’ve been trying to remember to get better about taking photos, even when they aren’t Instagram-worthy or perfect. I’m also trying out a new meal-planning service that I have loved so I’m planning on sharing a bit about that as well. Definitely have more posts coming soon - maybe I’m finally getting into the blogging groove a little bit!