San Diego!

After a month of living the vacation-life in sunny San Diego, I figured it was only fair to reflect on our journey out here and all of the things I love about my new So-Cal existence.

We left Chicago on a VERY cold and slightly snowy December morning. (After of course hitting up Ann Sathers for the last resident brunch).

Our first stop was in St. Louis (5 hrs) where we got to catch up with some of Charlie’s college friends. The car was LOADED with stuff, so we were a little nervous about street parking, but we got a spot right in front of the apartment. The next morning we headed to Oklahoma City! (7 hrs) Walter started getting the hang of travel…

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However, he did NOT like getting left in the car during our lunch stops…

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But he really liked hotel wall mirrors…

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After OKC we headed to Albuquerque (8 hrs). I had fond memories of Albuquerque from a conference my Dad went to when we were little chillins’. Mostly the Ihop. But Charlie wasn’t as excited about a Chocolate Chip Pancake platter, so we found breakfast elsewhere. We did however stumble upon a Prix Fixe winery for New Years Eve! We thought we were going to end up in some sort of Applebees of sorts. But the meal ended up being really nice. (And Walter slept some more).

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After Albuquerque we headed to Tucson (6.5 hrs) where we stayed with Charlie’s wonderful cousins. We were definitely getting a little restless – and even more excited to get into our apartment and sleep in the same bed for more than one night! Charlie was the man and drove the ENTIRE time. I’ve been cursed with the Johnson-woman-snooze, which means if a motor is on… I get sleepy. After Tucson we began our final descent into San Diego (6 hrs). Charlie insisted that we doing something So-Cal, so we had In & Out for lunch!

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Yeah, it’s worth the hype. Also, there is a secret menu!! You can also ask for your fries extra crispy, which I haven’t tried yet – but I’m looking for any excuse to visit again.

After our delicious lunch we drove a couple more hours and arrived in San Diego!! We met with our apartment manager (we did the entire rental online!!) and saw our apartment for the first time. We were so relieved to see that 1) it was a real apartment and 2) it was really nice! It’s about a third the size of our Chicago apartment, but luckily we like each other a lot.

Charlie and I then set out to Ikea to furnish our apartment. We sold almost all of our furniture in Chicago, so we had some cash to spend at Ikea. We had visited Ikea in Chicago to plan out what we wanted, and I had used this nifty floor plan tool on Pottery Barn’s website to plan it.

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The only trick was that our apartment was the opposite way. But we managed and besides feeling like everything was backwards at first, it turned out perfectly. (More pictures to come once I finally find the right pillows and buy shams.)

We were at Ikea for a fantastic three hours, and loaded everything up to be delivered! They didn’t have our couch in stock so we had to go back a few days later to re-order it. Here is how happy Charlie was to be at Ikea at 9 pm after driving almost six hours…

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We then got home and collapsed onto our oh-so-comfy floor, and slept.

The trip to San Diego was absolutely amazing, I am so happy that Charlie drove most of the time (okay the whole time). It was really fun to see the scenery, especially between Tucson and San Diego. The only thing I didn’t expect was that it was so cold down south!! I packed for San Diego weather, but it was snowing and cold the whole time. Luckily, Charlie plans better than I do – so I got dibs on his winter jacket.

Things I love about San Diego!!

  1. The weather is amazing. Like so amazing. People apologize when its colder than 67 degrees.
  2. Our apartment is really nice, and is in an amazing location. We have three grocery stores and running trails all within a mile.
  3. There is always something to do! In Chicago there was always something to do as well, but it was cold 70% of the time. Here, even when it’s “cold” it is still a perfect day for the zoo, the park, or the USS Midway museum.
  4. Everyone has dogs. And I want to play with all of them. A puppy is definitely on my summer wish list.
  5. The farmer’s market downtown. And it is year round (see #1).
  6. My sweet high school friend Whitney is also a recent transplant, so we’ve been navigating the San Diego neighborhoods together!
  7. My parents were kind enough to help out and buy my Aunt’s amazing car. (It’s a ’95 Audi convertible, and I feel like Barbie’s best friend Skipper). It has been a blast to enjoy #1 with the top down!

Things I could live without…

  1. The gas is over $4.00… and that’s the cheapest gas in a ten mile radius.
  2. It is far from my Mommy and Daddy, and I miss them. (Though my mom came and visited for a week at the end of January!)
  3. I miss my friends! I’ve made some friends here, and I know that when I start work I will meet even more people… but I miss being able to call up my girlfriends for a quick drink or coffee. Luckily we have gchat and FaceTime.

More posts on beautiful San Diego to come!

Office Style

Okay, before I start this – I have a huge confession. We don’t have cable (we’re poor), so we have to rely on Netflix and my big monthly splurge – Hulu Plus. Anyway, ever since I passed the Bar (yay!) and started my part-time job I have not had anything to do when I get home! I went right from College to Law School – so I have had homework basically for the past 24 years. It has been a bit of an adjustment. But there has been a lot of baking, a lot of cleaning – and here is where my confession comes – a whole lot of Whitney Port. Seriously, why did they ever cancel The City? So much dramz. I love it. But really – I don’t get the Jay thing – Gretchen Weiner said it right “That’s why her hair so big… It’s full of secrets.”

At work I share an office with three other wonderful ladies, but our desks themselves are very drab. And they needed some funky additions. I was on C. Wonder looking for a gift for Natalie and I found this…

I don’t actually like orange very much. But for some reason I think this looks really sophisticated. I think it might be intended to be a drink tray or food tray. But I’m practical, therefore, it is a folder tray! Even better – it was $24.99 (+25% off!) what a steal!

I also have been craving a new pencil holder. Currently my pencil holder at work is a snowman pail. Needless to say, I needed an upgrade. I found Lime Tree Gifts. I am pretty sure Jill is my Etsy soul mate. She is absolutely amazing – and was willing to work with my big order. (My co-worker joined in on the upgrade parade). This is what we ended up with…

Everything looks SO nice – and it was very reasonably priced. The pencil holder was only $10 (including monogram!), the tray (which is actually a really nice larger size) was $14 and the little mini tray was $8!! Such a steal for something that looks so nice and put-together. So here is what my new ensemble looks like…

I love it! And I think it also kind of goes with the whole color-blocking style that is going on this summer, and also purple and orange look great! But back to Lime Tree Gifts… I already have a LONG wish list of things I will order if (hopefully when!) I get a full time job… (click on the picture to link back to their shop!)

1. 20 oz Insulated Acrylic Tumbler – $16.50, I drink more water than anyone I know (save Martha) I am currently sipping out of a normal water bottle… which is not nearly as cool as a personalized tumbler. 🙂

2. Acrylic Candy Jar – $12.50, One of the ladies at work always has candy in her office. So whenever I am having a bad day I will head to her office, grab a Starburst and chat – I am sure it doesn’t do wonders for her productivity, but it is appreciated on my end!

3. Acrylic Soap Dispenser – $10.00, Germs freak the heck out of me. ‘Nuff said.

4. Napkin Holder – $10.00, So I may not have napkins at work… but I think this could be a really nice letter holder! From the stuff I have received from Lime Tree the acrylic is super sturdy and I think it would look beautiful!

5. Recipe Box – $32.00, I don’t even need to explain why this is awesome.

6. Divided Catch All – $15.00, Paperclips? Check. Pushpins? Check. Binder clips? Check. Places for all = a happy OCD Amanda.

So this basically turned out as an ode to Lime Tree Gifts… but I love them! Go shop at their store and contact Jill if you want to do a bulk order – she has an incredibly fast response. Basically she’s awesome.

Happy Office-ing!

Amanda