San Diego: Part One- Mister A’s, Coronado Beach Brunchin’ & Mission Beach

Long time no see!!! But I can’t say long time, no SEA! This past week, DJ and I zipped to San Diego (MY FIRST TIME) for an impromptu getaway. On a whim, I requested a couple days of PTO, not thinking it would get approved. But I’lllll be all the darned, I got em’!!! We quickly planned our trip, and I’m pretty confident I spent more time planning than we were actually there. I LIVE to plan a trip.

Since last year, I have been sick sick sick (overly dramatic use of the New Year). This virus is hanging around much longer than the usual.

It’s actually kind of entertaining— like “What form will it take this week?!” Behind week one we have a runny nose! Behind week two we have a dry nagging cough! Feeling adventurous- week three has a sinus infection and body aches! I thought I was getting better around the second week, but the last day I worked on the 12th, I entirely lost my voice by the end of my shift. Trying to give report to other nurses was painful.

The next morning (The 13th) I woke up with a swollen, hoarse, scratchy throat, horrifically runny nose, and swollen face. Happy 24th birthday to meeee! I felt all the body aches and allll the sick. Luckily, I was fueled up my hot coffee and ibuprofen which alleviated the symptoms a ton. PS. Get your flu shot if you haven’t. This year it is SO bad, you guys. Not something to mess with. I get that it is only 10% effective.. yadayadayada.. but majority of those who have become severely gravely ill did NOT have their shot.

Anywho, I was adamant I wouldn’t let this bug get in our way. Mind/matter. I was ready to rally through it and not miss a beat of what we had planned. “Rally” became the theme of our trip. Every time I felt like utter crap, I just said, “But imma rally!“.

The sweet guy gave me the greatest birthday card in the world and this flower birthday cake before hitting the road. I meannn come on now, how ingenious is this since obviously we wouldn’t be there to actually consume a cake. Even now (on the 22nd) the flowers are still in full bloom, without a wilt in sight. And it said, “Hope your birthday takes the cake”….


I blew out those candles with all the energy I could muster and we jotted over to San Jose’s airport. Neither of us have been in this airport before, and we loved it! Easy & simple and much closer than the SF airport for us.

Naturally…. had to get some Peet’s with LOTS of honey and cinnamon lathered all over the foam of my cafe au lait.


We flew Alaska and loved it! Granted, it was only about an 1.5 hour flight, but we were in the air much quicker than it seemed usual for most airlines, and it was all over a pleasant flight.


We made it…500 tissues later!


I turned a corner in the afternoon and was feeling much better by the time we landed.

Since this is a travel post, I will include quite a bit of information on the more practical travel side (skip this if you aren’t planning on visiting anytime soon, or ever, which would be a crime, and I may try to convince you otherwise)……

When DJ and I were trying to figure out the most cost friendly/ location convenient way to do San Diego, we found that doing the package deal seemed the way to go. We were able to snatch a flight, hotel, and rental car for <$1,000. Granted, parking is a bear, especially at The Westin where we stayed, it was $50 a night!!!! We found a lot directly across from valet that was much cheaper, but overall- that’s something that definitely needs to be taken into account when visiting. We debated if uber/lyfting vs. driving was cheaper, and honestly with all the parking fees it probably would have been about equal, but at least with a rental you have the convenience to get up and go wherever you would like at any time. But like I said- parking is a pain in the neck, so we would definitely consider just ubering next time). We also were able to walk to Gaslamp from The Westin which helped immensely. If you want to do San Diego, I highly suggest staying right in downtown so you can walk most places and not have to pay the uber fees at all (except for when visiting other beaches/Coronado island). ALSO, if debating Westin Gaslamp vs. Downtown 100% stay at the Downtown location. It is maybe a 0.3 mile difference, and the Gaslamp hotel is much more expensive. We loved the Westin downtown complete with a pool, hot-tub, amazing workout facility, beautiful views, super clean, an in-room coffee maker (essential), quiet, awesome bar, and friendly staff. Like I said, only downsides would be the parking cost & the fact that breakfast is not included. But the breakfast is tremendous if you vouch for it (it’ll be included in my last San Diego post).

This is the view from the hotel window. If you want to explore the Westin downtown, click here!


We got all snazzed up and headed to our first destination in America’s Finest City: Mister A’s.


Despite having totally lost my voice at this point, I had not lost my appetite. I’m one of those people that only lose my appetite if I have the literal plague. I actually usually get more hungry when sick, especially with colds. The ibuprofen definitely helped with the swallowing ailment too.

Mister A’s is located on the twelfth floor of a building overlooking San Diego. It promised to have the best view in San Diego, and the best food. Can’t pass that up, am I right?


This is one of the classiest little restaurants we have ever been to.

Now, the foooood. Let’s chat food. I’m eating spoonfuls of PB while writing this to keep the hunger at bay. I suggest you do the same.


Prior to the meal they brought out bread and butter with a complimentary little bread nugget with a light whipped aioli and hummus creme.


Even their butter is served in the most beautiful fashion!


Do you spot the sea salt below? We have never had anything like it. It was out-of-this-world delicious. It was unlike any sea salt I have ever had. I could actually go on for days about how much I loved this stuff. I need to find out where it is from and how I can acquire these little guys.


I nearly ate their physical menu everything on it looked so good. After much YELP research, we decided to try what seemed to be two of their famous apps- the black mussels provencale with garlic, shallots, and fresh herb butter and their plancha grilled octopus with romesco sauce. I’ll tell ya what, those octopi are the closest I have tried to Marco Prime’s (the best octopus dish in the world). If you follow, I have been on a hunt for that flavor ever since. Gosh, this stuff was good. DJ LOVED the mussels, I preferred the octopus, but still thought they were savory and scrumptious as well. I even asked if the seaweed was edible, and the waiter goes, “Well it’s more for garnish, but I guess technically?”. I joked that he could leave the empty plate so I could savor the seaweed. He thought I was serious, and looked a bit horrified.


For the main course, I had their main scallops with champagne butter, savory cabbage, walnuts, and parmesan. Oh. so. stinking. tasty.


DJ had their lobster tail served over zucchini and basil. It was easily one of the most generous servings of lobster tail I have ever seen!


We also tried their truffle mac as a side and ya know, we thought it was pretty subpar. It needed more salt (luckily we still had our handy dandy sea salt on hand). I’d suggest trying a different side, everything else was phenomenal, but the mac and cheese we could have done without (shocker, I knowww).


We ended the exquisite edible extravaganza with decaf coffee (for me), a sweet complimentary slice of carrot cake (YAASSSS) & their chocolate royale with dark and white chocolate mousse, caramel ganache, and praline crunch (highly recommend).


Sometimes my eyebrows have a life of their own, but gotta let them live, ya know?


The views did not disappoint. It was a perfect end to the evening.


We waddled back to the hotel with a “no regrets” food coma and had plans to visit Gaslamp. I even got dressed up in something a little more versatile to walk through the historic district….but the minute I sat down I realized I couldn’t do it. I ‘d hit my limit for the day and needed to go to sleep. We decided to explore and rally into the night the next day!

In the morning of the 14th I was feeling tremendously better. I even was able to squeeze in a few miles before hitting the town. I LOVE working out on vacation. I feel like I always am more motivated to get up at the butt crack of dawn and crank it out. Plus, it was very important to create an extra stomach for this trip!


While some people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day (which I would usually concur), if brunch is in the running it may have my vote. According to the Internet (the most reputable source), Hotel Del Coronado hosts the best brunch in all the land in their Crown Room. We made reservations on Open Table and woke up two eager beavers to see what all the hullabaloo was about.


First, Hotel Del Coronado was more gorgeous and breathtaking in person than one could fathom. It was simply captivating, a historic landmark that inspired not only awe, but wonder. We agreed that one day we would have to actually stay there.


The Crown Room was spectacular. It was much larger than I envisioned from the pictures. I feel like I am writing about something sacred while describing this experience. It was easily one of the BEST meals we have ever had. We agreed that if you are going to be in San Diego on a Sunday, it is worth every single cent and more. It is an experience of a lifetime and everyone needs to add this to their bucket list ASAP. There is no amount of pictures, words, or BOLD TYPING that can do this justice. It was a few hours in time that will forever be reminisced between the two of us.


This brunch had EVERYTHING you can imagine. EVERYTHING. I took a bajillion pictures and probably didn’t even snap half of it. We are talking endless lobster, crab legs, sushi, a make-your-own-donut bar, make-your-own smoked salmon bagel bar, endless unique drinks, a Bloody Mary bar, desserts on desserts on desserts to your heart’s delight, waffles, pancakes, prime rib, beef, veggies upon veggies, cheese from every sector of the world and fruit, parfaits, a candy bar, NYC cheesecake……. I’m not kidding.. I haven’t even covered the half of it.


At the make your own donut bar, they even had a flamer that toasted the marshmallows on top of the donut if you wanted to make a “S’mores” donut!




And guess the heck what- DJ said he finally found some all-star pancakes that rate up at the top. (If you follow, we have an ongoing hunt for the best pancakes for DJ).


Below is a donut DJ made, too cute not to snap a shot.


There were crown chandeliers hanging all over… you know I couldn’t resist..

Highlights from the brunch included- the crab legs, biscuits and gravy, smoked salmon, pancakes, mimosas (I didn’t actually prefer the Bloody Mary although it was their signature drink), the NYC Cheesecake, and their shrimp… good lawd, it was the freshest doggone shrimp I have had. I also have to say our waitress was perhaps the sweetest lady of all time. She was such a doll and made the whole experience even that much more terrific.

***Cue the food coma***

I questioned if I would ever be able to eat again quite honestly.

After that experience of a lifetime, we made our way back to the car to change into some beachy gear!

We perused their shops and views.


Finally we made our way to the beach, greeted by the most terrific sand castle I have ever seen.


We breathed in the fresh salty air, sunk our feet into the soft sand, and let the sound of the waves overwhelm our senses, saturating our lungs with calm.

We laughed watching the sea gulls fly high into the air and drop a shell from many feet up, hoping to discover an edible gem inside. We mainly laughed at how close the shells came to plopping on people’s heads half the time.


After the amazing time frolicking on the beach (DJ HATES when I use the word frolick), we headed to our next destination: Belmont Park at Mission Beach.


Oh how this screamed Santa Cruz to us!!! It is truly the Santa Cruz of San Diego.


We had to ride the historic Giant Dipper! This one and the one at Santa Cruz are the considered National Historic Landmarks.


It was actually way more fun than I expected for being such an old coaster!!! But I think it can also guarantee a headache after a few rounds 😉

We walked along Mission Beach, definitely a more boisterous beach than Coronado’s. I’d suggest Mission or Pacific if you are looking for more a party, upbeat, and laid back crowd. Coronado is more calm, quiet, and sophisticated.


We then headed to La Jolla for an epic sunset. I will include that in my next post! I may have to break this into three parts because there is just far too much. It will probably take another post to just finish the 14th, and we were there till the 17th. Oh boy, haha.


I am still stuck on the couch after working all weekend long and never really recuperating too much, but that means I’ll have a couple days to catch up on here. I haven’t opened WordPress for a few weeks and am excited to sit down and respond to y’all soon and see what you are up to!

PS. If you have any San Diego posts, please feel free to leave in the comments below! I’d love to explore yours too!

xo <3


59 thoughts on “San Diego: Part One- Mister A’s, Coronado Beach Brunchin’ & Mission Beach

  1. I love San Diego! And Hotel Del Coronado! Coronado Island is awesome. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been there. I am a Cali girl, but now live in the south. Your pictures are amazing! And what a time you had. Even though you started out feeling sick I bet all the wonderful food and places to see helped to cure you somewhat! Happy Birthday! Love the creative cake! Cool idea! 🙂

    1. Isn’t it amazing?! I think it is time for you to take a trip back! Thank you for your sweet words. I just moved to Cali a couple years ago, but I like to say I’m a cali girl too now 😉 Thank you for the birthday wishes tooo <3 So sweet of you to stop by!

  2. Awww It was my girl Mackie’s bday and nobody told me?? Ok, who could’ve, right?

    Booooooooonne Fêêêêêêêêêête Mackenzie!!! A little late, but better late than never, right?? Even sick you look absolutely stunning, you shine and spread your bubbliness around you!!

    Sending you my warmest bday wishes live from yet another snowstorm! May this 25th year be filled with Love, Inspiration, and lots of amazing surprises 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Stay the absolutely brilliant & amazing young woman you are, the world needs you, Gorgeous! Muuuuah!!

    1. Sending the BIGGGGGEST hugs! Gosh, you just made me smile big time and warmed my heart immensely with this comment. You have a way of brightening everyone’s days, Cyr. Thank you for the sweet wishes and kind kind words, this may have been the sweetest birthday wish I received. XOXOXOX

  3. I have so much I want to say about your incredibly fun trip! (1) That cake is adorable! What a sweet idea. (2) Despite being sick, rally you did, and you looked amazing! That dress is killer. (3) The food. I mean, I don’t even know where to begin. I’m pretty sure I would need to be rolled out of those restaurants. Lolol. (4) Happy belated birthday! I hope you are 100% well soon and can finally get back to feeling like yourself. Thank you for sharing this fun adventure! XO

    1. Hi Kori!!!!!! Ahhhh thank you for reading and stopping by 🙂 the cake was so thoughtful .. I was blown away by it! I definitely wasn’t expecting anything at all! Thank you for your sweet words about the dress- it is from Lulus! They were having a big sale and I couldn’t resist. I bought one in green too 🙈 and girllllll I kept telling dj that- i don’t know if I’ve ever been so stuffed 😂 but some how we still had a big Mexican feast that night (I’ll share in part 2). Thank you for the bday wishes!!!! XOXO

  4. Fabulous blog, what a fun trip and happy birthday again!!! I sooooo want to go to that brunch at the Coronado!! Goodness and what is a donut bar? Do you frost your own? Select toppings? What an experience and can’t wait for part 2!

    1. Thank you, Mom!!!!! Oh my gosh it was amazing!!!!! You would love that brunch .. one day we need to all meet up in SD! And yes yes the donut was exactly that! I wanted to make a maple one, but I didn’t have any room left after the cheesecake 😭 they even had a s’mores donut and would literally flame the marshmallows on top after. Amazing. ❤️

  5. Happy belated Birthday, beautiful girl!! Your trip looked like SO MUCH FUN. I am so glad your PTO got approved because I’m sure a vacation was a nice little reset for you! Your posts make me want to visit CA so freaking bad. It looks amazing there. I’m up here in the -25 degrees most days haha! I hope life is treating you well dear! XOXO

    1. Annnnna!!!! Thanks for stopping by, girlfriend. So nice to hear from ya!!!! I needed this vacay more than I can say. So necessary haha. You HAVE to visit soon! Ahhhh -25?! How is that even legal?! Stay warm! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    2. Ahhh I don’t think my comments are going through?! But thank you so much, girlfriend !!!! So good to hear from you! This was SO needed. Stay warm up there, that should not even be legal at that temp 😳 XOXOXO

  6. Girl I have been wanting to visit San Diego and this post makes me want to go NOW! Seriously so close to booking my flight 🙂 I mean With every sick it is really important to get that Vitamin Sea right? (I know you appreciate that 🙂
    Yay for vacations but awe beauty you poor thing! And girl be dramatic! Since December first I have been sick and I am OVER IT! I hope YOU feel better soon though! 
And oh my gosh happy birthday! How did I not know it was your birthday? I am the worst! (And will have another super late card on the way, Story of 2018? ;p) AND also more proof we were meant to be friends, because you were also born on the thirteenth AND you know my struggle with being born on the thirteenth (and have probably heard every friday the thirteenth joke as well right?) Those flowers are gorgeous!
    Ahhh Peet! Serious withdrawals! 
And oh my lanta! Girl you put us ALL to shame! You look amazing for being sick! Fashion chic!
    I am literally soaking up all this info! Seriously san Diego is on my must go to list and this is making me want to go even more! The whole driving bit is a huge turn off, because I hate driving especially in California, so the fact I can Uber everywhere Win-win! 
Your dress is amazing! Seriously! You are gorgeous! I would never have known you were sick! Werkkk it beauty!
    That view! Mister A’s is my list! Actually I think I might just steal your itinerary because it literally looks like an incredible trip! Those views!
    And oh you poor thing!
    Mack (See I am using your name I am serious!) I think I need to steal your wardrobe! LOVE that outfit!
    And that brunch and the beach! Ahhh so jealous! And DJ needs to work on his vocabulary because frolic is an amazing word! ;p
    Seriously your pictures are making me miss Cali and book a ticket asap! Love love LOVED this post! <3

    1. OK YOUR COMMENT MADE MY LIFE. I really really reallllly hope you get to visit this year for your birthday. It is too stinking amazing. YESSSS Vitamin Sea!!! Why have I never thought of that?! <3 Lol, no worries at ALL about the birthday… but oh my gosh, that's right! You're June 13th? Is that right? I didn't put that together, but yesss the dread Friday 13th bdays. I think I have 6 years till I have another 😉 Thank you for the sweetest words of all time <3 Mister A's is amazingggg. I will help ya plan your trip if you go or at least give you a zillion suggestions/ideas. Bahaha I love that!! Coming from the ULTIMATE fashionista saying she wants to borrow my wardrobe *GASP* this may just be the greatest compliment of all time. Thank you thank you for agreeing that frolic is a great word. Hahahh I just told DJ you said so too. He just shook his head. Hahha, but he says hi.XOXO

  7. How fun!! Happy birthday! That flower cake is so cute. I love San Diego, but have never had brunch at Hotel Del Coronado, I will have to change that next time! Glad you were able to get away from being sick and enjoy your trip!

    1. Thank you!!!!! Next time— definitely a must do! What are some of your favorite things to do there or places to go?! I always love hearing others’ ideas. Thanks for the sweet words! ❤️

    1. Ahhh! Thanks so much, Kaci!!! It’s so nice to see you back here 🙂 This comment is too kind- my mother in law has the best taste and she got me this dress for Christmas. Thanks for sharing in our trip with us!

  8. Happy birthday dear! I turned 9 years older 3 days after #justturnedasoldasJesus !!! That dress – wow chica, you’re stunning! I’m so glad you shared your SD birthday with us. SD is my super fave!

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much, Kristin! I’ve missed ya, girlfriend! How are you? CONGRATS on your Jesus bday 😉 Haha! I love that! Thank you for sharing in our SD trip… what are your favorite things to do?!

      1. I liked kayaking in la jolla with the sea lions in caves. Walking around eating everything in hillcrest. Marveling balboa park which resembles my new home. ..i wish. ..Hahaha! Going thru drive throughs for real Mexican burritos at ANY hour. But i haven’t been in hotel Coronado although I’ve been on the island. You’re much classier than many burritos hahaha.

      2. OH my gosh that sounds amazing kayaking in la jolla!!!! I don’t even know where Hillcrest is.. I’ll have to look it up! Haha girl, so NOT classier than many burritos! XOXO

      3. Hillcrest is a neighborhood in San Diego. There are so many neighborhoods with different themes. You could live there for years and not see everything! I was about to move there then moved to Argentina and EVERYONE from North to South America was like you made the wrong decision hahaha!

      4. Ooooh soooo good to know!! Awww, well it’s never too late to change it up, girlfriend. DJ and I would not be opposed to living in SD.. maybe one day we will be neighbors 😉

  9. Happy Happy Birthday!!!! Wishing you a fabulous remainder of your birthday month, and a blessed year ahead!

    So sorry to hear you were sick for so long – it really was a drawn-out bout! But you were such a trooper! Am glad you were able to make it to San Diego, and enjoy it anyway! What an attitude! and fortitude! You take Celebration to a whole new level! (LOVE IT!) Here’s to many more opportunities this year to live a little, love a lot!

    1. Thank you, Ju Lyn! Thank you for the sweet well wishes too… I am finally feeling better than ever. I think I turned a corner today finally!! <3 Your sweet words and sharing in our excitement means so much. I hope you have a beautiful rest of your weekend and week ahead.

      1. Your prayers are working wonders because I definitely think I have finally turned a corner! I feel 100% today for the first time <3 <3 Thank you, thank you !! Hope you have a beautiful week, Ju Lyn! You are the sweetest soul..

  10. wow – well explained and introduced – this is my hometown – My grandparents resides on Coronado Island on Marina Blvd, not far from our beautiful hotel Del Coronado – You are always welcome!!

      1. I feel home – the ocean gives peace, just like yoga, the food is healthy, people are so nice, great and positive surroundings:)

  11. You really know how to make the most out of a weekend Mackenzie!! We live just a couple hours north of San Diego and took our grand-girl there recently for her 10th birthday– but had a completely different itinerary than you! Fun to see it all– thanks! xo

    1. Hi Rhonda!!!! I didn’t realize you were all so close to San Diego. Such an amazing place.. we really are considering moving there in a couple years. Who knows! There is so much there for kids to do.. I bet you all had the best time<3 Have a great week!! XO

      1. Hi MacKenzie– it does seem like a kid friendly town– and has the best weather! You know how to make any trip fun! Glad to read through your post… xo

  12. Finally catching up on your posts and all I can say is wow!!! What an amazing trip to San Diego (despite being sick). Your posts always make me SO hungry!!! All of that food looks sooooo yummy!! I love Coronado! Such a cool place. Also, your outfits are all fabulous! Where do you shop girlfriend?? Help a sister out! 🙂 I am obsessed with that long black dress… so fabulous!!! I hope you have an amazing day and are feeling better!! Happy late birthday!!! Those flowers are gorgeous! XOXOXO

    1. Awww!!!!! Girl, you are so sweet to stop by!!! I know how busy you are and NEVER expect you to! But thank you…. you are TOO kind to me.. the black dress is from Lulus (I may have bought the same one in green too haha). Thank you for the sweet birthday wishes too <3 I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, Taylor!! XO

  13. Hi Mackenzie, I am getting around to reading part 1!! Its wonderful you got time off approved. I feel so bad for you and the sickness, especially losing your voice. What a way to not spend your birthday! The flu shot is important. How sweet of DJ to give you that beautiful flower cake!! It is nice you didn’t have to go to San Fran airport. It was nice you started to feel better after arriving in San Diego. OOh lala look at you in that gorgeous dress!! Mister A’s looks so good, the food is mouthwatering and how nice to get your own birthday dessert! What a place to go for brunch ( cute outfit btw!) so much selection , I love your princess pose with the hanging crown! The beach pics look wonderful and that sandcastle amazing! You took the cutest pics of nature at its best and gulls are pretty impressive. Looking forward to part 2 of my window shopping trip to San Diego!! Take care Dear, hugs, Terri xo.

    1. Hi Terri!! Thank you for stopping by 🙂 Thankfully I think I am finally totally over this sick bout! I was excited for you to see the dress!!! San Diego is truly beautiful in every way- made it easy to photograph ! Aww I love that! “Window shopping” Have a great week 🙂

  14. I don’t think I’ve ever been to SD, even though I got an auntie over there lol. But it looks amazing! And also, happy belated birthday, that restaurant looks fancy af lol and the food soooo mouth-watering 😀
    I’m glad you got to take another vacation, I can’t wait to see the rest !

    1. Girl, I hope you get to go one day!!! <3 The food was soo good, but honestly, I think I'd go back to Cucina Urbana (in part 3)… it's just hard to top Italian food. Thanks for stopping by!!!

  15. Happy belated birthday!!! OMG, you had me laughing at your story about the seaweed garnish! A friend and I once shared a plate of appetizers which were Mexican-type finger foods and the guacamole/salsa/sour cream piles were served on big pieces of lettuce which really was the garnish, mind you, but it tasted like a yummy taco salad so we ate the offending lettuce much to our waiter’s critical look, lol.

    1. Thank you sooo much, darlin’!!!! BAHAHHA , oh my gosh… I LOVE that . I would have done the exact same thing. Taco salads are the bestttt. No judgement here ;)! Hope you are doing so well. Thank you for stopping by <3

  16. Pingback: San Diego Part 1!

Let's chat!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.