San Diego Part 3: Barbusa, Carlsbad Marathon, & Crack Shack!

Happy Monday, y’all! This last couple weeks has been jam-stinkin’-packed, especially with school, so I’m getting posts out a lot slower than usual (I feel like a broken record, saying this). I finished up a huge project last night so now I have at least a couple hours today to maybe get one or two posts written!

After spending the day in Balboa Park, we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. They had complimentary wine and tapas in the lobby so we grabbed some tostadas & an apertif before our reservation.


We then went to Little Italy to carb load before the big race! We said this would our dinner to celebrate my birthday as well as Pete’s whose was on the 23rd 🙂


After much research, we decided to try Barbusa,  a Busalacchi family restaurant. The Busalacchi family are renowned for owning a medley of authentic, delicious Italian restaurants in the San Diego area.


This was a unique spin on an Italian restaurant. It was more contemporary with distinctive decor, but still had a “warmth” about it.


There was a tribute to famous Italians on the wall- can you identify any of them?


My one and only complaint was the volume- it was noisy! It was almost uncomfortable how loud it was- we didn’t mind, but it doesn’t encompass that old school “romantic” ambiance of most Italian restaurants.


Our waiter was just awesome! He was helpful navigating the menu, especially the wines and had a thick Italian accent. You know you’re getting the real deal when the waiter is 100% Italian!


The bread!!!! This was delicious.


For an appetizer we tried tempura squash blossoms. These were very enjoyable- pretty & tasty!


My mom and I split their caesar. This was the best caesar dressing I’ve ever had! I compared it to my mom’s she uses for the grilled romaine she makes at home. No anchovy type flavor, just smooth deliciousness. I think it had a hint of balsamic with it that was just wonderful.


My mom and I split two dishes (I love when we go out to eat together because we have identical tastes- so we just split a couple dishes usually). The first dish we tried was the Garganelli funghi with black truffle oil, oyster mushrooms, and whipped panna. Phenomenal. It reminded me a lot of the dish I had in Disney at Il Mulino!


Just when I didn’t think I could have anything more yummy, we tried the Gnocchi e Zucca with roasted butternut squash, sage, and cream. Oh goodness gracious this was melt-in-your-mouth-savor-every-single-nibble deliciousness. You could tell the gnocchi was truly homemade. I usually have the philosophy that it’s best to try new things whenever given the chance, but if we come back to SD I may need to stop in for this dish again. Gosh, I can’t even put it into words!


DJ tried the Carbonara con Piselli. This had fettuccini, sweet peas, caramelized onions, pork pancetta, and egg yolk. I tried some without the meat and it was so creamy and savory!


And last up, Pete enjoyed the Bolognese al Forno with baked anelletti, beef and sausage ragu, english peas, and tres formaggi.


And of course, we had room for dessert! We tried their deconstructed cannoli. Oh. WOWZA. It was scrumptious. Whatever they use to make their creamy cannoli filling was just creamy gold. The cannoli itself was cooked to perfection!


Picture time!


After dinner, we went back to the hotel, opened up some bday gifts, and then called it a wrap!

After a night of tossing and turning from eagerness to run the race, it was finally 4:30 am and time to get up, lol. I can’t tell y’all how excited I was to run- I watched that darn clock all night. Also, not being able to run much was driving me nuts during the tapering!


It was chilly, but a perfect temp for a race. We set off and the first seven or so miles were accompanied by a spectacular sunrise.


I seriously don’t know what overcame me, but I was feeling guuuud. I think it was all the pasta and pent up energy. Eat pasta, run fasta!!! Anywho- y’all are probably so sick hearing about this from my other social media spots, but I qualified for Boston.. and seriously have NO clue how. All I can say is Jesus really is in the business of miracles, cause this is one! I was with the 3:30 pacer group for most of the race and then just gave it all I had at the end. I will say when I realized I was on pace to qualify I started visualizing crossing the finish at that time (3:30). I believe 100% in the power of visualization, and whenever I started losing steam I imagined crossing that line with 3:30 reading across the time board.


Go, Djers, go!!


Post race pics!

img_8773This was DJ’s first marathon!!! If he didn’t want to run this race I wouldn’t have signed up to begin with. I’m already reflecting so fondly on our training season, and to say I’m proud of him feels like an understatement. He’s an athlete, but not a runner specifically.. so this was a HUGE accomplishment for him. He didn’t run at all before, never even a half or anything, and one day just said, “I’m gonna run a marathon”. He did awesome!


After the race we headed to Crack Shack for lunch! We were both definitely sore, but my stomach was more upset than anything. Still … we were ready to chow down!


The line was insanely long and was taking a while. We were a bit nervous because my mom and Pete had an afternoon flight, but once we ordered the food came lickety split.


We finally put our orders in and then grabbed a picnic table in their cute little sitting area. On our way over I saw all these delicious sauces they have to choose from! We basically tried one of each naturally.


Their milkshakes bring all the marathoners to the yard! I didn’t know if my stomach could handle a full one, but I definitely had a few generous sips of each. Pete tried the strawberry shortcake and DJ had the Cookie Monster. I have to say, they were both insanely good- but I think I liked the strawberry shortcake better. The real pieces of cookie in the Cookie Monster were mighty tasty though. It’s a close call!


I was craving something fresh and cold. Veggies sounded perfect. My mom and I both ordered a Downward Dog. This consisted of local veggies, quinoa, hummus, sunflower seeds, and lemon yogurt vinaigrette. This satisfied that craving entirely! Mmm I can nearly taste it.


The guys ordered the Senor Croque that had chicken, bacon, egg, cheese, maple butter, and brioche.


We all split the fries with the different sauces- and lemme say- they top notch !!! I would seriously go back just for those. Mm!

We decided to go straight to the airport after dropping my mom and Pete off since we weren’t really feeling like frolicking around the city. I know, I know- me turning down an opportunity to frolic in a city?!? My stomach just was not having it. We got to the airport too early apparently to check in (I didn’t know that was a thing), so we had to wait in the little pre-security area. I grabbed a coconut water and read on my Kindle app while DJ caught up on all ESPN world happenin’s.


Once we got through security and found our gate we vegged out for a while. We realized we were kinda hungry again around 8:00 pm, so we decided to stop into Prado at the airport. The big Prado is a pretty famous restaurant in Balboa park! We haven’t had the chance to try it yet, so why not preview it here?! And y’all thought I was done being a tourist- nevvverrr.


We split their fish tacos cause I had a bunch of snacks on me, and we were only an hour flight from home if we wanted more food. They were tasty!! The portion of blackened fish was a bit small, but whatevs, airport food- ya know?


Oh my gosh.. did I do it?.. did I actually finally finish our San Diego trip recap?!! Pause for dramatic effect…

I’m gonna try to crank out a catch up post at some point this week, but I’m kinda in that season where I feel like I’m saying “yes” a lot, and my planner is very full on top of school work. It’s all great stuff- but just busy busy. More on that to come! Goodness, I’m so excited to catch y’all up on what’s going on.

Questions for you:

  • If you run races, what is your favorite race you have ever done?
  • Valentine’s Day- yay or nay?!

xo <3


107 thoughts on “San Diego Part 3: Barbusa, Carlsbad Marathon, & Crack Shack!

  1. You qualified for Boston without training for it — GOALS!! Mackenzie I’m so proud of you for that! Seriously incredible. Also shout out to DJ for never running and just deciding to run a marathon. Incredible!

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been sitting at my desk yawning all morning but seriously that food looks delicious. The deconstructed cannoli looks so good. It reminds me of cannoli dip trays for parties. It’s just the filling in a bowl and then broken up shells to use as a way to shovel the creamy filling into your belly hehe.

    Also those milkshakes – yum! I’m now dreaming of what I should get as a post run meal after the NJ Marathon…

    1. Hey, Maureen!! Girl, I still don’t know what happened. Beyond me. hahah. Thank you so much for your kind words, and I’ll pass them on to DJ too! He impressed me so much just going for it without every have done any type of running before.

      I’m not even a huge cannoli fan and they were just amazing. Every single bite at that restaurant was just phenomenal. I didn’t even know cannoli dip trays existed?!? Where do you get them- just the grocery store?! I need to remember that for the future- cause yesss soo goood!

      Post run meals are da best. I particularly get extra hungry the day after & the cravings get intense for different carby foods for sure! Thanks for stopping in & all your encouragement through the training season 🙂 Now I will vicariously live through yours !

      1. That’s so impressive for both you and DJ!

        Yes cannoli dip trays exist! I haven’t seen them here in New Jersey at grocery stores, but at the grocery store near my parents house they have them. Also the Italian bakery in my hometown has them so I assume most Italian bakeries would stock it!

        If you want to pass some of your race day mojo my way, I would not complain. This won’t be a Boston qualifier race but I do have a pretty big goal in mind! Enjoy the last few days before the weekend 🙂

      2. Aw thank ya! <3

        This is such a game changer... I have got to remember this. It would be such a fun idea for a party!

        Girl- I send ya alllll the mojo! you'll do amazing & no doubt meet your goal. I know it sounds kinda hokey- but truly visualize yourself crossing the finish line at that time during your training runs! Hope you have the best weekend- also I have like 10% left in the Wife between Us- goodness it's a good read, thank you for the suggestion!

      3. I definitely visualize that on training runs, especially when they’re hard or I’m tired and just want to stop!

        I’m so happy you like the book! Let me know if you want anything else, there’s so many I could suggest haha.

      4. Yessss!! I am thinking of reading Little Fires Everywhere next! You enjoyed that one right?

      5. woohoo! I have it downloaded, I think I’ll finish up The Girl Between Us today as a study break then get going with that one!

      6. I will!! Just started it last night but dozed off before I could get through the first chapter. Excited to read it more this week though!

  2. Wow…the sunrise views during the race!!! Those were amazing! I’m so glad you had such an awesome race. And that you qualified for Boston!!!
    I’ve only ever run one race, the Jackson Hole Half Marathon, but I absolutely loved it and I definitely hope to do it again some time. It’s fairly low key with not too many people and the views are spectacular.
    Valentine’s Day — yes. 🙂 We don’t do anything fancy, but I’ll put up some heartsy things around the house and try to do something special for my hubby.
    And don’t feel bad about slowing down on the blog posts — I think we all understand that your school and work and marriage and other important things in your life come first. Saying “no” can be hard, but often its the right thing to do when our lives are too crazy and overwhelming. <3

    1. Hey, Lauren!! Ah so good to hear from ya, girlie! The sunrise was just magnificent, it made the run almost surreal- it felt magical. The Jackson Hole Half Marathon sounds awesome! It’s in Wyoming, right? I bet it is just beautiful views! Aww that type of Valentine’s Day sounds so lovely. We like it too- I feel like it’s an excuse to be a little extra for a date night lol. Aww thank you so much for saying that- I think I needed to hear it. I have a hard time saying no, but you are soo right- it’s often the right thing to do! Thank you for that reminder & your comment, Lauren! How are you? How is everything in your world?!

  3. Girl YAAASSSSSSS! You slayed that marathon and I couldn’t be more proud! Your pictures are as idyllic as ever and are always making me hungry. Also, slowing down on the blog content is 1000% okay (not that you needed me to tell you that); life is hectic and sometimes we have to pour into other areas of our life without stretching ourselves too thin! I’m sure I speak for all of your followers when I say that we’ll be here for the journey, no matter what that looks like! <3 <3

    1. Awww, Brittney!!! <3 Oh my gosh - thank you for your kind words & for understanding the hectic season, your sweet words mean a ton. You have no idea how encouraging this is! Thank you so much, girl! xo

  4. Wow, Mack, you are so damn impressive!!!! I have only ever run in 5K races and one 10K four-person relay, which was April 2016. I ran the first leg for us then ran the final leg with my mentor, so I covered a total of a half marathon distance. My average time was just under 9:30 min/mile, though, so not nearly as fast. But I felt like I was flying! I stopped once to use the bathroom and zoomed out of there with so much adrenaline pumping through my body, and I briefly stopped for maybe a minute or two then started back even going uphill. I actually started to cry when I realized I was near the end of my leg in under one hour. I’ll never forget that feeling! I took out my headphones and got ready to pass the timer to the next runner. I could see Matt frantically trying to get her ready because I told them all not to expect me for at 1.5 hours. I definitely experienced a runner’s high and felt that I had finally found joy in running + redeemed myself after hating track so much in high school. Sorry to ramble! Your post just took me back. <3

    All of that food looks stellar, especially the bread! YUM! You all are such an adorable, amazing family. <3

    I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day myself, but Matt and I are making chocolate dipped strawberries for fun on Thursday. 🙂

    1. Ahh thank you, Kori!!! I truly think it was a fluke- lol, I don’t know what came over me! Okay- the situation you just described— I can relate to that AWESOME feeling of the adrenaline from a runner’s high you are describing to a T! Isn’t it amazing how invigorating the energy of races can be?! And 9:30 is flyin’! Seriously!! Thank you for sharing that with me- I am grinning ear to ear- it’s such a unique experience, and you articulated what it is like so well- down to feeling like you are flying out of the bathroom- been there too! haha. Oh, and the finish line is a true emotional experience for sure.

      Thank ya always for your sweet comment & I never really have understood the purpose of Valentine’s day (Isn’t that what anniversaries are for?), but I do like an excuse to have a date night! Have so much fun making chocolate strawberries- YUMMY! That is such a wonderful idea for the ole’ 14th. Mmm! Can’t wait to see how they turn out 🙂 Have the best Thursday, chica!

      1. Not a fluke in my book! You just rock. 🙂 Also, the adrenaline from the crowd and overall vibe really helps, or at least it did me! I had never run that well ever in my life. Matt was awesome. He moved the car and saw me a few times during my leg, and anytime I caught site of him, it pushed me more. It is such an emotional experienced for sure!

        It is what anniversaries are for! I just love chocolate and wearing pretty pink/red themed outfits. Aside from that, I can do without it. 😉 Have a great day yourself!

      2. Daaw, thank ya <3 oh my gosh- yes the crowd energy is contagious!! I love reading all their signs too.. I think my favorite was "This feels longer than the government shutdown"...eeeek. hahah. Seeing that familiar face is definitely emotional! I'd practically forget when I was running while passing my mom and Pete! gives a boost seeing um'!

        haha totallyyy. I will take any day that surrounds me with chocolate. Funny story- one year I was having a really tough semester at school. I was under a tremendous amount of stress and was so excited for Valentine's Day because of the chocolate (and I was in a deep dark chocolate craze then!). DJ bought me the most gorgeous, I mean stunnning, flowers, but I started crying when I realized there wasn't chocolate. I know... ridiculous. I'm embarrassed admitting it and I apologized after because it obviously wasn't about the chocolate at all & just about the stress. We ended up going to the store & getting chocolate together lol. We laugh about it every year, and the years after he has gone all out with the chocolate. I told him not to get any this year because I have some left over still from last! hahah. Why he stayed with me after that is beyond me, probably the most ridiculous reaction I have ever had to anything in my life!

      3. Oh man, the signs also were such a boost! I love the funny, witty ones. They really helped!

        Ohmygosh, I seriously love this story!!!! I think it’s hilarious and adorable! One of my sweet work friends received a beautiful bouquet from her husband at work on Wednesday, and the lady delivering them said a chocolate bouquet is where it’s at. I have to agree!

      4. haha glad you don’t think I’m crazy after sharing that, lol! Oohhh yesss a chocolate bouquet! That’s a wonderful idea!! Mmmm!!

    1. Aww thank you so much, Nikki!! Oh my gosh, seeing this comment from you just made my night <3 I hope all is well!

  5. All that tasty food!!! Yum!!! I don’t like when a restaurant is too loud. It makes conversation REALLY hard. That sunrise is breathtakingly stunning!!! Congrats on qualifying!! That is so awesome!!! I’m not a runner. Yoga, Pilates and hiking are my thing…but… I do want to do a 5k when it warms up. 🙂

    1. hehe- it was SO good. I’m hyper sensitive to sound in every day life, so the extra extra loud noise of the restaurant was a bit annoying, but once we settled into our table it was actually okay hearing each other. I think that’s the vibe that place was going for too.

      The sunrise was such a treat! It made the run so enjoyable. We were lucky with weather for sure- especially with how crazy it’s been these days.

      I really need to get back into yoga! I did hot yoga for a while, but then my trial period ran out & it was pricy.. but I should find something else soon! It’s soo awesome what it does for the body. And 5ks are soo much fun! DJ said he would like to do some 5ks for now- no more marathon training in the immediate future, hehe. have a great Thursday and thank you for taking the time to stop in!

  6. Love reading your travel posts 🙂 I live vicariously through you since things are a little less exciting in little old Kentucky then they are in California!! Haha!

    SOOOO HAPPPPYYY FOR YOU on qualifying for Boston!! You are a AMAZING!!!!! And go DJ for deciding to run a marathon! That is serious dedication!! Runners are the coolest 🙂

    Can’t wait to read your recap post! But also – you don’t have to say yes to everything girly!! You are in such a crazy season of life so make sure you are taking care of yourself!! You’ve got this!! <3


    1. Oh my gosh, thank you tons and tons girl!!

      This means so much to me- I actually took a big deep breath reading your comment because it is such a good reminder that it’s okay to not say yes to everything <3 So encouraging!! You da besttt. Thanks for stopping in & taking the time to share such sweet words. Hope you are having the best week, Anastasia!

  7. Great pic of you and DJ and your selfie was good too. I like how you took a photo of your glasses clinking together right above that seedy bread – everything looked delicious! The sunrise pics were beautiful too.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda 🙂 The seedy bread was mighty good (as was the wine, of course!). Thanks for stopping in!!

  8. Congratulations Mackenzie!!! What great achievements for both you and DJ. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to put together such amazing posts. I always enjoy your writing and photos and food critiques. God bless and have a great day!

    1. Aw thank you so much, Ruth!! This comment was so uplifting. God Bless you too & hope you have a marvelous rest of the week 🙂

  9. Wow, what a super speedy marathon time!!

    And, just so you know, reading your posts is getting to me. I keep thinking about how I need another vacation in California! 🙂

    1. Aw thanks, Chelsea!

      I think you totally need another vacation to Cali too! I hear it calling your name! So glad you are enjoying these posts 🙂 Have such a great Thursday!!

  10. Brilliant post as always (love the food pics), well done on the marathon! Balancing blogging with school can be tough but it will always work out in the end I’m sure!!

    1. Aww thank you so much, Sophia!! You are so sweet to say that <3

      It can, and thankfully I am learning to find a new rhythm to manage it all. I love this blog too much to stay away for long- this community is what keeps me sane 😉 Have a great Thursday!

  11. I am so proud of you for qualifying for Boston without even training for that!!! You’re amazing! And yay for DJ for deciding to run a marathon! You tow must’ve enjoyed marathon training together 🙂

    All that food looks delicious! I love when Caesar salads are big pieces of romaine like that. So delicious! That gnocchi… OMG! Now I’m just sitting here craving some delicious homemade gnocchi! Deconstructed cannolis seem like a dream dessert! And those milkshakes?! Okay now I’m really hungry!

    My favorite race is probably the Philadelphia Marathon for tons of reasons! I also love the Hershey Half Marathon in Hershey Park, PA. Just think tons of chocolate! I do like Valentine’s Day, but we don’t really go too crazy for it! Our newest tradition is ordering a heart shape pizza and spending the night in together 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Emily!!! Your comment means the world! We didn’t actually train together, butttt we followed the same schedule and cheered one another on through it- so that was fun for sure 🙂 And on long run days it was fun to refuel with a carb-loaded date night !

      That gnocchi will forever be in my dreams. Might be one of my favorite dishes I have tried everrr. Hope you found some yums this week 🙂

      Hershey has a marathon?!?!? I have been to Hershey and the town legit smells like chocolate, mmm mm! Running a marathon there sounds AWESOME. Thank you for sharing with me!

      I LOVE the idea of the heart shape pizza- sounds like a perfect way to spend the day- enjoy!! Thanks so much for stopping in, Em!

      1. It’s a half marathon but it’s still amazing! They even give you some Hershey Park tickets in your packet so you can make a whole weekend of it!

      2. That is seriously TOO fun! I’m so glad you shared this with me! Adding it the bucket list 😉

  12. My GOODNESS that Italian restaurant looks Heavenly. Gimme all the pasta!
    “opened up some bday gifts, and then called it a wrap!” -> I legit lol’d at this cause I found it punny with opening gifts then calling it a wrap….bahahaha
    CONGRATS to you for qualifying for Boston and for having some absolutely incredible stats! SO happy for you! Also, way to go DJ!!! That’s going to be such an incredible memory for you both to have running that race together! Also, please please please tell me how you look so flipping cute and effortless after running a marathon?!?! Girl, I don’t even look like that after a 5k. Ha!
    Sorry your stomach bothered you tho! There’s not much worse than stomach issues. Bleck
    I hope you have a great rest of your week!

    1. Girl, that pasta was tooo dang good.

      Wait- that was not an intentional pun, but I really wish it was!!! Hahahah!!! I so love that you thought of that.

      Thank you thank youuuu! I will pass on the sweet words to DJ too 🙂

      You are TOO kind. I swear the sunglasses just help hide my tired eyes!!

      most people get sore after races, but my stomach is always a wreck! But it was all good by the end of the night, thankfully.

      Thank youuu so much <3 You toooo, Kaci!!

      1. 😏

        D, Axl, & I went for a run last night covering about 1.7 miles (I know, that’s so impressive yo you 😂) and I think that kind of irritated my stomach around. Maybe all the bouncing? Hello bubble guts…lolz But it felt good to run!

      2. Yasss gettt it! I’m telling you what though- any running is impressive!

        BUBBLE GUTS. That’s what it is – 100000% . There is no better way to describe it , lol. Glad you enjoyed the run- and hopefully the stomach is all settled by now 😉 Happy weekend, Kac!

  13. Too funny… When I saw the first pic of DJ at the race, I thought, “Oh wow, I didn’t realize he ran marathons too!” And then immediately afterward, I read that this was his first! Ha, ha! That is SO awesome that you were both able to do this together. Congrats to both of you for doing SO awesome!!! You look like you belong in a runner’s magazine in that running pic, by the way!
    I am SO excited that you qualified for the Boston Marathon, because it’s soooooo close to me!!! Have you ever been to Boston before? I hope you run it, because it would be amazing to see your travel adventures in a city that is so near and dear to my heart!
    So I’ve only done 5k races, BUT I have a blast doing them. 🙂 I wasn’t able to do any last year, but I’m planning on doing a bunch this year for fun. I really want to focus and bring running back into my life. It’s been a long time since I’ve done it consistently. And I do love it, but MAN it’s hard to get started again. (Mostly because my kiddos don’t believe in letting me catch up on sleep, so I let the excuse of “I’m tired” hold me back a lot). 😉 But I always feel so much better after running, so I plan to start back up this week (now that I’m officially over my cold). I’d love to run my first 10k this year (maybe in the fall) if I can!!
    LOVED this post, per usual. The recaps were SO great!! And now I am officially craving yummy pasta. HA! Have a wonderful day, Girl!!

    1. haha yesss! His first! He didn’t even do a half before this… I think the longest he ever ran was 10 miles with me in high school. I was training for cross country and we were just dating (in the early stages), and he agreed to do it with me. He told me years later how challenging that run was, but I thought he did great in the moment! LOL.

      Ohhh my gosh, you are too sweeet! <3 The sunglasses helped hide my tired eyes- hah.

      I have been to Boston one time in high school and just adored it! It was in the deep winter too when it was probably -8 out, but I still LOVED it. I went with my school of ministry that I was a part of and learned all about different parts of church history/ministers that originated there. It was awesome. I would loveee to go back now, and if I don't have school/clinicals get in the way there is no way I'll miss the race!!! I'd love to say hello to you too if you are free when the time comes- it'd be the 2020 one! 🙂 5ks are such a blast !! I love them too- DJ said he'd like to do some 5ks this year, but hold off on training for another marathon for now haha. Oh my gosh- you've got this girl! I believe in ya, if any one can overcome the "tired" plight, it's youuu! Keep me posted- I'm excited to hear how your running adventures go . Also hope you get some yummy pasta in your life soon! Thank you for stopping by & your sweet words as always!! xoxo

  14. Woww you guys packed SO much into your San Diego trip!! I would have been too exhausted to explore around the city by the end as well, lol! Congrats on the marathon, girl!! That’s absolutely amazing and the fact that you qualified for Boston?! Way to go!! And congrats to DJ too! I can’t believe that he just decided one day to run a marathon without being much of a runner. That’s impressive! What a bummer that your stomach was so off after the race though, is that pretty common?
    Oh and great job on finishing up your huge project! Though my projects are probably nothing in comparison (you gotta start somewhere though!), I know that sense of relief when it’s all done. <3

    1. Hey, Courtney! Thank you tons & tons for your sweet words 🙂 I will pass on the congrats to DJ! He seriously impressed me so much- went from nothing to full throttle running & did amazing. so proud of him! I’ll randomly say to him, “hey, remember that one time you ran a marathon?” lol.

      My stomach tends to always get messed up after long runs. Most people get sore, but my stomach usually is what goes weak. I think with all the rich food from the weekend and then the insane exertion just didn’t fare well — but it was all good by the end of the night!

      Thank you thank youu! Oh my gosh, any school projects are intense! Just having some projects under the belt does feel sooo good. How has your week been so far?! Thanks for stoppin’ in, girl! xo

      1. Exactly, I mean what an accomplishment for anyone but especially to not even have lots of running experience! That takes a lot of dedication and determination!

        Ohh that makes sense. I used to run a little and I would definitely get queasy every once in a while so I can see how a marathon would make your stomach feel so off!

        Agreed!! I’ve been having a lot of multimodal projects so far and while they are a fun variation from essays, it’s always a relief when I can wrap them up and tie them with a bow lol. 😉 It’s been honestly an insane week with maintenance working on big projects at the apartment + showing our apartment to potential people interested in taking over our lease + schoolwork, but it’s helped the week go by quickly lol. I hope you are having a splendid week so far even with how crazy busy you are! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!

      2. Right?! Now I just need to start convincing him to do another with me 😉 I think that may take a while, haha.

        Aw I am glad things are going well even despite the craziness! Sheesh- that is a TON going on. Love your positivity though! If anyone can juggle it all, it’s you! And thanks girl- hope you had a great Valentine’s Day too, love 🙂

      3. I bet he will come around eventually!! It seems like when a lot of people run their first marathon, they catch a bug for it lol. 😉

        Aww thanks!! That means so much to me. <3

  15. You ran one heck of a race! Soon the term “broken record” will have to be explained to the “kids” of the world. I was about to ask where the peas in your pasta were, but then I saw the next pics! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ralph! I still don’t believe it- that runner’s high is a real, real thing!

      My goodness I had never thought of that, but you’re so right! That’s like when kids ask why we call it “hang up” the phone. So crazy the age we live in!

      Oh heck ya, gottta have the peas & pasta! I seriously can’t believe we just figured out this was a thing only a few months ago?! Hope you are having a great week & thanks for stopping in!

  16. Mack!!!! This is so great, congratulations! As you know, I’m a runner too and I totally get the big deal of qualifying for Boston. So cool!!! It must’ve been the gnocchi. 🙂 Seriously, that is incredible.

    And how cool that DJ finished his first marathon. That is quite an accomplishment. I bet it was fun to train together. You have such encouragement of him, that is a great solid foundation for a relationship. <3

    I have some excellent resources on visualization, if you're interested. Good for you on your clear intention with 3:30.

    Blessings to you. Safe travels home.

    1. Aw, Debbie!!! Thank you thank you for your sweet comment 🙂 I totally agree- it was, without a single doubt, the gnocchi! 🙂

      It was a fun feat to do together! I was so proud of him. He sets his mind to something and there is no stopping him!

      Oh I love that!! I am definitely interested! The last few years in particular I have recognized how powerful visualization can be!

      Thank you for stopping in- your comments always are so uplifting! xo

      1. Yay, that’s awesome Mack! Why don’t you give me your email, and I can forward you a few things on visualizing.

        Have a wonderful week ahead. You are amazing – tell DJ I say congratulations ok? Hope you both are recovering with grace.

    1. Thank you tons, girl!!! I cannot even describe- it was insanely good- definitely could tell it was the real deal! Thanks for stopping in, love <3

  17. Woo hoo!!!! Congrats on qualifying for Boston!!!! And also congrats to DJ for completing his first marathon! I’ll have to remember to go to an authentic Italian restaurant in order to maximum my race performance (if I ever get back into it!!!) I hope you all are resting well- treat yourself to a massage or pedi this Valentine’s Day!!

    1. Hey, Shan!!! Aw thank you sooo much ! I will pass on the congrats to DJ too!! 🙂 HECK YES- the rumors about carb loading are true!!

      Hope you do too, girl! You are so busy busy I hope you can find some time to treat yo self too <3 Happy Valentine's Day (+1) and have a great weekend!

  18. I can’t identify any of those famous Italians!!! I obviously need to brush up on my knowledge… 😂 oops! However the food from the restaurant looks scrumptious, especially that bread oh my and the gnocchi sounds incredible!!!! 😍 so good!
    CONGRATULATIONS on qualifying for Boston hun, nobody more deserving than you for all the good things. Also YES to the power of visualisation! You go girlie, love that ❤️❤️ And I’m so glad it worked for you 😉 also, that sunrise looks incredible! Gorgeous photos!
    Congratulations to DJ too ❤️
    Thanks for sharing your San Diego trip with us hun ❤️❤️ Excited for your catch up post… also Vday is a big yes from me, so happy valentines day Mack! Xxx

    1. LOL- girl, me neither hahha. My mom and Pete identified a couple, but I can’t even remember who they said!

      That was the best doggone gnocchi I have EVER had. I dream about that dish!

      Awww thank you thank youuuuuu! I still can’t believe it- I feel like it was a fluke, lol.

      Hope you had the BEST Valentine’s Day. Thank you for stoppping in and making my mornin’ 🙂

  19. The pasta dishes from Barbusa look so delicious! & that’s amazing you did so well in the race! Great job!
    & that strawberry shortcake milkshake looks delicious too! I think I’ll make a milkshake tonight!

    1. They were amazing! If you like gnocchi, this would be a must try! Best gnocchi I have ever had.

      Hope you enjoyed that milkshake 🙂

    1. Thank you!!! It was actually my fourth marathon, but it’s been a couple years! Thanks for stopping in !

      1. Ahh no worries! I didn’t clarify in the post or anything so it was a totally understandable assumption 🙂 It was my husband’s first so that would have made sense! Hope you had the best weekend!!

  20. Barbusa’s interior is gorgeous. I totally get what you mean about the noise ruining a romantic atmosphere but at least no one in your party minded too much. 🙂 I actually prefer the anchovy flavor when I have Caesar salads 😛 & I so wish I could eat that gnocchi through the screen… yum!!!

    The first photo of the sunrise!!! Wow!!! I can’t believe how pretty & purple the sky is. Congratulations on finishing that marathon race so quickly!!! & go DJ for finishing his first one!!!

    The Crack Shack sandwich the boys got has my mouth seriously watering. Drool on the screeeen type of mouth watering… oh my gosh!!! & you are just like me with the sauces hahaha must try ’em all!!

    Valentine’s Day is such a YAY. I hated all the negativity towards it this year… & I’ve never ran a race in my life lol.

    Can’t wait to catch up on more of your posts!!!

    1. Knowing how I have a tendency to like the more “extreme” flavor of something, I would think I like anchovy flavor too! I think I need to have a really good one, and then I would probably like it. I think a few too fishy flavors have ruined it in the past, but I still will eat it no matter what hahah.

      Thanks girl! I’ll pass on the congrats 🙂

      The Crack Shack lived up to the hype for sure. It was sooo goood. and amen, sista- the more sauces the betta!

      Yay! I like Valentine’s Day too- it’s a great excuse to have a random date night & go out to dinner is what I say 😉 Thanks for stoppin’ in, love!


      1. I know what you mean!! Sometimes you can try something a few times, hate it, swear off it, then try it again to find out you actually like it when it’s made right.

        The Crack Shack def looked like it was worth the wait in line!! & I so agree about V-Day!!

        <3 <3

  21. Congratulations girl! You did great! That’s impressive! It must be great to be able to do that together with your man! That Italian food looks great! We also have that coconut water here in Belgium! I love it, so refreshing! xoxo Sarah

    1. Aww thank you, love!! It was a special thing to tackle together for sure.

      Isn’t it *such* a refreshing bevie? I wish I had some on hand now, because it sounds really great right now. Have a beautiful rest of your day and thank you for stopping in 🙂

  22. Don’t feel bad when your posts are delayed. I have the hardest time being able to sit down and read blogs with the little one (who is currently trying to get my attention as I type this). By the time I sit down to read, I realize that I’m like three or four posts behind with every blog I read!
    Valentine’s Day is special for us because it is when we started dating officially and when we got engaged. But I can understand why other couples don’t prefer to celebrate it.
    And I’ve never run a marathon. I have walked a 5K for Alzheimer’s but some day, maybe, I’ll change it to a run!

    1. Aw thank you, Katy! That makes me feel better !

      Aw that is SO special!!! I hope y’all had a wonderful day 🙂

      yayyy! I love 5ks- they tend to support great causes & are just a blast ! So much great energy. Thanks for stopping in !!

  23. Hi Mackenzie, how nice you got complimentary wine at the hotel! Barbusa definitely is contemporary , but looks nice. I am sorry it was so noisy . It is hard to focus sometimes when that happens. The food looks great and I would love to try the caesar salad dressing! Always time and room for dessert! I love cannoli . Cute couple poses , love your infiniti scarf. Pete and your Mom do look a fun couple. Oh wow you wake up early for a marathon. That sunrise is so so pretty!! So you ran 3:24 as far a s I can see! Congrats for qualifying for Boston, so happy for you. Congrats to DJ !! You look so fresh after running a marathon , great selfie. The milkshake s look so good. I did’nt know arriving too early was a thing either, haha. Yay for V day!! Take care, Terri xo.

    1. Hi, Terri!! I just loved the complimentary wine setup. Such a fun idea for hotels! I can be extra sensitive to noise too for some reason, but we adapted after a bit. We were all so busy eating anyways to chat much 😉 The food was truly phenomenal! And my mom and Pete always are SO much fun to hang around with. Thank you so much, Terri- the sunglasses helped hide my tired eyes, lol. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend 🙂

      1. Oh my goodness!!! I bet the kids are having fun in it though?! Have a blessed Sunday too 🙂

  24. “Eat pasta, run fasta!!!” 😂 and drink water too *cough Michael Scott cough* congrats on finishing the race! The sunrise looks like a perfect companion. I’ve got goosebumps from looking at the deconstructed cannoli! 😍

    1. Lol!! YESS, love the Michael Scott reference- too good. I can’t help but think of that episode every time I run a race.

      The deconstructed cannoli totally surpassed my expectations!!! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  25. Ok the one dish that sold me was the carbonara. I tried making it at home and it was delish!!
    Your mom and Pete look like such a cute couple! They’re so happy together!
    And holy crap how early did you guys start the race???
    That sunrise!!!! Beautiful!!! Congrats on qualifying!!! That’s amazing!! I dont know that I could ever run a marathon, though I would like to, it would take me years to train for one lol.

    1. That’s usually DJ’s go-to at restaurants! Hard to beat a good carbonara! And I just love um’. They are so much fun to hang with! <3

      Hahah- I think the race started at 6:45 or 7. I can't remember exactly!

      Trust me, you COULD run! DJ has never been a runner, and he even said after his training he truly believes anyone could run a marathon if they just put in the miles. It's all about slow progress over a long time! I have no doubts you could do it 🙂

      Thanks for stopppin' in, girl! xox

      1. Well I’ll be sure to remember that lol. I’m starting to work out again so hopefully when the weather gets warmer I can start jogging in the mornings but then I also got my kiddo haha. I hope i can participate in one someday. 🙂

      2. Hopefully this weather will turn a corner soon! I cannot believe it’s already nearing the end of March- like .. what?!?

      3. I know!! Isnt it ridiculous?! I’m excited about spring and the cherry blossoms in the waterfront. I cant wait for that lol

      4. It’s been raining. I drove by last Friday and still no cherry blossoms. I will go back this Thursday or Friday to check again. They may bloom a little late this year.

      5. Ah well I hope you will share some pics when they finally do bloom!! Hope they do soon for ya :)!

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