San Diego’s Old Town

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Last weekend, my husband and I traveled to San Diego for Comic Con and while we were there we were told by friends and locals to check out Old Town. And we were not disappointed by our visit there. It is in a great location with lots to see and do like visiting the free museums, eating at one of the Spanish or Mexican restaurants, or checking out all the little shops.

We started our visit to Old Town by walking to the top of the hill, that way it would be easier for us to sight-see while walking down the street. Our first stop in Old Town was a little shop called Old Town Model Railroad Depot. My husband is a fan of model cars and model trains, which is why we decided to stop by. But, when we walked inside, we were completely blown away. I remember saying, “whoa!” upon entering. As you step inside, you are easily in awe at the huge dioramas that take up both rooms (nearly the entire space) of the store.

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With small towns replicated using scale models, two trains circle around the track that connects each scene to one another. If you love the 40’s and 50’s, then the small-town scenes depicted here will easily charm you and make you nostalgic for that era. And even if trains aren’t you’re thing, this store will amaze you with their passion and dedication to make this huge diorama.

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A little donation is recommended (~$5) for maintenance and operating the trains, but it’s totally worth it after seeing this in-person. And with every donation, you get a card to have a free appetizer at Café Coyote right down the street. But, seeing how much hard work goes into this place is reason enough to donate. The two gentlemen who run this shop and operate the model trains clearly demonstrate how quaint, charming, and special this place is. What started off as a passion project for them transformed into a full-time job they both love. Remember how when I walked inside I couldn’t help but say “whoa!” like a three-year old kid opening a present on Christmas morning? The owner said in response, “That’s the response we look for. It makes me so happy to hear people say that.”

So, if you want to believe in the awesome magic of trains, or just feel like a kid again then make sure to visit yourself and you’ll see how amazing this place is.

While in Old Town, make sure to check out all the cool, free museums. You get a glimpse of what life was like in San Diego in the 19th century. These were awesome to walk around in. And let’s not forget all the cute little shops. Some of them are kitschy and trouristy, but others are pretty authentic with local artists displaying their artwork. There’s a good balance of these types of shops to keep you entertained.

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And while wondering around Old Town, make sure to check out every little niche and enclave. My husband and I stumbled upon this adorable little niche that made us feel like we were transported to another country.

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Right next to this niche is a vegan chocolate shop called Nibble Chocolate that had a fun way of displaying their process for making chocolate. Customers get the chance to grind the cacao beans themselves. My husband had a fun time giving this a try and kids will easily enjoy this too.

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Because this chocolate is vegan and only has 2 ingredients (cacao and raw brown sugar), it is on the bitter side. But what I recommend is getting one of their desserts and/or drinks. They have chocolate Bundt cakes, chocolate truffles, etc. And their drinks are all served with their powdered cocoa with a choice of almond, soy, or cashew milk.

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I ordered the soy hot chocolate and can easily defend that this is the best vegan hot chocolate I have ever tasted. Ever! It’s that good. The chocolate is so smooth, you feel like you’re drinking liquid gold. This was hands down my favorite dessert in San Diego. And my husband tried the iced chocolate espresso. With the richness of the chocolate and almond milk, the espresso is more of an undertone and takes a back seat to the very delicious chocolate flavor. Whether you are vegan or not, you should at least try the drinks here because they are seriously divine.

If you want, there are a lot of Mexican and Spanish restaurants in Old Town. You can’t go wrong picking any of them to eat from, but if you want the local favorite in Old Town, it’s best to ask your Taxi/Uber/Lyft driver. Trust me, they will know which ones to recommend, but just know, since it is a touristy area, some of the restaurants have higher prices than others.

Overall, Old Town is a unique blend of the old missionaries, old west, and Mexican history, which makes it an awesome place to visit in San Diego. Here, you feel like a real Ranchero on set of an old western movie. So, make sure to check out Old Town and see this cool and beautiful place.

Make sure to stay tuned for future posts on San Diego and my experience at this year’s Comic Con 😊

Vegan Eats: Los Angeles Part 2

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Back with a bang, the second part to this week’s Vegan Eats continues our trip in LA where we focus on all the delicious vegan restaurants in the city.

Let’s start with the classic burger. California, as well as some other West Coast states, proudly boasts the In-N-Out burger chain. Unique for its top-quality, locally sourced and locally grown produce and beef, this restaurant chain screams Instagram goals. However, if you’re vegan then there isn’t anything on the menu for you. But don’t think you won’t be able to eat an In-N-Out style burger. Burgerlords is here to save the day.

Click here to continue reading.

Click here in case you missed Vegan Eats: Los Angeles Part 1.

Chihuly Blown Glass Museum

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If you love art or museums, then I highly recommend going to the Chihuly Art and Glass Museum in Seattle. It’s whimsical enough to feel like you’ve been transported down the rabbit hole right into Wonderland and breathtaking enough to make your jaw drop at every piece. So, prepare to be amazed by the amazing technique, skill, and master craft behind these beautiful pieces of art.

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Vegan Eats: Los Angeles Part 1

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If there is one place on Earth that can be called Vegan Mecca or Vegan Heaven that would have to be, hands down, Los Angeles. The city of angels hosts the largest amount of vegan restaurants as well as vegan options at non-vegan restaurants. This post will be divided into two parts since there are so many great finds in this city. So, let’s travel to the land of the stars, get our big sunglasses on, put the convertible top down, and cruise down palm tree lined streets to discover some of the best vegan eats.

Click here to read more.

Seattle Architecture

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When it’s a nice, beautiful, summer day in Seattle, you stop and smell the roses. Or, in my case, take a billion pictures of the beautiful city 🙂

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The Pop Culture Museum is one of my favorite architectural designs. I love the iridescent panels and the shapely curves and lines of this building.

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And as if the buildings weren’t fascinating enough, check out this beautiful skyline! I love living near Seattle, such a fascinating city filled with something to see at every corner. If you get the chance to travel this summer, make sure to check out Seattle and see it for yourself.

Dungeons & Dragons

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I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful 4th of July. My husband and I had a wonderful weekend with a few friends over and a lot of fun games to play and good food to eat. Playing a table top/ role playing game such as Dungeons and Dragons was exactly what I needed. And quite frankly, I think it is something everyone could use more of in their lives.

Sitting in a circle, having conversations, and eating food that everyone pitched in to make, just made me feel really connected and very in the moment. I know there are other ways to feel this way, but for me (someone who used to refuse the idea of playing RPG’s) playing games with people who you enjoy being around is how I got that feeling of connectivity and present in the moment.

So, I hope you can remember that in the midst of a busy life or a hectic one, you can make time to really connect with people who make you laugh and feel good to remind you what life is worth living for.