Travel Post: San Diego’s Little Italy!

Last weekend I was in the Little Italy district of San Diego for my Stepsister Janelle’s wedding!

IMG_2115Congrats to the new Mrs. Thornton! Open-mouthed smile

Anyway, we arrived Friday night, and stayed at a little hotel that was a block away from the main street. What an experience!


IMG_2064(The OCEAN!!!)

Breakfast Saturday morning was at Influx Café with my Mom and Stepdad, Gary. I had an open-faced Lox bagel with a Mexican mocha. I was impressed by this little open-air café, that felt very green with it’s recycled wood benches, cement floor and succulent plants on the tables. They catered a lot to the foot-traffic crowd, and nonetheless, a LOT of dogs passed through. Normally, dogs mixed with restaurants would bother me, but I was impressed with how they catered to the companion animals and still managed to have a full-service café. Needless to say, I came back a second time that day for a Lavender Italian soda (to DIE for!) and another Lox bagel for Kurt.

After breakfast, we were pleasantly surprised to find there was a Farmer’s Market going on the next street over.


Here’s the thing about me and Farmer’s Markets, I can NOT resist. There is something about open-air markets, cooking food and community that just makes me melt. I work within walking distance of the Covina Farmer’s market and I visit almost every week. I LOVE farmer’s markets!

Sunflowers and the back of my mom’s head. Winking smile


One of the coolest booths was definitely the live Sea Urchins. ^Chile peppers.

Apples and…
My first experience with Prickly Pears! Kurt joked that my curiosity comes from the Jungle Book.

And that was just my morning!
After retreating to our hotel room for some relaxation, I chose to venture back out for an authentic Italian lunch!
How bad did I want Gelato, but ended up with a PRETTY delicious cannoli instead!
(Not pictured was the awesome Caprese sandwich with mozzarella and basil, but I ate it too quickly, and I refuse to post pictures of half-eaten food!)
IMG_2083(yes, I’m aware it looks like beer)
Don’t even get me STARTED on the beauty of true Italian espresso! HOLY COW!
I was in HEAVEN! I usually put a whole bunch of stuff in my mistos at Starbucks, but this was some drink I could not pronounce (Caffè Shakerato), it was basically espresso, sugar and ice. I sipped it slowly as I made my second round through the Farmer’s Market on the way back to the hotel. Definitely something I will be ordering again if I get the chance!

Anyway, here’s a small collage of the rest of my journey to Little Italy (I took a LOT of pictures!)
IMG_2091 IMG_2092
Little shops and cafés.
Some cool architecture
This picture was on the side of the Art Store (that I could have LIVED in!)
”Mom, I’m going to quit my job at the hospital, move to San Diego and become an artist!”
”Okay, Holly, whatever.” LOL!

Rooftop couple-y pictures! (Eeek to my hair!)

IMG_2118IMG_2116Ha, Mom!
And at the wedding! Open-mouthed smile

Anyway, it was a beautiful weekend full of culture and surprises, and I feel very fortunate to have such an awesome family (and now extended family!). I had a BLAST!

I love San Diego!
❤ Holly Jo




So I made it all the way through class without stopping!
I’m having a better week! I think I’m really starting to get somewhere.
We did circut-style sets and weights, which I took the lighter weights, and then later found I didn’t find myself as challenged as I wanted to be…next time I will pick the 8’s instead of the 5’s.
(I still hate jumprope)

Anyway, to cool off, I took a 20-minute drive…and then THIS happened…

“Ohplease ohplease ohplease…you already have your running shoes on…I NEED A WALK!!!”

Poor puppy.

SO after MegaFit-Death-Class, I took my sad, pathetic dog on a 20-minute walk.

I’m so happy I’m feeling so much better!
(I might have to go in on Friday to do some treadmill work, because I’m going to be gone all weekend to my Stepsister Janelle’s wedding in San Diego.)




So I got up early this morning and dragged my sorry butt to the gym…only to find that my trainer was on vacation!!! I was really bummed! So I ho-hummed on the elliptical, for, say 15 minutes and went home. It’s all right, though, I’m taking my puppy to the Pacific Electric Trail tonight for a brisk walk. ^_^

Anyway, I’m in week 3 (4? I’m going to stop counting now) of my “Get Fit” goal. I’m down from 156 to 147.8 since I’ve returned from Seattle (about a month ago). I’ve been trying to keep up with a diet and exercise plan, which has helped me tremendously.
I’m finally getting used to the routine of hitting the gym. I’m noticing a fantastic boost in my mood and I love going for the social aspect, which I desperately need after a summer of working crazy hours.
Speaking of crazy hours, I have just completed my last 50-hour week for the summer, and next week I’ll be heading to San Diego for my stepsister Janelle’s wedding. This means a weeee bit of clothes shopping before the big weekend and DUN DUN DUN….School starting.

I thought I would post a few pictures of my ways of staying “organized”, because I have a very busy and full life with lots of room for to-do lists.

So this is my basic armory, and I carry the bottom three around in my laptop bag on a daily basis.

I have a month/day calendar, in which I hand-write to-do lists. I was really skeptical at first of using this method, because it seemed kind of difficult to make function, but when I decided to set some time aside for it, it really helps me stay organized and remember appointments. Also, I divide the day into columns. One half is the to-do list, and the other half is a food journal, so I can know to balance meals when I have, say, and off day.

This (sideways) picture, is my Moleskine, my life in a hardbound little journal. When I’m not blogging, or when I need some personal writing time, this is my go-to. It’s really helped me manage my stress over the past years (this is my third one) and I can put down my thoughts and ideas when I don’t have a computer nearby. It’s also great to look back on the hard times and see how far I’ve come.

I carry my bible with me wherever I go. Yes. I am that person. No, I won’t apologize for it.

Something I don’t use as much now that we’re back with the parents for the next 6 months, is my “Life Management” notebook. This covers anything from my personal finance papers, where I store my bills, receipts, calendars, chore lists and recipes. I will be utilizing this once again in December when we are back on our own.

Ahhh French Press, I could not live without. Not really an organizing tool, but the fuel behind the madness. As much as I am a Starbucks fan, there is nothing like home-made coffee. And I make GOOD coffee!

I think one of my biggest pieces of advice to staying organized is making time out of your day (and week) to focus on what needs to be done. My day for this is Monday, usually in the mornings. I also have about an hour and a half each day before I start work (I carpool with Kurt) in which I take the time to organize my thoughts, read, write, and plan for the day/week.
If you must know, I work twelve hour shifts, 7am-7pm, I am up at 4am every day to be in Covina by 5:30. It took a while to get used to the long hours and commutes (I have a 45-minute train ride home). But after doing it for two years, it’s become a functioning part of my schedule. I actually enjoy it (once I get past the part of hating my alarm clock…)

So happy Sunday everyone, it’s going to be a great action-packed week! I’ll keep in touch and hopefully be able to stay organized.