Pinkberry on the Pacific

Hey there! 

I’m writing to you from sunny San Diego – well actually, it’s dark now, but it was definitely sunny earlier! I arrived in San Diego about 11 AM local time. But before I get into that, let’s start from the day’s beginning…

Very early this morning I had a dream that I woke up late and the car service guy was knocking at my door to pick me up – yikes! I woke up in a sweat and realized that it was only 5:00 AM, about an hour before I really intended to get up. Well after that dream, I couldn’t really sleep so I got out of bed to get ready and finalize my packing.

I arrived at the airport sans drama and had a pretty calm 3 1/2 hour flight. During the ride, I snacked on one of my all-time favorite airport snacks/breakfast…

10.30 breakfast

You can’t go wrong with vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit and granola, although I still prefer Greek yogurt.

When I arrived in San Diego it was about 70 degrees and amazingly bright here immediately when we landed – how perfect – did they order this weather just for me, or do they do this for everyone? 😉 I would take this weather any day over the cold/rainy weather I left in Chi-town.

After checking into our very fancy hotel, my colleagues and I lunched at Harbor House, a seafood restaurant located in a cute little shopping district on the water.

10.30 lunch

The yogurt was filling but man was I starving by the time I ate lunch. I ate about 3/4 of my chicken salad wrap and most of the french fries as well (I know I’ve been so bad lately with the fries 🙁 )

After lunch, my colleagues and I had to tend to a few work-related duties, then we took a walk to a very close-by Pinkberry yogurt!! When we work our annual event, we rarely have time to do anything else but work, eat, and sleep. So today was a special treat to be able to walk around the city a little. And of course, Pinkberry was top on my list to try in my limited free time. Yes – this was my first ever Pinkberry yogurt EVER…

10.30 pinkberry

How cute is that! I had the small original flavor topped with chocolate chips, mixed nuts, and strawberries. It was amazing! I think I may have to venture there late in the week to get another fix before I return to Chicago.

When I arrived at my room a small package had been delivered to me…

10.30 goodie bag

It was the “welcome bag” that my training team and I made last week. It has all sorts of goodies in it like gum, a lint brush, a plastic hand clapper, and hand sanitizer. What a nice touch!

In the evening, all staff were asked to attend a special wine/cheese reception with some of our members. It was actually quite fun because I was able to see many of our VIP members who I adore and hadn’t seen since last year. 

After some polite chit chat, my brother and his wife Liz picked me up at the hotel to take me to dinner in Del Mar. We ate at a charming bistro called Sbicca, which was again, on the water (or close enough to it!). Unless you’re really far inland, it seems that everything in San Diego is “on the water”.

At Sbicca’s, I started with a mixed green salad with tomatoes, feta cheese, and lemon pepper dressing.

10.30 dinner1

Quite good, but then again, what salad isn’t good with feta?

For dinner, my sister-in-law and I split the garlic chicken with mashed potatoes and feta cheese…

10.30 dinner3

This dish was fantastic! It has a ton of flavor and the presentation was equally as good. Thankfully I split this dish because I know I could not have eaten all of it.

Plus, I wanted to save room for dessert….

10.30 dinner5

Pecan bread pudding in a caramel sauce topped with caramel gelato. Oh my, this was way too good to be true! Luckily, this was another split dish because, as you know, 1/2 the food = 1/2 the calories. Besides, i was too full to eat a full dessert by myself.

Ok, I’m starting to fall asleep. It’s now 11 PM Pacific, but really 1 AM my time, which is way too late for this chica to be up and blogging. 

But, before I go, I will leave you with a view from my hotel room…10.30 Harbor view

Ahh, I love where i work!

Have a great night!

An Apple A Day….

As you know, yesterday was my family’s annual trip to the apple orchard to do a little apple picking. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for apple picking – about 70 degrees and sunny.

We all arrived at the country-style orchard around 10 AM- right when it opened. We were surprised to find that the orchard had just changed its prices/policy. Instead of all of us being able to pick apples and put them in one big bag, we now had to all have our own 1/2 peck bag, including the kids. This was rather annoying considering it was $10 a bag and by the time each bag was full, it weighed about 5 lbs. That’s fine for adults, but for a 4-year old boy, that’s a bit heavy.

Apple Tree

But, we didn’t let this little hiccup ruin our day. We all piled on the tractor hayride-style and proceeded out to the actual line of trees. At this point in the season there was only one variety of apple available for picking – Gala. That was good news for us because Gala apples are really versatile – you can use them in pies, apple sauce, salads, and eating straight.

Apple Dew1

It was quite a foggy morning when we first started so there was still dew on the apples as you can see above. It made for a cool picture.

Bags in hand, we set out walking through the designated Gala rows. It was fun to see the kids running around and getting excited when they would find an apple good enough to eat. Although you’re not supposed to eat the apples right from the tree, I may have had one or two as a sample – have to get my fiber in, ya know!


Most of the really red apples were way up at the top. Needless to say, there was a lot of shoulder sitting to reach them – ha ha!

Apple Trees

About an hour and a half, and 8 1/2-pecks later, we climbed back onto the tractor and headed to the drop-off point. A little later we dived up the bags between 3 families – somehow we ended up with 3 1/2-pecks of apples – way more than we can eat. I guess I’ll be taking some to work!

At lunch, we all debated on who would make the first apple-dessert. I plan on making an apple crisp tomorrow – hmmm goood! I’ll be sure to post the recipe and photos!

Now, I’m off to our final outdoor music event of the summer. We are going with my in-laws to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play songs from Rogers and Hammerstein. I love musicals! I’ll post a quick update later tonight although I don’t expect to get home until after 10 PM. Have a great afternoon!