Valentine’s Weekend in San Diego

We spent our annual Valentine’s Day weekend in San Diego with the pups. It’s a tradition Alex and I have enjoyed since we started dating. Our plans stay generally the same, and it’s one of our favorite holidays to reflect on the year before.

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We drove down on Friday night after work and stopped for carne asada fries (as always) before checking into our Airbnb. This time, we discovered El Zarape after a quick Yelp search and it ended up being the best one we’ve had so far.

Our choices of Airbnbs are limited to dog-friendly locations, but we tend to stay around the Mission Bay area. This time, our Airbnb overlooked a canyon and we could even see the ocean in the distance.

Saturday morning was spent at Fiesta Island dog park. It’s kind of what I imagine heaven to look like. It’s 2.5 miles of gated dog park surrounded by the beach. The entire island itself is 5.4 miles. It’s clean, there’s plenty of parking, and this time it was super lush thanks to the rain lately. All the dogs stayed in their packs and literally bounced out of the tall grass and bushes. Shabu loved frolicking and zooming around the hills while Chef stayed close with us, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Afterwards, we grabbed lunch at our go-to: El Pescador in La Jolla. We got there around 11:30 – no line and plenty of open tables. I always order the halibut sandwich and Alex got the seared ahi tuna sandwich.

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Within walking distance, there’s a popular bakery/brunch spot called Sugar & Scribe where we grab coffee. Coincidentally, my cousin’s husband just started as a baker there.


After a quick nap, we headed to the mall. It’s actually a special place for us that reminds us of when we were first dating. We once went to this mall together for a SD day trip to hunt down the Hello Kitty Cafe food truck. At that time, we also bought hoodies from American Apparel that I DIY’d into Sully and Boo hoodies for Alex’s birthday trip to Disneyland.

Dinner was spent at our usual spot: Cafe Coyote in Old Town. It was a quick 20-minute wait, and the best part are the handmade tortillas as you wait in line. For just a few dollars,you’ll get handed a couple fresh, piping hot tortillas. Everything on the menu is amazing and we always share a margarita.

We were also able to catch up with my cousin Jason at Extraordinary Desserts (who just moved to San Diego in September). The last time we saw them was when they were living in Tokyo.

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After one more trip to Fiesta Island on Sunday morning, it was time to head back to LA and prep for dinner. Alex’s family came over and we made another batch of kimchi jjigae (stew) with kimchi sent directly from Uncle Jae Joon in Korea. Full weekend, full hearts.

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