Merry Christmas from SoCal.

The lovely Rancho Valencia Resort.

The Rancho Valencia Resort.

We are having a really nice time in Southern California. It’s been very chilly (I wore four layers to play golf), breezy and dry; a really lovely part of our country.  The Rancho Valencia Resort is stunning with lush landscaping and lots of privacy.  My favorite residential architectural style has always been Spanish/Mexican, so I feel right at home among the terracotta, colorful tile and beautiful courtyards.

Beach behind the terrific Pacific Coast Grill in Cardiff by the Sea.

Beach behind the terrific Pacific Coast Grill in Cardiff By The Sea.

We have enjoyed spending time with friends, making new friends, exploring the area and hitting more than our fair share of the area’s wonderful restaurants. I loved the 90 year-old vintage charm of the restaurant in La Jolla’s ocean-front La Valencia Hotel.  As far as seafood, our meals at The Fish Market in Solana Beach and The Pacific Coast Grill in Cardiff were top-notch.

I found La Jolla disappointing and preferred the aptly named Rancho Santa Fe with its stables, ranches and rolling hills. We’ve even had hot air balloons firing-up along the winding roads here.  As far as coastal towns, I’ll take the quirky beach vibe in Solana Beach any day.  A shout out to my friend Andi for directing me to the charming, unique shops on Cedros in Solana Beach.  It was a lot of fun.  The guys have played a lot of golf, but I only played one round at the Del Mar Country Club – where our foursome was among the five total players on the course for the day – felt like we owned the place.

San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo.

We’ve even managed to fit in a visit to the famous San Diego Zoo. One hundred years old this year, they are in the midst of some serious (and behind schedule) renovations. They need the improvements, much of the Zoo is a bit tired and animal areas are smaller than I like to see. It made me realize how great our young ZooMiami has become.

Now, if they can only do something about the traffic . . . .


Golf course at the tranquil Del Mar Country Club.

Golf course at the tranquil Del Mar Country Club.

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