Jed and I took our official babymoon vacation last weekend. Because traveling is so uncomfortable for me, we didn’t want to go too far. We settled on San Clemente. It’s only an hour away, and Jed had never been.
Jed really wanted to take the train up, because he loves trains in general, and the Surfliner train in particular, but it only stopped up there once a day, and we wanted to arrive a lot earlier than 4 pm, so we drove. We took our time heading up there, taking the Coast Highway and stopping at Pannikin in Encinitas. Or Leucadia. It’s right on the border, so I’m not sure which town it’s in. We also stopped at my old house in Carlsbad and had a little nostalgic trip down memory lane. I did, anyway. Jed just tagged along.
Our first stop once we arrived in San Clemente was the San Clemente State Beach, where Jed at least got close to the train.
While it initially seemed cool that the train went by right when we were near the tracks, we discovered that the train goes by all the time. Loudly. But it was cool this first time.
The beaches are beautiful in San Clemente. A little flatter and calmer than down by us. Because it’s the end of September, they were pretty empty, too, which is always nice. I hate tourists at beaches, even when I am one.
Isn’t he handsome?
We headed into town for lunch at a place that came highly recommended by Sunset magazine, Antoine’s. It was a total dud. We drank our iced tea and high-tailed it out of there. I was very disappointed in both Sunset magazine, and the residents of San Clemente, since it is apparently very popular with the locals. It had one good thing going for it though: soft, crunchy ice. A current pregnancy obsession.
While Jed waited for me to finish my drink, he tried to take as many bad pictures of me as possible. This is not hard to do. However, I got ahold of the delete button pretty soon thereafter. I like this one, though, because, look: cheekbones! (You can barely see these at the moment, as I have pregnancy face most of the time.) Also, freckles! But ignore those.
And then Jed wanted to show off his cheekbones, too. Or something. To be honest, I actually have no idea what’s going on here.
Anyway, we bailed on Antoine’s, and, after spending some time on Yelp and Chowhound, found a great place called Nick’s. We ate a lot of beef there: prime rib au jus for me and some complicated tri-tip concoction for Jed. Delicious.
Also, the best homemade ranch dressing ever. It might even compete with BYU Creamery’s ranch, but then it’s been years since I’ve had that.
We were so stuffed after this meal that we weren’t hungry again for about two days. Seriously.
Jed got to practice being a cool surfer from the 60s on the way back to the car with some random alley installation art.
We then headed to our hotel. It was pretty difficult choosing a hotel in San Clemente. Your options are either generic, like a Best Western, or cute and quaint. However, most of the cute, quaint hotels were in amazing locations, but were totally run-down and cost a fortune. We opted to go that route anyway. We stayed at the Beachcomber Motel. The room was totally ghetto, with gross old furniture and the tiniest shower ever. (I kept bumping my belly in it.) However, the location and the view and the grounds were amazing.
Here’s the view from our window.
Our room was basically 100 feet away from the bluffs over the beach. We looked directly out on the San Clemente Pier.
Here’s the view (taken the next day) from the pier looking up at our hotel:
The train ran right under us, which was not the most fun thing late at night, but still cool to see. We had private lounge chairs, and a really great fire pit right on the edge of the bluffs.
The view at night was just as amazing, if not more so. (Thanks to Jed for these awesome night shots. He’s a pro at using long exposures.)
We had a quick, small dinner of Thai food (we were still pretty stuffed from lunch), and then made s’mores at the fire pit with some of our hotel neighbors. It was a beautiful night.
The next morning, we met up with new San Clemente resident, Scott, for some breakfast at the Mimosa Cafe, where Jed accomplished this amazing feat:
Then we hung out and played tourist in town for a while.
You may have noticed at this point that I am not in these pictures. I haven’t been super excited to see my fat face and super prego body in pictures, so I don’t turn the camera over to Jed too much at the moment. Because when I do, this is what happens:
And yes, I am wearing a dress over jeans. It so happens that the shirt I packed to wear, that fit me a week earlier, didn’t fit me anymore. Typical.
We spent the rest of the day slowly heading back to San Diego via the Coast Highway. We stopped at a coffee shop in San Clemente (coffee), the Trestles Surf Outlet in San Clemente (surf booties for Jed), H&M in Carlsbad (baby clothes!), the flea market in Encinitas (nothing), Nytro Multisport in Encinitas (swimming wetsuit for Jed), and finally returned home.
So that’s it. No more vacations as a family of two. I couldn’t be happier.