we didn’t choose vacation, vacation chose us…kinda?

instagram travel thursdayWhile there’s snow on the ground outside, we’re dreaming of warmer places & jumping back in to Instagram Travel Thursday…

When discussing our travel plans for vacation this past fall, Tom & I had a few ideas.  We always like Charleston, don’t have to be pushed too hard to go back to San Francisco, & would like to explore Seattle & Portland & New York City, too, but we were both hesitant to pull the trigger & make the decision.

See, we kind of started a thing.

husk state bird provisions - life with the lushersThe previous two years we just happened to be on vacation in the same city as Bon Appétit magazine’s Best New Restaurant…& gotten in to each of them.  First, Husk in Charleston, then State Bird Provisions in San Francisco.  This time, we joked, but were actually kind of serious, about not being able to choose where we were going until the 2013 announcement had been made.  We dodged the subject until August, when Andrew Knowlton announced The Hot 10: the top ten in the running for Best New Restaurant.

Brooklyn?  Cool.
Seattle?  Alright.
Austin?  Why not?
Atlanta? Not really a vacation destination, but we could check it out & visit Tom’s sister.
Houston? Maybe.
Portland? Absolutely.
Chicago? Sure.
Nashville? Ok.
San Francisco? You already know where we stand on that matter.
Los Angeles? We could do that.

So we patiently waited  obsessively checked Bon Appétit’s website/Twitter/Facebook for the announcement of the winner, which Tom saw & immediately picked up the phone & called me.  Within twenty minutes of the announcement, we had no plane tickets & no hotel, but we had dinner reservations at 2013’s Best New Restaurant, Alma in downtown Los Angeles.

We figured we could always cancel the reservation, but instead we booked our flight to LAX & decided since we were already going across the country, we may as well go to San Diego, too.  It’s not really too far out of the way.

rdu - life with the lushers

So, on a Saturday morning in October, I got wine-d up & we landed in LA at the perfect time for brunch.  The closest restaurant on our extensive “To Eat” list was Border Grill in Santa Monica, which ended up being absolutely perfect with its unlimited small plates brunch.  We ate our way through dungeness crab omelets, tiny tamales, crispy potato rajas tacos, bacon quesadillas, eggs benedict sliders, fresh fruit with passionfruit habanero sauce, churro tots…

border grill - life with the lushersFull & reinvigorated, we headed East to The Bruery.  We’re lucky enough to get some of their beers in North Carolina, but there’s plenty that don’t make it this far, or even past their tasting room, so we opted for flights & a generous take home of bottles.

the bruery flight - life with the lushers

Next, we made our way out of LA to check out some breweries just outside of San Diego.  We pulled up at Lost Abbey & were happily surprised to discover that it is the same brewing facility & tasting room as Port Brewing.  With a taco stand outside & plenty of interesting people watching inside, it was an easy place to spend the rest of the afternoon.

lost abbey / port - life with the lushers

This had quickly escalated into #beercation.

lost abbey - life with the lushers

We had already put in a full day, according to East Coast time, but still met up with friends for dinner at Stone Brewery.  We had a great time catching up over drinks, Ruination IPA cheddar soup & duck tacos.  The bistro & gardens at the brewery are absolutely stunning, but every time we’ve visited it’s been on the tail end of a long travel day, so we just don’t have the pictures to prove it.  Guess you’ll have to visit for yourself 🙂

Do you have a great travel story to share?  If you do, join us for Instagram Travel Thursday.  Otherwise, you can live vicariously through other’s great trips by visiting Hines-Sight Blog & other #IGTravelThursday participants in the linky.

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4 Responses to we didn’t choose vacation, vacation chose us…kinda?

  1. I love this story! Definitely puts a spin on choosing the next travel destination. And I have to say, cold winter seems VERY far away here now that we have landed in New Zealand… 🙂

  2. LeAndra says:

    Your best new restaurant vacations are a great idea, even if they started as a happy coincidence. I am also rather jealous of the beercations. Sounds fun!

  3. Ok, I want to travel with you sometime 🙂 I love how you do culinary travels!!!

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