La Jolla, California

I woke up early the next morning to howling outside my door. I shot up in bed, thinking something was wrong with Lupin (when he’s in bed, he’s lazier than me). It took me a minute to realize where I was and who was howling.

Let me introduce you to Lupin’s cousin, Luna.

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A sharp as a tack, golden puppy. She and I became fast friends and she would howl at my bedroom door in the morning when she wanted me to get up and play with her.

Who could possibly say no to this face?

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Besides, this is why coffee was invented, right?

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A few rounds of ball later, we dragged her with us on a quick second (third) cup of coffee run.

She was obviously thrilled.

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Caffeine jitters kicking in and with a quick kiss on the nose . . .

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We left Luna to protect the house from squirrels while we jumped in the car and drove to La Jolla, a town in San Diego located right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

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My Aunt insisted La Valencia is the place to go in La Jolla and, as always, she was spot on.

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Chandeliers draped in feathers and jewels, large flower arrangements, colorful Christmas trees and balloons anxiously awaiting to drop on guests’ heads for the new year.

La Valencia is the absolute place to go for a luxuriously indulgent good time.

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The painting . . . I mean window (can you believe that!) isn’t half bad either.

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Fifty shades of blue

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If you love  good wander, La Jolla is the spot for you. There is absolutely no shortage of people watching and little shops to pop in and out of.

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If people watching isn’t your thing, you can pop through the shops and count the infinite number of hues of blues that stretch far beyond the horizon.

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For lunch, we headed down to Acquavite.

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Italian food is my absolute favorite. There’s something just magical about sitting down with a big glass of wine, good friends and plate after plate of rich, flavorful food.

So know how serious I am when I say the meal at Acquavite has to be one of the best Italian meals I’ve had this side of the Atlantic. I honestly believe you won’t go wrong, no matter what you order.

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The view isn’t half bad either.

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As twinkle lights began to replace the sun, we rushed to the car and sped along the coast back to Laguna to meet an old college friend for a glass of wine.

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As we drove around the day I arrived in California, my Aunt said to me “you know Caitlin, the sky is just different here. I don’t know why, it’s just different and I love it” as we drove home that night with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, I couldn’t help but think she’s right.

The sky is different in California.

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