HOLY CRAP - it's been seven years since I made this humongous trek to California from Philadelphia. I can't believe I've been in the same area for almost a decade. It's crazy to think about. I remember when I first came out to California - I visited San Diego and La Jolla. It was breathtaking and felt so welcoming/fit for me. I remember thinking how I could never live there because of the cost and nearly a laundry list of other reasons why it would be so impossible. Here I sit, though, packing up my home in Oceanside getting ready to start this super thrilling chapter in Jules' Chronicles. I have moved almost twenty something times, I think, in these seven years. That's ridiculous - I know! I have learned so much in these seven years. I think a new form of me is beginning with this move. I was a little high school girl when I originally moved here. I wanted to share some lessons that hopefully can help you out! The second half of this will be a lil guidebook for where to go in North County if you're ever here - cause there are tons of spots I am going to miss immensely.
TWO STRIKE RULE
Not only have I had little to no close friends throughout my life - but I really used to put so much energy into shitty people who literally could care less if I am in their life or not. Sure, the times we had were fun when I was "so lucky" enough to be included in an outing or party - but the bad outweighed the good. For such a long time - I would always make excuses to keep people in my life. Honestly my health really is the wake up call I got to change those ways. The tiniest amount of stress leaves me in the restroom for hours and in physical pain. I had to change my nice ways and mend getting walked all over from all angles in friendships. I now have a two strike rule. It takes A LOT to truly, madly, deeply upset me. It really does - I'm easy going AF. So, if you strike out once - I will have an adult conversation with you about it and let you know that I won't stand to be treated in, "___" manner again. If it happens again, BYE. It's hard, it really is. But - unfortunately - if someone really wants to be in my life, there shouldn't be drama????? I think it's a good rule to live by! The good friends who are still by my side (Should out to some of my Philly girls who are going on over a decade in my life) - we have had zero drama in that time. That's how it needs to be. If you really love and respect another human - you won't treat them like poop. I don't treat almost anyone like poo - good friends or not - so it's NOT hard to just be respectful if anything.
DESK JOBS ARE NOT FOR ME
I have had to provide for myself and work for a majority of the 25 years I've been here. I can work and excel at ANY job you throw at me - I have proven that. My life is finally settling down and I have discovered what I'm worth. My past few jobs - I have worked my way up at steroid speed and maxed out within a year. I got so bored so easily and had zero passion for the actual industry I was in - whatever job it was I was doing. I'd get overwhelmingly annoyed and bored at these jobs - knowing I was meant for something else (obviously kenNERDdy and Perfect Humans! But they are not paying me to live yet!). For me, I'm lucky enough to have met someone that offered me the opportunity of a LIFETIME. I'm managing a tattoo shop and I have never felt more confident, secure and happy with a "job". It's not even a job to me - and I could not have said that about any other career I've held without an, "except...", "but...." etc. I can't believe how following my gut over the past couple of years has helped me. The reason a lot of previous jobs didn't work out is because I'd be a Manager but I'd be making almost minimum wage. It was crazy and at a certain point I would use my "two strike rule" at work. I'd give a company a chance and if they didn't seem to want to keep me and my awesome self around - BYE. (Within reason - I have always had something lined up before putting in a notice!) But yeah - KNOW your self worth, please! You deserve to get paid for your abilities and I promise, eventually, someone will SEE that! It took me almost thirty jobs - and I still have my dreams of blogging full time - but still. There is always a job out there you can take, even temporarily, until you figure a plan out. It wasn't easy for me at all - but I am just saying if it can happen for me it honestly an happen for anyone.
DO NOT SETTLE IN RELATIONSHIPS
If you're like me - you may have been in extremely abusive relationships. You can't help but compare your current relationship to the past. "Oh, they haven't cheated __ amount of times so it's not that bad." "Oh, they aren't calling me ____ so it's okay." You get the idea. If you ever have that thought - GET OUT. If you ever are comparing your current relationship to a previous one to justify any type of action - it's probably on the spectrum of abuse. Unfortunately for those who have been on the absolute worse side of that spectrum - it's so easy to accept lighter forms of it but ultimately it will make you ten times more miserable. I learned it the hard way and it sucks. Do not let that be you! DON'T BE ME! You don't want that - just don't settle, please. If your partner, in any way, is giving you reminders of your ex - there's a PROBLEM. No, it may not be dangerous or as bad as before - but is that the life you want? I will answer that for you - IT'S NOT!
NORTH COUNTY LOOK BOOK
Now - to commemorate all of my usual spots being the creature of habit I am! If you're looking for new things to try or are new to the area - reference this for what to check out! There's bound to be one or two things you haven't done.
R E S T A U R A N T S / B A R S
The Flying Pig was a hole in the wall in Oceanside and recently expanded to Vista with a larger location. Both restaurants are cozy, inviting and you really can't go wrong with ordering anything on the menu! I will miss their organic salad and mac n cheese the most paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Pier View Pub
If you want a good taste of what O'siders' punks are - go here! The music is always different as far as who you see performing and you normally will have some sort of memorable night - even if that's a junkie throwing a needle at you.
Ugh. This Thai food is very delicious and SUPER inexpensive. The service is always so friendly and genuine. I don't know how I will find a replacement for you down in San Diego.
Oh, Yellow Deli. The food and atmosphere here are amazing. I always get a veggie sandwich and it's always as good as the last. If you want to truly look into what a cult feels like - please go here and pay attention to your wait staff! They come off a bit creepy at times but the scenery here and delicious foods make up for it - I think.
In all of Oceanside / North County - BEST PLACE FOR AN OLD FASHIONED. I get it every time and no matter what bar tender is working - it's always tasty. There are wonderful live shows here too and the outdoor area is intimate if you're having a date night.
Why is the place on my list after I got food poisoning here from the milkshake? CAUSE THE GREEK SALAD IS EVERYTHING. The only thing I can really positively say about this place is their veggies are always fresh every time I pop in. I really can't recommend much else cause I've heard bad things! They are under new management - so I'm assuming they are undergoing lots of changes but I highly recommend that Greek salad anytime.
This is one of the hardest restaurants to say bye to! It's on my top favorite restaurants of all time. If you want to get dressed up and eat elegant Italian food for a fair price - this is your place! I always get the Caprese salad with either a glass of wine or a Lemon Drop martini. The service is outstanding each and every time - and the ambiance is romance in its truest form.
This place can get packed - and I hate those nights. On its quieter evenings - I love it here! The drinks are always new and innovative along with the food. It's a hip little bar that, with the right crowd, makes a terrific night cap.
My all time favorite bar in all of North County. The drinks and food are A+++++. There is always a different kind of band playing - so sometimes you will get some war veteran half singing a song he thought he knew but sometimes you'll discover an amazing band that you didn't know you needed in your life. This is where I came across The Bastard Sons of Ned Giblin - remember my first interview with front man Justin Helland? This is where I met him! I also saw Western Settings, I think, for the first time here. This place just reminds me of friends - even if we don't talk anymore.
The pineapple curry here is my FAVE FAVE FAVE. I have only recently came in contact with pineapples and I'm obsessed. This is a tad pricier than Thai Garden, but if you're looking for a nicer sit down place over getting take out - make that splurge here!
I may tear up writing about Northern Spirits. Years ago when I first tried Thai food - it was here. I have no complaints about this place. They have live jazz performances each week - which is pretty damn classy and makes you feel like you aren't in the low class of society for a night. The food.....if you like spicy.....PLEASE GO HERE. They don't just give you a ten, they give you a 20+. The drinks are very pretty - as most are adorned with fresh flowers. I will miss this place dearly - as it's my other fave restaurant along with Vigilucci's.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have Sprouts and Whole Foods. But FF is better! The veggie sammich here makes my mouth water up just thinking about now. The prices are ridiculously cheap considering it's all organic / fresh stuff in this store and the service is always outstanding. I hope I can find a nice lil grocery story like this down in SD!
M U S E U M S / T H E A T E R
I mean, what more is there to say other then go here if you're feeling artsy fartsy!
I feel like a lot of people overlook stopping by here. If you're spending the afternoon in Oceanside - put some time aside to pop in! It's cute and informative!
Okay, so this place sounds lame, I get it. It's quite the opposite though! You see super neat stuff at this museum and a lot of friends who have lived here their whole life never heard of this place - so take an afternoon to walk around.
THIS. Okay. You get to literally play instruments and make your own art - in a sense! You will not regret or be bored for a second if you go here. Of all the museums I'm listing - THIS IS A MUST even if you aren't a "museum" person (Whatever that means)
This goes with the "lame" category you may have put the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in - but again - it's far from lame! Who doesn't like mini things? You like miniature ponies right? This isn't the same thing but you get the idea!
I have seen several productions here and not one has ever been a let down. The building itself is old fashioned broadway - who can't appreciate that? It's inexpensive to check out a show AND you're helping support your local theater!
S I G H TS E E I N G / O U T D O O R S
This is further South and I'm not sure if it qualifies for North County - but oh well there are no rules! This is a FREE activity! These gardens are lush and beautiful. It's awesome to just come here alone or bring your partner - it is relaxing and sometimes can help clear your mind if you're going through a shit time.
On the same note as above - this is gorgeous, gorgeous, GAWGEOUS. The fun-ner part about the Botanical Gardens is that during Christmas - this place has fake snow and loads of blinding Christmas lights. I may visit in December just to see it decked out for the holidays!
I have spent A LOT of my time in California at the harbor! It's quaint and has amazing shops but that's not all you can do here - you can stroll on the beach, bring your dog or even go on an adventure like kayaking, boating, or jet skiing! I went drunk kayaking here before (DON'T RECOMMEND / HIGHLY RECOMMEND AT THE SAME TIME) - and it's one of my favorite memories. I came within maybe two feet of a seal and saw dolphins and whales - for free! (unless you have to rent your kayaks - still relatively inexpensive though!)
If you're looking for a relaxing spot to walk or run - this is it! I don't have much more to say than just that.
Along with the Harbor, I have been to the Pier dozens of times. There's always something different happening - from live performances to merchants selling neat things to even just checking out the ocean. Walking on the pier you can even see dolphins usually! Ruby's is at the end of the pier so it's always cute to get yourself some fries and a shake after that long walk!
This is a beach that's clean and not too crowded - as I feel like people don't know about it? I remember filling up my Gatorade bottle with vodka and swimming in the ocean for hours (DON'T RECOMMEND / HIGH RECOMMEND AT THE SAME TIME) It's not too touristy and even just laying out or walking where the ocean meets the sand is fun in itself.
If you like to fish or have always wanted to try it out - this is your spot! I've gone fishing maybe five times here - and each time got better then the last! I actually caught some fishies while enjoying some drinks and flat out relaxing to some good tunes. It is not overrated to go fishing!
S H O P P I N G
Okay so I worked here for over two years and HATED it at the time. Westfield is now under construction and becoming a damn good mall! There's a freaking DAVE AND BUSTER'S, MOVIE THEATER AND GYM HERE NOW! I like the direction they're going and am happy they are finally modernizing this outdated mall. If you haven't been to D&B - it's a place where you get drunk, eat Chili's-like food, and play games for hours. You win tickets for games won and then can pick out prizes -- it's the Chuck E Cheeses of your dreams - if you have mediocre dreams like that. I know I do.
Describing everything I love in downtown Oceanside would take way too long and you're probably already tired of reading this long post so I'll lump it all together. From the art, to the stores, to the Regal movie theater, to the beach and all of the pubs/awesome brunch spots in between - I love Downtown Oceanside! You will have a ball if you come here without a game plan and just aimlessly walk around.
I would assume San Diego has Farmer's markets - but on the off chance there are none close to my home - these are super cute! You can buy cheap, local produce and even art! If you don't have money to spend - it's an experience in itself just adventuring around.
PERFECT HUMANS' NEWS OF THE WEEK
You know my fave band outside of Red Hot Chili Peppers collabed with us to help with their Go Fund Me project to help fix their tour van. None other than Caskitt- DUH! This cute Van-daid pin is finally in! They will be up for grabs if there are extras after all of the contributors for this receive theirs :) If you need pins made or know someone who does - please hit me up! We also are looking to do more collabs so tell me who you want to see us work with!
INK OF THE WEEK
I got the outline of a piece I've wanted since I was a teen. It represents a lot and has a whole corny story behind it - so I will spare you that until the color is complete in two weeks! Courtesy of Mel from The Hideaway - obviously!
PURCHASE OF THE WEEK
Normally I would not post something I bought before receiving it in person - but I can't help myself! One of my favorite artists / creators / people in general is ALB - and she recently launched this magnificently cute tote bag (pictured on the right). Her "just girly things" bag is something I have been eyeing for TOO long - so I couldn't resist. I can't wait to receive these items - they are PERFECT for my new job and new chapter in my life!