The Dining Room at Jack’s

The Dining Room at Jack’s

Most people don’t ordinarily think of a shopping arcade as a location for a gourmet dinner. And yet, one of the better gourmet meals I have enjoyed in California was at The Dining Room at Jack’s in a shopping arcade in tony La Jolla. Once inside, I forgot I was in a mall and focused on the menu, modern décor, and lively ambiance with subdued light. Although there was a constant flow of happy hour guests at the bar adjacent to the dining area where I was seated, the noise level was loud enough to be interesting without being bothersome.

Azul La Jolla

Azul La Jolla

Azul offered fine dining with a magnificent ocean view. Because I arrived extra early I was able to take my pick of seats next to the floor to ceiling windows that draw the eyes of everyone in the dining room. I chose a front row seat to the Pacific Ocean. From there I could see the dark ocean waters and the beautiful landscapes of the La Jolla Cove to the south and La Jolla Shores to the north. Although the sun had been brilliant a few hours earlier, by the time I arrived at Azul mounds of clouds had rolled in and the colors were gray and muted. Even so the vista was inspiring.

Beach Blanket Babylon®

Beach Blanket Babylon®

Billed as “the nation’s longest running musical revue,” Beach Blanket Babylon®, an irreverent musical centered on Snow White looking for her prince (around the world) spoof, was the perfect entertainment for our jetlagged souls. All day travel and a three-hour time disconnect made us tired and sluggish; the Beach Blanket Babylon performance jazzed us up. We walked out smiling and ready for the scrumptious dinner we had planned.

1801 First

1801 First

This lovely bed & breakfast in a renovated historic home near downtown Napa offered many of the advantages of a B & B home and those of a larger property with luxury amenities. We enjoyed activity filled days, gourmet bites, early morning pampering (massage and in-room breakfast), excellent recommendations and assistance with sightseeing opportunities and fine dining. We were fortunate to find marvelous sunny and cool weather during our spring stay. At that time, the temperature at 1801 was comfortable without air conditioning and required mild heat (we only turned the fire place on briefly) in the evenings.