Friday, December 27, 2019

Day Trip to La Jolla, California....Featuring Sugar & Scribe Bakery Brunch and the Iconic La Jolla Sea Lions #WGTravel #lajolla #california #sealions #sugarandscribe

Earlier this year, we took a quick trip to Southern California to see Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. While there, we rented a car and drove south to La Jolla...where we spent a wonderful day enjoying brunch and hanging out with the iconic La Jolla sea lions! If you're not familiar with La Jolla, it's located about 30 minutes north of San Diego...and it's name translates to "the jewel." It's a truly beautiful place that we enjoyed so much during our 2017 visit to San Diego. We enjoyed it so much that we scheduled in a day-long return in 2019! La Jolla features gorgeous views of the Pacific, amazing restaurants, and several upscale resorts and hotels. Our 2019 La Jolla Day Trip featured two parts: brunch at the award-winning Sugar and Scribe Bakery & Fine Food...then a visit to the sea lions.

Sugar and Scribe Bakery is very popular with both La Jolla residents and make sure to come early to beat the crowds. Better yet...make a reservation! Chef Maeve is Sugar and Scribe's owner and executive chef...and you might just recognize her if you're a regular Food Network viewer! She's a past winner of their annual Holiday Baking Championship...and she's appeared on Beat Bobby Flay and Kids Baking Championship. During our visit to Sugar and Scribe, she was a welcoming and attentive host...despite being super busy in the kitchen and greeting customers in the dining room. The dining room is cozy and welcoming, decorated in soothing tones.
Our visit to Sugar and Scribe started with mugs of their signature S&S Hot Chocolate while we looked over their All Day Breakfast and Lunch menu. This decadent cocoa  features a mug of richly creamy hot chocolate topped with a torched housemade marshmallow, freshly whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Talk about was the perfect way to kick off our brunch! We sipped slowly to savor every drop!
We opted to select two savory entrees...and share a third sweet entree. That was actually an excellent strategy -- sort of like sharing dessert after dinner! For our savory items, we picked a classic Quiche Lorraine and the Cali Benedict. The quiche was perfectly portioned and served inside a round of flaky crust...with plenty of cheese and ham in a creamy egg custard. The quiche was paired with a simple green salad for a quintessential brunch duo.
The Cali Benedict was a spin on traditional eggs Benedict that featured avocado, red onion, arugula, Hollandaise sauce, and a perfectly poached egg stacked on a toasted English muffin. When we cut into the Benedict, we couldn't wait to take a bite! This meatless entree was so good...not overly rich, but definitely a little decadent. 

For our shared sweet entree, we opted for the gorgeous Nutella Nuts French Toast. This over-the-top dish featured cinnamon brioche French toast, strawberries AND strawberry compote, Nutella (!!), vanilla bean whipped cream, toasted almonds, and tiny edible candies. So much goodness in every bite!! This dish is quite rich...making it perfect for sharing. 

With that, our brunch was over...but Chef Maeve had a few other treats for us to try from the bakery side of Sugar and Scribe! She sent a trio of mini desserts from the bakery for us to share. All three were decorated so beautifully...and were so colorful...that we almost didn't feel it was right to eat them. Fortunately? That sentiment quickly passed! We enjoyed the berry tart, pecan pie tart, and a mini eclair. We loved sharing these two-bite treats -- the perfect sweet ending to our Sugar and Scribe visit. The pastries were expertly made and hand decorated...Chef Maeve and her team are definitely baking wizards! 
Sugar and Scribe also makes it super easy to take treats home to family and friends. The bakery area has a number of cookies and bars that are individually wrapped and labeled. We purchased a couple of cookies to snack on in our room that well as a few cookies to bring to friends back home. The treats traveled back with us to Texas in perfect shape for gift giving. With that, our visit to Sugar and Scribe was officially over. It was time for us to head over to the beach to see the sea lions!

La Jolla is known for its large population of sea lions and seals. They're mostly located at La Jolla Cove and the Children's Pool at Casa Beach areas. Keep in mind that La Jolla Cove is open year round...but the Children's Pool area is closed every year from December 15th thru May 15th (during the pup season). On our first visit, we observed the sea lions from a pier at La Jolla Cove. This year, we found our way to the Children's Pool...which unexpectedly gave us a chance to actually interact with a few sea lions! To be literally inches away from a sea lion was definitely a thrill of a lifetime! Michael shot a bit of video of the encounter...but we made sure not to touch or otherwise disturb him as he he rested on the sea wall. It's vital that all visitors respect the sea lions and their habitat!

It was rainy, breezy, and quite chilly on the beach the day we visited. That meant many of the sea lions had left the water to relax and play on the rocks and sand -- which made for some AMAZING photos! We even saw a couple of young sea lion pups walking on the sand near their watchful parents.
As this video nicely shows, our visit to see the sea lions was quite noisy! Between the gusty wind, the crashing waves, the seagulls...and the sea lions? Nature was putting on quite a symphony in La Jolla that afternoon:

In addition to the hundreds of sea lions and seals that spend their days in La Jolla...the beach views of the Pacific in the town are totally gorgeous! Even on a grey, windy day like the one we visited? It was still breathtaking to look into the ocean...while wearing a windbreaker, of course!

Before we knew it, it was late afternoon...time to hop back in our rental and drive back north to our SoCal home base. I can't recommend a visit to La Jolla highly enough! Whether you visit for a day trip...or get a hotel and stay for a day or's a magical place to relax and get in touch with nature. I can't guarantee you'll find yourself nose-to-nose with a sleeping sea lion...but you will definitely find amazing food, gorgeous sunsets...and playful sea lion and seal antics.

Disclosure: Sugar and Scribe hosted us for a brunch and a baked goods tasting to facilitate this feature. All opinions stated are solely my own.

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