#30before30 – Lovin Cali

I may not have made it clear in my last #30before30 blog post, but the reason that I was in San Diego, California in the first place was to attend and speak at a conference. As most of you know, I run my own Canadian immigration law firm and my firm has a heavy social media presence. As a result of all of my online efforts a lawyer’s association in California asked me to come speak at their semi-annual event. Since I had never been to California and saw this as a tremendous networking opportunity, I had to say yes. With everything that has been going on with my #30before30 challenge and all of the other craziness in my life, I have to admit, it was hard to find time to prepare. However, I put together a powerpoint presentation and made some notes and decided to give it my best shot.

I had already been in San Diego, CA for a couple of days before the conference actually started, since it was such a far trip but I still felt like I had more to see before I went home, so we went out to do a little more exploring around San Diego. The morning of the conference we decided to do some shopping at a gorgeous outdoor mall. This mall had some nice stores but the real beauty of the place is that it is all outdoors and yet doesn’t feel like some cheesy strip mall. Even the escalators were outdoors and uncovered, does it never rain or storm in southern California?? However, the highlight of the entire mall was the restaurant where we ate lunch. One of my favorite restaurants in the world is Miami Juice (in Miami for those who don’t know) and this restaurant called True Food was a glammed up version of Miami Juice and four times the size. We first ordered some fresh smoothies/drinks, a Bright Eyes (with carrot and ginger) and a Dr. Presription (with a new berry I had never heard of), delish! Then we split a kale salad with beets, radish and carrots, followed by a caramelized onion and fig tart and spring rolls with shrimp and spicy cashew sauce, this lunch may have been one of my favorite meals on the whole trip. I really hope they expand the chain and if they don’t come to Canada, at least I hope they will open in Florida so I can enjoy it again!

After lunch we went to Old Town, San Diego, the place was a kitschy replica village of old San Diego and it reminded me of those horrible class trips to Lower Canada Village or the Fur Trade Museum where people dress up in costume and try to make you feel like you are living through those times, it was not for us.

The conference went as well as I could have imagined for the most part. Presenting at a conference was on my #30before30 list because I have been to a couple and always thought how smart and put together the presenters always seem and I knew that one day I would want to be just like them. I was the second to last speaker of the day, so I did not get to speak for the full time I was allotted but the real magic happened afterwards where lawyers came to me and told me how much how much they had enjoyed my presentation and how they would refer their clients to me, fantastic! There were also some suppliers at the event and I got a really hilarious t-shirt and handcuff keychains from the bail bondsmen, check out the t-shirt below, they reminded me of Dog the Bounty Hunter, hilarious! I met some really nice and really interesting people at the conference and I will soon have some big news to share as a result of my trip, so stay tuned!

To celebrate we had pink champagne and amazing dinner at a place called Flavor in Del Mar, dinner was amazing. My dad had crispy spicy shrimp and I had lobster tempura to start. Then he had seared Ahi Tuna and I had Ahi taco, amazing! This place was really cool, with the bread and butter they offered 4 different flavored salts: rosemary, sriracha, mustard and miso. I now need to detox after all the amazing food I had in San Diego but that’s another story. I really have to thank my father for coming with me and being such an amazing travel buddy, I had a great time with him.

Now, this won’t seem very impressive to everyone, but those who know me know that it is impossible for me to travel light. I am happy to report that for this four day trip, I packed entirely in carryon luggage and I have the picture to prove it. Another #30before30 challenge, learning to pack entirely in carryon luggage!

Here are some pictures from the second half of the trip!