When we went to California for a little side trip in the summer of 2019, Cas had business to do in Orange County for a few days across two weeks. We decided to hit up his old stomping grounds and venture to Carlsbad for the weekend in between. He was excited to be back to a place he loves and to give me even more insight into him, his life, and a place he loves. 

We stayed at the beachfront Hilton Garden Inn in Carlsbad. The beachfront location can’t be beat. We walked across the street and down the embankment and had toes-in-water in less than 10 minutes from leaving our room. We were not too wild about the breakfast service, frankly. They seemed surprised by the number of people who came for breakfast, were slow to serve us, slow to bus tables, and forgot silverware. Plus, they were snooty about it! If they were apologetic, I think I wouldn’t mind, but they made us feel like we were a problem. Oh well. We also were a bit turned off by the state of the pool. It had some sort of plastic threads throughout and had lots of sand in it. I am sure that keeping a pool across the street from the beach clean is a challenge. But. Come on. So, as far as Hiltons go…this one gets…a 4. Just a smidge below average. 

No matter what, it did offer a great jumping off point for all that we wanted to do in the area!

After a lovely day on the beach, we hit up the Paon Wine Bar and Restaurant in Carlsbad. If you want to see great customer service, go to Paon. Cas readily admits that he was a regular at Paon, but that was a full five years ago. Nevertheless, the waiter remembered him AND his order! Down to the sparking water preference and how he likes his scallops. The owner even stopped by our table to welcome Cas back! We always love the feeling of being a regular somewhere, that is for sure. Cas had “the usual”–scallops. I enjoyed the pheasant. All in all it was delectable. We enjoyed the outdoor patio seating in the always-perfect-Southern-California weather. Cas enjoyed being back in his old stomping grounds that we even went back another night for a lighter meal–just a cheese board–in the wine bar. Equally as good!

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