An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

What part of GROWL does she not understand?

Coco very much wants Chuck’s bone, and Chuck very much does not want her to have it. Keep in mind that we can count on one hand the number of times Chuck has barked in his lifetime.

Also, Jon and I just got a wild hair and decided that we desperately need a break from the snow and the freezing temperatures, so Monday morning we’re throwing Leta and the two puppies in the back seat and heading to San Diego. I visited San Diego a couple of times when I lived in Los Angeles, but only for a few hours each time, so I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what we should do and see and eat while we’re down there for the week. We will certainly be taking everyone to the dog friendly beaches, and hopefully I can convince Leta that it would be awesome to visit the zoo even though it will be filled with animals who will most likely want to look at her. Also, does anyone know if they have hippos at the San Diego Zoo? Because that would be like Christmas in January.

  • Terri

    You’re welcome to come to my house. We’re in Oceanside, CA. About an hour north of San Diego. I’m not sure if they have hippos at the zoo but I have a certain pair of stretch pants that if I put them on and turn in a specific direction you’d never know the difference!

  • Kim
  • Anonymous

    Showing my husband all the video and pictures you post of Coco has him ALMOST convinced that we should get another dog, so please keep posting them 🙂 Also, I’m jealous that you get to go to a warm place that easily, I’m stuck in the Northeast which pretty much requires a plane ride or a REALLY long drive to get anywhere warm.

    It’s been quite a few years since I was at the San Diego Zoo but I do think I remember seeing hippos there, so enjoy!

  • Christina

    If you’re looking for some damn good sushi, they just opened a Nobu in the Hard Rock in downtown San Diego, and it is FABULOUS. Best sushi I’ve ever had in my life.

  • Er, just make sure you keep everybody well away from the tiger exhibit, eh?

  • Genny

    That’s hilarious! I guess now you will have to count Chuck’s barks on two hands.

    BTW – I just wanted to say thanks for your blog. I get a ton of enjoyment reading it every day. Keep up the great work and have fun in San Diego!

  • Can you swing by Iowa and throw my kids in your backseat too?


  • PS We have six bedrooms, five baths, three car garage, two kids, so if you want a zoo without driving all the way to San Diego, stop by the 5 and the 76 and we’re right around the corner. We can Dog sit too.

  • Hehe, I love the way they’re both kinda giving you sideways glances like ‘are you gonna do something here? help me out!’

  • elspeth

    i dunno about hippos, but they do have an adorable new baby panda.

  • Melanie

    I have to stop and think before I watch your videos any more… my chocolate lab went APE downstairs while listening to Chuck. She’s certain that we are hiding dogs and bacon upstairs, where she’s too scared to go…..

    Last night she taught us a lesson and got down a whole bottle of bacon salt (best stuff EVAH!) and ate it.

  • Jen W.

    Aww…Chuck has a girly bark! 🙂

  • AJ

    I can attest to the presence of hippos at the San Diego Zoo.

  • Go eat at Croce’s (as in Jim Croce’s. . .) Fabulous.

  • Bess

    Oh, I’m so excited you are coming to San Diego! You will LOVE it here! The weather right now is perfection. I hear there might be a storm coming in on Monday, so hopefully the weather people are wrong. For some reason, they usually are!
    The zoo has really cute pygmy hippos. They swim right up the glass and turn and do flips in the water. So cute! I could sit and look at them for hours (as long as they aren’t sleeping!)
    The Wild Animal Park is really fun too! You ride on a train and see animals in natural habitats. They also let you feed giraffes.
    I always think it’s nice to bring visitors to the Hotel Del Coronado and walk around there. The beach is really nice there too. I also like to take people to La Jolla Cove to walk around by the ocean.
    You can’t beat Hillcrest for good restaurants!
    Welcome to our wonderful city from a former resident of Bartlett, TN!

  • Brandy

    I think I had the same conversation with my little sister when she was 6 and I was 13 every time she went near my stuff.

  • Anonymous

    In Ocean Beach:
    Eat breakfast on the pier at the pancake stand
    Rocking El Gigante Burritos at Rodeo (a stand)
    Great mexican at Ranchos
    Great coffee at Java Jungle (it’s a nursery too)
    Great burgers at Ho-Dads
    Great live music at Winstons

    In town:
    Balboa Park museums/park
    Old Town

    Out of town:
    Go to the Wild Animal Park and/or Zoo. Both are gorgeous

  • Courtney

    Don’t miss “Undercover Hippo” this weekend on the Nat Geo Channel at 9PM

  • Elizabeth

    San Diego is a great place to visit with kids!

    Legoland. The Zoo – which has hippos. Sea World. Old Town. And Balboa Park – one of my favorite places to go when I was a kid. It’s an awesome park with 15 museums, a carousel, miniature railroad, street performers…

    Have fun!

  • Bess

    Oh, I just remembered to tell you that there is an awesome dog park at Balboa Park. It is right by the beautiful bridge leading into the park. It’s close to the intersection of 6th Ave and Prado.

  • Balboa Park, must go see this, and bring your cameras. I promise, you won’t be disappointed! As far as beaches, you absolutely have to cross the bridge and go to the beach just next to the Hotel Del Coronado. You will probably need to bring an extra 4GB memory card just for the damn hotel shots you’re going to take. Oh and if you’re looking for fun at night, and you can get out? Gaslamp. Look it up and trust me on this. Gaslamp District.

    You can always go to La Jolla too. Such a fun little town, and Leta can check out the baby sea lions!!! The hippo you so love? Forget her. Baby sea lions!!! are the bomb diggity.

  • the last look chuck shoots you at the end is classic.

  • Damn good drunken burritos at Cotijas. If you like that sort of thing. Which I’m hoping you do.

  • And Hippo Statute. Not quite like really hippo riding though.

  • Balboa Park kicks ass. Here is their calendar:

  • Emily

    The hippos at the San Diego zoo are some of the best I’ve seen. And I’ve seen a lot of hippos in my 24 years.

  • rob

    Confirm hippos at the zoo. Check out the wild animal park, too. No hippos, but still cool.
    Might be more Leta-friendly, as you’re a bit more removed from the animals.

    Check out George’s at the Cove for eating time:
    My wife and I go every time we’re in SD. The Terrace has a fantastic view of the La Jolla beach, especially near sunset (they’ve got those fancy outdoor heaters).

  • Alli

    Oh and yes, like someone up there just said…Croce’s. In gaslamp. So so so good, and go when there’s live music. And live martinis.

  • Oh, the zoo has hippos, and they’re wonderful. That whole frickin’ zoo is wonderful. So wonderful, that you should probably give yourselves a good three hours afterwards to take naps, because that zoo’s Awesomeness will just wear your shit right out.

  • Anonymous

    Have you seen the Gaslamp District? Tons of great photo ops there!

  • amysh

    As a fellow hippo-lover, I can say with complete certainty that there are hippos at the San Diego Zoo.

    Great places to eat that I would consider moving back to San Diego for:
    – The Linkery in North Park
    – Sushi Deli 1 in Hillcrest
    – Soltan Banoo in University Park
    – Mariposa Ice Cream in Normal Heights

    Have fun!

  • Welcome to life with two dogs. There will always be one toy/bone/rock that is the coveted item. Even when they have identical items, one will always be better than other. I just loved seeing the two of them playing in the snow the other day because my two play like that all of the time and the judgmental one dog humans at the dog park look at me like I’m a bad puppy momma who lets her dogs eat the poppy plants when really its just normal dog play.

    Enjoy San Diego and safe trip!

  • Danille

    this is an awesome website to help you find your way around a new city.

  • Anonymous

    I got nothin’ on SD, but wanted to say that not only do I enjoy when you post about the fine linguistic distinctions between your speech & Jon’s, but it really tops the cake when you put the audio up for us to get the full effect.


  • Melissa

    We stayed in some awesome cottages in La Jolla called “Redwood Hollow”. Close to the beach, very private, reasonable price–and they allow pets with notice. Private kitchen ($$ saver and a way to not have to rush the morning).

    I love La Jolla. Everything we ate and everywhere we went was wonderful.

    Soak up extra sun for the rest of us!

  • Anonymous

    three words – carne asada fries

    you’re welcome.

  • Karin

    I hope I don’t offend anyone, but I was not at all impressed with the San Diego Zoo. We went there 2 years ago and it was dirty, and all the animals were asleep. We loved La Jolla, there is a resturant called Georges’ that overlooks the ocean and has GREAT fish taco’s. There is Sea World which the kids always love, and Lego Land (I’ve never been). Most of it was pretty touristy, head NORTH and hit the beachy towns.

    I am in MN and frezing my A## off, so wish you’d bring me with too!

  • I’ll second (or is it third?) the Wild Animal Park ( recommendation.

  • Sarah

    You should stop by Croce’s. It’s a good meal and a better time.

    Also, check out the photography museum. There are about five million museums all gathered into one central location in San Diego and right across from the natural history museum is the photography museum. It’s pretty cool.

    They do have hippos at the zoo, too. Yay for hippos!

  • Audra

    There is a dog beach (where you can take the dogs off the leash and let them run) on the Pacific Coast Highway between Del Mar Heights Rd and Via De La Valle.

    If you guys have time you should check out Muttropolis on Cedros avenue 2 minutes from dog beach.

    As far as food in that general area I recommend Pizza Port, Station Sushi and Pacific Coast Grill.

    And yes the zoo has hippos.

  • Owen P

    Places to eat: Buon Appetito in Little Italy for homemeade pasta. Khyber Pass in Hillcrest has really good Afghani food; Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest has phenomenal pizza. If you’re up for a little pricier dining experience, Dobson’s near Horton Plaza is delicious. If you get a night for just the two of you, South Beach in Ocean Beach (AKA O.B.) has the best Fish Tacos in SD and a lot of good beers on tap.

    To Do: the Zoo of course, and maybe the Wild Animal Park in Escondido (although that might be too much walking for Leta). A ferry trip to Coronado Island is a nice ride on the bay. I dunno if Leta’s into Legos, but if she is, Legoland would probably be right up her alley – though if Jon’s a *true* geek, he may dig it more than she does. Browsing the shops on Pacific Highway in Del Mar is also great fun. You might want to wait on taking Leta to the track, though; she has years to get into betting on the ponies.

    The County Building on Pacific Highway downtown is also worth a visit for you, Heather. It’s got great ’30s era architecture and might very well be a good place to take some cool photos.

    Enjoy! I’m gonna say hi if I see you kickin’ around town. 🙂

  • The zoo is fun as is the Wild Animal Park. The most popular dog beach is in Ocean Beach, but I believe there is also one in Del Mar (although they are snootier and you have to pay for parking). Hillcrest is an awesome boutique kind of neighborhood – great for furniture shopping, perusing used bookstores, and trying all kinds of food – Ono Sushi is good as is Crest Cafe. Little Italy (part of downtown and the harbor area) also have a lot of local flavor and Seaport Village is a great place to while away the afternoon. They even have a carousel that Leta might enjoy. If you like really cool architecture and museums galore, check out Balboa Park. And if you like history and Mexican food, be sure to check out Old Town. Lastly, this might help point out a few highlights of some of the popular neighborhoods:

    Hope this helps… Have fun… it’s sunny and about 70 degrees today!

  • leaseuhd

    The best part of watching the video of Coco and Chuck was watching my dogs perk up and listen to your dogs fighting – they kept turning their heads and trying to figure out where the dogs were hiding in my laptop.

  • Anonymous

    I live in San Diego! It’s 74 degrees right now.

    Any of the Sushi Delis for good, cheap sushi. Better for rolls.
    Tadashi in La Jolla is a fabulous sushi place with excellent sushi. They have an all you can eat option for $25 each. Better for Nigiri style.
    There are some great Mexican places in Old Town.
    Hillcrest is filled with good restaurants as well.

    To Do:
    Definitely the zoo
    Balboa park is great for walking around, you can take the dogs, and they have a great dog park as well.
    La Jolla is fun for walking too.

  • I’ve been to the zoo twice and I can say with certainty that Yes! the zoo has hippos. And Tigers. And once, I saw a monkey with one arm and one leg…no lie. He was trying to climb a ladder too… very sad.

    La jolla is also awesome. Theres a park with a small playground, as well as large rock formations and a cove near the ocean that is really pretty. There’s also a mexican bar thats a resautrant during the day that was pretty good.

    One thing about the zoo though, it’s really big! So be prepared to walk about a million miles. But theres a gondola ride that goes from one end of the zoo to the other which I would recomend, it was neat to see an aerial view of the exibits.

    P.S. See the pandas too!

  • Museum of Contemporary Art and Cowles Mountain Trail are great. And I’ve heard kids dig Legoland.

  • Jenn

    You must eat at The Eggery. Make sure to get something that involves their potatoes and hollandaise sauce.

  • Spendthrift

    Zoo & all that, but take some time to walk around Hillcrest, go to Babette Schwartz for gifts that will shock your family. Eat at Kemo Sabe for that ‘ooh, ooh, look, I’m soooo cool’ feeling.

  • Yes, drive up to La Jolla, it is such a beautiful beach, with lots of wind carved sandstone cliffs, and there is a little cove where all the harbor seals beach themselves and just hang out. It is unreal, and a must-see (though they might look at Leta).

  • Anonymous

    There is quite a bit of walking at the zoo, so be prepared. We took a bus tour and it was great. I think you might be able to buy a bus pass that takes you from stop to stop and you can get out and walk around.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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