Weekend in Escondido and Oceanside

Weddings are always a fun excuse to head out of town. I’ve seen advertisements for Welk Resorts in the past and have been curious to check one out. We stayed at our first one in Escondido on Saturday. A dear friend, who I’ve known since Junior High School, was getting married at Ethereal Open Air Resort. I had looked forward to getting the old crew together again, which is getting more rare as their families grow and careers have taken some out of the state.

The Welk Resort is a time share whose members looked to be original owners from when it was built. It was easy to spot other wedding attendees because we were younger by about 30 years. We took the hotel by Hurricane (which also happens to be the bride’s nickname). Since check-in wasn’t until 4 p.m. (the same time we were supposed to take the shuttle bus to the venue for the 4:30 wedding start), wedding guests were hanging at the pools waiting for the early check-in text that our room was ready.


Props to Copa, who has found a fun, new way to serve wine poolside. The fancy, plastic container had a freshness seal that reminded me of a single-serve apple sauce. It’s a smart way to minimize waste, too.

The Ethereal Open Air Resort, which was the wedding venue, was a-m-a-z-i-n-g-l-y beautiful. The expansive property is laid out perfectly for entertaining. The ceremony was held in a barn decorated in shabby-chic chandeliers and lanterns with hanging crystals and terrariums. Outdoors, strand lights hung over the astro-turf grass, which is a smart move for women in heels. The trees were strung with white lights adding to the romantic, soft ambiance.

The reception hall, located a little farther down the hillside on the estate, held the bar and dance floor, while guests dining area was adjacent on the astro-turf grass with more strand lights.

Wedding Place Setting
Beautiful, rustic place settings.

Next to the dining area was a large white tented area that housed a mix of high top tables, plush chairs and sofas, which was fun for guests to get off their feet and mingle.

Photo Credit Zack Krater
Monet & Casey Grzecka. Photo credit: Zack Krater

The bathrooms had powder rooms adorably decorated. Feminine for the women’s (lace, pearls, fluffy fur rugs, and a giant plush bed swing in the corner) and masculine for the men’s (car engines, foosball table and a bar).

Photo Credit Lisa Krater
“The boys” infiltrating the women’s powder room and having a swing of a good time. Photo credit: Lisa Krater

As the sun set, a group of us took advantage of a lull in the festivities to take some photos together. I’ve know these women forever and love them to pieces.

Friends for Life
Lisa, Christina, Elicia and Me

Leanne, the bride, looked stunningly radiant and we couldn’t help but celebrate how good love looks on this woman!

Photo Credit Tyson Neal
Obligatory selfie. Photo credit: Tyson Neal.

We danced, we laughed, we took selfies, we cried with happiness and added more memories to the friendship file.

Photo Credit Eddie Fisher
Friends for life. Photo credit: Eddie Fisher

The night ended too soon at midnight as we bussed back to the hotel still laughing and happily exhausted.

With check-out at 10 a.m., Jeff and I decided to have breakfast in Oceanside. I have been to Oceanside only once in my life back in high school, though had never been to the harbor. We set that as our destination and were not disappointed.

It was a beautiful day!

Oceanside Harbor
Oceanside Harbor

We opted for the Lighthouse Oyster Bar & Grill for their Sunday Brunch. I ate a delicious filet mignon Benedict and Jeff enjoyed their pork chop and eggs out on the patio overlooking the boats and kayakers.

Lighthouse Breakfast
Breakfast at the Lighthouse overlooking Oceanside Harbor.

It was a wonderful and relaxing weekend full of love, friendship, laughter and joy. Wishing Leanne and Travis a lifetime of experiencing exactly what they were surrounded by on their wedding night!

I can honestly and completely say that I have a blessed life that I am so grateful for.

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