Monthly Archives: June 2015

Brigantine Seafood Restaurant Review

Brigantine Seafood Restaurant Review

Brigantine's Del Mar

Brigantine Seafood Restaurant Review

by Joy

Thank you Brigantine’s for the amazing lunch today. Locals and visitors to San Diego – do yourself a favor, and if you are looking for the Best Fresh Fish Taco and Best Oyster Bar – I have found a great local spot for you. It’s not only about fresh, perfectly prepared food. It’s about everything that makes you want to come back – the family atmosphere, the superior customer service, the reasonable prices, and the chefs who take pride in what they prepare. Relaxing in the outdoor Oyster Bar seating and watching the ocean view, fairgrounds activity, or Del Mar race tracks is just an added bonus. 

Today our family reviewed Brigantine’s Del Mar. The Grilled Oysters from the Oyster Bar were fantastic as usual and the kids ate every last drop of the flavorful Clam Chowder. My husband loved the always delicious Brig’s Fish Tacos which are as consistently prepared to perfection as the San Diego weather shines. If I had to vote today on my favorite San Diego fish taco, the Brig’s Fish Taco is in my top 3. They are fresh, bursting with flavor, and use real food ingredients prepared to perfection. When it’s done right – it’s right. You can feel great about ordering the same thing every time, the waiters won’t mind. In fact, they will treat you like family.

For Joy’s Summer San Diego WOW Review, let me invite you to join us at Brigantine’s Del Mar. Here’s where it’s at:

Brigantine’s Del Mar
3263 CAMINO DEL MAR. DEL MAR, CA. 92014.

Verify Brigantine’s own  website for current hours, but as of today, these are their posted hours. Enjoy the fresh Seafood and go during the Oyster Bar.

Mon–Sat 11:00am–2:30pm

Sun–Thurs 5:00pm–9:00pm
Fri & Sat 5:00pm–9:30pm

1st Catch
Monday 5:00pm–Close
Tues–Thurs 5:00pm–6:30pm

Oyster Bar
Mon–Thurs 11:30am–11:00pm
Fri & Sat 11:30am–12:00am
Sunday 10:30am–11:00pm

Happy Hour
Monday All Night
Tues–Sun 4:00pm–6:00pm

Sunday 10:30am–2:30pm

We will definitely see you at Brigantine’s, where real food ingredients are prepared to perfection and the Seafood and Oyster Bar menu items stand alone. As for me, I will be sitting out back and enjoying the view – and my Oysters. See you there! ~ Joy

Brigantine's Del Mar via facebook

Do you have a product, restaurant, or travel adventure you would like reviewed? Contact Joy today!

 * Disclaimer: No payment was received to do this review, these are my actual experiences and opinions. Remember, when we say WOW, we tell you now- at! 


Photography Credits to: Brigantine Facebook, like and follow them today!

How to Roll forward after a Bad parenting decision

How to roll forward after a bad parenting decision

by Joy

So we’ve all made bad parenting decisions in our lives.
Some small, some big.
I made one this week.
new.ibelieveinjoy.comI was enjoying the San Diego weather when a woman approached me and invited my daughter and our whole family to a night at Skateworld.

“Skateworld?” I asked- “you mean a roller skate rink?”

“Yes. You are all invited, & it will be so fun!”

Before she could finish the sentence my brain flashed back to a 7th grade childhood party at Skateworld. I instantly saw the disco ball dancing around the patterned floor and could hear the announcer chime up, “and now we will have a couples skate- grab a partner and come out to the skate floor!”

My palms got as sweaty as they did in 7th grade. Would I get asked to couples skate?!! My stomach got butterflies and the nastalgic moment was nearly perfect when-

I was jolted back to reality as my 2 year old screamed,


“I gotta go potty!!!!!”

I wiped the sweat off my palms and pinched myself- yes it’s true, I’m married with 3 kids and definitely not in 7th grade. 🙂
But yet….

I wondered….

Would the disco ball still be spinning there?

I RSVP’d us all for yes.
Party of 5.
What could go wrong, right?

Enter. Skateworld.

The “sweaty gym sock smell” I had somehow forgotten.

Has 30 years really changed my perception so much?

I remembered that girlhood giddy feeling when I rented my skates with bright laces that matched my neon hair scrunchie and now all I could think was-

“is this actually sanitary?”

And …. Aren’t there foot diseases that can be spread through this? And … Is this boy renting the skates even old enough to drive here?

I collected myself and politely asked for 5 pairs of roller skates for our family ages 2 years on up. The adorable toddler skates were in perfect condition – that should have been my first clue. But no. I didn’t get the memo that this might be a bad idea….

Once we made it past the skate rental counter I then faced my next reality.

I am no longer in 7th grade. I have no idea what the style is right now for middle schoolers but I am not it. I picked my jaw off the floor and told myself- just smile & blend in.

But- something about the fact that my family of 5 was the ONLY group wearing helmets was a dead give away. I had everyone put them on before coming inside, I mean, the parenting motto is “if it rolls wear a helmet, right?!”

Hmmmm…. once I got inside the rink and realized everyone was staring at us  my memory was jogged and I realized- that I never remembered wearing a helmet at Skateworld as a kid- ever! But…. LOL it was way too late to recover from that choice.

Play it cool Joy.
Be confident.
Don’t cave to peer pressure.
Just smile and be yourself.
Hmmm…. Maybe I was back in middle school.

I calmed down and decided I would focus on the positive. After all, life is the memories we make right?

Well, I will NEVER forget my husbands face when we laced up everyone’s skates thinking this would be the greatest night ever- and then had an internal scream that amounted to “what in the world are we doing????!!!!!!!” Because the instant the skates were put on we realized- this was a bad, bad, bad, idea!

Our 2 year old’s legs both flew in different directions when we put the skates on- she screamed and refused to attempt skating again. I returned her perfect condition toddler skates to the skate rental boy who laughed and blew an arrogant pink Bubble Yum bubble scoffingly at me. I felt awkwardly embarrassed and I wasn’t even pimply faced with braces anymore. Could I actually be stuck in a middle school time warp?

No biggie, I simply needed to reassess the situation. To Stay Focused. Make a checklist. Skates returned. Check. Toddler still alive. Check. Now I will just hold my toddlers hand before she runs away while I’m on these skating wheels.

BUT I reached down to grab her hand and lost my balance and THWAAAAAAAK – now I was on Skateworld’s floor. I sat there for a moment bewildered that age, gravity, and a postpartum muffin top could really affect my 7th grade nostalgic skate queen abilities.

Was I old now?

I collected myself up off the floor and looked up just in time to see my precious husband with our kids – each was scrambling to hold onto him while their “skate-laden feet” wheeled wildly out of control- one grabbing his left leg, one clutching his right leg, and one reaching at his neck- but all screaming for dear life.

That all too familiar “terror / confusion feeling” set in as we- as parents- realized once again that we were totally outnumbered!

But now we were outnumbered & on wheels-
Tell me again why no one else here wears helmets?- My thought was interrupted as a man skated by and THWAAAAAAKKKK looses his balance and all I see are his skates above his head and his back flat on the floor. 

And then I heard it….the phrase that changed my life….through grimaced teeth and a nervous. shocked. exasperated. tone-

“Joy!! This was a bad parenting decision!!!”

My husband said that to me, in all seriousness and I could not help but step back from reality and see him there with the kids’ wheeled feet slipping everywhere – him as their only balance- and I took a mental picture that was worth more than the overpriced sweaty roller skate rental fee ever would be.

What a memory.


I laughed deeper and truer than I have laughed in years.

A weight was lifted off my shoulders and I gave in- to letting go.

It was the best memory I’ve made in a long time. And yet it came from a “really bad parenting decision…”

The rest of the night rolled out ok.

The highlight was watching my husband be a Dad- a centripetal force when faced with the chaos of clattering, spinning, and unplanned life.

The low point was when my 2 year old again screamed,

“I gotta go potty!”

and I attempted to run her to the toilet but forgot I was in roller skates and gravity won. I really don’t remember falling this much at Skateworld in 7th grade.

Anyways… the point of this post is that I learned a really good lesson this week.

Sometimes the art of skating through life isn’t about doing everything perfect, proper, and using best form.

Sometimes it’s all about how we get back up and roll after making unintentional bad parenting choices that leave us speechless at our own ridiculousness and yet… rolling forward with joy despite ourselves.

Oh, And yes….
That disco light was still spinning.

And yes…
I did get asked to couples skate- with my forever partner-  and we are, at this real time nostalgic moment, thank God, still spinning around the perpetual slippery rink called life.

(Neon scrunchie no longer included)

Roll forward in your rink of opportunity today, Sometimes the falls can teach us more than our triple axles, and we can make some pretty beautiful memories in the mess.

Have a GREAT DAY! 

What was your “Bad Parenting Decision” that ended up being a lasting memory? Tell me about it below- I love hearing your stories! ~ Joy

Red Tuna Crab

Red Tuna Crab Wash onto SoCal Beaches this week:

Are you wondering about all the red crab scattered on the beaches in San Diego right now? They are red Tuna Crab – also known as crustaceans or Pleuroncodes planipes.

Our family visited 4 different Southern California beaches this week because it was the kids first official week of summer break from school. All the beaches we visited had one friendly pair of eyes in common.

There were thousands red Tuna Crabs on SoCal beaches this week

Small red Tuna Crab arrived on SoCal San Diego beaches this week 

There were thousands of these cute little red crab scattered on the shores and swimming in the waters. I watched the crabs for a while and then decided to jump into the ocean for a swim. 

As I swam, a large adult seal came within 4 feet of my reach in the waters at Del Mar beach. I was amazed at the width of the seal’s neck and the length of his facial wiskers, and I instantly surrendered my wave and allowed the seal to catch it instead. I put my boogie board down and watched the seal play in the shallow waves while I stayed a safe distance away. Once on shore, I spotted several other seals and a pod of dolphins jumping and playing in the water much closer than usual. We all took a seat and watched the beautiful marine life show. What does this have to do with the red Tuna Crab?

Well, after talking to some sea-life experts that work at the cove, they said all the close range ocean life excitement was actually due to the large amount of red Tuna Crab that came to the San Diego beaches this week. The crabs were brought here in a burst of warm water and hungry larger animals came in close range to enjoy the red crab. So, this marine bursting week at the beaches in San Diego was due in part, to these cute little red Tuna crab visitors. It made for an exciting week!

Of course, we were sad to see hundreds of the red Tuna crab stranded on the shore to simply pass away, but it was a good lesson to teach the kids about the “circle of life” as we watched the seagulls come out by the dozens to have a hearty breakfast.

My 2 year old shrieked as she watched the seagulls feast

My 2 year old shrieked as she watched the seagulls feast on red Tuna crab

We all cheered as a few strong swimming Tuna Crab made their way back into the water and swim away.

As we swam in the ocean we saw hundreds of eyes around us, one hooked onto my hand

As we swam in the ocean we saw hundreds of eyes around us, one red Tuna crab pinched a hold of my hand, and then thankfully, let go of me to swim some more

Watching the ocean animals up close was a great opportunity to teach the kids more about the habitats that we all so desperately need to protect. In 4 days at the beach this week we saw: Tuna Crabs by the hundreds, a pod of dolphins, an adult with an infant whale, a large hermit crab making it’s home into a new big shell, and accidentally swam with a seal just a few feet away. This is just one of the many reasons why we do not pay to visit places that contain ocean animals for profit – when there are just so many beautiful animals we can observe in their natural habitat – and learn how to respect their environment in the process.

So, if you are at the beach this week, and you see a little red “lobster looking creature”, say HI to Mr Tuna Crab, keep an eye on the waves, and enjoy your time in San Diego.

This little Tuna Crab went back into the ocean :)

This little Tuna Crab went back into the ocean 🙂

Locals: Did you see the red Tuna Crab this week?

Visitors: Here’s how to get to Fletcher’s Cove Beach Park in Solana Beach, where this little crab is from:

Fletcher Cove Park
111 South Sierra Avenue
Solana Beach, CA 92075 
Plaza Street and South Sierra Avenue