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Bloody marys and Roman showers for Ma’s day

“You’ve got to help me,” my brother William said sotto voce while glancing at his wife Beth across the room. “Mother’s Day is coming, and I’ve got nothing.”

Little brother looked terrified. He’s a lousy gift-giver married to someone for whom gifting is a primary love language. “Don’t worry,” I patted his arm. “I’ll get some ideas for you.”

His look of brotherly gratitude was worth the effort I spent collecting ideas from some mothers.

“As I sat under the outdoor Roman showers with buckets of hot water pouring over my head, I could feel the stress melt away from my body,” smiled Mary. “That’s how I started my day of relaxation at Omni Resort at La Costa. And I finished the day with a luxurious facial. Ever since, a spa day has been my Mother’s Day gift. I usually go for their facial, massage, and lunch package.” (The Inspire Package includes a 50-minute massage, 50-minute facial, and Spa Cafe Lunch for $305; lacosta.com).

“I’m starting Mother’s Day with brunch at the Westgate,” answered friend Bernice. “Frank said I could pick whatever I wanted this year.”

The Westgate is offering a Mother’s Day champagne brunch in their Fontainebleau and Versailles Salons from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. It will include crêpes, omelets, seafood, breads, pastries, and desserts, along with freshly squeezed juices, endless champagne, margaritas, mimosas, and Bloody Marys ($65 for adults, $29 for children under 12; for tickets, call 619-557-3655 or visit westgatehotel.com).

“In the evening,” Bernice continued, “we’re going to D Bar in Hillcrest, and I’m ordering a salted caramel martini [$10; dbarsandiego.com]. It’s made with Stoli Salted Karamel, Stoli Vanilla, and cream. Heaven in a glass with cream and caramel sauce swirls on the inside of the glass. Then I’ll order the Ch Ch Ch Churros made to order [$9]. They’re served piping hot with chocolate dipping sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream. Are you sensing a theme here, Eve? Dessert and alcohol. I want a night out with my man at that bar. But I also love a collection of Chuao chocolates. They have truffles with spicy chili in them that I love. Ooh, sends Bernice over the moon.”

The Chuao Chocolatier Sugar & Spice Bonbon Collection includes firecracker truffles, smoky macadamia, spiced cabernet caramel, and (Bernice’s favorite) spicy Maya, with cinnamon dark chocolate, pasilla chili, and cayenne pepper for $12.95.

“A sunset cruise on the bay,” answered Jen. “Hornblower does a three-hour cruise, three-course meal with champagne, and dancing. “Out on the water, views of the city, music, it’s very romantic.” (The Mother’s Day sunset dinner cruise costs $76.95 per person; boarding is at 5:30 p.m. at Grape Street Pier; hornblower.com).

A few mom friends offered more affordable options.

“I’m looking forward to my annual breakfast in bed,” Amy answered. “Parmesan-cheese omelets, fresh fruit, and coffee. And there is always a Mother’s Day scrapbook. Each year my kids write a letter to me and add photos from the year to a scrapbook. Little treasure books for me.”

“There are two days each year I get this special gift — Mother’s Day and my birthday,” offered Sande. “It’s the whole day of everyone snuggled together on the couch, watching old movies of my choosing, the black-and-white classics. And we get cheap comfort food, like Bronx pizza [18-inch cheese pizza; $14] or San Diego Chicken Pie Shop. And I get lots of wine.” (An individual chicken pot pie at the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop runs $2.75.)

“My Mother’s Day desire is to have a morning to sleep in and time to read and relax, and for whoever takes over for me in the morning to have a joyful heart about it,” replied Suzanne. “I loved the homemade cards and gifts my kids gave me when they were little. Now that they are older, I get a real joy out of receiving whatever they have bought for me. It gives me a little insight into what they think about me.”

“Last year, my husband gave me a birthstone family-tree necklace,” smiled Paula. “He knows I like to support artisans and found IrinSkye on Etsy. It’s a beautiful upside-down tree pendant with Swarovski crystals for our children’s birthstones [$23].”

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“You’ve got to help me,” my brother William said sotto voce while glancing at his wife Beth across the room. “Mother’s Day is coming, and I’ve got nothing.”

Little brother looked terrified. He’s a lousy gift-giver married to someone for whom gifting is a primary love language. “Don’t worry,” I patted his arm. “I’ll get some ideas for you.”

His look of brotherly gratitude was worth the effort I spent collecting ideas from some mothers.

“As I sat under the outdoor Roman showers with buckets of hot water pouring over my head, I could feel the stress melt away from my body,” smiled Mary. “That’s how I started my day of relaxation at Omni Resort at La Costa. And I finished the day with a luxurious facial. Ever since, a spa day has been my Mother’s Day gift. I usually go for their facial, massage, and lunch package.” (The Inspire Package includes a 50-minute massage, 50-minute facial, and Spa Cafe Lunch for $305; lacosta.com).

“I’m starting Mother’s Day with brunch at the Westgate,” answered friend Bernice. “Frank said I could pick whatever I wanted this year.”

The Westgate is offering a Mother’s Day champagne brunch in their Fontainebleau and Versailles Salons from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. It will include crêpes, omelets, seafood, breads, pastries, and desserts, along with freshly squeezed juices, endless champagne, margaritas, mimosas, and Bloody Marys ($65 for adults, $29 for children under 12; for tickets, call 619-557-3655 or visit westgatehotel.com).

“In the evening,” Bernice continued, “we’re going to D Bar in Hillcrest, and I’m ordering a salted caramel martini [$10; dbarsandiego.com]. It’s made with Stoli Salted Karamel, Stoli Vanilla, and cream. Heaven in a glass with cream and caramel sauce swirls on the inside of the glass. Then I’ll order the Ch Ch Ch Churros made to order [$9]. They’re served piping hot with chocolate dipping sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream. Are you sensing a theme here, Eve? Dessert and alcohol. I want a night out with my man at that bar. But I also love a collection of Chuao chocolates. They have truffles with spicy chili in them that I love. Ooh, sends Bernice over the moon.”

The Chuao Chocolatier Sugar & Spice Bonbon Collection includes firecracker truffles, smoky macadamia, spiced cabernet caramel, and (Bernice’s favorite) spicy Maya, with cinnamon dark chocolate, pasilla chili, and cayenne pepper for $12.95.

“A sunset cruise on the bay,” answered Jen. “Hornblower does a three-hour cruise, three-course meal with champagne, and dancing. “Out on the water, views of the city, music, it’s very romantic.” (The Mother’s Day sunset dinner cruise costs $76.95 per person; boarding is at 5:30 p.m. at Grape Street Pier; hornblower.com).

A few mom friends offered more affordable options.

“I’m looking forward to my annual breakfast in bed,” Amy answered. “Parmesan-cheese omelets, fresh fruit, and coffee. And there is always a Mother’s Day scrapbook. Each year my kids write a letter to me and add photos from the year to a scrapbook. Little treasure books for me.”

“There are two days each year I get this special gift — Mother’s Day and my birthday,” offered Sande. “It’s the whole day of everyone snuggled together on the couch, watching old movies of my choosing, the black-and-white classics. And we get cheap comfort food, like Bronx pizza [18-inch cheese pizza; $14] or San Diego Chicken Pie Shop. And I get lots of wine.” (An individual chicken pot pie at the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop runs $2.75.)

“My Mother’s Day desire is to have a morning to sleep in and time to read and relax, and for whoever takes over for me in the morning to have a joyful heart about it,” replied Suzanne. “I loved the homemade cards and gifts my kids gave me when they were little. Now that they are older, I get a real joy out of receiving whatever they have bought for me. It gives me a little insight into what they think about me.”

“Last year, my husband gave me a birthstone family-tree necklace,” smiled Paula. “He knows I like to support artisans and found IrinSkye on Etsy. It’s a beautiful upside-down tree pendant with Swarovski crystals for our children’s birthstones [$23].”

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