Tuesday, April 7, 2015

San Diego Days

During our big California trip, when the hubs and I cruised down to San Diego to see a couple of good friends get hitched, we decided to stay a few extra days and make a long weekend of it, to soak up as much time in our beloved city, the place we fell in love (and got married ourselves!) as possible. G had been more homesick for SD than even he knew, telling me that when he got off the plane at Lindbergh Field he instantly felt like he was at home.

(One day we'll return for good, baby. One day!)

There is much to do and explore in San Diego, so even though G lived there for five years and I for one, we can always find new places to go and see and taste and do. While we visited a few familiar hauntsMission Bay, Pacific Beach—we checked out some new-to-us eateries, too. (In case it wasn't already abundantly clear: we love to eat and drink.) Here's a few photos, if you'd like to see...

Our friends (family, really) kindly opened up their BayHo house to us for the weekend. This is the view from their back deck. Isn't it incredible? Beats staying at a hotel! Great view and great company.

For dinner the first night, the day before the wedding, G and I went casual and visited a place we'd passed by so many times while living in San Diego but I had never actually been to: PB Fish Shop. It is a relatively small establishment on Garnet Avenue and, like always, the inside and outside patio were packed to the gills. (Bad pun intended.) But there is a good reason; the food is incredible. Super fresh fish prepared any way you like. I hadn't eaten all day so I went big and ordered a plate of fried Mahi Mahi (which I promptly doused in lemon juice and malt vinegar), coleslaw and macaroni salad. Despite the fact that the fillet was as big as a brick, I ate every bite. So good.

Friday was dedicated to wedding festivities, and on Saturday the newlyweds invited all their family and friends to a picnic at Sunset Point Park, located right on Mission Bay. The weather was perfect, it was an absolutely gorgeous day, and looking out on the water all I could think was, "I wish I was on a boat." Not usually an activity I long for but it was just so beautiful out. So I jokingly told the hubs to put "get a boat" on his retirement to-do list.

After soaking up every drop of sun at the park, a group of us were craving Mexican food so we took a short drive over to Casa Guadalajara in Old Town San Diego. G and I love historic Old Town; it's where we had our engagement photos taken! The vibrant neighborhood boasts many wonderful Mexican restaurants—I've been to Cafe Coyote, Miguel's Cocina, Fred's Mexican Cafe and Rockin' Baja—but I had never been to the colorful, large and prominently-located Casa Guadalajara. I was sadly still full from lunch so I just ordered a cup of the albondigas soup, but it was delicious. As were the margaritas. I definitely plan to return one day for a real meal.

On Monday, our final day in San Diego, we decided to go back to Pacific Beach since it was just down the road from our friends' house in BayHo. First, we stopped for brunch at Crushed a new, sweet little restaurant bar featuring killer drinks, small plates and of course, a selection of sweet and savory brunch bites. G ordered up a bloody mary while I simply had to try a mimosa flight. All three glasses were tasty but the Lavender Love easily edged out the Rosemary+Grapefruit and Blood Orange+Pomegranate concoctions. To eat, the hubs and I decided to satisfy our need for salt and sugar by sharing both The SoCal omelette and the absolutely divine Nutella Banana pancakes.

Completely stuffed, we decided to walk off breakfast with a stroll along the beach, by Crystal Pier. G took my best friend and I here when we visited him over Labor Day 2011, the weekend that revealed to us that we could be more than just friends. (The story of us, here, including a photo of us that we tried to recreate, below.) So it was a wonderful, full-circle kind of feeling walking the boardwalk hand in hand, thinking of all that has happened since that day three-and-a-half years ago. Eventually, we made it to The Wood (formerly known as Beachwood), so we popped in for one last drink, a bit longer to admire the view, before saying adios to San Diego and heading back to Simi Valley.

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