Last year we thought that the stars aligned so perfectly for us to be able to take our first vacation together since having our kiddos. When I earned last year's trip from my Hot Chocolate Ambassadorship, I didn't know if I'd be able to swing it a third year in a row. I guess people really dig a 4 in 1 buff! We also didn't know if we'd be able to hit my sister-in-law up AGAIN to drop everything and fly to Seattle to watch the kids on relatively short notice. We really wanted to check out San Diego and go to a somewhat warm destination. Plus, it's been nearly 15 years since we set foot in California! Everything ended up working out, so off we went for another getaway weekend.
Since we were staying in the downtown area, and the airport is an easy $20 cab ride away, we decided not to rent a car and just see what we could see on foot. We are also not big on beaches (gasp! I know.) and would prefer to sit around poolside with Kindles and rum drinks.
Upon our late morning arrival, we decided to stretch our legs and walk along the Embarcadero from our hotel (the Hilton Bayfront, which was perfectly lovely) to the USS Midway, which was very cool.
On our walk back to check in to our room, we stopped at one of the many cafes for quick lunch of club sandwiches and back toward the hotel, as well as a stop at Roy's. Because if you spot an outpost, which we were lucky to have in Chicago, you must stop what you are doing and drink a Mai Tai.
Since we only had about four hours of sleep the night before our flight, we completely crashed until dinnertime at The Oceanaire. This was a bit of a nostalgic choice, as there used to be one in Seattle and they closed a few years ago. It was one of our favorite places for seafood, and we knew we had to go out for seafood whilst in San Diego.
It was just as we'd remembered it, with a relaxing and cozy steak house vibe and delicious food.
On our second day, we opted for the Old Town Trolley tour. This was SUCH an awesome touristy experience. The ticket is good for a guided tour while also serving as transportation for the whole day. You can get on or off at any of the 11 stops and also learn so much about the area.
There was a stop at our hotel, which was perfect and we went over the bridge to Coronado Island and back through Balboa Park.
We hopped off in Old Town for lunch. There were two restaurants where the making of handmade tortillas could be seen in the front window and we went for what seemed like the most established of the two, Old Town Mexican Cafe, for some tacos. Yummmmm.
We got back on the trolley to see some more sights like Little Italy, back along the Embarcadero, and the Gas Lamp area.
Afterward we relaxed at the pool and went out for our second dining experience, which was a day-of decision: we saw The Whiskey House as we were exploring the Gas Lamp area during the day and thought we should, at the very least, get drinks there that night.
We ended up staying for an entire meal of charcuterie and cheese, salads and I tried my first scotch egg:
Quite rich, but DELICIOUS. And of course, I drank a fleet of tasty whiskey drinks.
Our last day was all about sleeping and pool lounging. But we did go out for a stroll in search of a local coffee roaster and discovered Ryan Brothers. So good, we even bought beans to bring home! We went out for our final dinner at what seemed to be the highest recommended Mexicali joint downtown: La Puerta. It did NOT disappoint. Another thing on my must eat list was a burrito and, man, that was a BURRITO.
It required a steak knife and perseverance. I was proud I got through more than half of it! It was so flavorful, as was the house guacamole with serrano peppers and panela cheese.
Once again, I'm grateful to my peeps at RAM Racing for their fantastic incentive program and I'm also sorta glad our race registration never happened because I dunno if I would have been able to roll outta bed at dawn on this weekend of relaxation! We shall see what next year brings...