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Thursday, August 17, 2006

I wish they all could be California GIRRRRLS...

*** For some reason, pictures aren't posting, so I will put them up later when I can.***

I hate to start with something as mundane as the weather, but it was AMAZING last weekend in San Diego. Think of it as setting the scene. The perfect warmth that tingles on your skin with out the nuisance of sweating. I couldn't get enough of it as I was running and jumping in the waves, dodging surfers at La Jolla Beach. Andrew had to drag me out of the water at the end of the day, I just kept wanting to feel the spray on my face ONE last time. This adoration of the ocean, if anything, confirms the genetic link between my mother and myself.

Three days is not enough to fully experience most places in this world, so we focused on a few of the things that we enjoy doing most together: eating, beaching, drinking, and people watching. I arrived early Friday morning, a bit tired from the early morning chaos of the airport and flight, but anxious to get the day started and not waste one precious moment of my hard earned vacation time. Plus, surprise!, I was hungry. So we waited on pins and needles until the lunch places in the Gaslamp District opened and headed to La Fiesta on 5th Avenue. Andrew had been talking about their margaritas all week, so we toasted our [short-lived] freedom and proceeded to eat (and drink!) one of the best Mexican meals I've had in quite a while. Amazing guacamole from those famous California avocados. Then we proceeded to walk around looking in the shops downtown, some cute little local places, but a lot of mainstream and touristy shopping mostly. At this point I had hit the post-gorging margarita-induced siesta, so we walked back to the hotel (the Marriott) and took a short nap in the most comfortable cloud of a bed I have ever slept on. Props to the Marriott on attention to detail! It felt like the luxury of a Vegas suite without the flashy fluorescence of the casinos. For dinner, Andrew had arranged for us to eat outside at the Top of the Market, overlooking the Harbor and Coronado Bridge. Note to self: when going out at night in California, bring a light sweater, because the night breeze off the bay can be quite chilling. We walked back through the seaside village, checking out more local shops and stopped into an art store. One of the curators must have grossly mistaken us for people with actual funds to buy expensive sculptures, because he was quite persistent with us, asking us all kinds of personal questions about our tastes and relationship. Andrew tends to take these kinds of opportunities and run with them (he's more aggressive with "investments" than I am), and at some point, he was ACTUALLY thinking, maybe we CAN buy this painting for three grand? It would look PERFECT above the bed. I don't disagree, I just tend to be haunted by ghosts of expenses in the future, and some how I think the quality of the bed we sleep in is more important that the art hanging over it. Call me Philistine, but when it comes to that kind of decision, I am more realistic with age. Although I will admit, I do secretly admire the free-thinker who can be happy sleeping on a mat surrounded by eclectic memorabilia and art. That is the juxtaposition of my personality.

Saturday was beach day, so sunscreen was applied, and we drove out to Torrey Pines State Park and enjoyed a relaxing day in the sand and checking out the views. For dinner we decided to hit RA Sushi which has recently opened in Houston, but we haven't had the chance to eat there yet. Nothing hits the spot after a day in the ocean like raw fish and mojitos (strange combination, I know, let's call it Cuban-Asian fusion...). Later we went to Confidential on 4th Avenue and had the spiciest "margaritas" I've ever ordered. It was actually really more like a martini using serrano pepper infused reposado tequila and a salted rim. They serve it with a habanero pepper on the side. Being a sweet kind of girl, I think I would have preferred it had they had served it with a sugar rim instead, to get that sweet & spicy combination going, but it sure had a unique kick to it. Drinking pansies need not apply for this drink.

Andrew's one thing he asked to make time for in California was seeing Coronado, so we went over the big bridge and went to check out the island there. Beautiful beaches again, so we decided to take a walk, and apparently there was some sort of dog convention going on, because one part of the beach was awash in a sea of canines and their owners. This of course makes me super happy, and I spend the next half an hour trying to pet and play with all the different dogs. I met the largest Mastiff I have ever seen (weighing in at a feather-footed 225 lbs), Samson, and of course immediately fell in love, drooling almost as much as he was. Andrew how ever fell in love with a grey Mastiff/Great Dane mix puppy who was shy and sweet as they come. Before going to the airport to return home, we hit Miguel's for lunch, a cozy little cocina back behind the shops on Orange Avenue with a covered porch - GREAT pomegranate margarita, I would highly suggest it (this turned into a veritable Zagat guide to drinks in San Diego).

I can't wait to go back next year, when I plan to take up surfing and visiting more of the SoCal area.

And sleeping in that cushy bed again. Seriously guys, it was THAT good.

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