Insane, Food, & Hotshots (not necessarily in that order). My word is and continues to be ‘Insane’! Last week Sweetie and I spent days in San Diego with family and friends … in planning the winter wander we thought, San Diego in March will be a nice break from the winter…unknown at the time there would be no winter from which to escape … it was the winter that was NOT in Idaho! The temperature and climate in San Diego was exactly what we’d been whining about in Idaho the past 6 weeks; all sunshine and blue skies; very pool, beach and golf friendly. Definitely NOT a skiers winter.
Sweetie’s adventurous past includes a couple of summers smoke jumping and 7 seasons as the Supervisor for the Union Hotshots, a Type I Fire Crew, (there’s more but I’ll leave that for another day). The initial draw to southern California was the first Hotshot Supervisor’s ‘reunion’ and ‘organization’ get-together http://www.ushotshots.com/ but that was only one reason to seek the sun, the other is Sweetie’s sister Paula who lives just north in Carlsbad and is the ultimate southern Cal host and guide.
The Italian side of their family proudly claim their major foodies label; I’m always in taste bud heaven whenever we’re together. This family always knows the best place for a nosh, the perfect shop to pick up the perfect dinner ingredient, or they break out the old recipes for sumptuously yummy pasta. The first evening we were introduced to “Cardiff Crack”. It is a more than addicting burgundy and pepper marinated tri tip. My mouth waters every time I attempt to describe it …it’s so addicting it has its own wikipedia page … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiff_Crack . Day Two’s late morning breakfast took our minds off previous night’s fabulous dinner. There is a small diner in Encinitas on the 101 … named The 101 Diner, where we each order the mini-acai bowl and 1/2 order of the cilantro lime sauce over Eggs Benedict …Beware! The description says mini the results is XL. The atmosphere is friendly, easy going, and busy (be prepared), but OH! the food!! It’s worth the wait. http://www.yelp.com/biz/101-diner-encinitas?hrid=KjrnxUOQtbG4pbRmoKs-Ug&rh_type=phrase&rh_ident=acai_bowl .
I could go on and on about the fabulous food but then I couldn’t tell you about the beaches, and hikes, and … on one beach hike we came upon a Sea World animal rescue truck. They were searching for and saving baby sea lions. The el Nino weather pattern has heated the ocean pushing the fish out of their normal winter waters beyond the reach of the little ones, who then begin to starve because they aren’t strong enough to reach the food sources.
And THIS is the perfect day to end a winter escape … sailboat viewing from Point Loma and a walk around the lighthouse,
with a reverent stop at the Point Loma Military Cemetery before heading over to Little Italy where more great food closed this end of our winter’s explore.
Those who partake indulged in Ballast Point brews (Sweetie voted as Number One, the Sea Monster, a dark 10% alcohol brew), afterward we devoured creamy polenta & ragu at a quaint place I cannot remember the name of and finished the evening with fresh gelato from Gelato Vero Cafe on India St.(my favorite dark chocolate and nutella).
Reminder to self … even if it is 75 degrees the sun will eventually drop below the horizon and you’ll freeze your flip-flopped toes right off.
Wanderings are only as memorable as the people who are entwined in the hours … love and thanks to Paula & Jim, and all of the fabulous fire folks who made this wandering pretty special.
… Oh! did I tell you about the fresh sea food at Mitch’s?