Kick-off Weekend

Rose Garden, San Diego (actually from two weekends ago!)
SMS and I had a wonderful weekend!  We “reserved” the Newport duplex awhile back and headed up Friday for a fun weekend at the beach.
It was a great weekend with lots of things to do but not too crazy or rushed.  We arrived Friday night after a pretty smooth ride.  We went to Bear Flag for dinner and had some great poke, fish tacos (that they left the avocado off of, boo!) and grilled artichoke.  We had a delicious bottle of wine and ate at home.  The next day, we went to Eat Chow for breakfast, followed by a conference call with our DJ.  Our DJ is Mike Sincere and he seems really mellow.  I think his music will do the talking, not to be too sickly aphoristic about it.  But I AM really excited.
After the conference call, we headed out to Gulfstream with Dick, SMS’ grandfather.  It was a great visit and a delicious lunch.  We shared a grilled artichoke and then SMS and Dick had the smoked salmon plate, which was a large fillet that was still moist inside rather than jerky-like through-and-through.  It was delicious!  I had a seafood gazpacho that was delicious although honestly, I may have coveted the salmon once I saw it!
After lunch, SMS and I had a dance lesson to figure out something for our first dance.  We went to Orange County Wedding Dance and had the most amazing experience!  I know no one reads this blog and I’m going to post a glowing Yelp review because they were incredible.  SMS and I had a 90 minute lesson and now we have a simple routine that will make our dance enjoyable, rather than awkward and interminable.  While the adjectives are a little over-dramatic, I was definitely uneasy going in without a plan during a dance where all eyes are on us and now I feel much, much better.  SMS was into it too and even asked for an extension of the lesson so we could solidify things.  I am so, so happy because that was one part of the night I was a little unsure of in terms of how it would go.

After our dance lesson we headed back to the house and tried to meet up with Marty, but he had decided not to come to the beach.  So we went to a DELICIOUS Italian restaurant (Cucina Alessa) and had a dinner of little plates!  Grilled artichoke made an appearance again, as did burricotta (mix of burrata and ricotta) and prosciutto.  We also shared a pear-gargonzola salad and olives.  We split a tiramisu for dessert and just had a really nice, pleasant dinner out.

The next day, we were off to Catalina Island!  I’ve wanted to go for several years and I bought 50% off Groupon tickets for the ferry out of Newport Beach.  I’m glad we went.  It was a sunny gorgeous day while NB was cloudy and cool.  The town was cute and we biked everywhere on the cruisers we brought over.  We had a great time and while I don’t really feel the need to go back (it’s really quiet and slow), it’s a place I had wanted to visit!

Avalon Harbor, Catalina

So handsome on his fixed-wheel cruiser, wearing a TESLA
shirt, ha ha.

Lunch with tasty butternut squash soup!

After we got back, I cleaned up at the house while SMS studied, then we drove back to SD.  I was a little tipsy so I was a sleepy passenger since our waiter at dinner was quite generous with the wine (Raymond cabernet sauvignon) and only charged for one glass of cheaper stuff!  At Eat Chow (yeah, we went back!), we had cheesy tots, grilled artichoke and shrimp ceviche.  It was delicious!

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