On Saturday, we went to our first BioBlitz, hosted by Grassroots Ecology. I found it by looking up native plants in an effort to speak SMS’ love language. Although it was “sold out” on EventBrite, we went anyway. I planned a casual walk-by that, if things looked lame, we could just pretend that we were randomly out and about. But instead, things looked awesome! We talked to one of the staff to get signed in and we were set!
There were several stations we could stop at, while also looking for cool organisms to log into iNaturalist. We saw mushrooms, California cucumber, soap plants, and little bugs. We also saw the Bol Park (mini) donkeys that were very cute. But don’t log them into iNaturalist! They are cultivated, not wild.
We had a really nice time. We also saw some hawks from the Strawberry Hill vantage point. Afterward, we went to Esther’s German Bakery where we had a delicious lunch and German beer, sadly not on tap at the present time. Don’t worry, I got over it pretty quickly!
The next day, we went to San Bruno mountain which had been recommended by the birder guide from the previous day. We took a less traveled trail that starts next to the Montessori school on Hillside Blvd. I think most hikers start on the other side of the mountain at the Crocker Gate trailhead.
It was super-pretty. No joke- the fields and wildflowers looked like the Swiss Alps! Well, at least until we looked down to the super-developed valley. The flowers were such a bright yellow that they had a neon-like coloring to the them. It wasn’t a super intense hike (<4 miles), but I’m really glad we had been given the recommendation to check it out!
SMS and I had a Sunday Funday where we resolved to get off the couch and get outside on a gorgeous San Diego day. We decided to go to Cabrillo & Point Loma, gorgeous places that don’t take too much of an effort to get there.
Cabrillo National Monument is a federal monument that accepts the National Park Pass. Otherwise, it is $20 car/$10 pedestrian or cyclist for admission. Wow, that’s gone up since I first went! Anyway, it’s the site where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the West coast of the US in 1542. There’s an old lighthouse at the top, which didn’t work too well during foggy times because it was too high. The current lighthouse is a working site near the tidepools.
There are several attractions. The Visitor’s Center is small but interesting. The views from that side overlook San Diego and Coronado at the inlet of San Diego Bay. It’s stunning. There is also a small auditorium, clean bathrooms, and a gift shop.
Near the old lighthouse, there is a small parking area where you can overlook the Pacific. It’s pretty majestic. There is also a small hiking trail down the steap hill that gets you to the base but not to the shore. I’ve never done it because it hasn’t seemed worth it, but I’m sure I’m wrong about that.
The tidepools & cliffs are my favorite. You take the first right after the admission gate and drive down the long hill, which is a favorite of road bikers so be careful! I have seen pedestrians, but it’s a narrow two-lane road without a shoulder or sidewalk. Since you’re in a car already to get to Cabrillo, I would recommend just driving down to the tidepools.
After Cabrillo, SMS and I decided it was time for lunch. We drove to the neighborhood near the Native Plant garden and it is such a cute area! There are two pubs, a coffee house, a raw vegan cafe, a Mexican restaurant, and our new favorite restuarant, the Italian Cesarina. The homemade pasta was amazing. There were several vegan options and the food was spectacular. The decor is eclectic and cool. We ate outside on a spacious patio, but the inside decor is also cool. We will be back for sure.
Then we went to the Native Plant Garden. Things are green and coming into bloom. Very pretty! 1/10 dead sticks, 9/10 green plants- a winning ratio! We spoke with a volunteer for a while, who was very interesting. He was on weed patrol (weeds in the garden, not weed in Point Loma which is plentiful, I’m sure). His favorite plant is the willowy San Diego mint, which makes me think he is SMS’ brother from a different mother. Overall, I agree with the garden’s website- it’s a gem!
As one of the online guides said of this walk, it can be called “walking” or “urban hiking.” Either way, it’s an easy, flat walk through several San Diego neighborhoods that is enjoyable, fills some time, and allows for exploration. Some of the bridges are pretty cool, too!
We started at Bread & Cie, where we had placed an online to-go order. It was a little disorganized and even though I knew I should have checked our order, I didn’t. Poor judgement secondary to hunger. So, our iced teas were left behind. We went back to get them, but this added a little distance and I was hungry and out of sorts.
Fortunately after we ate, I felt better. Although I was still a little grumpy, I was willing to give the hike a second chance! We walked through my favorite corner of Banker’s Hill (around Walnut and W. Upas) towards the Spruce St Suspension Bridge.
I think this wins for coolest bridge. It spans a canyon and it moves quite a bit. If someone is running, it can be pretty dramatic! The view towards the water is beautiful and overall, I highly recommend!
We continued towards downtown and made a slight detour to cross (and return) the Quince St. Bridge. It spans another canyon and feels much more sturdy.
Returning back to First St, we crossed the only steel-arch bridge in San Diego. It crosses another canyon and as we got towards the end, SMS noted how the side rails were disconcertingly low. Geez, I was fine until then but after that fact, I wanted to get off the bridge fast!
Next, we crossed into Balboa Park and crossed the Laurel St. Bridge, that used to cross a small lake but now crosses the 163. It wasn’t too crowded but this bridge and the pedestrian avenue through the Park were the most crowded areas of the walk.
After crossing the park and the single-arch cement bridge over Park Ave, we took a quick break and walked through the Rose Garden. We found some favorites! Although does a rose named “Ketchup and Mustard” smell just as sweet? Talk amongst yourselves!!
The Desert Garden is right next to the rose garden and is another one of my favorites.
Then we walked up Park and crossed the Georgia Ave bridge. It used to be made of redwood trellises in 1907, but this concrete bridge has been in place since 1914.
Once we crossed, we saw a hill that seemed to be partially cultivated- maybe by the neighbors? I leave you with pictures of otherworldly beauty.
We crossed Washington Ave and were a little unsure that we’d find the Vermont Street Bridge. Trust the walk! We found it! I would vote it as “Bridge most likely to party” since it was decorated and has a lot of quotes incorporated into the bridge concrete design.
Finally, as we were walking along University back to our car, SMS noticed that, yes! We were crossing another bridge! This is not included in the official description of the Seven Bridges walk, but it is definitely part of the loop. So, we present the bonus bridge! It is another bridge crossing the 163 and has charming green side rails, also somewhat low.
Overall, it was a great day and I recommend this walk. SMS found it when searching for social distanced activities in San Diego, but even in more normal times, I think this would be a lot of fun. You could add more bar-hopping through Hillcrest, more museums or the Zoo in Balboa Park, or more garden walks in Banker’s Hill. Five stars!
If 2020 was a drink, what would it be? Vodka in a water bottle when you were expecting it to be water. Now, this is from a funny person on the internet, but I laughed so hard since this has happened to me, it is a horrible surprise, and it aptly describes 2020.
A quick round-up of a few highlights on the Summer.
On May 30, SMS and I watched the SpaceX launch of two astronauts to the International Space Station. It was a success! Our little stuffed owl put on his cosmonaut helmet but, given the size of his wings, stayed firmly grounded.
I continued a few quarantine hobbies. I received the gift of a sourdough starter from Stacy and Michael and made some pretty decent sourdough loaves. It took me a few tries to get the leaven concept, but then it was pretty awesome. I haven’t made any loaves recently but we had some deliciously fluffy pancakes this morning!
My garden ended up being a little bit of a bust. I need to do some more research on optimal sun and water for specific plants, but it is also true that the soil is only so-so. Especially when inconsistently watered.
SMS and I were apart for part of June, together in July, and then up in Menlo Park for his birthday. We celebrated his birthday there and then I drove back down to SD alone, which was unplanned. He had been put in charge of a short timeline, high stakes project at work so he stayed back in case he had to go in. So, for August, I was back in SD alone and it was a tough month to be apart with heat, wildfires, real estate misadventures, and work stressors. Even though we are still incredibly fortunate and we can still find silver linings, August was definitely the month that 2020 became very 2020 for us.
I went to NMCP for the last week in August, which was a great trip professionally but still stressful since the surgeries were high-stakes and required a lot of concentration. Everything went really well and it was super rewarding. I also had an awesome visit from Mom and Dad, who came down from DC to visit Thursday evening through Saturday. The highlights were our amazing dinners at Luce and York 411, with excellent food and great conversation. I wish I saw them more!
I went back up to the Bay Area and SMS and I had a fun trip to San Francisco. We actually had an impromptu stay overnight after deciding to treat ourselves to a hotel room for the a/c. We used points and definitely like they were points well-spent!
SMS’ work had their big reveal on 9/9 and it went really well. He made the decision to give up his apartment in Menlo Park and move down to San Diego. Working remote will still be “a thing” for several months and it just seemed time to be together. This was/is very exciting news!
Over the years, I have had sporadic breaks when I wasn’t traveling/I was busy/I was lazy/etc. There has never been a month break where so much has happened. I don’t have any deep thoughts about the COVID-19 pandemic but I implore anyone reading to please listen to the experts. By this I mean, CDC, WHO, and the national treasure Dr. Anthony Fauci. My career is based on science, facts, and a healthy respect for the number of unknowns that exist in our understanding of exactly how our miraculous bodies work. Acknowledging these unknowns is a sign of humility and strength, not a reason to thereby dismiss everything someone is saying. Total certainty is impossible and while it’s comforting when someone offers it, it is likely a shallow and fallible.
So, how has COVID-19 affected me? Well, I’m embarking on the USNS Mercy to our mission in LA. While things could always change (and we were told something different up until yesterday afternoon), it seems this will likely be the destination since it was announced by the President. SMS is here in San Diego and we’ve had a great week together. Our families are healthy.
Since I do like to document my travels on this blog, I’m going to briefly sum up the last month prior to 12 March or so. This is not to trivialize the current situation. As for updates from the Mercy, I will certainly be writing privately. Not as certain what will be on the blog but I will try!
SMS and I are social media stars. Ha, ha, not really. But we are in Lucid Motor’s promo video from the reveal event. So, I grabbed a screen capture for posterity!
On 19 Feb, Michelle and I had a ladies of ENT workout and slumber party. In the evening, we went for a run in the beautiful Del Mar Heights area. Then, we drank some wine. Not a lot, but I had planned to stay over so we could workout early (5:15 am) in the morning. We took an ok aerobics/toning class, followed by an awesome spin class. Hooray for work colleagues/friends!
That next weekend, SMS and I went on a hike on 2/23 to Muir Woods. We went in the “back way” so we could park on the road along a trailhead up Mt. Tam, near the highlighted Mountain home parking. We went on a 5 mile hike and it was awesome! There were beautiful redwoods in the gully and, as we went higher, we cleared the treelike and saw beautiful vistas.
Afterwards, we went to Sausalito and had some oysters and soup to re-energize us. We went to the Fish Peddler and it was really good. It was also a little less expensive than the restaurants in the heart of “downtown” (it’s really a small place overall).
The next weekend was the Lucid battery team’s 4th annual ski trip. We skied at Northstar and were finally able to use our Epic passes, which really do save money. We won’t get to use them this Winter but since we skied two days, we saved about $50 overall. Maybe next year we’ll try again.
We stayed at a really cute AirBnB. I would want to stay there again in the Summer, but can I tell you one annoying thing about AirBnB? The cleaning fee, taxes, and admin fees aren’t included in the room rate that pops up during the initial search. It really can add quite a large percentage to the actual amount paid. However, in fairness, AirBnB has had an amazing (for the renter) cancellation policy for COVID-19. So, I’m not anti-AirBnB, I’m anti-hidden costs and fees. Also, hosts that add a sizable cleaning fee should just rethink their room rate. Unless maybe there are tax reasons for doing so?
It snowed our last night there, which led to some adventures with tire chains on the way home but it was very pretty to look at from the inside of a warm house.
Then, things started changing. This is my colleague when we went to PAPR training. This was Tuesday, before I knew anything about the Mercy, which I first heard about on Wednesday. Such a compressed timeline!
And, in case you want to know about another problem of mine, here’s a screen capture of my camera roll. When I get home, please stage an intervention.
After four weekends in a row away from Menlo Park, SMS finally got a break and I travelled North. I took Valentine’s Day off not because it’s a holiday we go all out for (honestly, it feels like Christmas just happened and who wants back-to-back gift buying pressure?), but because Lucid was having a special reveal party for reservation holders. That’s us!
The event was called, “Love is in the AIR.” The attire was evening smart and it was an incredible party. I would have loved to be there from the start, but I arrived 45 minutes into the party due to insane (but typical) traffic from the airport. The showroom was open for the first time and the interior was exquisitely luxurious. There was a craft cocktail bar, which was for the party only. Lucid will not promote a drinking driving culture in everyday operations. There were special cocktails named after the different interiors. I ordered a drink with whiskey, fig, and a sprig of burnt rosemary that they flamed then and there. Impressive!
There were a lot of delicious hors d’oeuvres that were passed. I tried most of them, but didn’t act disgracefully. I always remember a party I went to where the poor server carrying the shrimp got mobbed by people who acted like they hadn’t eaten in days. Who knows, maybe they hadn’t. But it looked like a shark thrash zone with chum in the water. So, yes, I had some food as it showed up in front of me but afterwards, SMS and I realized we hadn’t really had dinner so we split a kabab plate at Oren’s Hummus.
The car reveal was preceded by a 20 minute-ish talk by the CEO/CTO highlighting some specific advances/innovations/exclusives of the car. Then, the garage door opened in a haze of fog-machine produced atmosphere and the car rolled in. It is a beautiful car and everyone was very impressed.
We spent the rest of the party trying the VR car viewer followed by talking to several Lucid employees. It was a great time and I’m so glad we went.
The next day, SMS had to work and I hung out in Palo Alto. I went to Rumble Boxing, Blue Bottle (twice!), the mall, and the grocery store. I also did some laundry and cooked dinner for Valentine’s Day. Forget “Engagement Chicken,” I made SMS some biscuits and gravy! It turned out pretty well although I think the sausage we used the first time was better. Then we had molten lava cakes for dessert, which were very tasty. I know the menu is not pleasingly cohesive but, hey, it worked for us!
On Saturday, we had a Blue Bottle breakfast and shopped for veggies at the small farmer’s market. Then we headed up to Lafayette to hang out with Jyotsna and Akshay. It was a fun afternoon of eating, drinking, and socializing. We went to their friends’ house in Orinda for a bit. It was nice to talk to them. We had met once before and got along well. We headed home for dinner. I made a Zuppa Tuscana that was pretty tasty and a dupe for the Olive Garden soup for those in the know.
Sunday was our more active day. We ate breakfast at home and then went for a hike on Windy Hill. It was a gorgeous day. I feel so lucky to be able to go on such great hikes! I also made a veggie lasagna that was pretty good. Thanks Smitten Kitchen!
Monday was another work day for SMS/holiday for me. I went to Rumble and Blue Bottle. I was going to go to the museum but Jyotsna invited me to a farm tour!
We went to the Nest Box farm and it was a delight! We fed cows, chickens, goats, and sheep. We collected eggs. There was a small picnic that we supplemented with more food and (surprise!) wine. We looked at the barn, garden areas, and pet rescue rabbit area. It was a beautiful day to be outside and a really cool experience. I want to go back with SMS and stay overnight, which will allow us to do more on the farm like milk a cow!
SMS came home a little after 6. We had some dinner and after that, it was time to go to the airport since I needed to head back so I could be on time for my Tuesday clinic. It was such a great weekend!
SMS and I had another great weekend in San Diego. After he arrived Friday night, we woke up Saturday morning and decided to go to Morning Glory and try the famous soufflé pancakes. We got there around 9:30 and the line was already pretty crazy. We had been warned to go early but hey, it was Saturday and I didn’t want to hurry. There were two seats left at the seat-yourself bar area so we lucked out!
We had coffee, soufflé pancakes, and the Georgian (country) dish Khachapuri. There was an extensive boozy drink menu but I was on call. The guy next to us said his was intense! The soufflé pancakes were pretty good and the Khacapuri was basically fancy cheesy bread. Overall, I liked the place but there are so many brunch places in San Diego that I would choose trying a new place rather than going back.
After breakfast, we went to the Farmer’s Market. Overall, it was a pretty mellow day which was great since the next day was race day!
Yes, I had signed up for the Coronado Valentine’s 10K after my sister-in-law told me about it. She’s an amazing athlete so her time was about 10 minutes faster than mine and she didn’t even had a good race. But, I was very excited about my splits since I averaged just over 8 min/mile and it had been awhile since I’ve done that! Also, my last mile was run in 7’34” which was unexpected and motivating to keep working out!
Afterwards, we went to The Henry with the whole family for brunch so two good brunches in a row. SMS went home later that evening so kind of a quick, mellow weekend.
SMS and I had an extended weekend in NYC! It was fantastic! We arrived into EWR very late on Friday and took a ride share over to Brooklyn. We stayed at an Aloft that was on the edge of the DUMBO district. The hotel had a few mixed reviews, mainly regarding the paper thin walls (true) and the too-tiny size (not really true but this is very subjective). Importantly, it was clean, on the inexpensive side, and a place to sleep. Since we usually travel to do things rather than hang out at the hotel, I would recommend the Aloft. The only reason I wouldn’t stay again is that I would likely want to explore a different neighborhood rather than repeat an experience.
It wasn’t the most über-cool part of Brooklyn, but enough that there was an awesome food hall nearby. We ate at the DeKalb Market Hall three times during the trip. We had thin Spanish-style churros (awesome), arepas (really disappointing), pierogis (delicious), and coffee (necessary). The building also has an Alamo Drafthouse and Flying Tiger so it’s definitely worth checking out.
We were in town to celebrate my college friend’s birthday. I still owe her for the amazing time she showed me on my 21st birthday (heavy sarcasm). In all seriousness, I wanted to be there for my amazing friend for her landmark birthday so SMS and I made it happen! Saturday was the main day so after sleeping in (we stayed on West Coast time the whole trip) and eating at DeKalb, we headed over to Citi Field for a private tour!
Overall, Google Maps is a lifesaver for figuring out how to take public transport in a new city but there are definitely some gaps in the system. We found a big one on our way to the tour since we took the subway to the LIRR with the plan to go two stops to Mets-Willets Park. We were cheerfully oblivious that this would not work since the train does not stop there on game days. Fortunately, a very nice conductor saw our tickets and told us this before we reached Woodside, so we hopped off and took a Lyft. So, not the most efficient and we didn’t have time for a pre-tour drink at Mikkeller, but at least we weren’t late for the tour itself.
The tour was awesome! We went to the press room, different box seat levels, the rotunda, the club house, the dugout, and the field. I think the highlight for me is knowing that beer cooler #1, the Grand Central Station of all the non-craft beer to different vendors around the stadium, is directly opposite the Clubhouse. It was nice to meet some of Karen’s friends before the group grew for a delicious Thai dinner at SriPraPhai.
Dinner was delicious. SMS and I shared a green curry and pad see-ew. After that, we headed back to Brooklyn with Laddie, Dave, Hillary, and Jason. Laddie, Hillary, SMS, and I grabbed an after-dinner drink at Svendale Brewing Co. Tasting Room, which was a really cute place with a nice bartender. All the beers were served in wine glasses, which angers one of Karen’s friends on principle but fortunately, he wasn’t there.
On Sunday, SMS and I slept in again and then headed to DeKalb. We headed to the NY Transit Museum, which was pretty interesting. It’s not a must-do but it is cool to learn more about the vast, iconic subway system and what went into making it and the maintenance and upgrades over the years.
Then, we went to the Other Half brewing company where we had a few taster beers with Karen and, a little later on, Stephen. The beers were delicious and it was fun to try a lot of different small pours. Then, we went to Laddie and Dave’s house for the Super Bowl with a brief stop in the most ridiculous, gourmet grocer on the way, Court St Grocer. It’s less ridiculous if you just accept it as a slightly mis-named fancy sandwich shop.
Laddie had an ad in the Super Bowl line-up, which was fun to see. The game was an exciting, fast-paced one with a comeback ending. And that’s about the depth of my analysis and caring.
The highlight, though, was a trip across the river to PS1. This is prime evidence that SMS is a saint because once I realized the James Turrell Meeting was located there and that it wasn’t in the middle of Long Island (I don’t know why I thought this), I wanted to go so badly. And SMS gamely agreed to two art museums in a day!
PS1 was so cool! It’s located in an old public elementary school and is such a throwback, evocative building that the setting itself is one of the best elements about the visit. It reminds me of St. James Catholic School in Red Bank, NJ.
We saw Meeting (yay!) and a few other pieces. SMS thought the coolest thing was the old coal furnace in the basement. It was huge and very elaborate! We grabbed a coffee in the little cafe and then headed to Williamsburg for pulled noodles at Xi’an’s Famous Foods, which were delicious!
We walked around Williamsburg, including McCarren Park. Then we headed to the water and took the East River Ferry from North Williamsburg down to Dumbo, which was a gorgeous thing to do at sunset. We walked through Dumbo and settled on Colonie for drinks and a light dinner. I loved that bar and, since we came upon it rather than researching it, were lucky that we found the perfect fit for what we were looking for!
After dinner, we headed to the hotel and watched two episodes of Cheer. It’s a good series and it let us stay up so we were still on West Coast time. One more episode to go! Will they win?!?! I think the answer is yes but I’m waiting to watch with SMS!
Our last day, we went to Bluestone Lane for breakfast after testing the wheels on my MUJI roll-aboard. Still holding strong! Strong recommend- both the cafe and the suitcase!
Then, we went to the 9/11 memorial since SMS had never been. It is so amazingly powerful. It doesn’t even feel like history since I can so vividly remember the day and it still has such wide ramifications on our current time.
Afterwards, we went to Eataly and grabbed a coffee while discussing a super cool company, Cesta Collective with the two founders. It was really exciting to talk about a promising, mission-based business that these two women believe in so strongly.
Then, it was time to go. We took the PATH train from WTC to Newark-Penn Station. Then, we took the 62 bus, which was really easy and came every 10 minutes. Even an Uber wouldn’t have been that much faster and it was nice to use public transportation. Basically, getting to EWR is a bit of hassle no matter which way we would go but hey, the flights are the cheapest!
We had cheesesteaks before our flights because we like to choose the healthy option. Then, it was back to the West Coast for an abbreviated work week.
SMS came into town for the long weekend since our main social event was his Dad’s birthday party on Saturday!
On Saturday morning, we went to the Farmer’s Market to buy kale for the salad requested for dinner. The kale salad recipe I use is from Oh She Glows, a veg/vegan recipe blog. The only thing I leave out are the dried cranberries. It’s a great recipe although you’ll see it’s not low-fat, which is fine- just something to keep in mind.
We parked in Banker’s Hill to avoid Little Italy traffic/lack of parking and, on the way, stopped by an open house for a penthouse apartment with an incredible view of the San Diego airport because it was directly in the landing approach. We were out on the balcony and I think we could see the pilots’ eyeballs! It seems like a place that would be great to rent for a vacation but a little tough to live there full-time. Plus, the margin of error for having an airplane in the master bedroom seems a little too close for comfort. We wished we had taken some pictures because it was pretty incredible.
At The Farmer’s Market, we bought a crazy amount of kale and admired two bulldogs in a stroller. And if we ever felt like we didn’t belong in San Diego…
That evening was a fun celebration of Rip’s birthday! SMS got him a hat that looks great, although the perfect fit was obtained the next day when we exchanged it for a medium. Fashionable headwear with a side of sun protection!
On Sunday, SMS and I decided to go for a hike. We hiked South Fortuna and it was a lot of fun. I wore boots I bought at the REI garage sale a year ago and they worked out well until they didn’t. My left Achilles tendon got super-irritated. I’ll keep trying to break them in but maybe the high ankles don’t work? I don’t know. I feel like my left leg is the more fragile of the two. That’s the side where my knee will hurt, my big toe will hurt, whah, whah, whah.
Then, we went back to Rip and Linda’s for some yummy chicken chili that fits with the Whole 30 diet. It’s always nice to see them and a bonus to get fed. We hung out for a few hours and then headed home.
Another bonus from going to Linda and Rip’s was loading up on tropical plants. My balcony is going to look so green and inviting once I get the succulents potted!
Today, SMS has the day off but it was sort of late-breaking news. We’re going to Little Italy to walk and grab lunch before he leaves. All the later flights were sold out when we went to change his flight. After that, I’ll probably just hang out at home and read. I’m in the middle of How To Read the Air and it’s quite good.
Another month mash-up! At the beginning of the month, SMS and I took a walk over to the Cantor Arts Center. We enjoyed the temporary exhibit West x Southwest: Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. We also looked at the objects in the “Melancholy Museum,” an organized presentation of many items collected by Leland Stanford the III, the only child of Leland Stanford, Jr. and who died at the age of 16 from typhoid. The pictures above are the death masks of the three Stanfords (macabre!) and on the left, an Ansel Adams picture. Mrs. Stanford’s death story is especially interesting since she was poisoned twice and the second time, died. She was murdered and it is an unsolved crime!!!
I went to UCSD for Grand Rounds during the week and decided to document this statue’s ignominy of getting constantly crapped on by birds.
SMS gave me this cool mug! Thank you!!!
SMS and I spent the weekend in Newport. I got a breakfast-in-a-glass Bloody Mary and had SMS take a picture in front of Birdie to show to the paraquitos!
The next weekend, I took a few days off of work for a family vacation. First, I stayed with my grandfather in Stuart, FL for a few days which was really relaxing and fun. My grandfather just became a Bridge Master, so I took a picture of his trophy glass. I also took a picture of the many panic button lanyards at the gym…hazards of working out when older but hey, it’s good to be alive and kicking, just not on the floor unable to get up.
Then I drove down to Bay Harbour/North Miami for a family wedding, Dad’s side. On the way, I stopped for lunch and a quick walk at the Morikami Museum. The Japanese gardens were gorgeous. I enjoyed lunch on an outdoor deck and during that time, I decided I really liked Southern Florida in November!
I was the only one of my immediate family who could make it and since my cousins had been great in coming to our weddings, I wanted to show up for theirs. It was absolutely beautiful with a ceremony on the beach and the reception indoors at the Four Seasons.
On the way back, I connected through Chicago which meant I could get a margarita roadie to go while making my way across the airport. Yeah, I really needed that! *Eyeroll* But how can I stay away from Rick Bayless?!?! I also met a woman who has a “real” company and a “fun” company. We talked about her “fun” company, which specializes in cashmere onesies. She was rocking one herself and both the flight attendant and I thought it was wonderful. It’s pricy but so tempting! Don’t worry, have still resisted temptation…so far!
I arrived home to a full apartment since our friends were visiting. The A family had a crazy-busy San Diego itinerary- they went to the Zoo, Safari Park, Legoland, AND SeaWorld! I worked during the week, but we would meet up afterwards for dinner. On Wednesday, I watched Ishaan while the parents had a date night. Even though Ishaan and I had fun, I am no match in the popularity contest once SMS arrives!
Yes, Ishaan made SMS a poster and we picked him up from the airport. On the way back, we stopped at the Spruce St suspension bridge, which made Ishaan a little nervous.
The next day, we all went to La Jolla for lunch at the Taco Stand (so good!), followed by a trip down to the Cove and the Children’s Beach, now overrun by sunbathing seals.
Afterwards, we went to Cabrillo National Monument and walked around the tide pools at sunset. It was beautiful!
We went to the top to overlook San Diego and saw a really cool focal rain storm. It was hard to capture on camera, but we did our best!
We met up with John at Craft & Commerce, which everyone enjoyed. Jyotsna ranked their cocktails slightly higher than Herb & Wood, but thought both places were amazing.
Finally, SMS and I found a new-to-us restaurant, A Taste of Denmark. Their smørrebrøds, with homemade multigrain bread, were on point! The herring was my favorite.
To end the month, SMS and I took a walk through the Hotel Del to look at the Christmas decorations. We also caught a beautiful sunset from the beach.