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Trip Report San Diego Trip Report

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Just returned from a very short but very enjoyable trip to San Diego, La Jolla, and Del Mar. By way of explanation, I met my nephew, brother and sister-in law out there. I live in Northwest Florida. Nephew, Brother, SIL and I grew up in Alabama. Nephew always wanted to live in San Diego, and moved there a year ago, after visiting friends there many times. He is an insurance adjuster, and gets deployed all over the U.S., so he can have ahome base anywhere.

I had been to SD once, in 1993. This was the first trip for Brother and SIL. Nephew had been back east for a few months, working, and it was time to return to SD. He drove my brother and SIL out there in his diesel truck. I flew. They made some stops along the way - San Antonio, Tombstone, and Tuscon, where they had radiator trouble. They were very fortunate to find a mechanic who made the necessary repairs so that their trip was only slightly delayed.

Thursday, April 10 - left Panama City, Florida (home) via Southwest Airlines, changing plans in St Louis. Landed in San Diego in time to catch a beautiful sunset. My nephew, brother, and sister-in-law picked me up at the airport, and we headed out to eat at a restaurant on the harbor. Unfortunately, it closed at 7:00 pm, so we drove around, looking for an alternative. By sheer luck, we stumbled upon Pizza Nova, which was a great decision. The portions were huge, and the prices were very reasonable. Each entree (grilled salmon, Chicken Marsala and Chicken Picatto)was under $15.00.

We then picked up a rental car, and followed nephew to the home we were renting from a friend of my nephew. Nephew has a large diesel truck, so we thought it would be nice to have a mid size car to get around in, as his truck gets poor gas mileage and is difficult to park in tight spaces. Nephew lives in Del Mar, but he decided to bunk with us, as we had three bedrooms. The home was a small 3b/2b ranch home in San Diego, just south of the Claremont Town Center. The home had recently been redecorated.and was very comfortable and convenient. Nephew stocked up on a few groceries at a nearby Target and we headed to bed.

Friday, April 11 - We drove to Coronado Island in the rental car. We parked on Orange Avenue and had breakfast at a small diner, Night and Day. Breakfast ran about $13, including food and beverage. We then walked to the Hotel del Coronado, entering from the beach side. We walked through the grounds, marveled at the beautiful wood, did some window shopping, and enjoyed reading about the history of the hotel. We did a bit more walking, then nephew drove us around the island while we enjoyed looking at the beautiufl homes. We made a stop to take photos, and headed back to the rental home to freshen up.

Nephew then drove us around Mission Bay, showing us where he previously lived in Ocean Beach. He then drove us to Old Town. We had dinner at Miguel's. It was fine - nothing special, less than $14 pp. We then walked around Old Town for a while and bought some souveniers for family/friends/coworkers. We got back to the rental house, and SIL and I took a quick trip to a CVS in Claremont Town Center for some essentials.

Saturday, April 12 -- gassed up the diesel, picked up breakfast at a fast food drive through and headed to the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial. We had an incredible view of the area and met some very nice young ladies who were on the first leg of a weekend trip. Nephew then drove us thorugh beautiful neighborhoods, and up the coast to La Jolla. We stopped at a beach and did some walking, then headed to the Torrey Pines Gliderport. We spend an hour or so watching the paraglider take off and land, then hiked a bit in the Torrey Pines State Park. Nephew then drove us to one of his favorite lunch spots, the Americanana restaurant in Del Mar. SIL got a tomato soup and half chicken salad sandwich. She was not impressed with the soup -- found it bland. However, the sandwich, which I tasted, was delightful. I had the grilled chicken, and it was just ok. Service was poor. The price was less than $15. pp, including beverage.

We then walked around Del Mar, and headed on up the coast. We stopped at a Starbucks in Encinitas for a mid afternooon break, and then headed back to Del Mar and went by nephew's home. He rents a house with two guys and a young woman. It is a multi cultural household. Nephew is from South. One roomate is a model (female) from Russia. Another is a chef/family trainer from South Vietnam. The third roomie is a chef from the Phillipines. We also met a good friend, a biochemist who grew up in both France and Toronto. After visitng for a while, nephew took us
back to Torrey Pines State Park where we walked along the beach and hiked into the State Park. Nephew wanted us to see a beautiful sunset, but the weather didn't cooperte, as it was overcast. We then had dinner at another one of his favorite spots, Urban Plates at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center. This was a great meal. I had grilled salmon with a mustard sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, and braised asparagus. Each entree is $10. Very good value and well seasoned food. We split a brownie of some type that has a salty caramel sauce. Delicious.

Sunday, April 13 -- Had breakfast at the house -- fruit and left overs. Drove to El Cajon to the Shadow Mountain Church. SIL wanted to hear David Jeremiah preach. I had never been to a "mega church" and didn't have high expectations. However, I enjoyed the service very much and the people we met were very welcoming and friendly.

I had spotted a Norstrom's Rack off I-8 near Hotel circle, and had intended to return later in the day and shop. However, after we returned to the rental house, we ate turkey sandwiches and took a quick nap. We then headed back to Mission Beach and Ocean Beach, before stopping at the Children's Pool at La Jolla to see the seals. That was a treat. We then drove to nephew's home, where a feast awaited. Nephew's roomates and friends prepared a special meal for us. The roomie who is a family fitness/chef explained why he used the specific oils, herbs, etc. We had roasted purple sweet potatoes, broiled Chilean Sea Bass with a ginger glaze, served with black rice, stir fried vegetables, broiled asparagus and brocolini. For dessert, we had fresh coconut blended with raw honey and some type of cream, served with fresh berries. As a special treat, one of the roomies carved a watermelon with our college mascot and our family name. We saw several photos his food art. Three more friends joined us, so we had a lively meal and my nephews' friends and roomies were so very gracious, funny and welcoming.

Monday -- April 14 - sadly, I had to fly home at 9:00 am. I had a wonderful visit and met some very nice folks. We never encountered a rude person the entire trip, and we felt much safer than we do "back home." We didn't encounter any heavy traffic -- maybe it was just luck, or maybe nephew knew how/where/when to take certain roads, but it was all just the best. I loved the weather -- low humidity, cool breezes, and no mosquitoes!!

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