A San Diego New Year
We just got back from a quick trip down to San Diego to ring in the New Year and to see P’s family before his brother goes back to Florida. We actually weren’t going to go and then after some lame news on Wednesday I decided at around 4pm that I didn’t want to be home and that we should make the drive (which is about 8-9 hours depending on traffic). So we ran around the house, packed up some clothes and the dog, and went south. I’m not normally a spontaneous person, but I’m not sure my parents have ever planned a trip more than a few hours in advance, so this may be a further sign of aging equals turning into your parents.
Thursday we went to Paul’s mom’s work in the morning (she runs a garden) and after some walking around where I couldn’t stop coughing we realized that my evil cold had morphed into something more serious and went to urgent care where I had to convince the doctor that I didn’t have whooping cough (I’ve been vaccinated so it’s unlikely anyway). He ended up giving me antibiotics for bronchitis, which have helped enormously (though they totally mess with my stomach and make me dizzy).
Friday (New Years Eve) I was feeling a little better so we took Hazel and P’s parents’ shepherd puppy Gus to the dog beach.
He’s going to be a huge dog. He’s only six months and he’s already as big as Hazel, with about the same amount of energy and defiance. He’s also sort of a spaz. Last night, he burned the fur on this back by getting too close to the fireplace and didn’t seem to notice at all. Luckily he also gets along really well with Hazel.
After the beach, P’s mom went to work and we went in search of our favorite taco truck (Mariscos German). Their complimentary fish soup, served in a styrofoam cup, has to be some of the best soup I’ve ever had. This time mine had this giant shrimp in it, with its antenna whisker things hanging out of the top of the soup.
I tried a few different tacos this time (though their plain fish taco remains my favorite). These are the gubanador (shrimp) and the smoked marlin. Tasty.
There were a couple of breweries in the Northern San Diego area that we’d been wanting to check out, so we headed up that way later in the afternoon. First stop was Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey.
Many of the breweries in San Diego are in warehouses in business parks, but they’ve done a particularly good job of making this a fun, comfortable place to drink.
We tasted seven different beers and we liked almost all of them (a few of the Belgians were a bit sweet, especially for Paul). We especially loved the Red Barn (Saison) from the Lost Abbey side of things, and the IPAs and the Santa’s Little Helper (Imperial Stout) from the Port Brewing Company. Also, it was a pretty amazing deal. We paid $15 and left with two large bottles of beer.
Next up was Green Flash. They have a pretty wide distribution, so we were surprised to find that their tasting room is tiny and really just a room in a business park with a small warehouse attached. No frills.
While their West Coast IPA and the Hoppy Red Head are both pretty amazing, hoppy, well balanced beers, there was some other sort of funky stuff on their tasting list, including a beer that I thought tasted like pepperoni pizza (the tasting room guy says he describes it as an onion flavor, but also agreed with me). Worth the stop, but not as exciting as Lost Abbey.
After making the brewery rounds, we made our way to our friend’s vacation rental in Encinitas for a New Years Party. It was fairly mellow, but with all the beer tasting before we even got there I was not doing well the next day.
After a long day of sitting on the couch, trying to make the room stop spinning, I finally downed enough ginger ale and pretzels to get up and dressed. We needed to pick P’s brother up from the train station in the evening, so we took the opportunity to check out another dog beach (Del Mar) . I really love Ocean Beach, but this might win as my favorite official dog beach. The main part was kind of dirty/stinky, but there is a very long beach that you can walk down with your dog off leash.
Hazel loved this beach and we mostly had it to ourselves which made for a more mellow dog beach experience. The sunset was also absolutely beautiful. I’m not normally someone who takes 100 pictures of the sunset, but I really couldn’t help myself.
I have a few pictures of our insane drive home today, but I’ll leave those for another post. Tomorrow morning we are going to Jerry Brown’s inauguration ceremony (I won tickets in a lottery), so I’ll report back on that as well.