Today we left Irvine and drove south for our two days of vacation in San Diego. Drink it in; it always goes down smooth. We got up early and arrived here around 10:30. We met our friends Dave and Denise Rodriguez for lunch and an afternoon of sightseeing. The Rodriguezes used to live in Orlando, and they moved back here a few years ago. Now, David enjoys having visitors from back east and gloating about life in San Diego. I will say this, he certainly had some things to gloat about. The weather here is beautiful; there is lots to do; the cultural scene is super; the scenery is wonderful. There's nothing worse that a gloater who has a reason to gloat.
We went to Emeliano's for lunch - a Mexican restaurant that David knows the owners of. It is named after on of the revolutionaries who fought against Mexican rule. Great googidy moogidy. I had this experience once before. When we took our trip to Pennsylvania a few years back, I discovered that what I had always assumed passed for a steak and cheese sandwich actually was junk compared to a REAL one. Well, it happened with Mexican food today. I have eaten my share of "mexican food" in my day. But I never had REAL Mexican food. I had a carne asada platter (steak with chili peppers, rice, beans, a cheese enchilada). The food was so good. Man oh man. That is one of my favorite parts of traveling. I love trying out restaurants that I have never been to. Yum.
After that, we went driving to the San Diego lighthouse, where we got an unbelievable view of the harbor, ocean, naval bases, all around. It was so beautiful. The big SD is indeed a gorgeous place. After that, we drove over to Balboa Park. We'll spend some time there tomorrow too when we go to the San Diego Zoo. Anyway, we got to see all the different museums and everything. They call Balboa the Central Park of the West. It is just this enormous area carved out of the city that has parks, botanical gardens, theaters, museums, and more all around. There is a place called The Old Globe Theater that puts on Shakespeare plays. There is a museum that has dinosaur fossils and the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is an Aerospace Museum, a Sports Museum, a Veteran's Memorial, and about twenty other buildings. It is a wonderful place and I hope we can see some of it after the zoo. Oh yeah, the zoo is in Balboa Park too.
After all of that, we checked into La Quinta (Spanish for wireless internet). About a month and a half ago, I had made reservations at Ruth's Chris steakhouse for tonight. We had gotten a big gift card for the restaurant by cashing in our Visa Rewards. So, I knew we were coming and that it would be a cool place to go. The location was right on the harbor - you could see yachts and everything out the window during dinner. Ruth's Chris is where I asked Heather's parents for permission to marry her back in 2000. We hadn't been back there since. It was, as you might expect, very very good. Heather says their Shrimp Cocktail is the best ever. She had that with a filet and creme brulee. I had a bone-in ribeye with spinach au gratin and berries for dessert. It was great and fun to spend time together. Then we came back to La Quinta (Spanish for free muffins for breakfast). Tomorrow is ZOO DAY. Then we return to Florida. I know these posts haven't had the emotional or theological oomph that some of the earlier ones did. But I hope that they are interesting to someone - maybe just my stalker. :)