Keira had a day off from school for teachers inservice, and since Mike and I were both off we decided to head out on a weekend getaway to San Diego. I found a nice little place in Pacific Beach, that was just across the street and up a hill from the beach. The weather has been nice lately in So Cal, so who doesn't want to be at the beach?
Once we got the lay of the land, we changed into our beach gear and made a beeline for the surf and sand. The sun may have been out, but it was windy at the beach. There were lots of kite surfers out, which made for some nice people watching.
We walked to downtown PB later that night for dinner (we went to Izakaya Pacific Beach, where Keira had 12 gyozas for dinner), and took the leisurely route home.
Saturday was spent at the San Diego Zoo, which was Keira and Mike's first visit. I didn't realize the zoo was so hill-y and with the weather being warm, I knew we wouldn't make it very long if we had to walk the whole zoo. Thank goodness they had bus tours!! The non-stop tour was 35-40 minutes long and covered a majority of the zoo. Keira wanted to get a closer look of the pandas and polar bears, so we made our way there via shady, downhill pathways. Lucky for us, there was another bus that made stops at certain parts of the zoo, so that's what we took to get us back to the entrance.
We stopped for some lunch before heading home to shower and rest up. I made reservations for dinner at Juniper & Ivy in Little Italy, which is Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais' newest restaurant. To say I was excited to go would be nothing but the truth. My only hope was that Chef Blais would actually be in-house and I could get a glimpse of him in person.
I was not disappointed!! As Ryan pointed out (he joined us for the night after work), Chef Blais was sporting a trendy top knot. If you've ever watched any of Top Chef, you'd know he's got some pretty crazy hairdos.
Ryan and Mike enjoying some Fanny Bay oysters with red wine mignonette and kimchi cocktail pearls
Did we enjoy the meal? YES. Would we go back. YES. I could've been rolled out of there a happy person.
Fanny Bay oysters; Buffalo Chicken Mushrooms with pickled carrots and celery, blue cheese hot sauce
Oxtail tortellini in bone broth, pickled chiles, baby broccoli and thai basil; Linguini and clams in uni butter, red chili broche crouton
Ensenada white sea bass with green posole, mussels and fava beans; Beef short rib with asparagus, preserved lemon vin and mushroom chips
Yodel: devil's cake, white chocolate, hazelnut brittle and hot chocolate
Being the food critics that we are (joking!!), there were a few things we thought were just a touch off, but overall the meal was really good. I would definitely go back if and when the menu changes (I think it may be a seasonal menu). We were a bit worried about whether or not Keira would make it through the night (our reservations were at 830pm), but she kept occupied with games and enjoyed dessert. We fed her beforehand, so she wasn't really interested in food.
We slept in a bit Sunday morning, and found a place via Yelp to have breakfast. I was in the mood for acai bowls and there seemed to be quite a few places in the area serving it. Little did we know, Amazona Acai Cafe was just a few blocks away!
Between the cheese breads (on special, 3 cheese breads and a 16 ouch coffee for $4), the Brazilian coxinhas (potato croquettes), the acai bowls and nectar juices, it's another place we would go back to if we are in town again. The cafe is run by a guy from Brazil and he does everything himself.
We headed north to Escondido to see my best friend Jeanine and her family. I really need to make more of an effort to go out and see them, we always seem to have a good time when we're together. I've known Jeanine since junior high school, but it wasn't until high school that we became the best of friends.
We had a lunch of various odds and ends, and had a ton of good conversation. We hardly saw Keira while we were there, she was off playing with Jeanine's 2 middle girls Michala and Addie.
Somehow we found ourselves outside (they live on an acre and half of land) shooting bows and arrows. They just bought an awesome camper that sleeps their family of 7, and Mike mentioned they are totally ready for an apocalypse. They also have 4 hens that lay eggs for them daily, and she let us bring them home! We gathered up 7 brown eggs and 2 pale blue ones. (Did you know that freshly laid eggs can remain unrefrigerated as long as you don't wash them? They have a special coating that keeps them from spoiling).
Keira feeding the chickens from the safe and secure location of Jeanine's back:
Jeanine's daughter Addie would just walk right up to a chicken, grab its tail and pick it right up. Jeanine says these chickens have been handled by people since they were chicks, so they're used to be picked up by the kids. Keira would have none of that, if you couldn't tell.
We had a very nice weekend away, and we're hoping to do this more often. We probably won't be going on a big vacation this year, so little getaways will have to do.