San Diego, California

San Diego is awesome. We were there for two weeks so we got a good feeling for the city. The weather is amazing, the traffic is light, the craft beer scene is world class, there are beaches, and close access to Mexico. It wasn’t a city that was high on my radar when we started the trip. But it surprised us and surpassed our expectations on every level. If only it wasn’t so far away from all of our families!

Imperial Beach

IMAG3512Imperial beach is the most southwestern city in the continental United States. We chose this place because the RV Park had great reviews and it was close to Mexico. So close in fact that you can walk down the beach to the wall separating the countries. Other than its proximity to Mexico, its just like any other small beach town. There are some nice little cafes, a brew pub, and constant military helicopter drills to impress the neighbors.

Katy’s Cafe

IMAG3491Discovered this place on foursquare, it had pretty good reviews and it was a short drive from the RV Park. We were very impressed with the quality and price of the food. Super reasonable when you think about how much food you get. If you’re hungry get the combo, it comes with a full sized smoothie and a bowl of granola topped with smoothie. Along with a large sandwich. And I pretty sure chips are just free to everyone with everything.

Coronado Del Hotel

IMAG3590IMAG3585We didn’t even know this was here when we picked out destination. We just knew that we wanted to see San Diego. But every time we asked anybody they said we should see the hotel. We drove by it one day on the way to downtown and we decided to take our own little tour. They have a fantastic deck out back that has a bar on it. So we got a couple drinks and enjoyed the sunset. We walked around the hotel a a little and pretended that we were guests. Laurel then remembered that she had been here before when her sister graduated from law School. It’s a beautiful iconic old hotel that has been featured in many movies. In a weird coincidence I watched one of them ‘The Stunt Man’ a few weeks later.

El Cilantro

Always trying to find the local places, this got pretty good reviews on foursquare. Two things you look for in local places, big portions and local Police eating there. Always a good sign. Their sauces are amazing.

Bernardo Shores RV Resort

IMAG3485It’s an adult park. They should probably get a new term because the whole time I had the suspicion that this was a swingers resort. But it just means that they don’t allow kids. The spots are concrete and surrounded by hedges. The view out to the bay is really beautiful and it’s very quiet there. We were in the off season, so there were only about 5 people in the whole park. The wifi varied between blazing fast and non existent. But it’s a really convenient location to explore San Diego if you want to stay in a quieter side of town. It’s right off of 75 and you can take the ‘Silver Strand’ to Coronado, it’s a beautiful drive down the beach.

San Diego Maritime Museum

IMAG3616IMAG3625Another thing that we just happened upon, we were looking for a seafood place and this was next door to the place we found. It was pretty great, we didn’t have a guided tour but they did have a bunch of plaques to read about the ships. It was really interesting to be able to go inside the american and Russian submarines. Some areas were blocked off but you could pretty much touch anything and use the periscope. I’m pretty much a child. Laurel liked the Pirate ships more, something more romantic about the captain’s quarters compared to the torpedo tubes in the Russian sub. Worth the price.

Hob Nob Hill

We ate breakfast here before our day at the zoo. It was also St Patricks day, so people were pregame drinking for the parade. It was very busy. But the service was good and the food was filling. It’s pretty much like and upscale Danny’s with bottomless mimosas.

San Diego Zoo

IMAG3660IMAG3677I think you’re required to come here, they hold the penguins hostage until all the tourists come through. But It’s a great time, probably the best zoo Ive ever been to. We pretty much did the whole thing, in about 6 hours. We probably could have stayed more. All the exhibits were top notch Elephants, Pandamonium, Flamingos. The great apes always make be sad, but I’m sure they’re well taken care of.

Ballast Point

IMAG3594Hands down the best looking brewery tasting room I’ve ever seen. Driving in it has that industrial district feel that all breweries seem to have. But once inside it’s 30 foot ceilings with industrial-ship themed decorations. They have water flowing down chains into wooden barrels. Just amazing. And that’s not even talking about the beers. They have a solid collection of regular beers, the Sculpin and Big Eye are classics. But their mixes are amazing. Habanero Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin, Ginger Big Eye. Their Indra Kunindra is flavored with Madras Curry, Cumin, Cayenne, Coconut, and Kaffir Lime Leaf which sounds like a bowl of Thai food, but instead it’s a delicious beer.

Favorite Beer : Victory at Sea (Bread Pudding) or Fathom with Orange and Vanilla or Indra Kunindra

Coronado Brewing Company

IMAG3516One of the many other breweries in town and we were lucky to have a brew-pub within a short drive. More of a ‘standard’ brewery, less experimentation than Ballast Point, but they have a solid collection of beers. I bought a new stainless steel vacuum sealed growler from them because it was only $35 and I liked their logo. Also they wouldn’t fill other breweries growlers, they’re still behind on the California laws.

Giant Pizza King

Walking distance from the RV park. When they say ‘GIANT’ they’re not joking, it literally wouldn’t fit through the door horizontally. We were eating pizza for days.

The Safehouse

IMAG3520After we walked around the neighborhood a while we settled on this place. We got a few pork buns and some soup while tasting beers and playing Mariokart 64 with some people at the bar and having some special craft beers. It’s like being in a secret clubhouse that has an awesome menu. I think I love this place.

Nahko and Medicine for the People at the Observatory 

IMAG3567An amazing concert. They put on a great show and the crowd was really into it. Nanko has such a power positive message, we hadn’t seen them since we accidentally discovered them late night at Floydfest a couple years ago. The Observatory North Park was a great place to see a show, big open room everywhere has a perfect view. Because it was an all ages show  we couldn’t buy beer inside the venue or bring it in from the bar area, which was inconvenient. One simple innovation, Air conditioned floor! The floor had hundreds of vents in it that pumped in cold air.

Rosarito Mexico

IMAG3538We couldn’t come all this way and not go down to Mexico. We were told to skip the touristy stuff in Tijuana and go to the next town, which has less expensive stuff. Like a Walmart and other normal things. They don’t even make you stop going through the border into Mexico, they direct you around this little maze, then it’s right onto the highway. We spent a little more time than we would have liked getting the prescription for the dog’s eyes. most of that time was spent trying to get a picture taken for our Mexican Prescription drug discount card but that saved us another $60 on top of already saving $200 off the USA price! After that victory we decided to get some margaritas on the beach. We parked at the Hotel Rosarito, which is very beautiful. We walked through it and onto the beach. we probably should have been a little more selective with the place we ended up at, we were a little dazed from the whirlwind of Mexico. It was like permanent spring break down there. So we paid ‘mucho dinero’ for our margaritas and tequilas on the beach. We left at sunset and besides getting stuck in a 2 hour line at the US border we didn’t have any trouble getting back into California.

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