June 3, 2009

San Diego - Imperial Beach, Balboa Park

Thursday, the crummy weather continued. We were introduced to the term May Gray Day courtesy of the local news, they anticipated it to continue all week and become June Gloom. Cute, eh? Not so much. I wanted the sun. I wanted warmth. I was over winter. Yes, it felt like winter and I swear we were having winter blues flash backs.

Once we got out and about we headed to Point Loma for an early lunch. Before the trip I collected a list of eateries to try. At the top of the list was Con Pane Rustic Breads and Café. Fortunately, it was an easy find and parking was available, too.

We stepped inside and I thought I was dreaming. Everything looked delicious. It was certainly a place where carb-lovers dreams are made. I ordered the Italian Salami sandwich on Rosemary Olive Oil (one of their daily breads). Frank chose the Turkey Cobb on Sourdough (another daily). And he ordered a cinnamon roll to share for dessert.

Mine was the best sandwich I ever tasted. The bread totally made it, but the sundried tomatoes, pepperoncini, lettuce and basil pesto was like icing on the cake. We shared our sandwiches; I ate half of Frank’s Turkey Cobb. It was also delicious, but not out of this world like mine. Again the bread was fantastic. I didn’t think lunch could get any better, but then we dug into the cinnamon roll. Usually, I think the purpose of the outside of the roll is to keep the center moist. Not in this case. The outside was better than most cinnamon rolls’ center. I can’t even put into words how tasty the inside was. Seriously, I must be dreaming!

We left on cloud nine vowing to be back tomorrow. We decided to check out Coronado. We’ve heard it’s a must see and finally took the opportunity to see it for ourselves.

Driving on the Coronado Bridge.

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View of San Diego from the bridge.

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We followed the street and it led us to the Military Base. We had to explain to the nice guard that we drove up by mistake. He let us turn around and then we drove around more. Passing quaint house after quaint house, then finally, we came to Hotel Del Coronado. We caught a glimpse from the street. We were low on gas and on the hunt for a gas station so we didn’t stop. Somehow, we found ourselves in Imperial Beach before we found a gas station. We filled up and then had a look around. It was damn chilly. We thought we’d rent bikes in Coronado and ride the shore, but it was much too cold. I dipped my hand in the ocean at Imperial Beach just to say I was in it. It felt warmer than the air. Previous visits it has felt ice cold.

Imperial Beach Pier in the distance.

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USS Ronald Reagan deployed that day I think that might be it in the distance.

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We kept on, eventually coming up on the Tijuana Estuary and not long after we found ourselves on the I-5. We weren’t sure how that happened, but nothing on Coronado stuck with us that made us want to return so we headed to Balboa Park. Another attraction we missed on previous trips.

We started at the Rose Garden, which offered a huge variety of blooms.

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And then we walked through the Desert Garden.

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This was a wild tree. It was practically hollow inside.

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I could semi-comfortably live inside it, it was roomy enough.

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The huge fig tree outside the Natural History Museum

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We checked out the free exhibits inside the History Museum and Photographic Arts Building and then continued on to find the Japanese Friendship Garden.

First we came across the Botanical Building but it was closed. However, we enjoyed the lily pond.

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View of the Museum of Man.

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Finally we found the Japanese Garden we stopped for tea to warm up. Admission for the two of us was eight bucks. It wasn’t worth it. The garden was small and we didn’t find anything impressive to see.

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After that we had our fill of Balboa Park. We returned to the hotel for our daily nap and then set out for dinner. I chose Café Chloe for dinner. When looking for parking I realized the Kebab Shop was on the same street. It was another restaurant that made my list of places to try. We walked into Café Chloe and no one greeted us, we bailed when Frank said he didn’t see a single diner with food. We walked over to the Kebab Shop. I ordered Beef Köfte Kebab with caprese salad and saffron rice. Frank had Lamb Shawarma with saffron rice. Despite the rave reviews on Yelp, we thought it was pretty weak. My kebab reminded me of meatloaf and we’ve had far better lamb at “Greek Joints” back in Chicago. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t special.

We walked to the gaslamp district and stopped in Ghiradelli for dessert. Frank had a banana split and I had an Intense Dark Sundae with dark chocolate fudge and coffee flavored ice cream. It was rich, but oh, so good.

From there we walked around until we found ourselves back at Los Panchos for more margaritas. They brought us chips and salsa, too. We couldn’t let that go to waste. Oh, no!

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Two margaritas, and who knows how many chips, later, I felt like I was going to burst. No mas. We walked back to the car. And a quick five minute drive later, we were back at the hotel. After another five minutes we were relaxing in bed sipping back Pacifico. Take that convenient trolley.

4 comments:

Christine said...

what is that i see? a food photo!? well, it's a drink but for you it counts.

My name is Kellee. said...

I know, I'm usually too impatient. I just consume what's in front of me. And then, I think, damn, I should've taken a picture. Before I downed the second one, I thought, wait! I'll take a pic.

Hurricane Mikey said...

You guys should've made it over to Hob Nob Hill for breakfast. It's one of my favorite spots in all of San Diego, and it's been there for-frickin'-ever.

My name is Kellee. said...

I've heard it's real good. It's made my list on the last two trips, but we never made it. Next time!