I have never had a bad time in San Diego. I don’t think it’s even possible. The nearly constant sunshine and unlimited opportunities for good food and good fun make it a favorite spot of ours. This weekend we had a lot to celebrate: Father’s Day, first day of summer, and best of all my grandma’s 90th birthday!!
Justin and I flew in late Friday night so that we would have 2 full days with our family. First order of business was hitting the hotel gym with the entire fam – we are very much into maintaining good health but mostly we just like to eat, A LOT! Come to think of it… Mom, Dad, and I actually went for coffee and pastry before going for our workout! Next it was off to Coronado for lunch and exploring at the exquisite Hotel Del Coronado.
We walked most places… but sometimes we cheated and took pedicabs, because they are FUN! We actually beat my aunt and uncle to the restaurant on Saturday night (they were driving with my grandma) because we took a pedicab and then just pretended that we walked really fast! We had a sumptuous dinner at de’Medici where my grandma was serenaded by the waiters singing in Italian. Two things you should know about my family at restaurants: we are loud, and we eat most energetically! The rest of Saturday night was spent walking the Gaslamp Quarter trying to decide what fun bar to go to, but we were so tired that a good night’s sleep won out.
Sunday started with a quick coffee and scone with my dad (meaning I took a few sips of his coffee and ate most of his scone) before heading off on a 6-mile adventure run with my love around the city. This was followed by an elegant brunch buffet at the Westgate Hotel. The buffet was expansive and I couldn’t even eat half of what was offered, but Justin and my Uncle Mark managed just fine. 🙂
We were so stuffed after brunch and antsy after sitting for too long, so Justin had the brilliant idea to rent bikes with my dad. The rest of the family was headed to the Gardens at Balboa Park, and we rode our bikes to meet them there. Justin was very impressed that I rode on busy city streets and up big hills on a rental cruiser bike. Let’s just say I am not known for my cycling prowess! Unfortunately the Botanical Building was closed, and it was too much walking and too hot for my grandma to see much of the gardens. While the rest of the family headed back to the hotel, our bike gang explored the rose garden, drank lemonade, and cooled off in the fountain. It was the best.
For dinner that night, my mom had selected an awesome barbecue joint in LaJolla (Bubba’s Smokehouse). She picked it because they were supposed to have the best onion rings — my grandma’s favorite. However, as Justin informed us, “Never plan to have dinner at a BBQ restaurant. They’re out of everything.” And he was right, they pretty much only had meat, salad, and fries. No onion rings, no bread, no mac & cheese, no coleslaw, and the list went on. Still, the food was delicious and my grandma perked up when they brought her a platter of chocolate chip cookies with ice cream for her birthday!
The evening ended with us presenting my grandma with her birthday gifts and singing her a special birthday song written by my uncle and my mom. She cried so many happy tears. Thanks to a recommendation from my cousin Ardee, we got her this awesome digital picture frame that receives photos directly to it’s dedicated email address. The brilliant thing about this frame is that we can send her pictures and she doesn’t have to do anything to view them – they will run on slideshow. We even programmed it to turn on and off automatically. The perfect gift for my tech-challenged grandma!
These days something I really enjoy about spending time with my family is watching my quiet and reserved husband interact and assimilate with our noisy, show tune-singing bunch. The worst part of living in Seattle is being so far from family, which makes time spent together that much sweeter.