Let’s go to San Diego

Brunch at MatthewsSaturday we made a quick flight down to Paso Robles for our third attempt to eat at Matthews at the Airport (our first attempt was a turn back due to screaming baby, and our second attempt was a turn back due to generator failure). We’d heard such good things about the restaurant and that it’s anything but a typical $100 hamburger joint. Indeed it is everything people speak of. We stumbled in at noon and still managed to get breakfast. They really have “redefined french toast”, as a fellow flier in the area remarked, stuffing it with raisins, walnuts, apples, and mascarpone cheese. The mushroom risotto frittata was savory delicious with a side of rosemary potatoes. They even brought a bowl of sliced banana for the kiddo to gum on.

As we finished our coffee after eating, we jokingly toyed, “hey, the weather’s beautiful, let’s just toodle on down to San Diego for the weekend! We can pick up any necessities we need when we get there …” My aunt and uncle snow bird there for the winter, and we’ve yet to ever visit them, so, what better time than now? Several phone calls later we had a rental car arranged for the weekend ($23 from Hertz!). The place to stay took a few more calls since it turned out there was a big Chargers game on Sunday.

For dinner, we ate at our favorite sushi place, Sushi Deli 2 on Broadway. After visiting my relatives, we arrived around 8:30 and were told it would be about a half-hour wait. We finally got a table at closing time, just before 10. Sushi Deli is becoming a love/hate restaurant for me. Unless you go early, or on a week night, it’s just miserable to get in. But, where else can two people waddle away from ala-carte sushi ordering, including rounds of sake and Saporro and only rack up a $52 tab? It’s a mandatory stop for us when we make it to town.

Breakfast at the Tractor RoomThe next mandatory stop is breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. Another place that you need to go early or on a weekday. Of course, we didn’t get the early start we optimistically talked of the night before and there was another “half-hour wait” to get in. However, they’ve opened a new venue just a block away called the Tractor Room with a similar menu and, in our case, no waiting — which was just enough incentive to try it out. The Tractor Room, for those that haven’t ventured to it yet, utilizes a hunter’s theme from the antler chandelier, to the wild game dishes on the menu. It has the unmistakable sibling characteristics of Hash House, but it is much more subdued with dark lighting, a quieter atmosphere, and generally seems to cater to the more “uppity-up” crowd. I’d estimate the menu is $2-4 more per plate. The food is equally good, although the raspberry, macadamia nut pancake was much too big and would benefit from a less starchy flour like buckwheat or whole oat flour. The bottom line is that Hash House is better, but the Tractor Room is a reasonable alternative if there is no wait to get in.

Next stop was to finally tour the USS Midway. Since none of the trip was planned, I didn’t have my camera* and there are a number of things I’d comment on if only I had a photo to go with it. As it turns out, 3 hours wasn’t nearly enough time to see the whole thing, so we’ll be back again. Compared to the USS Hornet in Alameda, Midway is generally in much better condition. Of course, San Diego with its active military community compared to (parts of) the Bay Area’s anti-military community, it is no surprise that Midway generates considerably more attendance revenue to fund the endless maintenance and brightwork.

While we were on deck of Midway, we rather accidentally found ourselves in prime viewing location for a mock battle between ships from a century long gone. While they only fired empty charges at each other, they still made quite the concussive thump that startled many and reverberated off the buildings. It was good fun to watch, and I’m sure it was even better on deck. (update: h/t to Lex for the link which made me realize this wasn’t exactly a regular weekend event on the bay).

Maia slept for most of the flight back and the conclusion of our unplanned weekend. I never would have thought such would be possible before we had kids and I think it just goes to show that life with kids is just what you make of it. You can choose to use them as an excuse to be tied down, and in fairness there are babies that just don’t travel well at all, but, I think most people just don’t live spontaneously enough.

*Please pardon my usage of the cell-phone camera pictures above. I abhor the quality and promise not to make a habit of it.

1 comment to Let’s go to San Diego

  • Valerie

    Yes, it was a fantastic getaway and one that proved there is *spontaneous* life after children after all. Of course, we have the worlds best baby…;)

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