First of all, I should start by saying that I have no room complain. Alex was quite possibly the best girlfriend when it came to my birthday this past December. She organized a scavenger hunt in Raleigh, all the way from Utah, that led me around the city to find two surprise Black Keys concert tickets for that very night (and here is a picture of my clues to prove it).
With that being said … somehow Alex managed to talk her way into a San Diego trip for her birthday this year. 3 days of sun, surf, and sand that were meant to leave us as tan and relaxed as we could possibly be (like I said, I can’t complain, she let me tag along). We landed on Thursday in the afternoon, grabbed our rental car and made our way to Ocean Beach where our humble abode was waiting for us. First of all, our AirBnB was awesome. If you ever want to stay in Ocean Beach check out OB RedfishT. Michael is the owner and he was the best host. He greeted us, pointed out some major landmarks, and let us get to our vacationing. The condo itself was a quick 2 block walk to the beach, across the street from OB Noodle House which we decided looked a lot like our dinner that night.
The next morning, we woke up and ran around the corner to Te Mana Cafe for breakfast. A local landmark that has been standing for over 100 years. If you are having trouble making a choice here, I don’t blame you but we would be remiss if we didn’t point you towards their Acai bowls which are ridiculously good. We quickly made our way down to Ocean Beach after breakfast and once the overcast burnt off, enjoyed a relaxing day in the sand.
That afternoon, we took the opportunity to check out some of the local breweries in San Diego, one of our other favorite past times. Starting at Ballast Point, we both chose to flights. I think we chose wisely considering all of our tastings were gone. We also decided to check out Stone Brewing at Liberty Station. The gardens here are down right perfect for a sunny San Diego afternoon. I highly suggest making your way to Stone’s Bistro if you get the chance. Saturday was slated to be beach day round 2, however, Alex managed to get a little too toasty Friday so we decided that it may not be the best idea. Instead we headed down to Little Italy for their Saturday Farmers Market, which easily turned out to be one of the most delicious parts of our trip. I even bought her a birthday cake cookie since it was officially her birthday!
We spent some time perusing the market offerings before we took off North towards La Jolla where we knew we could catch a few sea lions basking in the sun. Not only were the sea lions really cool to watch, the beach was beautiful! After a few hours here, we headed back to Ocean Beach for a quick change and to get ready for Alex’s birthday dinner. Before we left for San Diego, I asked around for some recommendations, and eventually made a reservation at Ironside. I am going to speak for both myself and Alex here, but we had a delicious seafood dinner on Saturday that is going to be hard to top. Plus, I knew she would love the decor and was half the reason I picked it. Considering dinner took 3 hours, I feel confident that she had a pretty good time too.
Our weekend wrap up began Sunday morning with brunch at The Mission, so named because it is right in the middle of Mission Beach. No one does tex mex inspired breakfast like California, and The Mission did not disappoint. When Alex says brunch is good, you know it is, because she is a self-proclaimed breakfast aficionado.
To close out our time in San Diego, we went over to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. There are so many things to do and see over there it would be hard for me to list them all. Just inside the Zoo, there are so many animals it was hard to keep track. Nothing like a jaguar, a lion, and an elephant to send you off on a long weekend.
Before we ran ourselves completely into the ground, we hopped down to the Gaslamp District for a quick bite and then onto our plane back to the Great Salt Lake. Not a bad 72 hours, and a very Happy Birthday! And neither of us can wait until we can get back to San Diego.