Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Martin's Trip to San Diego

Martin flew in from Chicago on Sunday. We drove in to San Diego to pick him up and thus began our ending Sunday evening.

After grabbing Martin we went over to Old Town where we walked around and looked at historic buildings and the outdoor markets. The Cosmopolitan Hotel was recently restored in 2010. The interior had a digitally produced reproduction wallpaper. I pioneered this method in 2003 but have not followed restoration work to know if it has come into general practice, but the paper was unmistakably a digital reproduction. I pointed this out at length to my wife and children.

Every time we have been to San Diego in the past we have eaten at Hodad's. This trip we decided we should try some other places. So we checked out Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives for some other highly recommended eateries. Old Town sports a Crazee Burger and right inside the door there is a large, signed poster of Guy Fieri just like at Hodad's. You can get a variety of meats including a Kangaroo burger, an Alligator burger, or an Ostrich burger. The hamburgers are said to be "voted best burger in town." We ordered five regular burgers. They weren't.

This weekend was the 61st annual Las Posadas procession in Old Town. We picked up a few candles and walked in the procession. The procession was led by Joseph and Mary, who was riding on a donkey. There were a couple other people, too. I am not sure who they were, but one was wearing a big sombrero.

Next, we went down to the Embarcardero to watch the 40th annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Approximately 40 boats all decorated with Christmas lights paraded across the bay. Lights, music, dancing, it was quite an event and made us miss the maritime culture that was a constant in the Turks and Caicos.

After leaving the Embarcardero we drove over to Ikea and bought a dresser for the bedroom. Up the road from Ikea was a second restaurant visited by Guy Fieri and so we drove up to the Studio Diner and split a couple Monte Cristo sandwiches and a chocolate malt. The Monte Cristo, stacked with ham, turkey, and cheese, was dipped in batter and deep fried. On television it looked absolutely amazing.

My brother Bryan use to make Monte Cristo sandwiches. I can not remember the story where he saw them, but I think he had ordered on at a restaurant and then decided to make them at home. I have been making them ever since. Mine are grilled, light and delicate. Every time we make them we wish we had made more.

The deep fried sandwich at Studio Diner was really heavy. The plate came with four quarters. Between the five of us, we could only eat six of them. And after two you felt like you had a brick in your stomach. We all decided we liked our version of the Monte Cristo much better. The shake was great and the sweet potatoes fries were ten times better than the ones we ordered at Crazee Burger, which were suppose to be their specialty.

Well, there you go, a couple hours back over the grade and Martin is home for Christmas.

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