staycation 2013

After accepting a job offer, task #1 was to make sure I had a couple of weeks off before I started.  That mission was successful and so commenced task #2: have tons of fun during the two weeks off!  That fun fit into three themes: family, home, and food.


My dad had a conference in town so they came to visit.  The conference was during my first week off, good timing!  I was able to hear him speak at the conference, then deliver what was called the "best Father's Day ever", and finally introduce the parents to lots more good San Diego food (which will be covered in the food section).

On Thursday I "attended" the wellness and productivity conference.  Lots of companies are concerned about injuries and other events which result in time off and lowered productivity.  But stress at home, improper illness care and other things sap productivity too.  Some forward-thinking companies are trying to help their employees at this more holistic level and that was my dad's topic.  Luckily, security was lax at this conference so I was able to stroll right in and even eat their lunch.  However, parking downtown is never a breeze and things got tight when he sent a text telling us he was starting 25 minutes earlier than planned.  My mother and I took a seat just as he began, phew!

pic - first time presenting using prezi

celebrating the successful talk

Sunday was Father's Day and I had planned it up.  First we drove out to Lake Poway for some scenic hiking.  I have been wanting to hike to potato chip rock but at around 5 miles one-way that was not in the cards this trip.  Instead, we did a circuit of the lake which is about 3 1/4 miles.  Then we drove over to Bernardo Winery to enjoy their Jazz on the Patio series.  That was followed by dinner at the beautiful Stone Brewery.  Quite the alcoholic adventures for a group of non-drinkers!

up the hill for some views

which way is the jazz?

As we arrived at Stone my mother realized she had left her purse at the winery.  This put her in danger of not making her flight which was at 6am the next morning.  She and I high-tailed it back to retrieve it with some stressful phone tag along the way; the winery was in the process of closing for the day.  I mention this because it's emblematic of life with my parents.  We will probably reminisce about this story in the future.

relaxing after purse retrieval and dinner

After they flew away home it was time for Christine-and-me time.  Much of our adventures will fall under the home theme.  But in addition to all that we managed to sneak away on Monday to Coronado for some lunch, relaxing and reading on the deck at the Hotel Del.  Something amazing happened on this trip.  As we were preparing to leave we made our customary stop at Moo Time Creamery which has probably the best ice cream in San Diego.  There, ice-cream-loving Christine turned against them.  The ever-rising prices finally made her balk.  $6 for a small cup is pretty ridiculous I do agree.  Luckily, I had been planning to make my own chocolate custard later in the week and it was fabulous.  And cheaper.

the winning ice cream

a good reading spot

always a nice place to visit

Friday was 6/21, summer solstice.  Most years we take the day off, eat breakfast out, and try to fill the long, sunshiny day with activities.  We did that for sure this year; heck we took the whole week off!  This year we finished the day at the members-only premiere of Nighttime Zoo.  Christine braved the hilly zoo trails with her sore calf and we enjoyed saying hello to all the big cats.

the only breakfast i eat

Noodle's brutha


Our wedding anniversary is approaching and for a long while now we have been planning to buy a new bed for anniversary #19.  Over time that plan expanded in include a whole bedroom with new paint, window treatments, furniture, and a bed.  That is a big undertaking and we spent several days shopping.

This section will be brief even though we spent a lot of time shopping.  I do not know of a way to make furniture shopping entertaining. :)  We visited 4 stores with mattresses and 6 with furniture before settling on a plan.  We have nearly completed the shopping -- excluding the window and bedding.  We will revisit that in a couple of weeks.  Perhaps the finished bedroom will merit a future blog post...if I like the result, haha.


So much good food this week.  On the first Thursday when my parents were here I cooked the delicious salmon cakes from America's Test Kitchen.  After dinner we watched the NBA finals game 4.  In this game the Heat evened things with the Spurs, 2-2.  They would go on to win in 7.  It's always fun to get my dad's perspective on a basketball game since he was a scholarship college player back in the day.

But it's vacation and I didn't cook most days.  We hit up so many delicious spots.  In brief:

Fresco The OMG chicken sandwich justifies its name. Parents were super-impressed.
Punjabi Tandoor The best Indian in San Diego and cheap to boot.
Mama's Lebanese Fantastic shawarma. As a bonus we watched part of the Avengers before eating here.
Tender Greens One of my favorites in town regardless of price.
Buona Forchetta The third and final San Diego pizza place with a 1000 degree oven. Loved it.
Ortegas Sit-down Mexican. Well received by the family.
Pt Loma Seafoods Another in my top five, I only wish I hadn't shared my sandwich with my mother. More!

one of many great dinners

Wow.  I am ready to get back on the workout train.

apparently I didn't learn the Todd shot from her

And that was our staycation.  Lots of fun and delicious food.  I am ready for the new job!