Nathan and I had an absolutely wonderful time on our trip! Thanks to all the family babysitters that made it possible! This post is super-long, and these are only my favorite pictures!
DAY ONE - OLD TOWN
Shall we begin? We stayed in Old Town, which is filled with authentic Mexican Restaurants and little shops, historic buildings, and beautiful little plazas and walks like this:
We ate at this Mexican restaurant the first night, and it was spectacular. On the second night we ate at another in Old Town that served us possibly the BEST Carne Asada in the ENTIRE WORLD, not even joking, it was GOOD.
Okay, Chris - here is a photo of the best Hotel in Old Town (which is the best neighborhood to stay in in San Diego unless you want to be right on the beach). It is right in the middle of Old Town and is huge and beautiful and...and, yes, a little expensive...but not exorbitant, I mean, it is a Best Western. Just a fancy one.
We found this place quite by accident, and were so sad that it is closed for renovations! We were glad to see that it is run by the Church (our name is on the building) and manned by missionaries when open to the public.
This is an historic marker in the Old Town Cemetery. Hilarious.
An old covered well. Would love to have cool things like this in my yard!
Okay Kyle, this one's for you. He's a dentist AND a physician. Look at those scary tools! The chair looks straight out of Sweeney Todd!
DAY TWO - BALBOA PARK
The Botanical Building.
Looking the other direction while standing in front of the botanical building. Beauty, beauty all around!
Us in front of the fountain leading into The Prado, the restaurant we ate at (it is in the top ten in America according to Gourmet magazine).
The fountain head-on as you walk into the plaza the restaurant is in.
Inside the restaurant (no, I did not embarrass myself by taking this photo, I got it off of the web.) Our food was wonderful - Nathan had Paella and I had sauteed Tiger Prawn Fusilli pasta with cappolini onions and a proscuitto cream sauce. We had Blood-Orange Pomegranate Sodas, and flatbread with chipotle hummus for an appetizer. Since it was our first time at the restaurant, they gave us a dessert on them, a special Vanilla Bean Flan with some kind of sculpted fried cookie thing, powdered sugar and caramel sauce. YUM! It was so great! I think I got a little too used to fine dining on this trip...
INSIDE the BOTANICAL BUILDING
Nathan was happy as fish in water in here! It was absolutely beautiful. Here are just a smidgen of our favorite photos.
I think Nathan was exercising great control by not grabbing one of these bananas off of the tree to taste it...
This sign shows exactly why Nathan was loving this part of the building. Now we know we want greek columnar basil, and lemon-scented geranium.
AT THE JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
Upon seeing the full name of this garden, Nathan blew out a relieved breath and said, "Oh, thank goodness. I was afraid that it would be hostile." Such a smart aleck! Okay, so I admit I laughed.
Some cool Bonsai trees (they had a huge collection):
Meditating in the Zen Garden room. (Okay, pretending to so I could take a picture). What a way to end the day!
DAY THREE - BAY, SEAPORT VILLAGE
On the third day we checked out the maritime side of the city. This photo is the view from our table at lunch. We enjoyed watching the various palm readers, tarot card readers, psychics, spiritual readers, balloon twisters, wierd-bird-man-type people that set up camp on the lawn of the park below us, selling their services. One old lady set up a booth that said "Balloons and Bubbles". She would walk her miniature dog around, waving a bubble wand in the air. She had a few long balloons in front of her table that were twisted into...something, couldn't quite tell. Interesting people, for sure!
Argh, Mateys! We found this little shop full of really cool pirate things while shopping at Seaport Village. I have a discount online code if anyone wants to get 12% off, they give it to you when you shop in person. We bought the boys some pirate signs with their name on them and some really cool looking little carved treasure chests.
This ship, the U.S.S. Surprise, was the actual boat used in Master and Commander with Russell Crowe. So cool!
This boat, The Star of India, is the oldest iron-hull sailing vessel in the entire WORLD! Super cool.
A peaceful shot of the port on the way back to our hotel. Time to get our bags and catch a cab to the airport.... *sigh*....Can you see why it was hard to leave?
We are glad to be home, though, and VERY glad to hug our little ones again. Ava looked right at Nathan last night and said "Daddy" clear as day. Oh, they are so much fun! Thanks again for helping us celebrate Nathan's 30th in a spectacular way!