Tuesday, January 8

Postcards from San Diego

(Belated) greetings from San Diego!

So... that's it. I cut ties with my job in San Diego. No more week-long visits every other month. No more business trips (at least not in the near future). No more hope of renewing my California driver's license.

But... I did spend one last, glorious week there last month. Here's the picture postcard version:

There was ice skating...
Ice skating at Horton Plaza
The kid next to me is making the same face.
And I enjoyed cocktails at one of my favorite downtown restaurants: Quality Social.
The restaurant features dishes from scratch and superb beverages.
(Try the pickle back shot. Whiskey with a pickle juice chaser. Sounds gross, I know. But seriously. Delicious.)
Dress code at Quality Social:
"If it's on the Jersey Shore, it's not getting through the door."
I went for one, unplanned, last shopping spree at the Little Italy Saturday farmers market...
You can see San Diego Bay from the market
Fresh local produce...
... and some of the best uni in the world. Served fresh at the market.
After 10 years of living in San Diego, and 12 years of working there, I thought I had seen everything downtown had to offer. But on my last run through the city, in the Chinese Cultural District, I found a hidden garden I had never seen before.

Then I filled my belly with Mexican food and fusion delights...
Avocado and heirloom radish salad
Braised pork belly

Pizza with spinach and locally-grown mushrooms

I couldn't leave without saying goodbye to the Balboa Park rose garden...

...and the Botanical House...
Botanical House at Balboa Park
...and the giant ficus tree...
One of several giant ficus trees in Balboa Park
... and my favorite little garden in the park.
View from Alcazar Garden
I also got to spend time with my extended family, and I stopped by to see the seals in La Jolla (at night, so no pictures).

Unfortunately, with work and family obligations, I did not get a chance to run with my long-time running buddies... but while I've said goodbye to a San Diego paycheck, I'm not leaving forever. The big difference is that on the next trip, I'll be 100% tourist!

What places would you want to visit "one last time" if you were leaving your hometown?
Have you ever eaten uni (sea urchin)?

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