Spring has arrived and it’s time for a much needed trip to Southern California to visit friends and have some fun.
There was one day on the calendar marked for a special event encouraging this whole trip, April 5th is Opening Day for the San Diego Padres. I committed myself to being there and so my heart was set for the adventure. The weather would prove to be nearly perfect for my motorcycle ride down the coast from Paso Robles, California. Also, the hills are bright green and the roads are clean from all the winter and spring rain this year. If it were only a motorcycle ride, this trip would still have been worthwhile.
Night one was spent with a former coworker and good friend Chad, who lives in a sweet house north of Santa Barbara. Always in the mood to dine at a good brewpub, I took his recommendation to eat and drink at Hollister Brewing Company in Goleta. Delicious beers, insanely good food, and it could not have been more convenient to his house. I was most impressed with the Chicken Pot Pie on the menu and their mussels. Keep up the good work, Hollister Brew. Thanks for the good times, Chad.
The following afternoon was a long trip down to San Diego, arriving in the evening after enduring much traffic in Los Angeles. This stop was to visit an old and dear friend Zach, who planned the gathering for Opening Day, and would be my (again) host in San Diego. In the mood for man food, we satiated ourselves on pizza and craft beer (I didn’t think I was going to write this much on beer, but the trip was full of it) at Newport Pizza and Ale House in Ocean Beach and washed it down with a pitched of Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale while watching the NCAA Mens Basketball Finals. Hell yes.
THE BIG DAY! We started with misosas early and often while playing Bocce ball, followed by lots of beer downtown and in the stadium for what turned out to be a beautiful day game. It was a reunion of friends as well, and a lot of fun to see everyone show up for Padres Opening Day – and it is sure to be good time every year. Our group was rollin’ deap and nothing got in our way. And thank the lord, the Padres beat the world series champion San Francisco Giants, and we celebrated. That night was very tame from the long day of bubble beverages and the following day we recovered at The Broken Yolk in San Diego, with huge breakfasts and fresh juice.
Zach sells after-market HID high intensity lights for motorcycles (safety first!), and I bought some from him and left town after our goodbyes. Before leaving San Diego, I had to make a pit stop to see the aunt, uncle and cousin, and enjoy what is to date the largest avocado I have ever seen. Think cantalope in size, with a smooth green skin, and PERFECTLY ripe. Thanks guys!
I was not about to miss a good meal and good time in LA, so I paid a visit to my wine friend Kim. We met at Primitivo in Venice Beach, over some outstanding shrimp, spare ribs, and great by-the-glass selections. Guigal, Emilio Moro, and Allegrini were just a few selections on their huge wines list.
The following day we recovered at Toast in West Hollywood. Call it corney, but I had “The Oscar” which is the best breakfast/guacamole/chicken dish imaginable, with an enormous chai latte for added calories. Guttony? Sure? Is West Hollywood pretentious? More so than my eating habits are gluttonous. That afternoon and evening marked the longest portion of my journey: LA to Paso Robles, with a burrito dinner stop in Santa Barbara. All was well until the evening, which was two hours of riding in windy, 42F degree weather. The numbness was worth it and I finally made it home.
Recap: Santa Barbara goes late-night, San Diego can drink!, LA’s got the chi chi food.
Until next time. Cheers!