Sunday, March 27, 2016

San Dieguito Park (Suzie and Joe's Going Away Party)

Tori and I went to San Dieguito Park this weekend for the first time in many, many years for Suzie and Joe's Going Away Party. After working with Suzie for over 10 years, she and her husband are moving to Lake Tahoe for his new job. While she'll still be working remotely for us, I will miss having her in the same office. For the party, they reserved a spot in the Lower Park picnic area and hired the food truck, Taco Picasso, to cater. Great Idea!

The park's layout of the upper and lower picnic areas separated by hiking trails running through the natural chaparral terrain is what makes it so great. Tori and I both fondly remember exploring these trails with our friends as children. After socializing for awhile at the party, we went for a walk up to the nearby Hawk's Nest Lookout Tower. The towers have been updated since the last time we came here, replacing the old log entries with sets of stairs. While I understand the need for safer access, I missed the balancing fun of traversing the rounded logs to reach the platforms. I did appreciate the new push-button audio system that described the local animals of the park.

We thought we would only walk to the first tower, but we ended up visiting all three, climbing the wooden ladders and crossing the two suspension bridges along the way. While the Pine Tower described the local plants, the Osuna Overlook Tower explained the history of the park. We finished our walk by taking the Eucalyptus Trail back down to the party.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

South Park Walkabout (Tori's Birthday)

After breakfast at The Original Pancake House and a day of clothes shopping for Tori's Birthday, we headed down to the San Diego neighborhood of South Park for dinner at Eclipse Chocolate. Since the area was holding their South Park Walkabout the same evening, we arrived early to find parking before it started at 6pm. We walked along Fern and 30th Streets where many establishments had booths set up for the event. It was cool to see so many historical houses built during the time of the world-famous 1915 and 1935 Expositions next door at Balboa Park. If we didn't have dinner reservations, I would have liked to try one of the many food trucks parked around the neighborhood.

After a drink at The South Park Abbey, we headed over to Eclipse Chocolate for Tori's birthday dinner. We both tried herb-muddled cocktails which tasted like luxurious versions of a mimosa. Tori ordered the Roasted Chicken Pot Pie (Amazing!) and the Blue Cheese Pecan Salad and I had the Meatball Panini and Garlic Parmesan Biscuits. The lemon curd and jam with the biscuits were so tasty. We normally share a desert but our meal came with two so Tori had the Flourless Brownie Sundae and I had the Salted Caramel Baklava Sundae. After a big meal, I thought mine was perfect, light and crisp but not too rich so I ate the whole thing. As if that wasn't enough food, we also received a box of chocolate truffles to take home.

After dinner, we explored more of the busy shops around the neighborhood. Every block seemed to have its own street band for the Walkabout. We both enjoyed visiting Plum Pottery, a community pottery studio where local artists make and sell their wares. There were a lot of nice pieces at good prices. The shop also provides classes.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Circus Wedding

Our friends, J and Corinna got married on Saturday at the Soledad Club in Pacific Beach. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony overlooking the entire stretch of Mission Bay and the ocean beyond. Seeing the tears of joy in J and Corinna's faces during this moment made me so grateful that there are no longer any legal barriers to gay marriage in America. Before and after the ceremony, their aerialist friends performed silk and static trapeze routines on a portable freestanding rig set up at the venue.

While the Brides were having their formal pictures taken, we had fun hanging out with all our friends as we visited the open bar and watched the aerial performances. After a couple drinks, the Nacho Hat ended up on Kenny's head and Tommy joined him in a Two-High for the Photo Booth. The camera's narrow framing only captured Kenny's head and Tommy's feet so it didn't really work out. Ha!

After Corinna and J climbed up onto the aerial rig in their wedding dresses for a photos, they changed into more appropriate outfits for their First Dance routine on the Static Trapeze. I have watched them perform together several times and I thought this emotional performance was their best.

After their performance, dinner was served not a moment too soon. From the moment we arrived at the Soledad Club, we could smell the delicious scents wafting towards us as the caterers grilled up the meats. I was so starving, I ended up eating six of the delicious street-style tacos. We had a great time dancing and started a Conga Line that grew to at least a hundred people long. As the dancing line was passing the Photo Booth, Tori and I were in perfect position to photo bomb the J's group shot. It was a fun day!

On Sunday, Tori and I met Federica at Swami's for AcroYoga. It was a beautiful day and we finally got a picture of our Shoulder Stand B. I still can't believe that I can base it. Federica also learned how to get up in Star for the first time with good coaching from Amanda.