Thursday, February 7, 2013


Tuesday, 22 January 2013 – The plan was to be on the road by 10.00am as we were driving down to spend the day in San Diego.  Unfortunately the busy day / late night put us a little behind schedule but we were soon on our way following Patty and Keegan in their scooty Prius down the I-5 which hugs the coastline.  Peter and the kids went on ahead of us as they were going to hit Legoland and then catch up with us later in the day for dinner Mexican style.  A very comfortable drive, it was stress-free following Patty in our Red Baron for the 90 minute drive – even Simon had it easy! 
Baja fish taco from Margarita's Cantina
Arriving around lunch time, our first stop was the San Diego Seaport Village on the San Diego Bay.  A popular tourist location, there are lots of little shops for browsing and many options for dining.  And dining was the main reason we were there.  On our last visit to San Diego, Patty bought us here to try a popular local meal – the fish taco.  It was really delicious and we thought that mum and dad would love to try it while enjoying the beautiful surrounds.  The restaurant called Margarita's Kitchen & Cantina had a queue and after securing a table in the outdoor area, the boys joined the line to place our order.  Also joining us was Patty’s mum Barb who had so generously given up her room for us on our visit in 2010 – it was wonderful to catch up with her again too!  With exceptional margerhita’s, Mexican beer, corn chips and guacamole to interest us while we waited for our tacos, we soaked up the glorious winter day in the mid 20oC’s listening to the live music.  In the middle of our catching up, we had a phone call from Peter who had three very disappointed kids who upon arrival at Legoland found that it was closed for the winter!  So they decided to tag along with us for the rest of our day in San Diego.  By this time, our baja fish tacos had arrived - a scrumptious piece of golden fried fish, shredded cabbage, chipotle sauce and salsa fresca in a fluffy corn tortilla, with a wedge of lime perched on top.  What a lunch!  And what could be better to finish it off but Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! 

After we finished our ice-cream, it was time for a ride on the famous carousel.  Last time Keegan and I rode, this time Taylor, Brittany, Byron, Keegan and I all rode the nearly 120 year old hand-carved wooden horses.  Some trivia for you about the Seaport Village; it was built on landfill over Punta de los Muertos (Spanish for Point of the Dead), where the Spanish expedition of 1782 buried those who had died of scurvy!  In later years it was a railroad yard where goods and other materials used to come through the area.  
While Patty, Barb, Peter and I moved the cars closer to our next stop, the rest of the group wandered around the paths and headed down towards the USS Midway, our planned afternoon activity.  Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, the Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, she served for an unprecedented 47 years, saw action in the Vietnam War, and was the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Decommissioned in 1992, she is now largest museum devoted to carriers and naval aviation.  With an audio guide and ‘doscents’ (ex-military) available for any other questions, we spent a couple of hours checking out the crew's sleeping quarters, the engine room and ship's jail, and pilots' ready rooms, as well as primary flight control and the bridge high in the island over the flight deck.  It was actually very interesting and of course the highlight for everyone was pretending to be Maverick from the movie Top Gun requesting a fly-by…
Say Cheese!

Be tourists!

Ready for Takeoff on the deck of the USS Midway

The Pilots Ready Room

Taylor captaining the boat

The sun was now setting and it was time to head across to Old Town where we were having dinner with Patty, Keegan, Barb and Patty’s sister Julie who I had last seen in 2004 in Boston!  Unfortunately we did not have enough time or day light to wander around Old Town, a national park that commemorates the early days of the town of San Diego and includes many historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870.  During the day, you can wander through these historic buildings which include a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, San Diego's first newspaper office, a cigar and pipe store, houses and gardens, and a stable with a carriage collection.  Many have demonstrations of what life was like during this era.  There are also stores, with local artisans demonstrating their craft.  The restaurant of choice was Fiesta de Reyes’s Café de Reyes.  Located in the centre of the courtyard, we enjoyed Mexican beers, sangria and one of their famous frosty margaritas while dining under the stars.  The atmosphere was warm and festive and the food was delicious.  An added plus was the live Mexican music and dancing while we ate.  I attempted to make my way through the giant plate of slow roasted tender pork carnitas and tomatillo sauce enchiladas, topped with cheeses, whilst Justyn tackled the chicken burrito which had juicy stewed chicken with cheddar and jack cheese, pico de gallo, and rice, all stuffed in an oversized flour tortilla.  Whew!  Way too soon it was time for Patty to take Keegan home as she had had a couple of HUGE days entertaining us and after hugs with everyone we said goodbye to the McEvoys until next time.  Thanks again Patty and Keegan for visiting with us!!  Peter also decided it was time to hit the road and get the kids home and into bed so mum, dad, Justyn and I took the opportunity to have a wander through the shops that were still open, buying some beautiful Mexican tiles and other souvenirs before we too pointed the Red Baron back to W Laster, Anaheim.  

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