Chris, Tom and I took a quasi road trip–unplanned, mainly because it was instigated by the males, as the original intention was to see the Long Beach Grand Prix over the weekend. As a result, we obviously did not ever make it to Long Beach. Otherwise, it was a pretty nice trip, except I think the Gaslamp in San Diego is so dirty that it caused me to develop a corneal ulcer. More on this follows!
We started the morning like any other morning; Chris, waking us up at an ungodly hour, then Tom and me taking forever to get out of the house. We decided to drive 17 to Santa Cruz for breakfast at Cafe Brasil, an idea I fully believe I subconciously planted in Chris’ head by posting a review on Yelp, which had predictably showed up in Chris’ Facebook feed. Yay for viral internet connections! After lunch, we headed down Highway 1 on a gorgeous summer sneak preview day. Chris, intent on revisiting all his childhood vacation spots, led us to Morro Bay for lunch: awesome fresh $1.50 oysters at Giovanni’s, pitcher of Bloody Marys, crab sandwich for me, seared ahi salad for Tom, and, ew, fried fish on a stick for the Brit.
Once when we were in Europe, Chris got food poisoning at an Indian restaurant in Wales; this did not deter him from consuming fried bangers later that day in Oxford. Here is a photo for reference. Gross.
I’m not usually too hip with seafood restaurants because I expect them to be overrated or just kind of gross, but Giovanni’s Fish Market had a great selection of fresh (and sushi-grade) fish and all prices on their food menu were under $10, which is great for really fresh seafood dishes. Oysters were totally a steal at $7.50 for a half dozen because they were huuuuge and delicious. Seafood win!
Chris bought a pretty serious kite in Morro Bay, so just before sunset, we stopped at some random (Mandalay?) beach in Oxnard (our GPS actually led us to a creepy refinery-looking thing surrounded by fence and barbed wire) to give it a whirl. There was a pretty gusty wind afoot and we all took turns flying.
Again, the boys had planned the trip, so we obviously had no plans for accommodations. I Yelped like a mofo and got a room at the Courtyard Marriott in the Gaslamp in San Diego for a sweet price. Also, the place used to be a bank, so it’s like extra character and not any of that fancy schmancy downtown hotel bullshit. The place lived up to expectations and also as expected, I did NOT like the Gaslamp. Not that I didn’t have a good time, because it was like some freakish character study and Chris analogized it to a Disneyland for fratty jerks. The Gaslamp was pretty much hoppin’ because we rolled in at midnight and we tried to find this cheap taqueria Tom billed as a down to earth place. Wrong. Methinks the Gaslamp infiltrated an honest taqueria, gutted it, put in two iPod DJs and a horrendous sound system, jacked up the menu, and called it a day. Luckily, prior to this assault on my senses, I spotted Lime, a tequila bar that stood out because of its patio and lack of over-underdressed skanks. Thank god for tequila; maybe I was just hoping it would help me blend in better, but it was so refreshing. Anyway, a good time was chiseled out of the cologne saturated night and all was well.
Morning: hungover. Ugh. We drove out to Escondido to visit Chris’ high school buddy and indulged in cheap Mexican food to nurse our hangovers before heading back. General concensus was to skip the LB Grand Prix. Stopped in Pismo Beach for clam chowder at Splash. A little rich for my taste, but who am I to judge? I ate two pints of the stuff. In the car on the way home, I attempted to take out my contacts and was met with searing pain. When I woke up this morning, it wasn’t any better, so Tom drove me to urgent care where I spent the entire day (seriously, from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) bouncing around between pharmacies and doctors. Maybe 30 minutes of that entire time was spent being looked at by doctors, the rest, waiting. The end result, corneal ulcer caused by bacteria in my eye and three prescriptions of antibiotics, to be taken every hour. Since in all my years of wearing contacts (re: 6) this has never happened to me before, I blame it on the Gaslamp District.