Saturday, February 4, 2017
San Diego

We arrived at the Super 8 on Hotel Circle in San Diego at 1:15 a.m. That's 4:15 a.m. our time, so we had a pretty long day. We'd picked up a bottle in Barstow, so we had a nightcap to wind down and then hit the hay.

At 11:00 a.m., nephew Chris and his lovely fiancee Kelsey picked us up at our hotel and began to chauffeur us on a craft beer tour of the area. First we went to North Park Brewing Co., located, not surprisingly, in the gentrified North Park neighborhood of San Diego. The beer was good, and I would have had a second, but the day was young, and we had more places to see!

Kelsey then drove us to Temecula to one of the Ballast Point tasting rooms , where I had the much ballyhooed (by my brother Brian) Victory at Sea, a delicious coffee porter. Other beers were had as well, and they were all fantastic. At this point, a bite to eat was in order, and we had various gyros, burgers, etcetera. Ballast Point really came through with the food as well. This place is awesome! Sadly, the founders of Ballast Point have sold the brewery to Constellation Brands (Corona), but when they offer you a billion bucks, I can't really blame them...


Beer tour stop no. 2


Our tour guides, Kelsey and Chris

Next we went to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. We didn't make it on the brewery tour, but we got some beers and enjoyed the gorgeous grounds. I had a delicious raspberry beer, but Tom's beer was sour, and none of the four of us could drink it, though Chris made a valiant effort. It hadn't gone bad; it was just some kind of specialty beer that's certainly not for everyone. I feel like the menu or the bartender should have warned him!

We were pretty full of beer at this point, so instead of continuing the beer tour, I asked Chris and Kelsey if they could take us somewhere with a good ocean view, so we went to La Jolla, to the grounds of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, from which Chris just a few years ago obtained his master's degree in marine biodiversity. It certainly is a beautiful spot, and we were there for sunset.


Scripps Pier, La Jolla


Sunset over the Pacific


Chris, Kelsey, and Tom in La Jolla

Earlier in the day we'd talked about having Mexican food tonight at one of the many restaurants in Old Town San Diego, an area of town encompassing California's first settlement, but we were all still full from lunch (and beer), so we just drove through the Old Town and looked around a bit before Chris and Kelsey dropped us at our hotel. I was dead tired from not getting much sleep the night before and was just getting over a cold, so I crashed early, drifting in and out of sleep while catching portions of Airplane 2 and Animal House. An all-around great day!

Continue to February 5, 2017

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