Leading up to the 4th of July i really didn’t have any plans since i’ve just been busy with work. With my parents heading out of town, and no friends really doing anything i checked into our SPG account to see if we could go anywhere and was able to get a free room using our points at the US Grant in San Diego. They place is a fancier hotel than the Westin, and the best thing about it was all the water they gave us. The hotel, room, and staff were of course excellent, but the free water in the room and every time we got our car from the valet they gave us cold bottles of water for us.
We drove down Saturday morning and met up with Dr. Nomo for lunch in Little Italy and Pappalecco gelato for dessert.
For dinner we opted for some seafood at Spike Africe’s which was just across the street from our hotel. Decided that i wanted some seafood for dinner tonight so Spike seemed like a decent place to bring a baby to. Pretty casual, loud place, with plenty of space.
We stuck with the appetizer menu and some fresh oysters instead of getting any main courses.
Oysters were good.
Mussels were good.
Clam chowder was good and buttery
Poke was good.
Butterscotch dessert was great.
Sunday morning after breakfast at Influx we headed to the San Diego Zoo. The weather was really nice, and most of the important animals were still awake (i’m looking at you pandas!) which Alice loved.
To end the day we took the Skyfari back and forth to get a bird’s eye view of the entire zoo. Our little dare devil seemed to enjoy it too.
There was much discussion this year about the 9th Annual COC Golf Tournament because i was spearheading the campaign to move it away from Palm Springs to the more temperate climate of San Diego. There was a moment where Brock made a convincing movement back to the desert but I decided that I can’t do the heat and i was happy we did head south. It was especially good since there were fires burning up the hills of Banning which would have made the air even worse.
Friday the other guys took off around noon, while i had to finish up work before heading out to San Diego after traffic died down. Of course they had to send me a photo telling me to hurry up. Once i arrived at the Hilton Gas Lamp District I had to play catch up before heading to the Gas Lamp District to do some bar hopping. It was a blur, and I don’t remember half of what we did, which leads to me not waking up in the best moods to play golf.
Saturday morning we heading to Carlsbad to the The Crossings at Carlsbad which is right next to Legoland and right under an airport. The day actually started off decent for me but once my hangover started to wear off I started to really go off the rails. The back nine plays much tighter than the front nine and all the nature preserve made the course play like a links course. The sand kept swallowing balls for everyone, and at the end of day 1 Brock led with a 99, Roland with a 103, me with a 106, and 107 for Brian.
Saturday night Roland and I had to pay up for our secondary bet for dinner since our combined score was higher than the other two. We ate dinner at Gang Kitchen for some Chinese food which was surprisingly decent. After we got in to Prohibition which is SD’s “speakeasy” which was nice because they controlled how busy it was inside and had a live band playing. The rest of the night i kept it easy on the drinking and made it home before 1am.
Sunday morning we checked out and drove back north up to San Clemente to Talega Golf Club for our final round. Being 7 shots back i just wanted to play in control, keep my nerves down and hope that Brock just starts to fall apart. Considering that he specifically got to bed at 4am i liked my chances. I slowly just played bogey golf, and went back to back with a few pars before the turn and ended up only 1 shot back. The back 9 didn’t start off so well and gave back a few strokes but luckily didn’t lose as many balls as the other guys.
On the 18th hole i sat 1 shot back from Brock with a Par 4, water surrounding the green. I nailed my drive down the middle but ended up on a down slope with 130 yards to the green. Brock hit an iron but ended up with a side lie next to a bunker, which he promptly hit his ball into the water. I then hit my approach the right distance but started to draw right into the water. We then both dropped and i hit onto the green as fast as i could before i could think about it, when then made Brock loose another ball into the water before knocking it closer to the hole than me . Too bad i ended up three putting from the back of the green, which Brock thinking that he won. Sadly i had to inform him that we were now tied. We took the Championship to the putting green, where i ended up missing a short putt giving Brock his first Victory. Needless to say he was quite happy.
Joy mentioned that there was a Living Social deal for a San Diego Zoo Safari Park for $22 (50% off) and with Mother’s Day around the corner we bought 4. It was going to be a hot weekend so we picked up my parents at 7:30 in the morning to get there by their opening at 9:00am. By the time we arrived the temperature was into the mid 80°s.
When we arrived they told us about Bike Race going on that day that would close the parking lot from 11-12pm and you wouldn’t be allowed to leave during that time. We stood inline to exchange our Living Social tickets, until i read the fine print that we could just walked straight to the gate and have them scan my phone and get in right away.
The park was still opening up and we made our way to the Tram ride to get on before it got really hot, and it was a good thing too because the Tram operator made it out to sound like we were lucky to see most of the animals before it got really hot and they went further into the enclosure to seek shade. We got to see plenty of gazelle, the rhino, birds, giraffes and even a cheetah.
My parents told me that I’ve been to the Safari Park back when i was super little so i don’t remember anything about it so it was a fun new experience for me again. I always thought that this was the park where you drove your own car through the exhibits and where animals would come up to your car for a lick, but i guess its been years since that was possible.
Once the Tram ride was done, we decided to leave the park before the street closures and go to Valley View Casino for a lobster buffet. It was going to get into the 100° and didn’t need to spend the whole day at the zoo since the Tram ride was the most important thing to do. On our way out of the park we did manage to stop by the elephant exhibit and enjoyed the baby elephants running around the bigger ones trying to find shade.
We arrived to Valley View Casino just after the buffet opened and ended up waiting for an hour. By 12:30pm they cut off the lunch line and only allowed people with a players card reservation in until dinner started at 3:00pm. I knew this would happened and why we left the park so early. We probably ended spending more time eating then at the zoo, but you have to know your priorities. I gorged myself on four plates of food and plenty of dessert to make it worth it. Once we were done eating we each blew $20 on slots and went home.
For Joy’s mom’s birthday we decided to drive down to San Diego for the day and head back through Temecula to have a Lobster Buffet at Valley View Casino. We started the day out by having breakfast at King’s Hawaiian The Local Place for some delicious spam. I had a Hawaiian Breakfast Burrito that had Spam, Fried Rice, and Eggs which awesome, while Joy had the Spam Musubi with Egg.
After filling up with food we drove straight down to Coronado Island which i’ve never been to, but have heard about for some time. As we drove over the bridge to get to the Island from downtown San Diego we were in awe of the view from atop. Once there we parked on the street and just walked down the main street until we reached the Hotel del Coronado. It was a pretty sweet place, and it reminded me a lot of Maui with the Hotel right next to the beach, and the soft sand, but i’m pretty sure the water isn’t as nice.
After Coronado Island we drove to Old Town San Diego to visit the sites and get some tacos. The weather was nice, and we checked out the Historical Park which i’ve never seen before even though i’ve been there a few times before already.
We stared driving back up around 2pm and hit some traffic with no real detour around. Once we got passed the jam, we were stuck driving another 10-15 miles on surface streets with lots of lights so i was pretty unhappy by the time we got to the Casino. Once inside we had to wait inline with a couple dozen other people trying to sign up for their club card and free lobster buffet. I guess a lot of people had the same idea (or its a ploy to make us gamble more) because our dinner rsvp was 3 hours later. While Joy’s parents went out to gamble i headed to the bar where i figured i would spend less and just relax watching the olympics. Finally when our dinner time i decided i would eat angry and just eat as much of the seafood as i could, even though i’m not too much of a fan of lobster. I only ate 3 lobsters, and i would’ve eaten more they didn’t serve you one at a time. Suffice it to say i’ll probably not visit again.