Monday, June 18, 2007

Graduation and gluttony

We're home from our quick trip to San Diego for our nephew's graduation from UCSD. When we weren't in the car, we were always busy with family and friends. Which always leads to lots of opportunities to eat good food in gargantuan portions.

On our way down to San Diego, we stopped for lunch in Santa Barbara at a little taqueria joint that was supposedly boasted by Julia Childs. I ordered a pork taco and a tortilla stuffed with spicy beans. When I placed the order, the gentleman reiterated that it was Spicy. I thought about it and decided to go ahead and get it. Well, here's a word for the wise: when the Mexican order taker looks you in the eye and tells you "it's spicy" that means that he can tell by looking at you that you won't be able to handle it. We also ordered a dozen fresh homemade corn tortillas for the road, and they were gone before we got to Long Beach.
Before heading down to San Diego, we stopped in Laguna Beach at the graduates parents house (Jimmy's brother) for a few minutes to stretch and enjoy the sea breeze. We arrived in San Diego around 6:30 at Gil's, Jimmy's long time friend and our best man at our wedding. Two of Jimmy's other buddies from high school were there, too. Of course, we headed out for dinner, a delicious Japanese seafood buffet and aside from the sushi, I couldn't resist the tempura - which is oh so tasty but oh so caloric. I definitely had that "I'm on vacation" mentality happening.
Saturday morning, woke up at 5:30 so we could meet the rest of the family to carpool to the graduation. Graduation started at 8:30, but we got there early enough to get seats in the 3rd row.
Nan had commented in my previous post that she wished us a great speaker, good air conditioning, comfortable seats and less people than a large city. I have to laugh because as you can see from the next 2 photos, none of those came to fruition.
Here are the graduates getting their diplomas, outside in the sun. San Diego has temperate weather and it was probably only in the 70s, but when you're sitting in the direct sun for 2 1/2 hours, even 70s is hot. Despite having to wake up so early, we were thankful graduation was early because it was only going to get hotter. Those poor graduates in their black robes! We couldn't imagine what it would be like if it were in the 80s or hotter.
And as far as we could see were friends and family members there to support the graduates. There was an estimated 10,000 people there. And this was just one college's graduation from the university system. But the great thing was there were no tickets or limitations on how many guests the graduate could invite. There were 13 of us at graduation, then we headed to a celebration lunch at PF Chang's where the graduate works and 24 of us gathered in his honor.

After the celebrations, we headed back to Gil's house and chilled for a couple of hours. Our niece joined us for the evening. Before heading out to dinner, we stopped at the Campland RV Resort so she could visit with the Machado family (Jimmy's sister) for a little bit. So fun hanging out with the family. Love 'em all!
After our quick visit, we went to Pacific Beach for a tasty Mexican dinner. The best part though was the companionship and laughs. Gil drove his BIG Toyota Land Cruiser, which was perfect since there were 6 of us. Ashley and I squeezed in the 3rd row bench seat, while the boys all sat up front. They're all bigger than us, so it was the logical thing to do. When Gil parked the car, the boys hopped out of the car, shut the doors and TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT US!! We couldn't get out of that back seat without one of them moving the seat up for us to crawl out. No, they didn't do it on purpose, they just shut the doors and went on their way. 2 of them paid for the parking, the other 2 headed into the restaurant to get a table. Ashley and I were CRACKING up. We could.not.believe that they just left us in there. But it was so freaking funny, too. When Jimmy and Sly walked by the truck after paying for parking, I pounded on the glass so they heard us in there. The windows were tinted, so they couldn't see us. Jimmy called Gil to bring the keys to unlock the doors. Ashley and I laughed even harder because we heard the phone ringing in the car - Gil left it behind. Anyhoo, they finally let us out, they were very embarrassed and we laughed about it over drinks.
Here's the motley crew after dinner during a walk along Pacific Beach. Ashley's such the good sport hanging out with all the "old" folks. She's so cool. Totally comfortable with everyone, no matter who or how old they are.

Sunday, before heading out of town, we had breakfast with Gil in Encinitas. Their claim to fame is "Manhole Sized" pancakes. They are. Yes, I had one but I could only eat about 1/4 of it along with the bacon and 2 eggs that were served with it.
We parked next to this cool workshop. Loved the colors, so had Jimmy take a photo.
Before heading up the coast towards home, we stopped for a Father's Day lunch in Claremont at Jimmy's brother's house. More food, YAY. But they bbq'd pizza and I've been craving pizza for months. I'm so glad I held out, because this was the best pizza I've had in years. I ate 6 slices! Which probably worked out to about one CPK sized pizza. I visited my dearest friend Danielle for about an hour, also. She just moved and now lives 7 minutes from my brother in law's house.
On the way home, we opted to eat in the car. Snacks included a Krispy Kreme donut, which nearly made me barf and a Subway sandwich.

Graduation and gluttony fulfilled.


susan d said...

Wow that's quite a trip. Sounds like me and my food!

phinner said...

Did I tell you the story of my first date with Scott? The Encinitas cop told him he should get a new girlfriend!!!

We spent a lot of time there, Scott surfing, me watching. It was a favorite stomping ground, along with Del Mar.

Fun times, Baby. Cool to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there again!

I'm glad you got quality time with all the relatives : .)

Green Butterfly said...

sounded like so much fun! I envy your road trips. I'm still pushing for a bay area one soon. i'll keep you posted if we do.

mommy said...

I love the family and friends roadtrip! They always include good eats! Glad you had such a great time. btw, I feel the same way about the Krispy Kreme donut. blech!

Nan said...

I love to see kids decorate the top of their "mortar boards" for graduation!

Jodi said...

That sounds like a really fun trip. And me...not a fan of Krispy one understands it. Perhaps you do!

Ginnie said...

I totally agree, Mad. Vacation time is when you get to break all the rules! :) I loved reading all of this. Years ago when Bill and I were still married and lived in San Diego, UCSD and SDSU were two of his schools in his college ministry. UCSD is a lovely campus and a GOOD school!

paris parfait said...

Sounds like fun. And yes, very cool colours and photos!