M & K in San Diego

the west coast adventures of two east coast kids

Posts tagged cafe coyote

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The weekend after M’s birthday, K’s grandparents (the ones who winter in Phoenix and summer in New York) made a quick trip out here to San Diego to visit with us before they left for the other side of the country for the season. We only had a few days, but we made the most of our time! We met them at their hotel after they arrived, and before dinner we all split a bottle of champagne they had brought in honor of M’s birthday the previous weekend. Friday evening was chilly and damp, so we decided to take them to a place known for its comfort food: Studio Diner, featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives! We met our friends Christy and Evo as well, and although we had to wait a while for a table large enough for all of us, we had a great time chatting (and eventually also eating).

Saturday morning we headed over to Coronado, where we wandered some of the Harborside shops and took in the stunning views of downtown San Diego. We also hit up the Coronado Taste of Oils, which K had experienced on a Bite San Diego tour, and K’s Mimi loved it so much she ended up buying several different olive oils and vinegars! Our purchases made, we drove back to the mainland for lunch at Cafe Coyote in Old Town, followed by wine tasting at Orfila Vineyards! Whew! After all of this, we separated for a few hours to allow K’s grandparents to rest before dinner - they’re not used to such busy days, and truth be told, we were happy to have some down time, too.

Dinner that night was just the four of us. K had chosen to go to Peohe’s, a seafood restaurant back on Coronado with amazing views of San Diego. What she didn’t know was that Mimi and Papa had actually been there before - they didn’t remember the name, but as soon as we all walked in, they recognized the unique decor. Thankfully they had fond memories of the place, so they were all too happy to return, and Peohe’s did not disappoint - everything was delicious!

Sunday morning, M & K joined Mimi and Papa for breakfast at their hotel before they left for Phoenix. After saying goodbye, we drove back up to Escondido and the San Diego Safari Park, hoping to gain entrance to their temporary butterfly exhibit. We weren’t disappointed, and had a great time trying to spot all the different species in their Butterfly Jungle!

Filed under visitors san diego safari park butterfly jungle orfila winery weekend life studio diner peohe's cafe coyote coronado taste of oils

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While Michael was here in town, naturally M & K wanted to share with him some of our favorite places. Monday night, we took him to Cafe Coyote, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Old Town, and introduced him to fresh tortillas and churros, not to mention the rest of our delicious food. On Tuesday we picked up dinner at Mona Lisa, the Italian Market we love, and drove down to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, which we had discovered in October when some friends of ours were married there, and spent a very chilly ten minutes watching the sunset. It was beautiful, but far too windy for comfort! The next night, M had a work event, so K took Michael up to La Jolla Cove to watch the seals and sea lions and sunset. We also saw a pod of dolphins and a dramatic rescue of a swimmer (who was totally okay - we think he must have gotten a cramp). We then had sushi at a restaurant called Samurai, which K’s dad had introduced us to a few weeks before when he was here. In just a few days, we packed some of our favorite things in for Michael to experience - but we’re hoping he’ll come back soon to experience a lot more of Southern California with us!

Filed under family brother visitors sunset cliffs la jolla cafe coyote mona lisa samurai

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Sarah & Reed in San Diego!

Last month we were treated to our friends Sarah and Reed visiting with us for a long weekend - it was the first time we’d seen them in over a year and we were definitely overdue for some hangout time! Their visit was a perfect blend of a romantic vacation for the two of them and fun times all together, as they toured and explored on their own while we were at work, but we all did something fun in the evenings and over the weekend.

Sarah and Reed arrived on a Thursday morning, and headed straight for the San Diego Zoo for a full day there. That night, since they were exhausted and we didn’t want to be out too late on a work night, we stayed in and enjoyed a feast from a local gourmet food truck, Devilicious. Sarah and Reed are both foodies and were very interested in sampling as much local fare as they could fit, so a local food truck that was literally parked right next to our apartment building definitely fit the bill! Especially considering Devilicious was one of the featured trucks on The Great Food Truck Race. It’s famous!

Friday Sarah and Reed explored several beaches, including Coronado, in sudden heavy fog and mist that lasted all day long and into the night, ruining our plans for a sunset viewing. Instead, we went to Old Town and shared our favorite Mexican place Cafe Coyote with our friends. It was a hit!

Saturday morning we took ourselves and the puppies to Balboa Park for a nice long walk along the Prado. It was a beautiful morning for it, and of course you never know what might be going on in the Park on any given weekend - this particular day it was a walk for kids with Down Syndrome and hundreds of people had turned out for it! We witnessed part of the festivities at Spreckels Organ Pavilion and even got caught up in the walk itself for a little ways. It was inspiring!

Saturday afternoon we parted ways for a while; M & K went to a wedding while Sarah and Reed joined a group of San Diego Clemson fans to watch the football game. The next morning, Sarah and Reed cooked all of us an amazing breakfast/brunch, and then we split up again - this time the girls headed to Orfila Winery for a tasting while the guys went to our favorite watering hole to catch the Ravens game. (Each pair was convinced they had the better deal… but just take a look at the view the girls had!)

That night, we all went to La Jolla in hopes of the sunset we didn’t get to see on Friday night, and we were rewarded with a lovely evening on the cliffs. Later, we grabbed dinner at one of the places Sarah and Reed wanted to try, a seafood place near Little Italy that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and it was delicious!

Monday was the last full day Sarah and Reed had in San Diego, so they filled their day with more touring (and some shopping!) before dinner at In-N-Out and our epic last night together: Reed had gotten all of us tickets to see the Foo Fighters in concert at Viejas Arena at UCSD!

Oh, man, the Foo Fighters put on a great show. Even the fact that we were out past one on a work night didn’t deter us from having an amazing time. It was a great way for Sarah and Reed’s visit to go out with a bang!

Filed under visitors friends weekend life fun devilicious food truck cafe coyote balboa park football orfila winery la playa la jolla sunset in-n-out foo fighters concert

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Rock and Roll Marathon

The first weekend of June, we had the special treat of reuniting with our good friends, Kyle and Johanna. We hadn’t seen this pair since they visited San Diego in the fall and we all had a yummy Mexican dinner together at Cafe Coyote, and it was wonderful to spend some quality time with them after so long. Our first night getting to hang out with them, we joined them for dinner and a Padres game - always a good time!

But why were they here in the first place? Well, our amazing friends were about to run their very first marathon: the famed San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. So clearly, we were about to watch our first in-person marathon! No way we were going to miss this moment in their lives when they so conveniently scheduled it for our fine city.

The morning of the race dawned clear and bright, and we got our cameras ready and headed over to one of the crowd-approved areas near our apartment in the hopes that we’d timed it correctly. We had! We watched loads of runners go by, some clad in ridiculous, funny, eye-catching outfits like tutus, Elvis costumes, and Superman capes, and then finally we spotted them - Kyle and Johanna! We screamed and cheered and raved about how awesome they were, they saw us and smiled back, and then a moment later they were gone — pathetically, the only picture K snapped was of Johanna’s back, with Kyle hidden by another runner. But here you go anyway, she’s in the pink shorts!

Wooo! The marathon was an impressive sight, and one of my favorite views was actually from the trolley, crossing over the highway that had been blocked off for the runners. Seeing that steady stream of people running, walking, jogging up the ramp - it was very, very cool.

We had planned to just catch them at that one spot, but we made a spontaneous decision to watch them finish, so we grabbed some breakfast and then trolleyed down to the Mission Bay area where the finish line was set up. (While we were thrilled to be there for the triumphant culmination, this decision was problematic in that we had no sunscreen, and both ended up horribly, painfully burned by the end of the morning. Oops.) We again watched a long train of other runners before we finally caught sight of Johanna, who finished ahead of Kyle. She had had to leave him behind and was a little freaked out about how far behind he might be, so K met her at the end and M stayed to wait for Kyle to pass the finish. Luckily, Kyle wasn’t far behind at all, and the two were joyfully reunited soon after Johanna had finished.

These two absolutely inspire us. We were so glad to be there to celebrate their achievement with them, sunburn or no!

That night, after the runners had rested for a bit, what could we do but revisit Cafe Coyote together for a meal with the champions?? We listened to them recount what it was like to run (if you’d like to read their take on the marathon, you can find it here on their blog) and enjoyed one another’s company for a final evening before they left for home.

Congratulations to the amazing running team!

Filed under weekend life friends visitors rock and roll marathon marathon runners San Diego fun mexican cafe coyote padres

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Karen’s visit, continued…

Throughout the week of Karen’s visit, the two Ks got to spend lots of quality time together. Monday night we used a Groupon (LOVE those things) to hit up a favorite local Greek place, Athens Market Taverna. Later in the week we had made plans to have sushi together, and K had the last minute GENIUS idea of racing out to La Jolla to try to catch a gorgeous Pacific sunset first which, as it turned out, worked out quite nicely.

It was a good thing the sushi was so yummy, because anything less would have been a real let down after this amazing sight!

The next night, Karen’s last full night in town, we went to one of our favorite Mexican places in Old Town, Cafe Coyote, for dinner and drinks.

And then for dinner the next night, before Karen got on her redeye back to the east coast, we went to another favorite. Mona Lisa really hit the spot, and then we discovered a great little gelato place whose name is actually escaping me right now, but which is run by a family from Pisa, Italy and has some of the most authentic Italian gelato I’ve had since actually being in Italy. (It would be such a good find if I could just remember the name of the place!) Anyway, we had to take our usual silly pictures to commemorate the occasion, and then, sooner than either of us wanted, Karen was heading back. No idea right now when we’ll get to see her again… crossing our fingers that it’s sooner rather than later, though.

Filed under San Diego BFF friends visitors mona lisa cafe coyote la jolla ocean

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Christmas in San Diego Part 4: Tourists

Do you use Groupon? If not, you really should! (Click the link to find out more.) One of Groupon’s amazing deals was a twofer for tours in San Diego, so we jumped on it and the whole family got them. The first tour was with San Diego Seal Tours — similar to the Duck tours in cities like Boston and Baltimore, but using a different make of vehicle. The tour goes through a bit of downtown San Diego, and then jumps into the harbor itself. We picked a picture perfect day to go for a ride in the bay: clear and sunny.

The tour was fun and also very educational. We saw docks crawling with sea lions, just lounging in the sun, and we also saw a dolphin in the midst of a training session — apparently they work with the navy and get trained in open water in the bay, and they must like the gig, because they could swim away at any point but they never do.

There’s the dolphin at the end of its training session, when they’re allowed to just play. The trainers are in the small skiff on the left. Pretty cool, huh?

After we got back from the Seal Tour, we headed to Old Town for lunch at Cafe Coyote and to then catch the Old Town Trolley Tour, the second adventure included in the Groupon. This tour is land-only, and covers a LOT of ground. It’s a hop-on, hop-off tour with stops all over the city, and if we hadn’t had to do both tours in one day, we probably would have taken advantage of that feature — as it was, we barely had time for the full two-hour circuit, so we just stayed on the trolley and enjoyed the sights.

That’s the view from the bridge to Coronado (NOT to be confused with the bridge to Terabithia).

When the tour concluded, we were left to our own devices in Old Town’s marketplace. There are a number of historical sites (as well as quite a few touristy ones) to explore, and plenty of shops through which to wander, and K, Rachel, and M’s mom especially enjoyed tasting various olive oils at the Temecula Olive Oil Company.

We had so much fun being tourists in our new home. Some of these things, like the Seal and Trolley Tours, we might not have thought to do if we didn’t have visitors in town to entertain, and they were awesome! We were glad of the excuse to go exploring.

Filed under San Diego san diego bay family fun good times seal tours trolley tours Old town dolphins cafe coyote temecula olive oil company groupon

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We were thrilled to be able to spend some time with Kyle and Johanna, good friends of ours. Johanna and K actually studied in Italy together, and then by pure coincidence both ended up marrying guys who got jobs in Maryland. We actually all lived in the same neighborhood for a brief time. They also, again coincidentally, relocated out west right around the same time we did! They are living in New Mexico now, which is not exactly close to us — but it’s a lot closer than most of our other friends live! They are also blogging about their experiences with southwestern living. You can follow them here!

Kyle was in San Diego for business, and Johanna joined him. Naturally she and K spent a whole afternoon hanging out and catching up, and then the four of us went out to Cafe Coyote, a Mexican place in Old Town, for dinner. The food was delicious, and reasonably priced, and the atmosphere couldn’t be beat! We sat outside, but were warm in spite of the chilly night by strategically placed heat lamps. A woman wandered through the tables selling roses, and a mariachi band played in the background. (They would play at your table for a price, but the music was free as long as you were patient enough for someone else to ask for it!) There was even a tortilla stand, where people off the street could come up and buy freshly made tortillas! We should never get store-bought tortillas again.

Filed under friends fun food mexican old town cafe coyote visitors