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A Great Weekend in San Diego…Finally.

March 10, 2010

One of the things I miss about Paris, as I mentioned at the end of this post, is being able to roll out of bed, throw on some marginally-clean clothing and amble over to an open-air market. Well, on Saturday, Andy and I rolled out of bed and went (post-shower, wearing actually-clean clothes) to the Little Italy Farmer’s Market.

Oh, my! Vegan stuff everywhere! Raw food, Indian food (nan bread, yummmm), dry soup mix, olives, artichokes as big as your head, potted herbs… Insane amounts of money were spent. Can’t wait to go back again!

That afternoon, I went roller-skating for the first time in months, at Skateworld. Since it was Saturday, the rink was packed with children attending birthday parties, and most of them could not skate to save their lives and were falling all over the place. In a way it was good for practice–what better way to work on maneuverability than having to avoid running over little kids?

So that I can practice obstacle-free closer to home, I’ve been looking on Craigslist for used skates. :) Back in Cincinnati, I had aspirations of becoming a “derby girl”; I’d still like to do it, but it would require that we–ahem–stay in one city for more than just a few months. I hear the San Diego Derby Dolls are pretty good…

On Sunday, Andy took me to a social being held by his photography association. We were hoping that a) as promised by the guy who invited us, other girlfriends/wives would be there for me to talk to, and b) there’d be–call me crazy–some viewing of each other’s photography? But no.

Apparently the noun “social” can be defined as: a completely unorganized gathering in which strangers sit around drinking beer while making feeble attempts at conversation, without any food in sight–oh, the horror!–until one guy plops a bag of Whopper Jrs on the kitchen counter. Yeah. And it lasted two fucking hours.

We bounced outta there because I had to go play photographer myself: Stephanie, the vegan marketing guru I met last week, asked me to take food photos for Stephanie’s Bakery (different Stephanie), in Ocean Beach. Since I love making the food porn, and since I have a hand-me-down Cannon G10, I told Steph that if she had any clients who needed photos I’d shoot them for free. Glad I did–the ladies there are so cute and friendly, and the cake is outstanding!

Plus I got to see a bit of Ocean Beach, a very surfer-friendly neighborhood that reminded me (somewhat) of Paia, Maui. Anyway, if you see any new cake pictures on Stephanie’s Bakery’s Facebook page, they might have been taken by yours truly.

As I mentioned in my last post, Monday was Andy’s birthday, and we took a (somewhat) computer-free day to take the train down to Tijuana to get some mole negro, tequila, and cheap pharmaceuticals (antibiotics, people, don’t get so excited!)

Don’t know what mole is? That’s okay, I didn’t either until I met Andy, who originally fell in love with it during visits to Oaxaca. It’s an addictive, savory blend of nuts, chocolate, chiles, garlic, onions, and more, and is considered to be the national sauce of Mexico. We purchased it as a thick paste, which can then be portioned out and diluted into a sauce. Traditionally, one would dilute it with chicken broth, but my man uses vegetable broth for me. :)

After navigating the crowded streets of Tijuana, we were soon hungry. There’s something so glamorous about going to another country, having lunch there, and returning home all in the same day–even if this other country is just minutes away.

“No cheese, no sour cream, and we can put mushrooms, green peppers, onions and spinach in the burrito,” the server at La Placita said, as if she’d heard the same order countless times. OMG!! My jaw is still unhinged. Many thanks to the trailblazing vegans who ventured to this spot before me, because I really enjoyed my lunch.

Full and margarita-buzzed, we then headed back across the border. As we approached the counter to have our passports checked, a border police officer barreled toward me. (Why me? Could it be because I’m…um, well…incredibly sexy? Yeah, that must be it. Totally.)

Giving me a pat-down and searching my junky totebag, she asked me a series of rapid-fire questions–what are you doing in Mexico? Do you come here often? Did you come by yourself? I answered quietly, my throat tightening as I feared deportation to whatever country she suspected I was from, or, far more likely, having more than just my totebag searched, if you know what I’m sayin’. Hey, Andy has pills in his pocket, feel him up too! I thought.

“What do you do?” was the last question she asked me.

“I’m a house-girlfriend…?” I whispered, immediately regretting it.

“Never heard that one before,” she chuckled, and walked away. Huh.

After that 30-second ordeal, it felt surprisingly good to be back in San Diego.  Eh?

We made a few more stops–gotta get shot glasses!–and went back home to make dinner: mole with fried tofu and rice.   The concentration of spices in this thick sauce–and my poor photography–makes it look like mud, sorry!

I added a little tomatillo salsa to my dish as well–the salsa’s bright, lemony tartness paired well with the rich heaviness of the mole.

We did shots of our lovely tequila and toasted to a great birthday for Andy. Yay!

As I typed this, I wondered if San Diego might be growing on me…

Until I felt a sight tremor and started concocting evacuation plans. Holy fuck, I forgot California has earthquakes!

So now this city and I are almost back to square one. Almost. :)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 9:31 am

    That had to be a bit nerve wracking going through the search. Glad you made it back ! Even though i claim to only have been to Kansas i have been to mexico. Six years ago my dad was wintering in McAllen Texas and me and my sisters went down to suprise him on his 80th birthday. We stayed a couple of days and a group of us went over the border to some small town in mexico and we bought vanilla and vanilla beans and delighted in the fact that we could walk down the street at 11 in the morning drinking from bottles of corona (with lime of course) Our Aunt Betty and a couple of her friends dissapeared and when we all met up 2 hours later they admitted to being at their favorite bar drinking margeritas.

    • March 11, 2010 8:18 pm

      Good story, Amy! Aww, Aunt Betty! I like her already. :) Never thought about getting vanilla beans there, maybe the next trip? Mwahaha I’ve already started a shopping list…

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