San Diego Scenes, Pt 5 of 5 — “The Beach, The Burgers…and the Beer!”

I have long said that San Diego has “absence of weather.” It is so damned near perfect here that I can’t even feel the air on my skin most times. When my friend Margie relocated from Manhattan to San Diego, I got annoyed with her always posting daily updates on Facebook to remind us all that the weather was “Sunny, 78 degrees, winds light and variable.” I was still living in Manhattan at the time, a prisoner to wool sweaters, fur lined snow boots, and a top coat that didn’t get put away until late May. Margie was posting pedicured beach pics five months into the year while my feet were longing to be free.

Gayle along Sunset Cliffs Walk

Gayle along Sunset Cliffs Walk

IMG_2258 IMG_2264

Despite the idyllic photos Margie posted month after month, I prefer my weather a little edgier. I love the feeling of the crack of lightening so close I can feel the reverberation and smell the electrified ozone in the air. Counting the seconds between the flash and the thunderous sound, indicating the proximity and likelihood with which one needs to seek cover. Running through the mental checklist, trying to remember where I stashed my “Oh Sh*t! bag” while watching the unpredictable cloud formations as they loom overhead, seeming to say “I could take you out in one swift swipe.” Crazy as it sounds, after about 100 days of straight sunshine, I think I might get a little lack-a-DAZE-ical.IMG_2266

Lover's Leap?

Lover’s Leap?


My theory about the perfect weather during my San Diego stay is that the city feels so crowded because EVERYONE is OUTDOORS! Even in Manhattan with 8 million people, you get some peace during the middle of the week.  Or at least during the occasional rainstorm.  But not in Sunny San Diego. On many mid-week occasions, we all asked the rhetorical question, “Where did all these people come from? Don’t they have JOBS??”

The surfer in this photo reminds me of the psychedelic poster I had on my bedroom wall as a teenager, "Endless Summer."

The surfer in this photo reminds me of the psychedelic poster I had on my bedroom wall as a teenager, “Endless Summer.”





But as my long time friend Reta once told me, “Bloom where you are planted.”   And right now, my bare feet are firmly planted…AT THE BEACH, BABY!

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach


It has been suggested that perhaps I don't have enough bare feet on the blog.  ;-)

It has been suggested that perhaps I don’t have enough bare feet on the blog. 😉

IMG_2298 IMG_2301By now, we have resorted to sniffing our beers, rolling them around on our tongues while describing mouth feel with words like “chewiness.”  We watch each others facial expressions at the first sip, while discussing the virtues of “grapefruit undertones” versus “dark chocolate velvety finish.”  We are like a bunch of crazed California wine snobs. I liken it to being a kid who has only tasted tap or mineral water all her life, and then got to visit the Coca-Cola Museum.  There is not just Coke, but Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, Fanta Orange, Cream Soda, Root Beer….all with an increased alcohol content!   It is like Jim says, “It is not unusual to order a flight of beer and find one exceptional beer out of the lot.  But here, every beer in the flight is exceptional!” 

So today’s post is paired with a selection from Slater’s 50/50.  With over 100 beers on tap is a no-brainer. In fact, so much so that we ended up there twice. A little something for every beer taste! (Not to mention they are one of the few places that still has the rapidly dwindling 26th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Casked Belgian Dark Strong Ale.)

But some of us didn’t come for the beer…. (If you are a vegan, you may want to skip this next part.) The “fifty fifty” in Slater’s name comes from the patty on which all their burgers are based. Fifty percent beef, fifty percent BACON!  Their slogan is “Excesstasy — noun.  The overwhelming excitement felt when indulging in the Slaters 50/50 experience.”  Ain’t it the truth!

Slaters 50/50 with over 100 beers on tap.

Slaters 50/50 with over 100 beers on tap.

Their "Build Your Own 50/50 Experience."  The white stuff is "Vampire Sauce," a 3 cheese blend with roasted garlic.

Their “Build Your Own 50/50 Experience.” The white stuff is “Vampire Sauce,” a 3 cheese blend with roasted garlic.

And while I am at it, here is more "Burger Porn" from Miller's Field.  The fried jalapeno over the guacamole made this just about the best burger I ever ate.  Thanks to Kat in the Mission Bay RV Resort for the "2 for 1 Monday Special" tip.

And while I am at it, here is more “Burger Porn” from Miller’s Field. The fried jalapeno over the guacamole made this just about the best burger I ever ate. Thanks to Kat in the Mission Bay RV Resort for the “2 for 1 Monday Special” tip.

(I realize this looks bad, but remember — 4 hikes 3 bike rides, and countless loops around the park walking path!)

As I depart San Diego, I am mixed with a dichotomy of emotions, from elation to be escaping the petri dish of the RV Park, to melancholy over leaving the fun and frolic behind.  I will miss the excitement of ending every bike or hike excursion with a stop at the brewpub to sample the best of the best.

Stone Brewery

Stone Brewery

As I point the Winnie north in I-5, I see the exit sign for Escondido.  I rationalize,  “Well, I could use a bathroom break.  And, well…it IS lunchtime.”  I hit the Siri Call Button.  “Get directions to Stone Brewery in Escondido….”

Farewell Luncheon:  Duck Tacos with Green Papaya-Jicama Slaw, paired with Stone Smoked Porter.

Farewell Luncheon: Duck Tacos with Green Papaya-Jicama Slaw, paired with Stone Smoked Porter.

“Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chambers of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies,
Come to life and fade away:
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.”

~Edgar Allen Poe

This concludes my Five Part Photo-journalistic Series on San Diego…and beer.  My original intent was to keep it short on prose in order to get caught up on the blog, but that proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.  The further along the series went, the more i wrote. Was it Oscar Wilde that said “If I’d had more time, I’d have written less?”  Turns out I enjoy the “journalistic” side best. Go figure. 😉

34 thoughts on “San Diego Scenes, Pt 5 of 5 — “The Beach, The Burgers…and the Beer!”

  1. Have thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of these five entries! Your descriptions of the beers were very intriguing – especially to a person who does not like or drink beer. I am almost tempted to give it a try. It took me a while to figure out what a “flight” is – I’ve been trying to piece together an explanation.

    It’s funny how one’s perception of a place changes as life goes on. I visited San Diego about forty years ago – coming from Miami – and everything looked to me to be “brown”. It was summertime, so there must have been plenty of green about.

    Now, after thirty years as a desert rat, San Diego looks decidedly “jungle-like”. Even back forty years ago, I found the traffic to be fairly oppressive, so I can only imagine what it is like now.

    But your photos are very enticing, and I would probably go back in a trice – if someone else were doing the driving! ;->

    • Judie — Thanks for the nice comment, and for your support as always. I don’t know where the name “flight” came from, but as you no doubt pieced together by now, it is just a “sampler,” or a wine drinker would call it a “tasting.” Most commonly around 5 ounces of four different kinds of beer to taste, so in the end, you get about a pint and a quarter. It takes just about enough time to consume to avoid the worst of rush hour. 😉

  2. Enjoyed reading the five part series on SD. If I see a part 6 of 5, will send directions to Betty Ford so you can start part 1 of 12. Just kidding. Sounds and looks like you had a nice stay. Safe travels.
    J. Dawg

    • J.Dawg — Nice to see you here in the comments. Always fun to hear from another “Skinnie Winnie.” Your Betty Ford 12-step made me laugh out loud!

    • Lisa — yes, I get why you were thrilled, but also get why you keep coming back! We all toasted you guys while at Thorn St.

    • John H — It was worthy of a visit, if for no other reason than their vast selection on tap! If even the Vegans liked it, that is high praise. 😉

    • John — And I should never have written it before breakfast! Had me craving bacon instead of cold cereal! I have fallen behind in my blog reading….anxious to catch up soon and see where you are!

  3. We just left San Diego after seven weeks. I must admit I never once grew tired of the sunshine, cool breezes, blue skies with puffy white clouds, and low humidity. It’s my idea of paradise! (Me and 3 million other people, as Eric likes to point out.)

    • Hi, Laurel — Nice to hear you guys are getting on the road again! I didn’t get tired of it during my stay either, but growing up in Texas, I know after a few months, I would be missing a good thunderstorm. When I moved to New York, I was surprised to learn there was rarely thunder and lightning, at least not on the same scale I was accustomed.

      I look forward to hearing about your northbound adventures!

  4. Great series – I loved every pic and word 🙂 Your take on Endless Summer is perfect. Even with the hiking and biking I’m afraid I’d have to walk to Nevada to burn off all that deliciousness. But those burgers look and sound amazing!!

    • Thanks Jodee — I can still see that old poster in my mind like it was yesterday. Of all the ones on my “blacklight wall,” it was always my favorite

  5. S D has a wide range of attractions, no wonder its such a popular stopping off place. Its good to have a change of environments, it must heighten the appreciation of their differences.

    • Dave — Yes, it does have lots to offer, and even more when the weather warms up enough to get out on the water. But I agree, I am a “change of seasons” kinda person, even on wheels!

  6. As I’ve recently been tagged ‘an armchair traveler’, I sure do enjoy taking trips along with you!
    You get to decide where we’re going and so far, I don’t have one complaint! I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I was jealous of the beer and beef. I drooled! Love a good dark beer that isn’t too heavy and something tells me you might have sampled a few of those in that flight..

    Stay safe and thanks for letting me tag along,

    • Lacy — I am delighted to have you along! I have been a traveler all my life, and often times that has been from my “arm chair” as well, so I am happy to know you are enjoying the tour. Thanks for the nice comment.

  7. I enjoyed living in San Diego way back when. I left in 1993 and have never been back. Your descriptions of some places I remember made me wonder why I’ve never gone back! I must be blooming here in the desert where I’ve been most recently planted….
    Keep writing so I can continue to travel along with you!
    Love you, Girl….

    • Reta — Did you like your quote? 😉 That one stuck with me for the good. A delayed visit Facebook last night told me I missed your birthday. Hope it was happy! Love you too!

  8. Oh, you have outdone yourself with the series on San Diego!!!!!
    The scenes at the beach were just awesome. Made me want to grab my surf board, run into the surf and give all a good laugh.
    The Beers, well it is hard to not be superlative discussing micro beers.
    The half bacon, half beef burger was a bit too much for me, but it would be a treasured moment in a long list of treasured moments.
    I google mapped Tucson to San Diego and Deede agrees that another 412 miles west with all that San Diego can offer may force it onto the list.
    Once again, thanks.

    • Allen — I am glad you and Deede enjoyed the series! The drive from Tucson is a long one indeed, but I have driven a lot more just to see the ocean…

  9. I’m such a lightweight that finishing one short glass would be an effort. Cheap date.

    Oh how I’ve dreamed of the “Endless Summer” since a teenager, even if I never surf.

    Glad you spread this story out, it’s been very entertaining.

    All these years I thought it was Mark Twain that said “If I’d had more time, I’d have written less.”

    • Gaelyn, all we need is a little Beach Boys “In My Room” playing to go with it, right? You know that quote has been attributed to everyone from Churchill to a 16th Century philosopher, so I was not sure who to credit. So I just phrased it as a question. 😉

  10. You did a good job of painting the town. But It almost can’t be true… doesn’t seem real. I couldn’t sustain the So Cal “Disneyland Smorgasbord,” the pace of eating, drinking, and working it off. A week would do me in, and the change of weather and mood at the next solitary boondock would leave me numb and reaching for a bottle of liquid introspection.

    But, as a New York City gal, a piece of cake for you… all in a day’s work.
    I guess I’m an Urban Lightweight… 🙂

  11. Is that extra bacon on your 50/50, you overindulgent gal? 🙂 San Diego will look so much more exciting to me after all of your posts. Of course, I might gain a few pounds too but seems it might be worth the sacrifice while on the quest for the best beers.

  12. LuAnn — Yes, the sacrifice was definitely worth it, but tread lightly or we are all going to have to have another met-up just for a group intervention. haha!

  13. You’re killin’ me with the food photos! I just returned from a few weeks boondocking in Cedar Mesa eating nuts and berries. The ruins were amazing and the hiking superb.

  14. I love how you eat and I love how you love to eat…..never apologize for what your plate looks like or how much finger lickin you do. Love.

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