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Ice Cream Chronicles - New Interactive Map

As you may have noticed, a new interactive Google Map containing all the location and links to all my Ice Cream Chronicles posts is now acce...

Desayuno Departures: Until Next Time, San Diego

Yes, you have arrived in San Diego's Golden Hill district, one of three
locations from which Dark Horse Roasters operates
Alas, all vacations must end, and our sun-drenched romp through San Diego reached its invitable conclusion. Without a doubt, we were pleased with how it all came out, as we received our fill of yummy craft beer, lovely ocean shore vistas, and a healthy dose of natural Vitamin D.

However, we didn't want to depart without mentioning our most favorite meal of the day in breakfast and brunch. Typically, this is where we spend most of our going out money back home in Columbus, but it turned out to take a bit of a back seat on this particular jaunt. Not that there weren't worthy places available (one such place, Hash House a Go Go, even offers a touch of the Midwest as an option), but those will have to wait until a more lengthy and more easy-going return back to the area.

With that said, there were plenty of nice little finds on our trip, the first of them residing in the Victorian home-laced neighborhood of Golden Hill.

Ice Cream Chronicles (Year 4) - A Taste of Tuscany

As I've entered year four of these chronicles, I've begun to realize that the world of frozen confections is much more than just ice cream. I've ventured a touch beyond that when it came to Whit's and their frozen custard, but I figured why should I be limiting myself?  Time is short, and there's plenty of places I haven't gotten to yet.

So why not gelato, ice cream's silkier Italian cousin? And why not start in a place where you can find two ladies having a deep conversation in that very same language in the corner of the cafe?

Craft Beer San Diego (Pt. 3) - Boerewors and Bjergsø

When you start seeing zebras after a few beers in San Diego and you're
NOT at the zoo, it's time to go get yourself something to eat
Successful brewery hopping requires a few things to make it through to the end in good shape. In lieu of a hired/designated driver, pacing is vital, along with common sense things like proper hydration and keeping well fed throughout the journey. After visits to Longship Brewing and White Labs (contained in this previous blog post) we figured it was time to pack our bellies with some sustenance. But then the next obvious question popped up: where?

Here's where a nice chance glance came into play. I had noticed what seemed to be a restaurant called CapeTown, as in the western port city located in South Africa. My spouse had had a niece spend some time in that country during her educational studies, and Columbus itself has a food truck that features South African specialties in Fetty's Street Food - could this actually be a South African cuisine restaurant?

A quick check of the smart phone confirmed our suspicions, and we made the short drive over.

Craft Beer San Diego (Pt. 2): Beeramar - The Nerdy and The Newbie

The F-14 Tomcat, one of the many fighter planes to find action in the former
NAS Miramar's Top Gun program (original photo from Wikimedia Commons;
original photographer - Photographer's Mate Airman Jhi L. Scott)
1986 saw the release of the smash movie "Top Gun" (the nickname for the Navy Fighter Weapons School), where Tom Cruise's character Maverick overcomes long odds and tragedy to earn his place among the best pilots in the service. As the film roared to be the top gun at the box office (just edging out, yes, Paul Hogan and his "Crocodile Dundee"), I doubt anyone people who lived around NAS Miramar and the surrounding Miramar neighborhood, which had served as home for the program since its inception in 1969, would've or could've suspected that just ten years later, the program would be literally flying the coop.

Indeed, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1993 recommended the base be transferred to the Marine Corps to consolidate their area presence into one location, and that the Top Gun program be transferred to NAS Fallon in the high plateau of Nevada. Despite local objections, the last of the program's planes roared off Miramar runways on May 29, 1996, never to come back to San Diego.

Similarly, if one were to poll the locals during the final days before the program's departure in 1996, I suspect very few if any of them would have foreseen that their neighborhood would become the craft beer hub that many have dubbed "Beeramar" one decade later.

A Lovely Sessions Ale: Balboa Park and The Museum of Man

"Niki Gator" by Niki de Saint Phalle is one of the works of art
you will find scattered throughout San Diego's Balboa Park
For the first time visitor to San Diego, it's hard to go wrong by scheduling a visit to the urban playground that is Balboa Park. Built on land that was designated for recreation even before the Mexican government was forced to cede the area to the United States due to the Mexican-American War, Balboa Park offers numerous attractions to keep anyone entertained, including gardens, museums, and the internationally-renowned San Diego Zoo.

The trees and other plant life in Balboa Park have their own unique origin
As we drove in this day, my spouse and I noticed that the park was teeming with trees, a development that would not be anything out of the ordinary. However, appearances can be deceiving - as we walked toward the main thoroughfare in the park, the El Prado, we noticed rather uniquely barked tree that resembled an Banyan Tree with fruit of some sort growing overhead. As it turned out, the trees were Moreton Bay Fig Trees, a native of Eastern Australia.