Seal Pups and Fish Tacos: A Day in La Jolla

Perhaps the most idealized perception of what a beachfront community like La Jolla aims to project came through very early during our visit, when we passed a rather nattily-dressed senior couple, toting their bicycles next to them, along the main trail

"We kind of got a late start today, dear."
"Oh, really?" The man glanced casually over to his silver-haired companion.
"Yeah, it's already past ten in the morning."

Hmmm, if getting out the door for a causal bike ride after 10 AM when I'm older is wrong, I don't think I ever want to be right.

A Look Around Liberty Station (aka Stone, In Love With You)

My dad, a U.S. Navy veteran, once told me that he received some of his training down at the former San Diego Naval Training Center. Not having visited the city before, I wasn't quite sure where the facility would have been, but as luck would have it, we inadvertently found it by sheer coincidence when visiting Liberty Station for some craft beer and a look around.

A bench in the shape of a boat, perhaps a nod to the property's Naval
Training Center past, lies in front of Liberty Public Market
If you haven't guessed it by now, the land where the Liberty Station development resides is the home of the former Naval Training Center, which was targeted for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1993. Some communities around the nation have struggled with base closures, most familiar to me being Vallejo and the closure of Mare Island Naval Shipyard (a little bit of that history is detailed in my previous post on Mare Island Brewing.)

Despite continuing controversy related to developer demands and other viable alternatives brought up by social, Tribal and airport expansion advocates, the former training center has for all intents and purposes been remodeled into an all-encompassing mix of residential, commercial and recreational uses. For our purposes, two of Liberty Station's residents enticed us to drop by for a visit on this vacation.

Gonna' Soak Up The Sun: Sauntering into San Diego

California's Central Valley seems to stretch on forever while on Interstate 5
One downside that I have discovered about moving to the Columbus area (one that my spouse warned me about) was the area's high ranking in the cloudy day charts: in fact, it rates as one of the Top Ten Most Cloudy Cities in the United States.  As my spouse further explained, by the month of February, any chance to escape for more sunny climes, even for a few days, is a welcome one.

Well, this year provided us the perfect opportunity: a planned big family gathering in San Francisco gave my spouse and I a prime opportunity to add on a few extra days for some extra sun-drenching. After a quick look, San Diego seemed to be a prime hunting ground for this quest, and a warm temperatures on departure day seemed to portend a good few days ahead.

Food Truck Dossier: Capital Ramen

Food Truck: Capital Ramen

My First Thought: Hardly the most fancy food truck in the world....but, ramen!

Reality: I admit, hot steaming bowls of soup aren't something I go for much during the warmer days of the year. However, get me to the late fall to the early spring, and its hard to beat the comfort and warming power of a fresh batch of soup.

Winter can be a very tough time for those in the mobile food industry here in Columbus, when the choice between shutting down and braving what can be some harsh winter conditions and lowered customer visits isn't so clear cut.  However, when I saw Capital Ramen, who has been making a go of it here in the area since 2015, parked nearby during a recent workday, I was pretty pleased to see them making a run at it.

The Persian Version: Jeddo Kebab

If you look closely enough, you can trace a similarity in base food items from places like Greece and Turkey eastward into China and its environs. This is hardly surprising, considering the history of the famed Silk Road, a network of passages and roadways that helped foment the trade of spices and other goods from China to Syria and everywhere in between, as well as the number of empires which once claimed this vast geographical area.

Despite the turmoil and the wages of time, the cuisine of the Persians (now modern-day Iran) stood the test of time and the changes in area rulers. Back in the Bay Area, there are several Persian eateries of note, but I admit the cuisine was not on my radar as I beginning my area explorations. It wasn't until I got to Columbus when I started digging into this tasty word via the metro's one and only Persian eatery: Jeddo Kebab.

Vinyl COHvers: Dalton and "The Mighty Morton" of the Ohio Theatre

Vinyl COHvers is a regular series of blogposts reflecting my side hobby of seeking out old vinyl records. Specifically, this series will focus on the history behind records that I have found during my travels which hold some connection to the Buckeye State.

Downtown's Ohio Theatre has a storied history ever since its grand opening to the public - the Greta Garbo film "The Divine Woman" premiered here in March, 1928. However, it is unknown whether workers putting the final touches on the then-called Loew's Theatre before its grand opening had grasped the true impact of what premiered the October prior.  Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer", the first talking motion picture (in what Warner Brothers dubbed "Vitaphone") became an undeniable sensation. By 1929, almost all Hollywood motion pictures by Hollywood were of the "talkie" variety.

The entrance to the historic Ohio Theatre, located in Downtown Columbus

OH Beer Travels: Mother Stewart Brewing (Springfield, OH)

Death and Temperance: sounds like it would be a great name for a high-powered craft beer brew, right?

Well, if anyone does brew it, there may be no current craft beer brewer more qualified than the newly established Mother Stewart's Brewing Company in Springfield, Ohio. This brewery, founded by the Loftis family and open to the public in the summer of 2016, seemingly came out of nowhere to land a spot on Beer Advocate's "Class of 2016: 34 of the Best New Breweries in the US," We figured a visit was more than in order after dropping by some of the antique shops in the area.