San Diego Thanksgiving & Zoo a Great Vacation

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Sometimes you get lucky, googling to find a good restaurant in a new city you’re unfamiliar with. I certainly did. We had our Thanksgiving Feast at Terra American Bistro. My research told me it was a good choice and I was not disappointed. Chef and owner Jeff Rossman, author of From Terra’s Table is a wonderful cook who puts the emphasis on fresh,organic,and flavorful ingredients. If you are a foodie, once you check out his website and blog, you’ll easily become addicted. But first things first.
As you may have surmised from my previous blog entry, we started out in Los Angeles and initially spent the night in Marina Del Rey near my oldest friend and former college roommate Barbara, who recently got married.
By chance, we ended up eating our dinner in a restaurant just a few steps away from my stupid incident when I tripped in the parking lot near Venice Beach on our first college visiting trip. The beach access was in walking distance of where we were staying, and this time round we had a relaxing walk on the beach before picking up daughter Alex at the Fullerton train station.
After we completed our drive south to San Diego and settled in at the motel on Shelter Island, I tried swimming for the first time since my “equestrian accident”. Taking long slow strokes in the pool felt good and I was careful to limit my efforts (I’m used to swimming repetitive laps) before switching over to the jacuzzi where the jets on my back and neck felt exquisite as long as I kept a certain distance. For dinner, we wanted to see more of the city and went to visit the Gas Light district in downtown San Diego. After much debate, we decided to dine at Madam Cora’s Marble Room Kitchen and Saloon.. The entertainment, a jazz vocalist and pianist accompanied by a drummer, was about to begin. It was still Happy Hour and the food was good.
Thanksgiving Day we walked all around Shelter Island and borrowed a dog to try and confuse son Christopher who recently adopted a dog named Halo. Halo joined his household on Thanksgiving and Chris is thankful to have her, but I felt left out because I’m still waiting to adopt a new puppy or dog until my back is a little stronger. Thus husband Peter, the jokester, thought up the joke and a cooperative passerby was happy to lend a hand.
We could have chosen a lot of different things off the fixed menu at Terra American Bistro, but we all opted for the Rosemary & Thyme Roasted Turkey with gravy made from local mushrooms served with sourdough walnut stuffing, cranberry pine relish, braised savoy cabbage, and country smashed white cheddar potatoes. First course was a carmelized fennel and bib lettuce salad with roasted butternut squash, wild rice, and dried cranberries. Dessert was an apple persimmon cobbler, chocolate tart, and maple cheesecake. Yes, it was awesome, although I missed sons Justin (who had no Thanksgiving in Singapore) and Chris. I am, however, thankful everyone is well and pursuing their dreams. Before the sun completely set, we made a visit to Coronado where we admired the Hotel Coronado from the beach and strolled around the business district of the town.
The following day we walked off all those calories at Balboa Park where we walked several miles before we figured out that we had not parked next to the Zoo. However, we got to see and appreciate all the handsome architecture where numerous museums are located, each requiring at least a half day visit. (Maybe another San Diego vacation is in the future.) The world famous zoo took up the rest of our day. We wisely left the Zoo to eat lunch in Balboa Park and then returned, as a break was sorely needed.
Saturday, we left San Diego early to try and beat the traffic but still got bogged down in gridlock, but by Saturday afternoon we were up in San Luis Obispo admiring Alex’s apartment and visiting with Alex’s boyfriend Crosby and rabbit Cuttie. Sunday morning we were saying farewell to Alex at the Cowgirl Cafe. A stop in Santa Barbara, where I once lived, gave us an opportunity to enjoy the 80 degree weather and take a walk by the waterfront.
And now it is back to reality which means getting used to cold weather!

Published by Nadja Maril

Nadja Maril is a communications professional who has over 10 years experience as a magazine editor. A writer and journalist, Maril is the author of several books including: "American Lighting 1840-1940", "Antique Lamp Buyer's Guide", "Me, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat", and "Runaway, Molly Midnight; the Artist's Cat". Her short stories and essays have been published in several small online journals including Lunch Ticket, Change Seven, Scarlet Leaf Review and Defunkt Magazine. She has an MFA in creative writing from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. Former Editor-in-Chief of What's Up ? Publishing, former Editor of Chesapeake Taste Magazine a regional lifestyle magazine based in Annapolis, and former Lighting Editor of Victorian Homes Magazine, Maril has written hundreds of newspaper and magazines articles on a variety of subjects..

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