Monday, August 3, 2009

Beaches, Baseball and Beers

Error! "D" called to say that the game was played in Petco Park, not QualComm Stadium. Our apologies (but truthfully, he didn't have to use some of the adjectives he chose in pointing this error out. Since this is presumably a family-friendly blog I will forgo repeating any of them.)

Yesterday, Mouton, "D", Richie and self make it to the train station with time to spare; it arrived
on time and we scurried upstairs to the observation deck and grabbed four seats together in a middle car (Mouton and I rode facing the caboose.) After some industrial-type scenery (car and boat junk yards) we began to run along the Pacific Ocean. At times we were so close to the water that it seemed like being on a boat! We passed beaches, full of people, camping tents, RVs.

Our train was going to be late (it had to wait for a northbound train to pass) so I called "Raffish" to tell him. If asked if the train stopped at Old Town before going on to the San Diego main station? When I said it did, he suggested I get off there so I did.

He was on the platform and saw me descend, rushed over to shake Richie's hand and then the train moved off taking them (eventually) to QualComm Stadium where they would watch the Padres vs. Milwaukee Brewers game. As their beloved Dodgers play the Brewers tonight, this was felt to be a scouting expedition on their parts about the Brewers -- defense? Offense?

Leaving them to it, Raffish and I walked through Old Town to Rockin' Baja Lobster, sat down in the sunny patio off the bar and ordered a pair of Pacificos and an order of Tequila-Lime Shrimp sauteed in butter and olive oil with a sauce of cilantro, red pepper, lime and tequila which came with two slices of grilled garlic bread (the better to sop up the excellent sauce.) Rockin' Lobster has a help-yourself-salsa bar with a mountain of chips. Lunch was $32.61 before a 20% tip.

Waxing enthusiastic about the lingering, aged hippies, he drove us to Ocean Beach (usually fondly called "OB," Newport Avenue, the main drag and has lots of restos, bars, used clothing and antique shops lining it. We saw silver pony-tailed men and their ladies and a lot more 30-somethings, many with strollers and little kids.

The first place we went to was too packed to stay, so we crossed the street to Newport Pizza which boasts "No Crap From Our Taps" regarding their line of signature beers. Raffish pointed out that San Diego's dress code is pretty relaxed (men even wear flip flops with suits) gesturing to a trio of young men who had removed their shirts. In fairness, if one has spent that much money on tattoos, it only makes sense to display them when management permits. Newport Pizza, 5050 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619-224-4540

Back to the car and onward to Blind Lady's Ale House, 3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego 619-255-2491. Feeling a bit peckish by then, we ordered and shared house-cured olives and a Pizza Margarite (tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil) along with a pair of their amber ales that were so good that we ordered two more. He insisted on treating, so I don't know what the tab was.

My cell phone rang, Richie and the others were at the Tilted Kilt in downtown San Diego. We saddled up and joined them. After some convivial conversation, Raffish gave us a very much appreciated ride to the station, we boarded the train and left. We did manage to stay awake until the beach scenes had flashed past and then I think they all went to sleep -- I know I did...

All in all, a very good day -- they got to see their beloved baseball LIVE! and I got to see people and neighborhoods with a very comfortable old friend who has a descriptive flair and feeling for both. Tomorrow: Live at the Tilted Kilt.

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