Monday, August 4, 2008

PHOTO ESSAY: The Splurge: or Why I Am Frugal All Year

Tuesday will be Michael's and my eighth wedding anniversary, and in what is becoming a tradition (YAY!) Michael's mom came down to spend the night with the kids so we could go out for a weekend night on the town!

This year was awesome (especially in light of last year's event, rolling into a little bed and breakfast town just as the shops closed up, Michael trying valiantly not to vomit all night, etc.)! We stayed in the city this time, and got a half price deal on an awesome hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego called the Hotel Solamar. We checked in to find a big room with the chocolate and blue design scheme I love so much, and a funky little bathroom.

They teased us with one of those nasty little snack drawers full of imported chocolates and tins of pistachios and such, for which they charge you an arm and a leg if you succumb. Our room looked down on the "JBar", a rooftop bar with a pool, lots of cushy chairs, cabanas and fire pit bowls. We had a couple glasses of wine before heading down to the street to walk to our restaurant for dinner. Its a good thing we chose a place within walking distance because the wine kicked in for both of us right away.

Candelas was so romantic, with its dark corners and dozens of candles and eclectic music. I had the Sea Bass after an amazing four cheese soup, and Michael had baked eggplant. Luckily, a portion of Michael's dinner was undercooked, because in apology, our server brought us an amazing dessert, Pastel de Tres Leches. Yummmmm...

After dinner we hung out in the lounge at Candelas, on their dark corner sofas, soaking in our lack of responsibilities. It was so nice not to feel like we had to hurry home. When we were done lounging, we headed back into the streets. It was dark now, but there were thousands of folks wandering the streets of "the Gaslamp" eating in the outdoor cafes, standing in line for bars. At street corners, waiting for the light to change, there were dozens of people on each corner waiting to cross. I haven't smelled so many clove cigarettes since about 1992.

Eventually, we headed back to the hotel and spent a little time at the JBar, but it was a bit too crowded and seemed like too much of a singles scene for us old married folks. So we headed up to our room for a little alone time.
I don't really have any pictures of that.

The next morning we headed down to breakfast at the JSix restaurant, and OH MY I had some of the finest french toast Evah! It was nice and crispy with lemon cream heaped on it and lots of berries.
I couldn't stop taking pictures of the lovely decor, and our waiter insisted if I liked photography, I should check out the "wall of fezzes" around the corner. You know I just had to!

We took a bit of a spin around the neighborhood to walk off breakfast, and even found a little mini farmer's market where we bought a loaf of Challah from an Austrian bakery for Michael's mom, but the town itself looses a bit of its magic in the harsh light of day.

We came back and checked out of the hotel, headed home to the kids, and were greeted with lots of hugs and kisses and relieved looks from Vera (just kidding, she is a pro!). It's almost single-handedly because of Vera that I still have my sanity, sometimes.

It was just so lovely, romantic and rejuvenating. And my hubby didn't miss a chance to keep reminding me how much I am loved and cherished. But then, we don't need a nice hotel and candlelight for that. He is always good for keeping the love flowing.

That's one of the reasons I married him.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie. I love you, too.


MariBy said...

What a beautiful and sweet post.

Happy 8th Anniversary Karen and Michael. :)

Snowbird said...

I'm so glad you had a great time. I know you were kind of objecting to a downtown hotel but it sounds like it was all worth it. Happy Anniversary guys. And way to go, Mima!! You're a better woman than me. I could never have done what you did.

gpc said...

So sweet, and you both look so relaxed and content. Happy anniversary!

emily said...

happy anniversary!

i love your pictures, esp. the french toast...mmmm. looks so good!

Karin Zirk said...

You guys haven't been married for eight years. Your wedding was just a couple of years ago. I think you're confused.

Cindy said...

Awww, happy anniversary! Sounds like it was a great time. Love that fezz hat wall.