Friday, May 29, 2015

San Diego May 2015 - Day 2

Wednesday May 6

View from my room in Ocean Beach
The beach is right across the street. I could see and hear the ocean from my room. Heaven!

View from just outside my room
I chose this hotel because of its proximity to the ocean. I wanted a similar experience as when I quilt by the sea in Pacifica. I was not disappointed.

Pretty courtyard

Fun sculpture near the hotel

View of Newport Avenue, main drag of Ocean Beach

I was intrigued by the color combo of pink and orange, which may appear in a quilt someday.

Love the design of this metal work.


View of the beach from the front of the hotel

I ate a Starbucks breakfast in the courtyard. Starbucks was just a block away, and the meal was free, thanks to several gift cards received for my recent birthday.

I would have preferred to sit in this area to have breakfast, with a better view of the beach. But a couple was there, enjoying the quiet. I could have sat at on the bench just a few feet away, but I chose not to disturb their "private" space.

Outdoor shower - convenient for rinsing off after a swim in the ocean

Ironing station - provided in the room. Yahoo!

Sewing station
I moved things around a bit. The table didn't have a very good view of the ocean. This was better. My sewing machine, a Janome Sew-Mini, is the size of a toaster, fits in my suitcase and weighs nothing.

Cutting station
The cutting mat (18" x 24") folds in half and fits in my suitcase. This replaces one that I had worn out years ago and held together with tape. The rulers are plexiglass that I had cut at the hardware store. The larger ruler is about 6" x 21", slightly shorter than my commercial ruler, and fits in my suitcase. There are no markings on the rulers but they aren't really necessary for the techniques I had planned for the trip.

Quilters Playtime and Thinking Outside the Block
I've been working through these books for a few years, during quilting retreats both at and away from home.

View from the sewing machine. With the window wide open I could hear the waves crashing at the beach across the street. Love that sound.

Bags of fabrics, many leftovers from prior retreats, with a few new additions. I stuffed my suitcase to the point of barely being able to zip it. I had to carry a few items in a separate bag during the train trip.

Left, Hopscotch unit made a few years ago. Right, pink fabric to make two similar units. There wasn't enough of the original green, so I switched background colors.

Trying out green fabrics against the pink background 

Pink side strips with green centers
I needed to keep the three-piece units together due to the funny angles, so I pinned the second pink strips to the back of the green centers. 

It seemed to work well.

I made pairs of the same green fabric centers

I rearranged the second column to be the reverse of the first one. Still somewhat symmetrical but not exactly the same.

Trimmed top and bottom edges, for all units

First run sewn together, with fabric strips as spacers between the pieced units

Wow, it's a whole lot shorter than the original green Hopscotch. Yikes!

Mike's Taco Club for lunch, near the hotel

Taco Especial. Shrimp, scallops and fish with avocado. One of the more popular dishes (I asked). Very tasty.

After lunch I walked to the nearby CVS to pick up snacks. On the way back I saw this mural about the Street Fair, which happened to be setting up near the mural. Nice.

I walked to the beach to spend some time by the waves. Free hula hooping. How fun!

I parked myself on the only bench I could see. Across from me was this guy, playing the guitar. He kept playing the same chords over and over. No singing, just playing. He wasn't very good, either.

What I looked at instead of the guy. Better.

I had just finished reading the sign that says No Dogs on Beaches, Sidewalks or Park Areas between 9 AM and 6 PM. Then I saw what seemed to be a dog. The rule-follower in me said, "Hey, no dogs!" Then I noticed it was a pig, and the rule-BENDER in me said, "The sign doesn't say no pigs." Haha!

Lifeguard statue near the lifeguard station

View from the third story of the hotel. Beautiful.

After the beach I sewed together the second run of Hopscotch.

No surprise that it, too, was a lot shorter than the green unit.

Headed to catch a bus to downtown San Diego. Street fair and Farmers Market. There were several food vendors, which would have been fun, but I was on my way to a fancy restaurant. 

I got off the bus near the marina. It's my dream to spend a night on a boat and be rocked to sleep by the gentle waves.

Series of fountains seen on the way to the restaurant. This beautifully combines my loves of fountains and repetition.

The airport is near downtown, and planes come in amazingly close to the buildings. I find it absolutely fascinating. I stood at this corner for several minutes to get a good photo of a plane.

Juniper and Ivy restaurant, October 2013. I was in San Diego for my niece Laura and her fiance Tim's wedding. Sister Cass drove me to this spot so I could see the restaurant in progress.

Juniper and Ivy now. I have long been a fan of chef Richard Blais, Top Chef All-Stars winner and now judge, who runs the restaurant.. For two years I dreamed of eating here. A dream about to come true.

Another view of Juniper and Ivy, on Kettner Blvd.. By the way, the name is from the streets that are on either side: Ivy and Juniper. Laura's husband Tim joined me for dinner. Laura had started a new job hours away, just one day before I arrived in San Diego. So she wasn't able to come to dinner.

Amuse bouche (amuse the mouth). Cheese biscuit but with something more inside. Perhaps chicken. Big flavor; I would expect nothing less from a Top Chef.

Tim and I decided to order separate entrees, then split our appetizers and sides. Here, Grilled Asparagus: Frozen parmesan / red romaine / anchovy / crostini / Caesar vin

BBQ Octopus - Eel sauce / green papaya. I'd never had octopus before, but I'm an adventurous eater, so we went for it. Yummy, and the contrast between the smoky octopus and acidic papaya was interesting.

Loaded Potatoes - Cheddar soubise / calcots / pork belly

My entree, Duck Breast - Smoked jalapeno / blackberry / Japanese potato / pink turnip / grilled scallion mayo. I loved everything we ordered, except one bite in this dish. It must have been the turnip, which was bitter. (I don't think I'd ever eaten one.)

Tim's entree, Alaskan Halibut - Orange gaspacho / sofrito / radish salad / California farro. Tim and I shared a bite of each other's entree. The food at Juniper and Ivy was excellent, and I'm so glad I got to experience it. At the same time, I got to know Tim. Before this I'd seen him only at the time of the wedding. Very nice, likeable and intelligent fellow.

Tim gave me a ride back to my hotel, so I didn't have to ride the bus back. I sewed for a little bit, adding wide strips to the top and bottom of both pink Hopscotch runs. This helped them seem less out of proportion with the green run. After that I called it a night.


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