San Diego on the Cheap

torrey-pines-hike

My best friend moved to San Diego over a year ago, so I make trips down to see her on occassion.  Our trips really just end up with us eating our way through all of San Diego, but we have also found some great hikes, walks and of course EATS.

For nearly all my purchases I use my Alaska Airlines Credit Card. That way I can earn FREE miles.  I have gone down to San Diego 3 times to visit my friend and each time I have used miles, so each time it costs me $5 to fly.

We did lots of hikes

This is at Torrey Pines.  My friend has a year long parking pass, but even a day pass is not more than a couple of bucks, but it’s work it, fun hike. This is the 2nd or 3rd time we have done this hike.  I love it.  It’s also very easy.  Trust me, I would know.  I might look fine, but I am going in for back surgery soon, and I still did this hike.

torrey-pines-hike

Beach walks

del-mar

We do these hikes and walks because they are FREE or nearly free. If you are in San Diego why wouldn’t you do those things?

After all those great hikes and beach walks we need good food.  San Diego is not short on great food.  Before I got there my friend went online and ordered some gift certificates from Restaurants.com.   If you don’t know what that is go check it out HERE and look for the latest deals. We ate really good while we were there.

cody's

Our first meal there was at Cody’s.  This is such a cute place and the food was good.  Not my favorite meal, but nothing to really write home about.  We might try it again, it could be that we just ordered wrong.

lockwood-table

Check this out.  How cute is this?  This is the owner of the restaurant Lockwood Table doing a delievery.  I love this!!  The food here was so amazing.  It was a light lunch of hummus,salad and a veggie sandwich, plus we shared a dessert bar.  We shared all 4 things, used our gift cerficiate and it cost us $6 each with tip and tax.

zinc-cafe

Everyday we would head over to Zinc and get our afternoon latte.  I make my own lattes at home, so I am super picky.  This latte was so good we kept going back.  Not only that, but before I left I bought a 1lb bag to take home.  So good.

sbicca

My favorite find of the trip was this restaurant, Sbbica    The food was amazing. We each got a bowl of Lobster/shrimp bisque, we shared caramelized onion, brie, smoked salmon on toast, and an ahi tuna salad.  Again we used the Restaurant.com gift certificate and with tip and tax this meal cost us $12 each.  Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about the bread and dipping sauce they bring out before your meal.  It looks like salsa, but it’s tomatoes with basil, pureed and you add it to your bread.  My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

What we discovered after talking with the owner is that his sister lives in the same place I do and she just opened up a restaurant in Lake Oswego, Oregon, just minutes from my house.  She needs to know I will be comparing her to her brother.  His food was to die for.

So if you are ever in La Jolla, California look for this restaurant.  You won’t be disappointed.  The view is not super great, but you can see the water if you sit outside. Plus it sits next door to a great surf shop.

Ahhhh, San Diego.  It’s a beautiful place.

Kings Island

The Beast Kings Island '08

The Beast Kings Island ’08

Ah…after you leave Cedar Point you should NOT got to Kings Island.  We had been warned, but since we had platinum season passes and we got in with that card at no additional charge we thought we would at least give it a try.

First off the park is much, much smaller and packed.  We were there on a Saturday night and with the Platinum Pass you can get the passes that put you at the front of the line on 4 rides.  The catch is the rides are not close to each other and the times are pretty close, so you kind of need to choose what rides you want to do.  Now remember we had just ridden Top Thrill Dragster earlier that day, so every time we got off one of the roller coasters at Kings Island we were like “that was cute”.  The adjustment was hard.

We were not super excited about the park, so we didn’t have quite as much motivation to get there and open up the park.  So the nice thing was we got to sleep in.

Once we got to the park we decided to push through and make a day and hit all the rides.  The lines were long, so we had to change our strategy mentally.  We usually hit parks during off seasons, our kids don’t know what it’s like to stand in line for over 30 minutes.  Well they didn’t know then, but they do know now.

The Beast!!  It is a wooden roller coaster that’s all it’s cracked up to be.  It was long, amazing and not bumpy.  Son of Beast was just a great.

We took time to sit down and watch some shows too.  Or at least we tried.  Don’t judge us Barry Williams, but we just couldn’t sit through it.  Yeah that’s right the name is ringing a bell.  That’s Greg Brady along with Bobby and Cindy.  They were entertaining guests at Kings Island while we were there.

Over all Kings Island ended up being a fun time.  Even with the new ride Diamond Back coming out next year I don’t think we will ever return to that park.  Unless for some weird reason work takes us to Cincinnati, then we might.

My tip is don’t go over Labor Day Weekend.  Even though I knew it was a holiday I was kind of hoping that everyone was done with amusement parks for the summer, turns out they aren’t.  They like to end with a bang, literally, there were even fireworks, and quite a show at that.

Ohio Road Trip

We have only been to Ohio to visit Cedar Point. But this time we decided to fly out of Cincinnati and hit Kings Island for a day or so. So that meant a 4 hour road trip right through the middle of Ohio. We had opened up Cedar Point that day, done a few rides, then hit the road. So as we drove we were looking for a place for lunch. Do I need to say it again…we wanted good food and the search began. We ended up in a town called Bucyrus, and they were having Hobo Days. It was quite fun with a few vendors on the streets. What stopped us was a coffee shop, since sandwiches are a hit at our house this seemed like the perfect place. Plus we are from the NW and we do like our coffee, so had to test it out.

First off it was inside of an antique/amish furniture/gift shop that was all a buzz. At the coffee counter were 3 older ladies taking orders and making sandwiches. We all ordered our favorite coffee drink, and got these great sandwiches with chips and a giant pickle. The whole meal cost us $24. And the coffee was great. We ended up talking with one of the ladies and she found out we were from Oregon and she gave my husband a huge to go cup of coffee, which he thought was really good and very sweet.

Full stomachs and on our way to Kings Island…..