Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for San Diego.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near San Diego you can see these species: Belding’s Savannah Sparrow, American Peregrine Falcon, White Pelican, Egrets, Plovers, Sandpipers, Jaegers, Ospreys, Short-Eared Owls, Clapper Rails and little Blue Herons.
The San Diego Audubon Society (sandiegoaudubon.org/birding) offers current information and activities for your birding holiday.
Discover San Diego (sandiego.org/what-to-do/tours-sightseeing/bird-watching.aspx) lists the sites and what bird species you can expect to see.
The San Diego Botanic Garden (sdbgarden.org/birds.htm) offers a bird watching event at 8 AM on the 1st Monday morning of each month.
Shopping: Everywhere you go in San Diego there are shops, boutiques, stores and galleries to tempt your indulgence. Several of the more well known shopping areas include The Village of La Jolla, Old Town, Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, Little Italy on the border of Downtown, Hillcrest in Uptown, the Gaslamp District and Orange Avenue in Coronado.
Transportation: If you didn’t drive here and even if you did, a great way to get around San Diego is on the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System – Check out this site (sdmts.com).
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
Day One: Your first visit is the Museum of Contemporary Art – Downtown – Th-Tu: 11-5, 1100 & 1001 Kettner Boulevard, 858 454 3541.
In the Séance Room you’ll find select acquisitions made between 2003 and 2013. Artists in the exhibition include Jeremy Blake, Anne Collier, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Matt Mullican, Catherine Opie, Joel Otterson, Steve Roden, Taryn Simon and Andrea Zittel.
The MSASD has two locations, and your entry fee includes both good for 7 days. The other location is in La Jolla.
So after looking around here let’s journey to La Jolla for lunch at George’s at the Cove – L & D: Daily, 1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, 858-454-4244.
Start with George’s famous soup with smoked chicken, broccoli and black beans.
Move on to the marinated and grilled fish tacos with mango salsa, jalapeno-lime creme fraiche, guacamole and shredded cabbage or the spaghetti and clams with toasted garlic, roasted tomatoes, white wine and extra virgin olive oil.
You might also like the Anson Mills Farro Salad (see our blog for 8 Great sites for Holiday Gifts for more info on Anson Mills) with grilled zucchini, roasted cauliflower, radish, California avocado, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and marinated feta cheese.
The ’11 Chenin Blanc Painted Wolf ‘The Den,’ Coastal Region in South Africa will go well with your choice.
Now fortified we are on our way to the Museum of Contemporary Art – La Jolla – Th-Tu: 11-5, 700 Prospect St, La Jolla, 858-454-4291.
This is where the MCASD began in collaboration with the Scripps family. The Edwards Sculpture Garden that overlooks the Pacific was designed by Robert Venturi.
Artists include Jonathan Borofsky, Larry Bell, Marcos Ramirez Erre and many others.
Just enough time left today to visit the USS Midway Museum – Daily: 10-5, 910 North Harbor Drive, 619-544-9600.
The USS Midway was the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. It was commissioned following the Japanese surrender of WW2.
It was the first US warship too big to transit the Panama Canal. It is literally a floating city at sea.
Dinner is at Cucina Urbana – L: Tu-F, D: Nightly, 505 Laurel, 619-239-2222.
Start with the fried squash blossoms stuffed with herb ricotta or the grilled octopus with pickled mushrooms, charred spring onions, aioli and black garlic.
Enjoy a glass or two of the ’10 Viognier Rocca di Montemassi ‘Astraio’ with either.
For your main we suggest the veal piccata with Brussels sprouts, capers, pancetta, spring peas, oyster mushrooms and lemon butter or the seared cod with spinach, salsify, fennel and olives in a citron caper emulsion.
Order the Brewer Clifton ‘Ampelos’ Pinot Noir for these choices. And for dessert go for the gelato sampler.
Day Two: Start your day at The Mission – B & L: Daily, 1250 J St, 619-232-7662
Here you can choose from 8 different pancakes, Mission specials include: soy chorizo burritos, chilaquiles, sweet corn tamales or roast beef hash and eggs.
Visiting Balboa Park could entail several days. It is the largest urban cultural park in the U.S., and it is home to some major museums. Our favorites include:
San Diego Zoo – Daily: 9-5, 2920 Zoo Drive, 619-239-0512
The San Diego Zoo is a world famous conservation organization where visitors view exotic animals in habitat environments.
Zoo guests may view rare giant pandas, cuddly looking koalas, reptiles of various shapes and sizes and more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies.
The San Diego Museum of Art – M,Tu,Th,F,Sa: 10-5, Su: 12-5, 1450 El Prado, 619-232-7931.
Its holdings include European old masters, 19th and 20th century American art, an Asian collection, and growing collections of contemporary and Latin American art.
Lunch is at the Prado at Balboa Park – L: Daily, D: Tu-Su, 1549 El Prado, 619-557-9441.
Don’t pass up the tortilla soup with grilled chicken.
Then you should have the chipotle chile glazed pork ribs with pineapple cole slaw or the harissa spiced duck breast with Moroccan couscous, almonds, currants and apricot gastrique.
The Argyle pinot noir is your wine.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum – Daily: 10-4:30, 2001 Pan American Plaza, 619-234-8291.
As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, this Museum houses a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world, including a working flying replica of Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the actual Apollo 9 Command Module spacecraft and the only real GPS satellite on display in the world.
The Museum also offers interactive exhibits including MaxFlight® and Space Shuttle simulators plus dynamic, hands-on and ever-changing traveling exhibitions.
It’s a great time to see the Timken Museum of Art – Tu-Sa: 10-4:30, Su: 12-4:30, 1500 El Prado, 619-239-5548.
The Timken’s collection spans nearly 600 years of art from early Italian Renaissance devotional paintings to late nineteenth century paintings from the United States.
A special feature of the museum is the significant collection of Russian icons, many from the Moscow and Novgorad Schools, ranging from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.
Don’t miss San Diego’s only painting by Rembrandt, Saint Bartholomew. Another important painting is Jacques-Louis David’s revolutionary portrait of the Irishman Cooper Penrose.
And don’t miss the masterpiece by Eastman Johnson titled The Cranberry Harvest. The foyer is adorned with Parisian seventeenth century tapestries illustrating the stories of Queen Artemisia.
Dinner is at Addison – D: Tu-Sa, 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, 858-314-1900.
Let’s start with the confit of white sturgeon or some PEI mussels.
Then on to the caramelized cod fish with kale and pearl onions followed by the veal sweetbreads with mushrooms and broccoli or the poached chicken with Brussels sprouts, blue cheese and quince.
The ’12 Domaine Jean Pierre Seve Macon-Solutre is a good match. Go for the tarte au chocolate for dessert.
Day Three: Breakfast is at Richard Walker Pancake House – B & L: Daily, 520 Front St, 619-231-7777.
How about some oatmeal with raisins or their totally awesome omelettes. They have several crepes, eggs benedict and, of course, their namesake pancakes.
Chances are pretty good that you’ll find something to get your day started.
It’s time to smell the flowers and there is no better place to do so than the Botanical Building in Balboa Park – F-W: 10-4, 1549 El Prado
The Botanical Building plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants, featuring fascinating collections of cycads, ferns, orchids, other tropical plants and palms.
The Botanical Building also presents some of the Park’s vibrant seasonal flower displays.
An oasis for reflection is the Japanese Friendship Garden – Daily: 10-4, 2215 Pan American Road E, 619-232-2721.
Along the Garden’s winding paths are a Zen garden for meditation, an exhibit house, a koi pond, a bonsai exhibit, a ceremonial gate and a Fujidana (wisteria arbor).
Weekend classes are offered in sushi making, bonsai, calligraphy and conversational Japanese.
Tonight you’ll dine at Market Restaurant – D: Nightly, 3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, 858-523-0007.
Start with the butternut squash-pork shoulder chili and braised bacon tacos with cheddar or the porcini mushroom and slow cooked egg with prosciutto, baby kale salad in a truffled-sherry vinaigrette.
Enjoy a glass of Emilio Lustau, Almacenista Amontillado Sherry, “Obregon” with either.
Follow this with the fennel roasted grouper and grilled shrimp scampi with sunchoke puree or the grilled prime beef tenderloin with truffled baked potato, sautéed mushrooms and onion confit.
The Joseph Phelps Freestone Vnyd is a good match here. You must have their signature dessert “The Market Bar”.
Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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