Wednesday, September 19, 2012

La Jolla

The La Jolla story starts with my friend Lisa suggesting a trip to Channel Islands to go kayaking. Those plans were dashed when she called and found that our free weekend was completely booked. I did a little google search and found this kayaking tour in La Jolla that seemed pretty fun so....

We packed into my car, stopped to pick up Roger and ended up in La Jolla. After a quick lunch at a deceivingly dingy but excellent burger joint, we checked in for our kayaks. Now.. if you remember the first time I went kayaking, there was very little required and we simply pushed off a calm shore in Newport Harbor. This time it was a little different. Several times we heard warnings about taking electronics and valuables, everyone advising us to leave it behind in the lockers. I finally admitted defeat and left my camera behind so I have no pictures of how awesome we all looked in our life jackets and bright yellow helmets. Trust me... we looked cool. We made it out past the waves without tipping over or getting washed back to shore, spent two hours on the ocean and got to kayak into some La Jolla caves. Getting back to shore was a different story but for the sake of brevity:
Intentions: paddle hard with the wave, lean back when it breaks and let the wave push you in.
Reality: paddle hard with the wave, get turned sideways, get flipped upside down with kayak on head, lose sunglasses, get soaking wet. Now you have the short version of how my sunglasses found a new home.

After returning our kayaks and retrieving our dry belongings, we headed back to the beach where the boys frolicked (yes they really did) in the waves and Lisa and I enjoyed the warm sand and sun. 

Lisa's Dad clued us into this little store with access to a cave through a back staircase. It's appropriately named "the Cave Store". Considering Lisa and I were both victims of ocean theft and were left without sunglasses, we were very suspicious of the very random assortment of used looking sunglasses for sale at the front of the store. :)

We walked down this very long, very steep, slightly wet and slippery tunneled staircase to a small dock/pier inside a cave. 

 Kind of neat but not a must-see for the $4 entrance. 

If i remember correctly, this man dug out the tunnel by hand many many years ago and originally used it to smuggle in immigrants and whiskey during prohibition. I guess that makes him an entrepreneur of sorts.

 After our tunnel excursion we walked through La Jolla looking for a place to enjoy dinner. 

Do you know the Muffin Man? The one who lives on Drury Lane? Well, I don't but I know where to find his house now :)

We picked Karl Strauss Brewery Company. They had an extensive menu which is really bad for an indecisive foodie such as myself.

I finally chose a chicken burger with avocado, beer baked bacon and all the other usual goodies. The house chips were not worth the calories unfortunately. Flavorless and overbaked. =(
The burger/sandwich was way too much food for me but was still very good. 

After dinner we completed our loop around town. The more we walked and the later it got, the more I realized how under-dressed we were. Mind you... we were coming from a kayaking tour and an hour on the beach. We probably smelled faintly of fish and saltwater but everyone around us was in formal attire, out for dinner. Every Bentley and Audi we walked by in Valet parking made me increasingly grateful that I had hidden my little car in an underground garage. 

I nearly passed by this amazing store but I'm so glad I didn't. If it had just been me I would have spent much more time inside. Tons of olive oils, and pestos to taste. The most intriguing store I've seen in a while. They have formal EVOO tastings weekly and you can eat dinner over the ocean at the back of the store. One day... I'm going back there to do just that!

As the sun was setting we walked out on this tiny peninsula over a cave. Other than the birds it was just us out over the ocean. Oh! and the barking sea lions.


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