1. Forget about favorite September memory—going kayaking with Eaman and Teddy in Mission Bay was one of my favorite life moments. Photos sometimes make life seem so straight up joyous even when it’s not, but whenever you see a snap of us three, rest assured that it’s all real because it’s then that I’m at my happiest. When we came across the dog-friendly Aqua Adventures, we brought Teddy along for an afternoon on the water. Life jackets aren’t required for dogs and even though golden retrievers like Teddy are very capable swimmers, the handle on the jackets make it easier to pick him up when he jumped out of the kayak, which was often. At one point we didn’t allow him back on for a while half to teach him a lesson and half to swim himself tired.
1. I think the best way to eat Mexican in San Diego is divey, hole-in-the-wall shacks, whether they’re by the beach like Bull Taco or in a Gala Foods parking lot, like the Marisco’s seafood truck. For the longest time I didn’t know where to go if I wanted quality and a comfortable place to sit down, that is, until I went to Puesto, the upscale eatery with street food eats. The downtown location is a giant, beautiful warehouse, while the La Jolla location, which was just renovated, is more intimate and equally artistic. (The new space is designed by prolific L.A. artist Thomas Schoos.) In August I dined at Puesto La Jolla for a dinner-with-strangers type night that included a group of creative women in San Diego. Amazing tacos (try the chicken verde) plus amazing conversation made for a happy night.
1. The sleek and inviting Monello—sister restaurant and neighbor to Bencotto—brings traditional Milanese eats and customs to the Little Italy neighborhood. I finally got to try it last month and went home with the most pleasant bread and cheese food coma. Favorites included the panzerotti (lightly fried mini calzones), funghi fritti (fried portobello mushrooms served with a black truffle aioli) and margherita pizza. The real star of the show, however, is the raspa durra cheese, a young cow’s milk that pretty much melts in your mouth. Also worth noting is Monello’s apertivo. Though it falls around the American happy hour time of 4-7 p.m., it’s a Milanese tradition that has nothing to do with half-price drinks. Instead you pay full price for drinks—stay with me—and get to eat a few small plates for free.
Hale Holistic. June was a tough month for me. I went back to working at home, for myself, and by myself after 3 wonderful months filling in at San Diego Magazine, and that meant relearning the freelancer hustle. Frankly, it’s exhausting. I also dealt with Teddy’s mystery GI issues—a new antibiotic has him back to normal for now—as well as his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad behavior. It was like he forgot all commands and was a wild heathen at the park. There was also that general feeling of blah. I spent a few weeks wallowing and then snapped out of it because I realized being so negative and putting so much pressure on myself would get me nowhere.
Gone are the video recaps and in comes a new monthly series, where I tell you about 5 things—whether they be meals or moments—that made an impact in my life in the past month. I liked my monthly video recaps. I really did. But as a writer, I can’t help but want to explain the story behind what you see. So this is the monthly recap 2.0. Enjoy!
One Friday, at the end of a very painful heat wave, we piled into the car with Teddy and headed south for Imperial Beach. This sleepy, laid-back beach town doesn’t get enough credit. Being there felt like we were transported to a different place. Miami? A movie set perhaps? It seemed a little magical on that Friday, with the farmers market busy and melting San Diegans seeking solace in the cold ocean water. The beach was also an incredible place to watch the sunset. We even witnessed a trio of dolphins swimming across the horizon and then made a vow to make a lot more trips to IB.