John and I had an amazing visit with the Steele family this past weekend!  On Friday night, John’s parents and brother made their way to San Diego for their first visit to the area.  Since John wasn’t able to travel home for Christmas, his family came here to celebrate the holidays and John’s Christmas Birthday!  We had a wonderful time showing them around our new city, and were so excited to see them after so much time apart.

Once again, John and I became tourists of San Diego, and since I’ve written a lot about our favorite spots in past blog posts (like Bluewater, Donut Bar, the San Diego Zoo, etc), I’ve outlined some of the highlights of their trip below, instead of a complete play-by-play summary of everything we did.

On Saturday, John and I had a blast showing the fam the California coast as we took a ride all the way up to Carlsbad, stopping at a bunch of points along the way.  Unfortunately, John’s dad’s ankle was bothering him from a sprain, so the drive was the perfect activity to avoid extra walking!  We drove up through Mission Bay area, stopped at various parts of La Jolla for some fabulous pictures, passed through Torrey Pines and Del Mar, stopped in Solana Beach for lunch, and finally made our way north to Encinitas and Carlsbad.  John and I haven’t taken a drive that far up the coast since we’ve moved, so it was a fun day of exploration for us, as well!  The weather was gorgeous and provided us with the perfect day for cruising along with the windows down!

On Saturday evening, John’s parents treated us to an amazing dinner at Rama Restaurant, a Thai place that we tried for the first time together.  It was incredibly delicious!  We all ordered something different off the menu, and shared them with each other, family style.  From crispy pork belly to the most delicious Pad Thai we’d ever eaten, Rama provided us with a simply delectable meal.  The cocktails were really fun, too, and after trying a couple, John’s dad’s ankle was feeling much better! =P

Following suit with more good food, on Sunday morning we were all up early for an exceptional treat – brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado.  Having been a place that John’s mom has wanted to visit forever, she thought it’d be quite a nice birthday present to treat us all to brunch in celebration of John’s special day – and oh boy, was it ever!  The brunch at Hotel Del Coronado was absolutely outstanding.  I don’t even know how to put it into words to describe it!  Basically, it blew every other brunch that any of us had been to completely out of the water – this brunch was not even on the same playing field as other brunches!

There were seven distinct dining stations, each presenting an array of food in that particular category.  For example, at the breakfast foods table, you could enjoy anything from waffles with vast toppings and make-your-own omelets, to eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise and fresh breakfast sausage.  The meat carving station was stocked with impressive cuts of meat such as Rosemary leg of lamb, hickory smoked turkey, glazed ham and prime rib.  And similarly, the seafood table had a vast selection including Lobster tortellini, Alaskan King Crab legs, green lip mussels, cioppino, and so much more.  And I don’t even know where I would start if I tried to describe all the desserts!  Amazingly enough, those are just a few examples of the delicious food options – there were hundreds of dishes to choose from!  In addition to the massive amounts of food, there were drinks, as well, and we all enjoyed our fill of mimosas, bloody marys, and champagne.

We followed up brunch with an afternoon walk on the beach, tour of Ocean Beach, and ended the night at Sunset Cliffs where we not only enjoyed a fabulous San Diego sunset, but were able to also witness an extravagant sunset proposal complete with surfers in the water holding a “she said yes” sign.  It was a great end to a wonderful day!

On Monday, it was back to work for me, but John was able to get the day off work to spend time with his family.  They enjoyed a long walk down Mission Beach and the Mission Beach Boardwalk, indulged in a Mexican lunch in Hillcrest, and took a walk to the harbor downtown.  They also stopped by John’s office to check out John’s work digs and meet some of his coworkers!

When my work day ended, John and family picked me up and we headed off to our favorite San Diego restaurant, Blue Water, where we were able to show John’s parents firsthand why Blue Water is our favorite San Diego joint!

Tuesday, New Years Eve, was our last day to visit, as John’s family was headed back to Rochester first thing the next morning.  We decided to end our visit by taking a trip to the San Diego zoo!  I won’t go into too much detail, as I’ve written about the zoo many a time, but the Steeles had a wonderful time exploring the world famous zoo with us.  We parted ways in the afternoon to get ready for dinner and New Years Eve, and met back up again for our NYE dinner reservation at Bankers Hill.  We indulged in yet another amazing meal and enjoyed the last few hours that we had together.  After dinner we said our sad goodbyes and parted ways, John and I off to a New Years Eve party, and the family off to pack and go to bed early in preparation of their early flight.

We had a wonderful time visiting with John’s family, and can’t wait for the next few visitors that we have lined up.  Our friend Rachael will be visiting in just two weeks, we can’t wait to start thinking of things to do with her when she visits! :) Any good ideas to add to the agenda?  Let us know in the comments!

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