Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bali Hai, Billy Joel & Hoodoo Love!

As any business owner knows, there is no typical work week. Forget about those Monday through Friday, 9-5 work days. When you run a company like us, anything is game. Sometimes, weekends (especially during the summer) are the busiest times for us.  That's why we don't feel guilty if the mood hits us and we decide to party on a week NIGHT.  Yup, I said week NIGHT.  What can I say?  We're wild and crazy kids.

Last night, was one of those nights.  After putting in a long day at Where You Want To Be Tours,  we headed over to one of our favorite places to eat - Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island.  Jean Walcher who handles the restaurant's publicity invited us to their Media Dinner. Their new Executive Chef, Ben Lieberman,  recently revamped Bali Hai's menu and this was his chance to introduce some of his favorites dishes to the media.  

When we arrived shortly after six, we were immediately greeted by two big Mai Tai's.  If you've never had their Mai Tai... be forewarned, it's not for wimps.  Within minutes, delicious tray-passed appetizers like Coconut Shrimp and Spicy Albacore Sashimi were making its way through the room.  To top it off, it was a beautiful, warm night and a Hawaiian looking guy playing the ukulele serenaded us. What a nice way to kick off the night.   As the night progressed, we sampled Chef Liberman's Crispy Ahi Tuna Tower, Char Siu Pork Tenderloin and his specialty ribs which were out of this world. The ribs were actually given just to us. Earlier that night, we mentioned to Andy (owners Larry & Susie Baumann's son) that we LOVE their ribs. Being the gracious host that he is, he surprised us with a small plate of ribs.  (It's nice having friends in high places)
Dessert was a decadent Chocolate Coconut Creme & micro  And that's not all. At the end of the night, they held a fun writing competition and our table won!!  I'm thinking our line about "dolphins applauding our swagger, and then we spotted the incredibly talented Mick Jagger" was probably what swayed the judges.  

After all the excitement, you would think we'd call it a night.  Not us. Our good friend John Bowe was performing right across the street at Humphrey's so we decided to drop by.  His band "52nd Street" is a Billy Joel tribute band and it's always a fun time whenever we see them play.  July 31st is the next time "52nd Street" will play at Humphrey's but if you can't wait until then, you can also catch John Bowe this Friday, June 29th at the San Diego County Fair. 

Tonight, we're seeing "Hoodoo Love," the current production by Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company. Artistic Director Seema Sueko always puts together fantastic shows and this one has received rave reviews (no surprise there) so we're looking forward to supporting our friend AND having another fun night out on the town! 

Happy Travels everyone!
Marc & Darlynne 

Darlynne & Marc Menkin are travel writers living their dream in sunny San Diego!  They write and produce travel programming for several media outlets including TripFilms, Lonely Planet TV, Downtown News and La Jolla Village News. Check out their work by clicking here.


Friday, June 22, 2012

TGIF - It's time to kick it San Diego!

Oh my goodness.  Is it just us or are the weeks flying by? Guess that's what happens when you're enjoying life, right? Of course living in San Diego, how can you NOT have fun?  We kicked off our weekend fun a little early.  Thursday night, we had a double treat. First, we checked out the El Cordova Hotel in beautiful Coronado.  For those of you who haven't been to this hotel, it's very charming but it's easy to miss. Do yourselves a favor, stop missing it. It's a true hidden gem.  The hotel just finished renovating its upstairs suite and boy, is it sweet! The rates are pretty reasonable and if you got a small group of friends together or maybe your family... that would be even better. It overlooks their courtyard which is very tranquil.
El Cordova is also unique in that it's right smack in the middle of some quaint shops, Miguel's Mexican Restaurant (one of our favorite hangouts!) and a brand new spa called Spa La Mer.  Check it out the next time you're on the island.

After we left Coronado, we headed Downtown to the San Diego Civic Theater to see Wicked.  Believe it or not, it was our first time seeing this show so we were super excited. All our friends kept telling us how much we would love it. They were right - it was amazing. And, very funny. Totally worth seeing!   Wicked runs through July 15th and you can bet tickets will go fast. For theater goers on a budget, you might want to check out the show's lottery rush. Here's how it works - head to the box office two-and-a-half hours prior to the performance and place your name in a lottery drum. Thirty minutes later, the names will be drawn for the limited number of $25 seats.The seats are available for purchase with cash only, and there's a limit of two tickets per person.  Yes, it does require more time but hey, if you're able to get $25 seats... why not?

While last night was a dream day, today was even better.  The weather was gorgeous and we met the nicest people on our Coronado Bike Tour.  They were a family from Philly (our hometown!) and this was their first time in San Diego.  Like all first timers, they were in total awe of Coronado.  We stopped off at the Hotel Del, rode along our favorite neighborhood streets and eventually rode underneath the Coronado Bridge and then onto the Ferry Landing.  Life couldn't be better!

We're looking forward to tomorrow as we get to do another one of our fun public Downtown Scavenger Hunts.  Should be a blast.  We're also gearing up to launch our newest Scavenger Hunt location in...drum roll please... fabulous Hillcrest! Our friends over at the Hillcrest Business Association are sponsoring this event and we can't wait. The event is this Thursday, June 28th starting at 4pm.  It's still not too late to sign up so we hope you can join us, as there will be plenty of fun & surprises. Thanks in advance for helping us spread the word.   Fabulous Hillcrest Scavenger Hunt

Whatever you decide to do this weekend... get out and make it a great one!

Happy Travels,
Marc & Darlynne Menkin
Where You Want To Be Tours, Inc.