If there is one thing I want for my birthday it is a day of betting on ponies, having cocktails with friends, eating delicious food and enjoying the beach weather. My thirty fifth birthday celebration had all of the above.
Our Del Mar vacation had a late start which wouldn’t have been a problem except for the terrible Southern California traffic. No problem, we thought. We will just take the back way through The Badlands of Southern California. Driving through the back roads of hick ghetto towns like Menifee, Perris and Murrieta is kind of dicey. It’s an ugly drive and it makes one wonder why do people live here?
Because they are either growing or selling weed and oh yeah, it’s cheaper to buy a house here than in Orange County or Los Angeles.
Thank God we don’t live here or any where near that brown mud puddle lake, Lake Perris. It might have been an ugly drive under smoggy grey brown skies but eventually we made it to the shores of Del Mar and the tiny beach town we were staying at, Leucadia.
Leucadia was pretty great if you like trains and gas station sushi.
Very loud trains right outside our hotel and sushi restaurant’s with lines out the door for sushi that you could get the same kind of quality at any Arco or Mobil gas station.
But that was the low point of Leucadia. The high points… a charming vintage Spanish style hotel just a block from the beach.
The Leucadia Inn.
Funny story with the Leucadia Inn. They had called me the day before to ask me what time we expected to check in and the original plan was to be in San Diego around three. No where in the friendly conversation we had did the employee mention that their office closes at five p.m.
At five thirty we were stuck in traffic in San Marcos and thirty minutes away from the hotel. The employee who called me was pissed off to still be at work waiting for me on a Friday evening, but really, what kind of hotel closes their lobby at five p.m! Especially for a weekend stay! My boyfriend had a bad feeling as soon as this happened and thought I had checked us into the Bate’s Hotel at that point.
The check in situation might have been weird but our hotel room was clean and quaint and had a coffee maker, stove and fridge, all the kitchen amenities we needed. There was even an organic market two shops over!
Solterra Winery and Kitchen
We went here for my birthday dinner with friends our first night in Leucadia. This charming little winery was only a few blocks walking distance from our hotel! We were a little bummed they did not have an open bar but their barrel aged red wines were just fantastic! Plus, this was seriously the best paella I have ever had in my life. They even had a anchovy tapa on their menu and there is really nothing I love more than those tiny little fishes when they are not basted in salt, the way us Americans think they should taste. No. Anchovies should be served on crusty bread with some olive oil. That is all. Since it was my birthday Solterra presented us with a basket of homemade milk and nmalted banana milk to go with it (On the house) The malted banana milk was just an incredible way to finish a meal.
When we walked into French Corner on Saturday morning I thought I had died and gone to Café Crème heaven! Yes, this bakery was so authentic they had Café Crème on the menu and the people working the counter were actually speaking French! The Pastries were out of this world good. I had a freshly made baguette with pate and French pickles and a croissant and a little French cream puff thing. I honestly think I ate more carbs in two days than I had in the last month!
For all the reasons above our little birthday trip to Leucadia was just fantastic! And that didn’t even cover our morning stroll on the beach after gorging ourselves on carbs and picking up Pink Lady Apple Kumbucha on the way to the race track!