The Hungry Mountaineer’s Del Mar Delights 2022

“The days go so fast when you spend all day sitting and drinking and gambling” I love my friend Talia (Check out her Youtube channel here) Talia is a hilarious breath of fresh air in this time of pandemic after global pandemic. I feel so blessed to have been reunited with some good friends last week at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club before the Monkeypox lockdown begins. Also, Talia put the fear of God in me when it comes to Monkeypox. Why am I staying at an Airbnb at the start of another global pandemic? And do these Airbnb owners actually change the sheets every time? I’m so going to get Monkeypox in my eyeballs, I can feel it after my one-night stay in Del Mar California. I’ve even decided to stop thrift store shopping until all these zoonotic Monkeypox shenanigans are in the rearview. What the actual hell is this world coming to? Now, this is why I need another Del Margarita.

Gimp’s day out at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

A good friend hangs out with you when you can hardly walk and you can spend a whole day being wacky, goofy, drinking Del Margaritas and limping around the seaside oval. As long as you are wearing a cute dress and sipping on a fruity cocktail who cares if you are also wearing a boot with a fractured foot! The pandemic is almost over and you and your long-lost loved ones are seaside at Del Mar Turf Club! This global pandemic has been hard on families and hard on friendships and not to mention social lives. It’s a breath of (Covid-free) fresh air to be able to reunite with an old friend at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in scenic San Diego, California and enjoy a week day of fast Thoroughbred race horses, deliciously over-priced cocktails and a few laughs.

And away they go. To the nearest bar

Thank God I have a blog to record all these memories since Facebook does not want me. Not anymore. Not since I posted this photo of my dog in a Trump bandana.

It’s been a long Facebook-free month and I never thought The Facebook was such a big thing in my life until I had to step down from the Facebook Hiker Babes group I host and I’m really missing my Facebook book club. Not to mention all the friends and family I have living across the country I can no longer keep up with. I don’t even have the phone numbers of most of my friends I have not seen in the last ten years! For one short day at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, we were no longer together apart.

Remeber two years ago when we had to Zoom happy hour and we had to be #TogetherApart? Let’s face it, that fucking sucked. I feel very blessed now to be enjoying a Thursday afternoon where the turf meets the surf in beautiful Del Mar California.

When it comes to friends and family, yes the social media sites are great for sending selfies of your pup in a Trump bandana but nothing is like a good old fashion hug from a friend. (As long as they don’t have The Pox) Some families have a tradition of coming out to Del Mar Thoroughbred Club every Thanksgiving before the holiday feast. My Del Mar Thoroughbred Club tradition is always wearing a MAGA ball cap on my walk-in just to antagonize all of the PETA protesters who are whining and carrying on out front of the seaside oval. If I can make one PETA protester spontaneously combust with anger it was totally worth it (I also like to tell them I made veal meatballs for dinner last night)

The best of the best of Del Mar 2022

The pandemic is finally over. What is the gimpy handicapper to do in Del Mar? I mean besides, enjoy a few Del Margaritas? I personally live at least three-hour drive from Del Mar Thoroughbred Club so I feel blessed if I make it where the turf meets the surf a few times a year. On my commute to my favorite seaside racetrack, after two hours at least of driving, I have to stop at northeast France-inspired Champagne Bakery for a puff pastry jesuite, topped with custard and Enrique.

and their delicious French salad with curry dressing. And yes, sometimes I bring an ice chest to transplant some of that tasty cardamon, clove and turmeric accented dressing back home to Big Bear Lake with me. Slather some butter lettuce with this dressing, add some fresh rotisserie chicken and champagne grapes and bing bang boom, you have such a fresh-tasting cafe salad!

Another French Cafe? Oh la la

I always start my morning at Del Mar by finishing up my handicapping at the French Corner in Solana Beach. A lot of sports fans always wear green socks or carry a lucky rabbit’s foot. My good luck paraphernalia of choice is getting a pate sandwich to go to consume in the owner’s lounge mid-afternoon. (Wow. I have a lot of things in my purse that might piss off those PETA douchbags) The owner’s lounge at Del Mar might have free popcorn but the food at Del Mar is just terrible in this foodie’s opinion. And when in San Diego County the fancy foodie options are endless. Why settle for a cheap race track hotdog?

I was lucky enough to find lodging in Encinitas just a Uber ride away last minute for my Thursday trip to Del Mar. I had originally booked an amazing Hip Camp lodging nearby. It was a camping spot with a view, only a fifteen-minute Uber ride from the track. It kind of sounded too good to be true and I guess it was. The host canceled my reservation two weeks before my trip to Del Mar. Have you ever used Hip Camp? This was my first time using this popular camping website. It’s like Airbnb for campers. The thing with Hip Camp is there are so few reviews, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the land owner ghosted me last minute.

Good times at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club!

So besides spending an afternoon betting on the ponies where the surf meets the turf where do I fuel my hungry degenerate gambler body while out and about in San Diego? A day out in this seaside hamlet means a most stop for crepes, French pastries and all the coffees at French Corner in Solana Beach. I adore this cozy cafe just a few steps from the beach (because yes, I need a quick beach stroll after inhaling their La Jambon Fromage Crêpe just $13 a Crêpe filled with French Ham, Gruyere cheese & Cornichon French Pickles. Their Tartine Parisienne, just $9, French Corner Pâté- French Pickles – Olive Oil is what I order to go. I keep this pate open-faced sandwich packed in my purse and whip it out around the third race at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The first time I pulled an entire French pate sandwich out of my handbag in the middle of the owner’s lounge, yes my friends stared at me like I was a very strange foodie indeed. Actually, they still stare at me like that.

Anytime I find myself in any place near San Diego I have to stop in at the French Corner. The fresh foods are made with quality organic ingredients and the owner is from Paris and really throws the whole Parisian vibe into this cafe. As a coffee lover, I dream about French-style Cafe Creme from the one week I spent in Paris when I was in my twenties. I drank an embarrassing amount of these in one week! I was very caffeinated when I was in Paris! I love the French Corner’s Le creme and it takes me back to the rainy streets of Paris every time. What I really love is the French Corner’s decadent Le Praline, a sweet coffee beverage with caramel sauce and hazelnut syrup. I never drink sweet coffee drinks because you know diabetes and all that but if I was going to be decadent this would be the coffee drink I would order.

When I spend a few days near Del Mar California I always have to stop in for a wood-fired pizza from Sammys. I am so unbelievably picky about pizza and Sammy’s is one of the only pizzas I will order in all of California.

One thing I never ever get to eat in Big Bear Lake where I live is sushi. When I get away from our mountain hamlet for a few days I definitely need to eat some sushi. Especially after I win some cash at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. After the races on a Thursday afternoon, you can definitely find me at the nearby Glass Box at the Del Mar Sky Deck.

Living in the mountains two hundred miles from San Diego we do not have a health food store. When I make my way to San Diego county I always have to stop at Jimbo’s Naturally for healthy snacks. Or Lazy Acres in nearby Encinitas. Lazy Acres has the absolute best poke bar and cheese selection! I guess the pandemic is over when the serve-yourself poke salad bar is back in business!

This last week I truly enjoyed my twenty-four-hour trip to San Diego and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. And I ate way too many delicious carbs! Okay, the food choices were glorious but what really made the trip special was girl time with these ladies. Yes for us girl time means sipping on some cocktails and acting like degenerate gamblers! To each their own!