Mo Pho!! I'm In Love With Super Cocina, Si!

Trip Start Apr 05, 2007
Trip End Apr 22, 2007

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, April 16, 2007

...Hello San Diego
Arrived in San Diego last evening (Saturday) with little incident, save the disagreement at the airport over my bike box and fees.  Regardless, after $50 US, we both arrived safe and sound to my waiting friends Heather and her husband Craig. Heather moved down to San Diego about six years ago when she married Craig. Among other things, Heather and Craig are both "foodies" like me.

My relationship with Heather actually dates back about 50 years, believe it or not, as her parents and mine became fast friends when Kay and Al Howes worked for a short time in Cornwall, ON.  The Smith and the Howes families remained friends as each expanded and relocated (in our case, back to Toronto), so much so that I would argue Heather is more like a cousin to my sister and me.  It was wonderful to see her again, and as always, takes very little time to catch up from wherever we last left off.

Our first stop was for Pho at a local favourite restaurant of theirs called Pho Cadao - Pho is a Vietnamese noodle and soup dish, likened to fast food for the Vietnamese. It's pretty yum-my!! I took Heather's advice and went with a small number 18 - raw beef - and made it moderately spicy (which to those who know me, would be super spicy).  The rest of the evening was spent catching up.

Talking Nature at Torrey Pines
Today after a lazy morning and wonderful omelettes that Craig made us, Heather and I met up with her friends Connie and Richard for a two-and-a-half hour hike in Torrey Pines State Reserve. This beautiful stretch of land is situated adjacent to the Torrey Pines Golf Course, where the likes of my friends Tiger and Mike sometimes play a friendly game of golf.  (We could see the course at one point during our hike, but to be honest, the view was much more interesting).

After an initial 30-minute downpour that confined us temporarily to the car, the sky (thankfully) cleared up and we set off on our nature hike. Interestingly, while we remained within the same eight-mile stretch of land along the Pacific, each turn offered up different scenery, soil, smells, and even plants. It was quite extraordinary. Connie is an avid hiker and served as our guide, while Richard seems to know a lot about a lot, and educated us on different plants and "naturey things" during our excursion.  He also served as our resident comedian, as he always seemed to have a joke at the ready, when opportunities presented themselves.  The spectacular scenery, smells, and sounds of the pacific were breathtaking - likened in my humble opinion to Big Sur, yet different.  What was even nicer about Torrey Pines was that we were there, hiking through this spectacular park, experiencing everything on the ground, rather than in a car. It was gorgeous, and as it has been all week, so nice to be outside.

See You at Super Cocina!
After a quick change and clean up at home, we savoured a small shot of rare whiskey I picked up for Heather and brought from Toronto. Other than putting the proverbial "hair on my chest," it was actually really very nice...until I realized I had little on my stomach and started to feel a little bit wobbly.

In an e-mail of about three weeks ago, Heather had mentioned a Mexican restaurant they recently "discovered."  She was raving about the food and insisted we indulge in a visit during my stay (ohhh, twist my ever-so-rubber arm!).  Super Cocina is located about 20 minutes from the Mexican border, and is a small, family-run restaurant with different dishes on the "menu" each night. With cafeteria-style service on Styrofoam plates and plastic forks and knives, it doesn't look like much, but what it lacks in china and silverware is surely more than made up for in the food they serve.  It was beyond da bomb!!! 

I asked Richard to give me the run-down on the 10 or so different authentic dishes I could choose from, all of which were described by him as "hot" or "very hot." No problemo for this gringa! I've conquered Old La Honda! I can take the heat - turn it up, babey!!!

While I was tempted to have the chicken in Mole sauce (made with chocolate...) I opted for spicy pork and potatoes, along with a cheese-stuffed chili pepper, which accompanied rice and beans and tortilla.  I added delicious smoked chilies (OMG they were so good, I was eating them on their own. Zipp!!!) as a garnish, along with a little cilantro and fresh lime.  I also tried a drink made out of dried hibiscus flowers, which was really very tasty.  My meal was splendid in all its spiciness - the more I ate, the more I wanted.

During dinner, Richard explained to me that chilies release endorphins in your blood system, giving one that euphoric, drunk-like feeling (up until this point I actually thought I was still a little high from the whiskey), which everyone else corroborated.  I'd never heard this before, but it kind of made sense.  I really like hot food, but have never noticed this phenomenon. Soon, we were all glossy-eyed and rubbing our tummies full of wonderful, zesty food. 

It was a delicious evening, topping off an even better day.  As if I didn't know it before, I can tell already that this week is going to be all about enjoying the good things in life. Now that's a vacation!

Welcome to the start of week two - hope you have a good one!!
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WilkersonErnestine on

Houses are quite expensive and not every person is able to buy it. But, home loans was
created to support different people in such kind of hard situations.

Valerie White-Welsford on


I am happy to know that you are doing well and enjoying life.

Maybe we will see each other at a Triathlon sometime. Are you planning on
Competing in Ironman Mount Tremblant (Quebec) in 2012? My husband Robert and I are competing in it. We are also planning on competing in Ironman 70.3
Italy in June 2012.

Take care,

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