Monday, September 21, 2009

California Trip, Part Three: San Diego

Monday afternoon, we drove to San Diego to stay with Mike's sister Carla. We got in later in the evening. We couldn't wait to feel those cool ocean breezes!

Tuesday was spent on the beach, La Jolla Beach to be precise. Here's a sampling of what we did at the beach.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach.

We played in the sand.

We played in the water.

Carla, Mike and Andrew decided to go boogie board.

Andrew decided boogie boarding is not for four-year-olds.
Carla and Mike went out boogie boarding without Andrew.

Ben decided to do a little sand surfing.

We walked to the tide pools.

We found some creatures, some amazing rocks, and of course, lots of puddles at the tide pools.

The boys crashed in the car, exhasted from a day of sand and sun.

Wednesday was spent at the San Diego Zoo. I have to say, if the Phoenix Zoo could visit the San Diego Zoo, it would be jealous indeed! (Sorry Phoenix, I still do love you!)

Here are just a few of our favorite exhibits at the zoo.
The "wild exhibit" that crawled up Carla's leg and was almost stomped to death.
How close can you get to a hippo?
Shhh... don't disturb the pandas!
Good thing Andrew is so strong and courageous, saving Auntie Carla from the perils of being stomped by an elephant..

Watch out for the fierce saber-toothed tigers!

We planned on heading back to the beach after the zoo, but it was just too fun there, so we stayed most of the day.

Thursday's last stop in San Diego was a quick visit to the San Diego Temple grounds on our way to L.A. What a beautiful spot to end our time in San Diego! We had so much fun with Carla. She is always ready to entertain the boys and she's full of great stories about her work and great tidbits about Mike and her childhood escapades. Mike and I joke that when we "strike it rich" we are moving to San Diego. Having family to visit there makes it an even more enticing fantasy. One must continue to dream...

Here is Carla's fantastic recipe for Greek-style Pita Sandwiches:
ground meat (approx 1 lb.) we used ground turkey, but you could use beef or chicken
1 small can of diced tomatoes, blended (or tomato sauce if that's on hand and you are lazy like me and don't want to clean your blender)
lemon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
feta cheese (we used an herb-flavored feta)
diced tomatoes
washed baby spinach
pita bread

Brown the meat, adding lemon pepper to taste and part (you won't come close to using the whole can, I used about 1/2 the can of an 8 oz. tomato sauce) of your tomato sauce, enough to absorb into the meat and flavor it. You don't want the meat to be soupy, you can always add more tomato if meat still seems too dry.

Make the sauce by combining the sour cream and mayonnaise. Add a few large handfuls of feta cheese and lemon pepper to taste to the mixture.

Assemble the pitas by cutting open your pita pocket and spooning in some of your sauce. Add the meat and spinach. Sprinkle diced tomatoes on top and enjoy!

Next stop, L.A., Beaumont, Calimesa, and Renee's Shoyu Chicken...


  1. Hey you're in my neck of the woods..or really close... :)
    I love the SD Temple it's prob my fave it's so beautifully constructed.

  2. hey, ben, i think you missed a spot.

  3. It looks like you had a lot of fun in San Diego. The pictures are great, and the recipe is very yummy too!

  4. THat looks like you had a blast!!! Yes, if only the coast extended to Mesa... haha! Very cute pics!