Exploring Secret Supper Clubs in San Diego

This weekend was all about local eats and treats, ending with a bang on Sunday night.  Friday, we snacked on Phil’s BBQ at the Padres Game. Saturday, we ate our way through the Junior League of San Diego’s Food & Wine Festival in La Jolla. Wrapping up our feast of a weekend, on Sunday we joined Cellar Door’s supper club for their Cinco De Mayo dinner series.

Table set for ten at Cellar Door’s exclusive supper club // Picture from Cellar Door’s FB page before all the guests arrived

Cellar Door is a supper club in Normal Heights, San Diego that hosts exclusive dinner parties about once a month.  The duo behind the club, Logan and Gary, create a unique theme for each event that inspires the menu and drink pairings. Themes, times and location are announced via their email lists, and you must sign up in advance. Typically the meal is 4-6 courses and is posted via Facebook a few hours before meal service. Competitive to say the least, this dinner club sells out lightening fast, and I was beyond pumped to snag spots for me and my husband.

This experience did not disappoint! Located in a funky hip dining room, with treats for the eyes everywhere you look (polar bear head, funny book titles, picture frames and more), we were two of ten guests at the last of four dinners occurring over the weekend. From this Cinco de Mayo themed dinner, our favorite courses were the pozole verde, a tangy spicy soup with chicken and hominy and the juiciest prawn taco I’ve ever had for the third course. We also loved their refreshing paloma and the dessert cocktail, Oporto Real, a blend of Mezcal, Tawny Port and Amaro Montenegro topped with a Luxardo Cherry.

Spicy fruit salad paired with tequila and sangrita, such a light and fun way to start the meal // Picture from Cellar Door’s FB page
Juicy prawn tacos featured on Cellar Door’s Cinco de Mayo supper club menu // May, 2017
Cellar Door’s Dessert Cocktail, a mix of Mezcal, Amaro Montenegro and Tawny Port // this pic is from Cellar Door’s FB Page, as mine was sipped away too soon!

We’ll definitely be back and are looking forward to more dinners this summer! Join Cellar Door’s email list here to be in the know — just promise not to take our spots! 🙂

Here are some insider tips for the best experience:

CELLAR DOOR SUPPER CLUB: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Cellar Door is hip, tasty and in demand; so spots at the table go fast! Be sure to respond ASAP after receiving their newsletter in order to secure your spot.
  • Bring your appetite and take a ride sharing service if you plan on drinking — our menu was 5 courses, each with a drink pairing.
  • This is a donation based dinner club, and $$ cash is king $$.
  • Chat with your fellow dinner guests! Meeting new people and chatting about food, travel and unique experiences is part of the fun.
  • Come with an open mind. Cellar Door often uses unique ingredients. Goat meat was featured this weekend and a friend mentioned she tried an exotic meat pâté in the past.
  • At this time, gluten free and vegetarian options don’t exist. But, if you have allergies notify them ASAP!
  • Couldn’t make the dinner? Check their Facebook page to drool over all the deliciousness from afar.

WANT MORE BUT DON’T LIVE IN SAN DIEGO?

Supper clubs range in menu focus, format and price. Google and Yelp will be your best resource in finding a supper club near you, otherwise you can try joining a Foodie group on Facebook or Meetup and ask around, because everyone knows foodies loooooove giving recommendations. 😉

Hope your weekend was just as delectable! Be sure to comment below if you love Cellar Door or have any other dinner club recommendations, as this is only our second in San Diego (we’ve been to Cow by Bear a few times for steak and shenanigans).

*Note: I was too busy enjoying myself to be on my phone taking pictures during the meal! Given that, some of the pictures in this post are from Cellar Door’s Facebook Page and have been marked accordingly in the captions.

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Whale of a good time

This week I caught the tail end (pun intended!) of gray whale season in San Diego by hopping on one of Flagship San Diego’s whale watching tours.

Ready to board and see some whales! // Flagship Whale Watching Tour, March 2017
Taking off from Broadway Pier // San Diego, California, March 2017

Flagship has a fleet of ships for whale watching and offers weekday and weekend tours. A naturalist and handful of volunteers from the Birch Aquarium are on board to answer any questions and provide lots of fun facts on the San Diego Bay itself, wildlife that exists there and even had samples of baleen from the whales to pass around.

On our tour, we pulled out of the dock, we toured the San Diego Bay and then headed out to open waters for prime dolphin and whale watching. It was a pretty neat view of the city, with views of the downtown skyline, Coronado and Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma.

Soaking in the view of America’s Finest City // San Diego, California, March 2017

Once we left the Bay, there were tons of playful dolphins escorting us to deeper waters to find the whales.  This is called bow riding and essentially the dolphins are catching a ride as the waves from the boat push them forward.

Take us to the whales! Loved having our dolphin escort while whale watching // March 2017
Naturalists from Birch Aquarium help you spot the whales, dolphins, seals and other wildlife on the tour // San Diego, March 2017

Next we went searching for gray whales! Gray whales migrate annually from the Baja Peninsula to Arctic waters. There are 3 lagoons they hang out in Baja to breed and mate, and scientists estimate that there are 22-23,000 individuals comprising the eastern Pacific gray whale population.

Although gray whales are 45 ft in length fully grown, they can be hard to spot! We were very lucky to see two gray whales, lots of blow hole spotting, a few fins and one playful whale sticking it’s head out of the water. Our naturalist explained that usually this occurs when whales want to get a better view of their surroundings. I see you, gray whale! 😉

Blues on blues // Flagship Whale Watching Tour, San Diego, March 2017

Here are some insider tips for the best experience:

WHALE WATCHING TOURS IN SAN DIEGO: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Each whale watching trip is different. Try to schedule yours during peak season for the most opportunities to view the whales.
  • Keep your eyes on the horizon — you can see blowholes from 1 mile or more away!
  • Grab a seat on the sides of the boat or in the front for the best views.
  • Whales are hard to photograph from afar. So don’t get down, just focus on the experience!
  • There is a snack bar on board or you can bring on coffee, drinks and lunch (at the dock, the Green Rose Cart has coffee, smoothies and breakfast breads).
  • It’s breezy and can be quite sunny so wear layers, sunscreen, a hat.
  • To help with seasickness, keep ginger chews and menthol throat lozenges on hand and take Dramamine® 1 hr before leaving the dock (disclaimer: always check with a doctor first).
  • Don’t stress, there’s easy parking next to the dock at the USS Midway, $10 for 12 hours.
  • Flagship takes your picture at the beginning and you can purchase the glossy photos later for $10 – $20.

Have you been whale watching in San Diego before? I’d love to hear about your experience and any suggestions you have below!

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Hoppy Yoga at Green Flash Brewery

My mat is my happy place. Or in this case… my hoppy place? This morning my girlfriends and I joined a class of Hoppy Yoga at Green Flash Brewing and had so much fun practicing and tasting the day away.

Ready for Sunday Funday! // February 2017
Hoppy Yoga at Green Flash  // February 2017

Hoppy Yoga curates weekend yoga classes at local brewery favorites like Green Flash, OB Brewery, Stone and more.  Typically the classes start between 10-11am (before the breweries open) and end in a beer tasting or celebratory pint, all included in the price of the class. You can view the schedule online to check out all the locations and instructors and pre-book your spot.

Today’s class was all levels, and there was a great mix of age, sex and ability amongst the attendees.  The instructor, Erika, provided easy to understand cues and chatted with us all after class, making it a warm environment. As for the beer and Green Flash Brewing, everything was top notch! My favorites were Green Flash’s Cosmic Ristretto Black Lager and the Passion Fruit Kicker.

Savasana before Drink-asana // Hoppy Yoga at Green Flash, February 2017
Post yoga beer flight at Green Flash // February 2017

We had such a great time at Hoppy Yoga, and I know my husband and a couple of our friends will join me there again soon. Here are a few know before you go tips:

HOPPY YOGA: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Hoppy Yoga classes are BYOM (bring your own MAT), so don’t forget yours.
  • The floors at breweries are often concrete, so be kind to your body and fold your mat in half for any postures that you need extra cushioning. This could be anytime you’re on your knees or are playing around with inversions and arm balances.
  • As with all yoga classes, put your phone and watches on mute or airplane mode.
  • Breweries can be chilly places — be sure to bring a long sleeve in case you want to layer up.
  • Classes are all levels, so bring friends and family members who might not take class regularly (beer is a good way to get them there!).
  • Try new beers you can only get at the brewery (drink responsibly, of course) and tip your bartenders!

Have you ever done Hoppy Yoga in San Diego or something similar in other cities? Share your experience and leave all your suggestions below!

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Ugly Sweater Boating & Santa Loves Travel Accessories

Happy Holidays! I wanted to share a little fun happening around here…

Ugly Sweater Boat Captain reporting for duty

My family and I kicked off our annual Christmas festivities by adding in an ugly sweater boating trip around the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge. We piled on our santa hats, festive attire and antler ears to take in the sights. It was a great way for out of towners to experience the city plus a fun way to add everyday adventures into a family visit.

Taking in the San Diego skyline from the harbor

Santa also loves travel and active-life accessories, and I was lucky enough to receive presents to increase my adventure presence. 😉

Travel essentials from Santa

I’m especially pumped about my new Canon Digital SLR and can’t wait to bring it on all my adventures in 2017.

What gifts did you most love to give or receive? Hope you and yours celebrated with love, laughter and champagne.

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