By Marc & Darlynne Menkin | Downtown News
As tour guides, we’re always on the go. If we’re not creating a new Scavenger Hunt, we’re either leading a fun coastal bike tour or showing off some hidden spot on one of our cool interactive bus tours. To quote a line from our favorite movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” What a wise man.
Last Sunday, we got a rare treat. Instead of the usual back-to-back tours, we only had one tour booked and after that, the entire day was ours! How exciting we thought. Now WE can be tourists.
We decided to head to Coronado but rather than drive over, we took the San Diego Water Taxi. Before you start murmuring how this sounds likes a tourist trap, it’s not. First of all, it only fits about 30 people, so it’s small and intimate. It’s also low to the ground, which means it offers a unique perspective and it moves quickly, so you feel like you’re on a speedboat. Our Captain was super nice and did something special for us – he brought us close to the USS Midway Museum so we could take pictures. We even saw seals playing in the water.
After he dropped us off in Coronado, we wandered over to the Hotel Del to watch one of our favorite local bands, Ron’s Garage. They play at the Del’s Sundeck, which has a killer view of the Pacific Ocean and the Cabrillo National Monument. For us, there’s nothing better than eating a James Brownie Sundae (from Moo Time Creamery, of course!) while soaking up the warm sun and grooving to the tunes of Steely Dan, Paul Simon and the Rolling Stones. Ron’s Garage plays through September 2nd from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday at the Hotel Del.
After the band sang their last song, we decided we weren’t ready to go home, so we walked over to the Summer Concert Series at Spreckels Park. This is NOT your typical free community concert. You know the type of event where people roll in with a beat-up blanket and a Big Gulp? Nope. At these Sunday concerts, people show up with elegant wine glasses and elaborate dips and cheese spreads. It’s quite the scene. One woman had a beautiful wooden table complete with silverware. Coronado also does a great job attracting talented musicians like Wild Child (a Doors tribute band) and Rockola.
Our tip? Arrive early so you can grab a good spot as it fills up quickly. This month, the bands include Liquid Blue, Surfin Safari and the Sue Palmer Band. For more information, visit www.coronadoconcert.com
After all that dancing, most people would be ready to call it a night. Not us! We were hungry, so we headed to Katsuya in Downtown. We always heard good things about this Japanese restaurant but with our crazy schedule, we never have the time. What a great find! The ambiance was fun and the food was outstanding.
We started out with the Baked Crab Handroll and at first, we weren’t sure if we’d like it, but wow, are we glad we took a chance. We also tried the Seared Albacore with Garlic Soy Lemon Butter. It literally melted in our mouth, that’s how good it was. Our main entrees were Kobe Tobanyaki and the Panko Crusted Chicken with Stir Fried Vegetables. Delicious! At this point, we were pretty full but our lovely waitress Krystal talked us into their “Chocolate Lovers Cake.” With a name like that, how could we resist?
We’ve been to a lot of Japanese restaurants but this was one of the best. For those on a budget, try out their Happy Hour from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. daily. It’s a great way to sample some of their signature dishes and specialty cocktails at half the cost. Bon Appétit!
We want to hear from you –
If you’re a fan of magic and close-up illusions, San Diego has a number of places you can have a great meal AND be entertained by some talented magicians. One of our favorites is up-and-comer Derek Ostovani. Derek does frequent shows at the Tipsy Crow on 5th Avenue and also has a regular gig in Mission Hills at The Gathering every Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every other Friday.
Get a picture of yourself either with Derek or another local magician in a creative freeze frame pose and email it by August 29 to firstname.lastname@example.org
The best photo wins four tickets to one of our Amazing Race/Scavenger Hunts or four tickets to a Coronado Biking Adventure. Please include the names of the people in the photo. Good luck!
Marc & Darlynne Menkin are the co-owners of “Where You Want To Be Tours.” Many of their tours and team-building scavenger hunts feature secret Downtown areas. They can be reached at email@example.com. For more info about their walking, bicycle and bus tours of San Diego visit www.wheretours.com