Goodbye Frank, Hello Hank

•February 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Super Bowl Cardinals Football

It’s the day after.  The day after Super Bowl XLIII, yes, but also the day after so many trials and triumphs for the Arizona Cardinals.  They played a great game; watching Larry Fitzgerald run wild and free across the field was a true spectacular.  It just came too soon.  With time on the clock, the Patriots swung into action with the drive and determination of warriors not willing to lose.  The second they gained an ounce of ground the game was over, the sense of it was staggering; making the last minutes painful to watch.

So today I am writing in Frank’s stead.  Just for a little while we are calling him Heart Break Hank instead of Fun Lovin’ Frank.  Poor man, something in him wanted that win for the Cardinals so bad he could taste it.

Amidst his despair I feel joyful.  I took a lot of things away from the game that went beyond the confines of Tampa Stadium.  Besides a nasty series of shoves from one hothead player, there was a real air of sportsmanship on that field.    It was a downright level headed game.  I haven’t seen anyone writing about the father-son ad spot which preceded Larry’s victory dash.  I saw a profound connection, prophetic almost, between that message and the underlying story of this game.  Maybe it’s my sense of family as team that created that parallel in my mind.  The Patriots showed us their unwavering ability to stay the course, focus on the goal and muscle their way to the finish.  The Cardinals showed us their spirited belief in what is possible.  Pappa Fitzgerald may have been a nay sayer in Larry’s youth but keeping true to his own dreams helped him achieve greatness.  So goes it for the entire team.

Congratulations all for one helluva game.  Next year, we’re hoping for a Cardinals-Chargers playoff.  Think it can happen?  Nah, not possible, but no harm in dreaming.


Super Bowl Sadness

•February 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Texans Chargers Football

I’m a little down in the dumps this Super Bowl Sunday.  I really wanted the Chargers to go to Tampa.  Instead we’re all staying home, I just wish it was more celebratory.  I personally can’t stand Florida because of the humidity that fills your lungs and makes everything seem so thick and slow.  Still, I wanted a victory for our team and the chance to send our boys south; especially after the long run of losses and boggling resurgence leading up to a massive let-down for San Diego…again.

For the last few days, sports enthusiasts from across the globe have been gathering in Tampa Bay for a giant party honoring the game that will decide who takes home Super Bowl silver. That’s right; the Pittsburgh Steelers (those hell raisers that stole our thunder earlier last month) and Arizona Cardinals have been stirring up the sandy beaches of Florida getting ready to compete for the coveted Lombardi trophy.

All indications point to XLIII being an exciting game and I am looking forward to watching Pittsburgh’s formidable strength go up against the Cardinals’ offensive mastery.  That aside, I am still licking my wounds and haven’t quite recovered from last month’s loss so I’m hoping for a win on the side of Arizona.  I want a little revenge smackdown style, figuring the redwings are the fair feathered underdogs and following my kindred spirit aligning with our neighbors to the east.  So bitter and resentful as I am, bring me the guac…let’s get it on!

Tips from me to you: If you want to get out of the house to watch the game head over to Seau’s in Mission Valley for a screamer or relax and hang with a low key crowd at Ould Sod in Normal Heights.

Big Meat, Little Meat (on a Stick)

•January 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

reidogado1 yakitori2

There are two incredible restaurants in San Diego that are must trys for those who like ethnic food with flair and flavor.  Both have one thing in common – they involve meat on a stick.  But that’s where the similarities end.  One is a Brazilian steak house that offers big portions on enormous iron skewers.  The other is a quiet little Japanese joint that serves tiny selections of thinly sliced marinated meats on wooden sticks.  Here’s the low down:

Rei Do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse: Located at 939 Fourth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, this amazing place is packed for lunch and dinner.  Buffet style, all you can eat dining includes more than 40 different meats served in a continuous flow directly from the barbecue to your table.  You help yourself to all the sides and salads you want.  The atmosphere is upscale and lively.  Abundance is the theme.  $$$

Yakitori Yakudori Japanese Bistro: 3739 Sixth Avenue in Hillcrest.  If you appreciate the care, precision and fastidious attention to detail that goes into Japanese cooking, you will love Yak Yak.  Perfect little skewers delicately laced with chicken, beef and exotic delicacies for the more daring; this place is a favorite among foodies and regulars where the saki flows liberally.  Locals linger to nibble on salads, meats and buttery homemade tofu; enjoying leisurely conversation and lots of small plates along the way.  Walk across the street to the antique lamp shop to see a fantastic collection of rare and unusual light fixtures.  $$

Tips from me to you: Make reservations at both restaurants, they fill up fast.  Yakitori is traditional and authentic, the staff does not always understand American expectations related to food service and can be unconventional.  You will enjoy the experience much more if you just go with the flow and let them lead.

It’s all about the Beach

•January 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment


A brief cold snap and light rains have given way to gorgeous sunny skies and those 70ish degree temperatures San Diego is so famous for.  I have family on the East Coast and I always get a sort of guilty pleasure thinking about them huddling up and shoveling snow this time of year.  Shame on me!

With current economic conditions as they are, we are just like everyone else trying to pinch corners and cutback where we can.  We have a getaway planned for Valentine’s Day, so we have blown our entertainment budget.  But not to fret, this is San Diego and we are going to get out-and-about on a dime this weekend.  And why not, we can be creative and take advantage of San Diego’s natural wealth at the same time.  Our pocket books may be poor but the beaches are overflowing with riches.

Tomorrow morning we will get up with the sun and have a white tablecloth  breakfast on the patio.  Then we’ll pack a picnic lunch, our frisbee and beach paraphernalia and head over to La Jolla Shores.  We like to get there early to watch the surfers and snorkelers doing their thing.  Plus, early birds get the proverbial worm when it comes to select spots on the lawn.  The grassy area is perfect for games and running around and just steps from a plunge into the ocean.

We hope all of you will take some time to enjoy San Diego’s abundance and thank your lucky stars for the amazing beauty this city has to offer.  Happy weekending!

Tips from me to you: If you’ve got a lot of gear, use the unofficial loading and unloading stations along the north and south sides of the parking lot.  If you arrive between 8am and 10am, you will have the best chance of catching prime parking since the surfers usually start clearing their cars out of the lot for the day.

A Wimp Among Bravehearts

•January 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment


“It’s a lonely existence being a wimp,” I tell my therapist as I lay on her couch licking my wounds from a recent trip to Knott’s Berry Farm.  She says she understands, “if you’re open to it, hypnotherapy might help,” she adds.  I tell her I’m not into long term solutions.  I think I just need medication for a quick fix on those rare occasions I find myself facing the possibility of meeting my maker by being hurled upside down, hundreds of feet in the air with no safety net.  She tells me there are no quick fixes for deep seated fear and that if I really want to change I need to commit.  Perhaps repeated exposure will numb my inhibitions.

“Repeated exposure!  Are you nuts?” I yelled as I threw $110 on the table and stormed out; vowing to never set foot near another roller coaster realizing that I am just not cut out for daredeviling.  Quiet afternoons by a pool are much more my speed.  Sunshine on my shoulders and watching my children play Marco Polo; now that’s my idea of the good life.  From here on out, Frank is in charge of roller coasters.  I’ll tag along for the pleasure of being with my family but you’ll find me cozying up to the Peanuts pals at Camp Snoopy with an Icee in hand.  The rest of you can find Frank trying to make me a widow over at Perilous Plunge.

Tips from me to you: Thrill seekers will love Xcelerator, Montezooma’s Revenge and Supreme Scream; namby pambys like me will like Ghost Town Calico Railroad, Timber Mountain Log Ride and Mystery Lodge.  Save money on your visit by purchasing tickets from an attraction wholesaler (click here).

Barack Obama’s not Such a BIG Deal!

•January 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In many ways the Obamas are giants among us; bigger than life, built up by a weary nation and our expectations for the future.  With the whole world watching and so many hopes hanging on the promise of a new beginning, Barack and Michelle hold our dreams in their hands.

Here in San Diego, we can see the Obamas on a smaller scale.  As only the brick builders of Legoland can do, Tuesday’s Presidential Inauguration is being commemorated at Miniland USA with tiny depictions of the new First Family and an entourage of onlookers.  They are so cute you could cry, not just because of what they represent but out of sheer amazement for the creative genius, patience and detail that went into making the display.  Brick by brick, the miniature masterpiece is a remarkable homage to the here and now as well as things to come.

Most of us will not be in Washington, D.C. for this week’s ceremony but we can pay tribute wherever we are.  Don’t let the day pass without notice.  It is important to mark this moment with friends and family; to be active participants in one of the most significant events in American history.

Tip from me to you: The San Diego North Convention and Visitors Bureau has an Online Limited Time Offer for one day Legoland tickets; discount combo tickets and gift cards can also be purchased on the site.

The Zero Quotient

•January 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment


Nothing, nada, zip, zero, nothin’.  That’s what we’re bringing you today; a whole lotta great stuff to do in and around San Diego that will cost you bupkes!  Consider this Fannie and Frank’s ‘A List’ of the best things in life which also happen to be free.

Concerts by the Sea:  Pack a picnic and enjoy live music at Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove.  Summer Sundays from 2-4pm.

Movies Under the Stars:  Grab a blanket and spread out for recent releases the whole family can enjoy.  Summer through fall sponsored by San Diego Parks and Recreation.

Art Alfresco:  See the Port of San Diego’s impressive collection of public art.  Plot your course ahead of time and make a day of it.

Free Tuesday at Balboa Park:  Visit Balboa Park on Tuesdays for free admission to the Park’s most magnificent museums and enjoy outdoor entertainment too.

Children’s Museum:  Celebrate the new Children’s Museum with Target Free Second Sundays.  Second Sunday of the month from 10am-4pm.

Old Town Trolley:  Sign up for San Diego’s Hometown Pass for locals ride free promotion.

Disneyland:  Get into Disneyland for free in 2009.  If you can’t make it on your birthday you can still get other exciting gifts instead!

Ray at Night:  Experience San Diego’s art scene with this monthly gallery walk.  Every second Saturday from 6-9pm.  Enjoy the City’s best up and coming artists plus free beer, wine and appetizers.

Tip from us to you: The San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau also has a list of free activities in San Diego (click here).  Now get out and have some fun!