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Posts Tagged ‘tacos’

devereux beach marblehead

On Fridays in the summer, we like to take day trips.

Since my husband is usually done early on Fridays (he’s a therapist and his schedule ebbs and flows with the school year and vacations), and I’m freelancing/job hunting, we are continuing our summer tradition of exploring the Boston area. A few weeks ago, we decided to revisit Marblehead, a little town on the North Shore that we’d visited a long while back.

It was a hot, humid afternoon, but it was – in a word – glorious.

striped petunias window box flowers

We drove up after a busy morning: sessions for him, yoga and errands and some writing work at the library for me. After a freak thunderstorm, the skies had (mostly) cleared, and we nosed our way into the pretty downtown area, and spent a couple of hours wandering.

I found a sweet blue dress at a boutique called She, and we poked in and out of several other shops. I was disappointed to find that Authors and Artists, a great old used bookstore, had closed (or at least moved?). But the Spirit of ’76 Bookstore, several streets over, is thriving. Of course we had to go for a browse.

spirit of 76 bookstore interior

We also found a garden shop overflowing with flowers, and Bella, one of the resident spaniels, sprawled out in the doorway.

garden shop flowers dog spaniel bella

We headed, with our books, over to Devereux Beach, where J settled down on my yoga mat (necessity being the mother of invention) and I waded into the waves, then walked up and down the beach for a while. I love the feel of sand under my feet, of wind and waves and sky. Eventually I stretched out next to J and read a bit of Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places, which felt fitting even though we were only a mile from town.

katie devereux beach selfie marblehead

When we got hungry, we headed back in and decided to try the local taqueria, Howling Wolf, which – glory be – was delicious. We took the leftover salsa home and snacked on it for days.

All in all, a delightful return to Marblehead. I’m sure we’ll be back (again).

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On our previous two trips to San Diego, J and I have mostly spent time on Coronado, the idyllic island across the bay from the city proper. It was home base this time, too, and we took full advantage of its delights: Bay Books, the Hotel del Coronado and its adjacent beach, tacos at Clayton’s and several long runs through its beautiful streets in the sunshine.

This time, Allison and I also spent a good chunk of our Saturday exploring a new-to-me neighborhood: South Park. We began with a yoga class at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga, up in Normal Heights, then hopped on bikes for the rest of our journey.

First stop: acai bowls at Captain Kirk’s Coffee. I’d never had one, but they’re sort of like a cross between a smoothie and fro-yo, topped (in this case) with granola, fresh fruit and coconut. Yum.

We popped into Target (always worth a visit, right?), wandered the neighborhood, and found – what else? – the bookstore. The Book Catapult, to be exact.

book catapult bookstore exterior san diego ca

It’s no secret that I love an indie bookstore, and this one was just perfect. It’s open and airy but crammed with good books of every kind, from fiction and travel to local interest, nonfiction and a fabulous children’s and young adult section in the back.

book catapult bookstore interior san diego books

Allison and I had a wonderful chat with Vanessa, who was working the register and is a contributing writer for Book Riot. We bonded over YA novels (The Hate U Give, Moxie, When Dimple Met Rishi) and our respective book-nerd haunts online (mine is Shelf Awareness). I came away with a wonderful travel guide to Spain and a fun travel-themed novel.

katie del sur mexican cantina tacos

We were starving by then, so we enjoyed tacos at Del Sur (above) – it was Tacopocalypse, after all. A bit more wandering and then we headed up to North Park to meet the guys. I couldn’t resist a stop at Verbatim Books, a wonderful (mostly) used bookstore.

I could have spent so much money, but restricted myself to a like-new copy of Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year, which I loved but hadn’t quite brought myself to splurge on.

We dipped into Pigment, which is full of whimsical and gorgeous things, before meeting up with our husbands and heading back home.

As I joked to Allison, our Saturday was like a postcard of California: yoga, a bike ride for acai bowls, wandering, tacos, flowers, blue sky. But in case you couldn’t tell, I loved every minute.

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buen sign del sur mexican cantina san diego ca

It’s been a month since I left the house on a snowy Thursday morning and hopped a plane to California with the hubs. After three nor’easters in a row, we were bracing ourselves for travel delays in the midst of a fourth one – but it was a false alarm for Boston.

Which was a good thing, because we had plans in San Diego: what we’d dubbed Tacopocalypse 2018.

Our friends Allison and Duncan, whom I met (through this blog!) when they lived in NYC, were our hosts. We had a picture-perfect stay, and there were – need I say it? – so. Many. Tacos.

san diego skyline mural

We ate dinner on our first night at Liberty Public Market in Point Loma. There are lots of food options, but I chose tacos from Cecilia’s, and I was very pleased with my choice. (No photos – we were too busy eating!)

del sur san diego interior restaurant

Saturday found Allison and me wandering solo while the guys went on a hike. We explored South Park (more on that soon), and had a late, delicious lunch at Del Sur Mexican Cantina. I had the carne asada tacos, and as you can see, I was thrilled about them. (Yum!)

katie del sur mexican cantina tacos

On Sunday, after an excursion to the flower fields in Carlsbad (more on that soon too), we stopped by Pancho Villa Market for some freshly made carne asada and tortillas, so we could make tacos at home. Naturally, there was also guacamole.

guacamole rice tacos

For lunch on Monday (our last day there), J and I revisited a local favorite: Clayton’s on Coronado Island.

claytons mexican coronado sd interior

They have a walk-up coffee window and a sit-down diner, but there’s also a takeout Mexican food stand, all owned by the same folks. We’ve been there before, and it did not disappoint this time. (The hot sauce is J’s favorite part.)

katie claytons tacos

We left sated with spicy seasoned meat, homemade tortillas and so much salsa. Perfecto.

More San Diego stories to come.

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palm trees san diego

A few weeks ago, the hubs and I hopped a plane to the West Coast. After a long, bitter winter and a packed early spring, we’d planned a much-needed getaway to see our friends Allison and Duncan, former New Yorkers who moved back to their native state a couple of years ago. This was our second trip to see them in San Diego, and it was utterly lovely.

We stayed again on Coronado Island – walkable and gorgeous. We ate Mexican food four times in three days, including burritos from Clayton’s and fish tacos from Allison and Duncan’s favorite food truck. I snapped a photo of this pennant at Seaside Papery, because the sentiment was so perfect.

tacos pennant

We wandered down to the beach at least once a day, even though our first full day there was chilly and rainy. We dipped our toes in the Pacific, and came home with sand on the soles of our sandals and in the creases of our jeans.

toes beach san diego

Last winter, on our first trip to San Diego, everything was new. Neither J nor I had ever been to SoCal, and there were fresh delights around every corner. This time, we made sure to revisit some favorites – like Clayton’s, the beach, lunch at Burger Lounge, and browsing the gorgeous Bay Books. It felt good to savor some things we already knew we loved, as well as exploring some new neighborhoods (and trying a few new restaurants).

We still haven’t made it to the zoo, but we did drive to Balboa Park one afternoon for a quick tour through the Museum of Photographic Art. They’re currently showing an amazing video project called 7 Billion Others, and we lingered until closing time. The project involves interviews with people from around the world, but also included this video mosaic screen – you can see yourself reflected in a mosaic of faces, which I thought was amazing on so many levels.

katie mopa video mosaic

We stopped by MooTime on Coronado for ice cream – before dinner! – on our last day. And, of course, we enjoyed every minute of being with Duncan and Allison: trading stories, sharing old inside jokes and creating new ones, sipping tea around the kitchen table, and catching up on our lives. I wish they didn’t live so far away – but if they can’t be close by any more, at least they’re living in a place I love to visit.

katie jer beach san diego

San Diego, you are lovely. We’ll be back (again).

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Around here, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. I had the day off, and the hubs did too (after one early meeting) – so we hopped in the car and headed north to Portsmouth, N.H.

portsmouth street

We’d been to Portsmouth once before, taking a day trip last summer to poke around the downtown area and browse several bookstores. We did that this time, too, but first we had a different, specific mission in mind: Mexican food.

vida cantina portsmouth nh

After nearly four years in New England, I’d all but given up on finding decent Mexican food anywhere in this area besides my own kitchen. We make burritos and enchiladas regularly, but we miss the fiery salsas and distinctive flavors of the Tex-Mex restaurants in our home state. (Hence why I ate four Mexican meals during my recent trip to Austin.)

Needless to say, we were excited – though a bit nervous – to check out Vida Cantina, on a recommendation from one of J’s co-workers.

jer tacos vida portsmouth nh

I think his face says it all.

We stuffed ourselves with chips and three kinds of salsa (including the best salsa verde I’ve had in months), then munched on several varieties of taco – chicken, two kinds of fish and fried avocado. While the tacos were a little chichi and a lot hipster (the menu involves kale and pork confit), they were fresh, filling and delicious. More Mexicali than Tex-Mex – but who’s complaining? Not this girl.

tacos vida cantina portsmouth nh

After clearing our plates, we headed downtown, where we spent several hours wandering in and out of shops. We tasted jams and mustards at the Stonewall Kitchen shop, savored ice cream from Annabelle’s

annabelles ice cream portsmouth nh

…and browsed the shelves at both RiverRun Bookstore and the delightful (and extensive) Book & Bar.

portsmouth book & bar

Bonus: I snapped this photo of a gorgeous rainbow bookshelf at the whimsical Pickwick’s Mercantile.

books by color portsmouth nh

All in all, a wonderful day out with my love. Portsmouth, you were delightful. (And delicious.)

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