Kevin and I have been together for almost 6 years, but with all the moving we’ve done for school and work, this was our first time spending Valentine’s Day in our hometown of San Diego. Considering we only get to see each other every few months, we figured we’d spread the festivities over the course of a few days to make the most of our time together.
We started Valentine’s Day with brunch at Breakfast Republic. They have a few locations around San Diego, but we chose the one in North Park — one of my favorite neighborhoods. It seems to be a lot of other people’s favorite as well, because there was a crowd of people waiting to be seated and no option for reservation.
We got seated after about 30 minutes and didn’t have to wait too long after to get our food. Kevin ordered a bacon and sausage omelet, and I got the crab cake benedict with tomatoes and avocado (one of the few pescatarian options I could have since it was Ash Wednesday). I’ll try some of their other food next time — I had my eye on their french toast and pancake flights — but regardless, I’m coming back for their delicious house potatoes.
Once we finished eating, we took some time to wander around North Park. We stopped by Swami’s Cafe to grab a mango smoothie, looked at some of the many murals around the neighborhood, and shopped at Pigment, a beautifully curated store with the cutest little knick knacks.
From there, we headed to K1 Speed for go-karting. We had originally planned to do it together, but after seeing a girl before us repeatedly crash into the bumper, I chickened out (lame, I know!). So I just sat on the sidelines and cheered on my man while he raced.
After that, we just took some time to rest before getting ready for dinner at Coasterra. The modern Mexican restaurant is located on Harbor Island with a perfect view of the San Diego skyline. They have outdoor seating, but since it was pretty chilly that night, we were happy to be seated indoors in a cozy booth facing floor to ceiling windows.
We weren’t too hungry, so we were planning on just ordering some appetizers instead of full-size entrees. But it turned out there was a set three course menu for Valentine’s Day, so we didn’t have much of a choice but to shell out some cash for the meal.
Kevin got the filet mignon with a chocolate demi-glace while I got the Maine Diver Scallops with a smoked corn puree and squid ink chicharrones (plus a glass of rosé). For dessert, Kevin got a chocolate cake with ice cream and I got a sorbet duo of raspberry and champagne — so good!
The next day, we had lunch at Cucina Urbana before going to Old Town San Diego with his parents. I had been wanting to go to Cucina Urbana for a while, and it’s such a cute little rustic yet modern Italian spot. I got a fried chicken and prosciutto sandwich, which wasn’t my favorite, but the truffle parmesan fries were to die for — I could’ve gone for an entire plate of those fries.
Old Town San Diego is said to be the first colonial settlement in California, established in 1769. It’s historical significance makes it a popular destination for school field trips, so Kevin and I had been there several times as children, but hadn’t been there in over a decade, so we thought it’d be fun to go there together and reminisce.
One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to go to Miner’s Gems and “pan for gold.” They have metal buckets of muddy water outside that you can sift through to find little nuggets of gold. It’s a fun hand-on activity for kids, but perusing the store’s rocks, crystals and precious gemstones is just as fun. Plus, they have a cool collection of sharks teeth and other archaeological artifacts.
Another cool spot is Nibble Chocolate. They sell hot chocolate, coffee, and pastries, and they have a cool exhibit showcasing the process of growing and harvesting the chocolate used in their products. But let’s be real, my favorite part was the free chocolate tasting.
On Friday, we watched Maze Runner before heading out for a Hornblower dinner cruise with Kevin’s family. The cruise started around 7pm and took a 3-hour trip around San Diego Bay, starting from the Embarcadero, making its way west to Point Loma before circling back around under the Coronado Bridge.
We would’ve loved for the cruise to start earlier so we could have seen the sun set while onboard, but it was beautiful nonetheless to see the San Diego skyline lit up.
We had a romantic night of champagne-induced dancing and standing on the edge of the top deck having a Jack & Rose moment. Plus, there was a small wedding reception onboard and we witnessed a proposal, which added to all the feelings of love and celebration that night. It was the perfect end to our Valentine’s Day(s) together.