Final Adventures in San Diego

The 4 days I spent in San Diego sure did fly by quick! Before I knew it, I was standing in the oh-so-dreadful, mile-long security line at the airport just anxious to be home; however, Sunday offered me a few delights prior to my departure. Bright and early, our media group met in the lobby of our hotel to check-out and gather together for a morning hike along the trails surrounding The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Widely recognized for its premiere golf course, as seen in the 2008 U.S. Open, the Lodge upholds a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere and boasts an unbeatable view. Upon arrival we met with our trail guide and ventured off into the hills of La Jolla. The hike itself was nothing excruciatingly difficult, and it offered an up-close view of the rocky cliffs I’d admired from a distance all weekend long. While I’d love to comment again on the breathtaking scenery surrounding the San Diego coastline, I’m sure I’ve made that quite well-known to y’all already!

Following the climb, we were all pretty famished, so we headed off to a lovely brunch at the A.R. Valentien, the Lodge’s famous restaurant. I must have gazed at the menu for an hour just trying to decide what to order–the food here was possibly my favorite of the entire trip! Finally, I decided on scrambled egg whites, caramelized grapefruit, a blueberry almond scone with pear butter and a warm cup of coffee (naturally). One of the other journalists in the group from Canada ordered the restaurant’s infamous Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup, and I am so thankful she shared a bit with me because myy-oh-my were they delicious! Our waiter informed us that these pancakes are so famous they even offer recipe cards at the front, so every guest is able to recreate the pancakes at home. Obviously, I picked one up on our way out to share with y’all! If you end up making them, let me know what you think.

A.R. Valentien’s Famous Lemon Ricotta Pancakes 

6 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups Ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest from 6 lemons

1. In a mixing bowl, combine yolks, sugar and lemon zest. Mix at a medium speed for 3 minutes.

2. Add flour and salt and mix for 2 additional minutes.

3. Add Ricotta cheese and melted butter, mixing until incorporated.

4. Whip egg whites to form stiff peaks.

5. Fold whites into yolk mixures

6. Cook under normal cooking conditions for pancakes, browning as usual.

Raspberry Syrup

1 cup Simple Syrup
½ cup of Raspberry Puree

1. Combine Simple Syrup & Raspberry Puree.

2. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve at room temperature

After scarfing down that scrumptious meal, the ladies of the group suggested jumping in the jacuzzi for a bit before our massages at 12:30. Despite feeling stuffed to the hilt, I didn’t want to miss out on girl time, so I joined the group as we lounged around discussing life beyond work (for once), until it was time to head down to the spa for our appointments. The Spa at Torrey Pines is fully functioning spa, offering a variety of services from manicures to haircuts, and while I wish I had the time to do it all, I was incredibly excited to receive my first professional massage! Opting for a Swedish since the description noted its popularity among first timers, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Though the stripping down part was a bit uncomfortable for someone as modest as I, it was comforting to realize the masseuse keeps their client pretty covered throughout the service. The massage felt absolutely divine, particularly after such an active weekend–I was sorry to have it end!

I was a little pressed for time after the massage, but, obviously, it was well worth it. Once I said my goodbyes, a shuttle driver came to pick me up and whisk me off to the airport; Five hours later (around 9 p.m. due to a 2 hour time change), I landed safe and sound in sweet home Houston. This media trip helped me learn so much about the industry, yet I must say it’s great to be back down south! Sweet tea, anyone?

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