Day two of our trip started way too early. The sun shone in our room at 6am, and you wouldn't think the indirect light would be so bright. Still, Berta and I woke and headed down to the hotel's breakfast hall. Lots of buffet-style breakfast food, much better than continental breakfast, but we refrained from eating much, since we knew the kids wanted to go out to a breakfast place.
We grabbed our coffee and bagels, ate them, then I took a second cup up to our room, with some tea and orange juice for the kids, who by this time, missed the breakfast window.
Without too much additional preparation, the kids were awake and ready to go. We put on our swim suits and summoned a car. Our destination? Breakfast Republic near Mission Beach. The car showed up, and we were on our way. It occurred to me later in the day that we keep driving North from the hotel, and that maybe we could have picked somewhere closer to our destinations of interest, rather than staying near the districts of San Diego. Hopefully this benefits us later.
Abby said Breakfast Republic was a chain, but it was recommended by Chloe, and it seemed good by the menu. With a half hour wait, we strolled over to the beach to have a look. There was a lot of sand and ocean, as you would expect. We strolled briefly, but didn't really explore, since we did not have long before breakfast.
We were seated shortly after we returned to the restaurant. The menu and dining room were a bit irreverent, which was cool. We ordered a full "brunch", since it was after noon by this time. I ordered a California style breakfast burrito with a bloody mary. Berta and Riley both ordered the eggs benedict with avocado and tomato, although Berta also added a mimosa. Abby ordered the cinnamon roll pancakes and a weird-looking purple ube latte. Everyone enjoyed their breakfasts, relaxing for a moment in the chicken-laden atmosphere, then we headed back out to claim a space on the beach.
The beach was not too crowded, and we found a nice spot betwen some washed up seaweed to lay out our towels. The kids ran off to play in the ocean. I took a few photos. Berta joined them, and I read a bit of my book. There were quite a few interesting characters around, playing in the sand, carting food for sale, setting up their own towels and chairs.
Eventually, Berta and the kids took a walk down the beach "boardwalk" (I'm sure they have a name for the paved path at the top of the beach here, but it's not made of boards, and it doesn't have the same feel as the Jersey shore at all) to look for a hat and a hoodie, since the wind made the beach cool. I stayed with our stuff on the beach. Eventually, they came back with their loot and spent some more time in the water.
After a while, we packed up our stuff and started walking south toward Belmont Park. This was about a half an hour of walking. There were a lot of small beach houses on the boardwalk. Some for sale, most for rent. Lots of poeple hanging out at the beach.
We finally arrived at Belmont Park, which is kind of a small amusement park. Buy tickets, ride rides. There were a lot of people there. We poked around a little in the crowd, watching the rides. Lots of tilt-n-puke, a climbing wall, some skill games. Ultimately, we bought a bunch of tickets and rode the rollercoaster "Giant Dipper", which was an ironically small but surprisingly long wooden roller coaster ride, and some pretty aggressive bumper cars.
We rolled out of the amusement park and camped at a picnic table in a grassy open space while we waited for our ride to come. The trip back was pretty quick. It's interesting how the highway has a nice view of the ocean and city as you drive through it.
Back at the hotel, we discussed dinner plans and cleaned ourselves up. The kids chose a location in Little Italy, which was a 15-minute walk, and we set out to Davanti Enoteca for dinner.
The space in Little Italy where all of these restaurants are situated was packed with people. Tables had been extended into the street under covered awnings. After we checked in at Davanti, with no wait time estimate, we wandered around the nearby plaza with a musician and large fountain. There were so many restaurants, so many patrons -- it was pretty crazy. You could see the water from the far side of the fountain, even so far back from the bay, and it was an interesting backdrop for the whole people-filled plaza.
We were across the street looking at some of the other restaurants when we were texted that our table was ready, and headed back to be seated. It took a while to order, since they were clearly understaffed. Riley had some kind of seafood linguine, Abby ate cacio e pepe, Berta has a salmon steak, and I ate an antipasto salad (so much food on this trip). Dessert was chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream and some cannolis.
After dinner, we waddled back to the hotel through some of the rest of Little Italy. It was kind of late and everything was closed, but it was nice to see the shops free of people. At the hotel, we crashed and rested for our next day of adventure.