My Retreat, Part 2: San Diego’s Little Italy
If you want to catch up, the beginning of this adventure starts with Part One – The Train.
So, I arrived at the Santa Fe Station in San Diego, thrilled with my journey on the train. Now I had my backpack on my back, and basic directions on how to get to where I’d be meeting the hubby. Luckily it was in a restaurant in Little Italy – and there would be wine at the end of my journey.
With the help of a tourist map of the area, I figured out which way to go after leaving the station, hefted my backpack and began the walk. Up “B” St to India St, turn left, then up India until I got there. There? My destination – the Spaghetteria. (And yes -it’s as awkward to say as it looks.)
As I walked, I passed closed storefronts and open art galleries. The farther up hill I went, the busier the area got – and soon I was in the heart of Little Italy. Aging Italian men were smoking cigars and gathered together outside; little clumps of them, up and down the street. Kids dodged in and out of groups of adults.
Louche teenaged girls straggled behind their parents, giggling and talking. The scent of pizza and pasta and garlic mingled with the fragrant cigars and a surprising amount of twenty-somethings smoking cigarettes. Lots of people were out and about, and since the time was past 8:30pm, the restaurants were packed. Laughter and music and fun – the street was hopping, and I loved it.
Unfortunately I had
miles, a long way – sigh…a few blocks that were all up hill to get to my destination. I walked wistfully past the Italian restaurant that The Accomplice (the Without Walls theater production that my hubby Tom Ashworth was doing through the La Jolla Playhouse) had been in, the wonderful Trattoria Fantastica (desserts to DIE for); past Filippi’s Pizza Grotto (more about Filippi’s later); across the street and up two more streets where the nightlife wasn’t anywhere near as vibrant, before I got to the Spaghetteria.
I was surprised. The restaurant was HUGE – but the street, up here, was almost empty. The restaurant, too, held maybe eight people and could easily have seated 200. Maybe 250. Whatever, I made it. Found the hubby, got a wonderful hug and kiss, then he escorted me to the bar. They had two more shows to do that night before we were free to go to dinner.
I ordered a glass of wine. Two groups came in, I sipped, they figured out the end of the puzzle, and “I fought the law and the law won” came on for the last time that night. They were done. The hubs and I hightailed it out of there (as it had a chilly atmosphere and a waitstaff that looked like they’d rather be anywhere but there) and went to Filippi’s.
Now, Filippi’s is not your typical restaurant. You walk in through a market – a wonderful Italian market. It’s also a bit on the old fashioned side of things, and they make no apology for it. No WiFi, no outdoor seating (which means no cigar or cigarette smoking), no TV sets. (Sounds like heaven to me!) You can’t make reservations, so you walk in and you wait. Often, the line is out the door. Luckily as we go in, we’re the second ones in line. Totally doable. (Before we’re seated, there are 30 people lined up behind us – and it’s almost 9:30pm.)
This is the first place Tom took me for dinner, back when we were first dating. His fondest memory is ordering a bottle of wine – and the waiter brought two glasses, even though I was quite obviously under age. (17 – yep!) So this was a lovely, nostalgic, romantic dinner for us.
We had pizza, a carafe of house wine, the antipasto salad (which had a marvelous, tangy-sharp cheese in it – we found out later that it was an aged provolone? Tom bought some and we’ve been enjoying it ever since), and a boatload of wonderful memories that had us laughing and talking and enjoying each other. And the pizza, let it be said, was fantastic.
I mean, seriously. Doesn’t that look fantastic? It was the perfect meal for the end of a long, fascinating day. Tom and I finally closed the place down and headed for our home away from home for the weekend – The Boat.
Since I lost my small camera, I don’t have some photos that I wish I did. But here’s a photo of the marina at night.
Sleepy and happy to be together, it was great to be back at the marina. The air had that soft quality that it gets when the temperature is just right, the next day promised to be foggy, and all was well in my world.
Thanks so much for stopping by. When was the last time you went on an adventure, either by yourself or with a friend? Let’s talk!
~ Until the next time, cheers! ~
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