Thursday November 17, 2011 / 6:30pmBrothels, Bites and Booze -- At Night
How was your experience?
Tall sailing ships in port; cobblestone streets; granite and red brick buildings; horse-drawn carriages; gaslamps and pianos tinkering away late at night. It's downtown San Diego, circa 1880's, in a section known as the Stingaree District. This tour will transport you back to an era when San Diego was in it's infancy, and the world was bound together by ships and sea. Of course, sailors needed to relax while in port, right? And so the tour begins. I'd purchased this walking tour as a birthday gift for my wife, and was able to book us for a Thursday evening tour. The first detail to know is that this is a walking tour and comfortable shoes are a must. It's certainly not strenuous, but it does wind in and out and through some of the Gaslamp's most popular areas along 5th and 6th. Although it was a Thursday (the "First Friday", as I like to call it), the Gaslamp was bustling! We had about a dozen people in our group and it was a slower pace for us to snake our way through the busier spots. The historical aspect of the tour was very interesting, and despite the majority of our group being from San Diego, there were still plenty of "oohs" "aahs", and "I didn't know that!"'s! (Btw, did you know that there are still four operational gaslamps in the Gaslamp?) Our tour guide - Lisa - was relatively new, but you wouldn't have guessed. She was very informative and just a pleasant person to talk with. I would highly recommend introducing yourself to your tour group. We had the most interesting mix of people: late 30's to early 50's. And all of them were there to have a great time! This close to the holidays makes everyone a bit cheerier! They were all really nice people with very interesting stories. In fact, a few had their little recollections of the Gaslamp from the 60s and 70s, which added to the historical perspective of the tour. Now, the food and drink! Our group made stops at the following, with refreshments in parentheses, and we were at each establishment for about 15-20 minutes: Trattoria la Bocca (rigatoni in vodka sauce); Tequila 100 (mini tacos, bean soup, and a margarita shot); Krust Pizzeria (huge slice of pizza, five varieties); Analog Bar (chili totchos, "Moscow Mule") The Melting Pot (chocolate fondue, and assortment of dessert items for dipping, and a very delightful peach schnappes and vodka drink). I would most definitely recommend that you not eat before the tour. My wife and I were stuffed by the end of the evening! The highlights were; well, everything! I really enjoyed the "totchos" -a loaded nacho dish with tater tots instead of chips. The Moscow Mule and the peach schnappes drinks were both excellent, as well. The tour wrapped up around 9:15 pm. We said our goodbyes to some new friends, repleat with the exchange of email addresses, phone numbers, and business cards. (My wife is quite the social butterfly!) In summary: Great food, great drinks, great people, great time! I would absolutely give this event my highest recommendation to my family and friends.