Using the Cross Border Xpress from San Diego to Tijuana

Hey dudes! Happy Friday!

When we went to Mexico City in December, we used the new “border terminal” that goes straight to the Tijuana airport from US soil.ย Many of my local San Diego friends encouraged me to write about my experience since the cheap flights out of Tijuana are very alluring. Trying something new is much easier when you know someone who’s done it. So, I wrote about my experience at-length on my newly-launched travel blog, The Voyageer.

Hop on over to my travel-only blog to get the answers to these two questions: How does CBX work? Was the hassleย worth it?

Brunch at Great Maple

Brunch has become so trendy lately, hasn’t it? Every weekend I see a few instagram or facebook friends tagging each other in brunch pics. For good reason, too–brunch is an amazing way to spend a Saturday or Sunday off (rare as that may be in my case) and have delicious pancakes or other breakfasty foods at an hour that (if we’re being honest) is much closer to actual lunch. Brunch is best spent with your significant other or a group of good friends.

Yeah, maybe you should go with a friend ;)ย 

Several months ago I heard buzz about a new brunch spot in Hillcrest, called Great Maple. The buzz has been lived up to as GM has been named one of San Diego’s best new restaurants in 2013.

Doug and I finally both had Sunday off at the same time, so off to Great Maple we went!

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I had lollywaffles (waffles on a stick) with four different kinds of sauce: raspberry, lemon curd, whipped cream, and dulce de leche. I also supplemented with a side of scrambled eggs. When my meal first came out I thought it looked really small, but I ended up not even finishing all of the eggs. The waffles were more filling than they look!

Doug had a savory veggie scramble–and loved it. Did I mention we spent the last half of October eating vegetarian? I can’t wait to go back to Great Maple and try some ham-laden eggs Benedict (my default brunch order).

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The restaurant is a rehabbed diner. The building been a mainstay of this Hillcrest neighborhood for years so I’m glad it a) wasn’t torn down for new construction and b) has been doing so well. ย The interior was swanky (the bar area featured lots of brass) but I liked that they kept things like water glasses and coffee mugs simple and classic.

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My absolute favorite thing about the building is the exterior. There is something I just L-O-V-E about 1960s and 1970s style stone on the out side of a building. Or on the inside for that matter (give me a Brady Bunch fireplace any day of the week).

Happy weekend, all! Find yourself a good place to brunch.

If you’re in town, some of my other go-to brunch spots are the Crest Cafe (also in Hillcrest) and The Mission (several locations around San Diego).ย 

Take a Tour: Mariposa Ice Cream

Today’s Take a Tour is short and sweet (how punny).

When I lived in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego, this ice cream shop was easily walkable from my apartment. It’s a refreshingย reprieveย from other generic chain ice cream places or ultra-modern looking frozen yogurt places. Full of personality, it’s clear that the people who run it love a few things: Their ice cream, their community, The Beatles, and the San Diego Chargers. I mean, check out the walls.

To be honest, as a design junkie sometimes it feels good to spend time in a place that just feels home-yย and hasn’t been remodeled to keep up with the latest trend in interior design. Somehow, it’s so genuine. This is one of those places. (Of course, there are other places where I look around and wonder if the owner put any thought at all into the decor!! That thought didn’t cross my mind here at Mariposa though).

Mariposa

The ice cream is made on site using an old fashioned family recipe… and tastesย amazing!

Oh, and they have a signed and framed tabloid page that has a photo of Kristen Bell eating here–She and I both have a very discerning palate, I guess.

Mariposa

I tried the Mexican chocolate, and may never try another flavor ever as long as I can get neverending scoops of this amazingness. If you’ve ever tried the hot chocolate drink Abuelita, it’s like that, in ice cream form. Doug got peanut butter fudge which was also creamy and good.

The nice thing about a rich creamy ice cream cone is that I feel satisfied with just the one scoop. Any more and I might overdo it! These two cones ran us 5.50 total. Can’t beat that price for an afternoon outing.

Mariposa

3450 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

Check out some of my other tours by clickingย here!ย