That being said, after a stress filled work week awhile back, I decided I needed a beach day. So I booked the day after Labor Day at the Del Mar Motel in Del Mar, California.
The D-Man is not a fan of the Del Mar Motel, so just like New York City, I decided to take a trip alone.
Full disclosure, there are reasons the D-Man does not like the Del Mar Motel. It has changed very little since I started visiting it over 20 years ago with my parents. The only significant change is they now have electronic key entrance, something that I think was added within the last five years. Other than that, the décor hasn’t changed. Some of the rooms recently got new air conditioners, but it is a far cry from central air. Although my room temperature was comfortable, it was not the quietest unit in the world.
The charm of the Del Mar Beach Motel, is it is literally the only motel in Del Mar with direct access to the beach. It is also very close to the Del Mar horse race track, which made it a great location for both my parents. My dad loved the races and my mom loved the beach, so we went every year after I moved to California. I wasn’t planning on going to the track this time around, which was another reason the D-Man wasn’t interested. His many years spent at various So Cal beaches growing up has somehow managed to not make him a fan of going in the ocean and getting sand in his swim trunks. Go figure. So I left Kody with him for some bro time and headed off Monday morning.
I had planned ahead, packing a beach chair and putting on my swimsuit and sunscreen, so when I arrived, I parked in the lot and headed straight to the beach. Check-in time isn’t until 300pm and unlike say, the Marriott Marquis, they aren’t known for having rooms ready hours early. Especially not on Labor Day Monday. But it really didn’t matter, since the motel is on the main beach. The public bathrooms are clean and I used the ice machine at the motel to fill the cooler I had stocked with some canned wine spritzers and snacks from Starbucks.
I took two long beach walks, did wave jumping and by the time my room was ready, I threw the suitcase in, spent another hour in the surf and then headed in for a shower.
The great thing about having the motel right on the beach, is no sand or wet suit in your car. Del Mar is a beautiful beach and even on a holiday, although there were a lot of people, it didn’t feel jammed. The other great thing, is once I parked the truck, I didn’t have to move it.
After getting myself ready for public consumption, I headed over to the The Poseidon Restaurant, which literally, is across the parking lot. I had not made a reservation, so I couldn’t get a table outside. Being alone and really looking for some quiet, I was fine with that. They sat me in what they called, “the upstairs”, which is three steps up and still has a fantastic ocean view. I started with a great glass of Cab and pistachio crusted brie, which was to die for. For the main course, I had a wonderful vegetable risotto. They even managed to find some crème de mint, an old school after dinner drink that my father loved, so I could finish the evening with one in his honor.
I sat on the back balcony of the motel and watched a gorgeous sunset. When I travel alone, I usually turn in early and try to get up early, just to be safe, which worked out well, because I was pretty beat from all the sun and water.
The next morning, I walked the half mile into the little downtown area and had a delicious breakfast at the Americana Café, which is located in the Stratford Square building. The building has a great history and you can read about it while you wait for your omelet, as they have the story on the tables.
I even found some great shirts at a beach store that had everything at 50% off. Overall, a really perfect trip.
The hardest part? Getting in my truck and leaving, but I comforted myself by deciding to make this a yearly Labor Day tradition. The only thing I might do different next year, is stay an extra day.