Tag Archives: ice cream

Del Mar Race Track

IMG_8973While in San Diego, Katie and I headed over to the Del Mar Race Track to meet up with her family that we were staying with in La Jolla. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club which opened in 1937 is where the famous Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match race was held on August 12, 1938. After a crazy race, Seabiscuit under George (The Iceman) Woolf beat Ligaroti and Noel (Spec) Richardson by a nose.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club runs races all summer and fall. This summer they ran from July 16th to September 7th. Each weekend there are 10 races on Sunday starting at about 2:00pm with the last one running at about 6:40pm. Depending on the race there can be anywhere between 7 to 14 horses racing.

We found parking for $10 and made our way toward the entrance which was a little tricky to figure out. We paid our $6 each and arrived inside the event right next to a beautiful fountain. We made our way to the race picture painted tunnel which brings you under the track and to the center where her family was watching the races already in progress.

We found Jim and Sheri and their friends at one of the first picnic tables right by the race track. We watched a race and they they explained the simple way to  bet, $2 on race number, horse number to place, show, or win. We each put $2 on a horse the for the next race. There was about 30 minutes between each race which allowed you to decide if you wanted to place a bet or as the people at the race would say, “slap a bet down,” before each race.

All of my horses kept coming in 4th, just out of the running for me to win anything back and I lost about $8 before I decided I wasn’t going to play anymore. However, one of Katie’s horses won 2nd which got her $4 back making her loss only $2 total.

We took a walk around the inside of the race track and stopped at an ice cream booth. It was the best ice cream I had in a long time. Maybe it was just that the day was so hot I needed ice cream to cool down, I’m not really sure, but it was perfectly sweet and absolutely amazing. We continued to explore and found a bunch of children playing on blow-up slides and even having a race track instructed water balloon toss.  I was surprised to see how many people bring their children to the race track. I had always thought of it as an upper class adult only experience, but at the Del Mar Race Track it wasn’t like that at all. Then again, I didn’t get to experience the bleachers. It could be completely different over there.

We made our way back to the race track to watch the rest of the races. This time we were a lot closer. The race began and it was a little different than all the rest. As the horses came around the first bend one of them bumped into another and next thing everyone knew one of the jockeys was on the ground. He was ok and was able to scramble off the track before they came around a second time, but the crowd was filled with ohs and eeks when he hit the ground.  His horse continued to run around the track all by itself, like it didn’t even realize that its jockey had fallen off. The helpers eventually caught up with it and stopped it without having a hard time. It kind of makes me wonder, what are these horses taught in order to allow them to run the race even though they have left their jockey lying on the ground behind them. Maybe it’s just a herd instinct.

We stayed until all the races were over. They each had a different starting point and they would move the gate in between each race to the new starting position. As the sun got lower there were a few races that started right in front of us. We were able to watch them load the racers into the gate, start out of the gate, and come racing by pretty close, their feet roaring over the ground as they passed us.

With one last race to run we packed up our stuff and headed out to our cars. As gunshot started the final race we realized that none of us came away a winner that day. We weren’t upset, it was still a fun and exciting day and I was just happy to have experienced something new and different.

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab

IMG_8971Before leaving Avila Beach on Katie and my trip to Avila Hot Springs we stopped into one of the shops for some ice cream. As we walked down the street looking for a place to stop I saw a sign for Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab. I had remember seeing a flyer at the hot springs for the ice cream and excitedly exclaimed that this must be the spot. We headed inside for a look around.

The shop was bigger than expected from outside. They had trinkets and gadgets for purchase from gardening decorations to magnets to photo albums. We walked around exploring the different decoration items. Eventually we got tired of looking and headed over to their counter where they sold sandwiches, fudge, ice cream, coffee and smoothies.

I ordered a mint fudge ice cream cone from the super nice guy behind the counter. His scoop was perfect, round, big and fit exactly right on top of the cone. The ice cream was absolutely delicious! Perfect for the hot day of exploring the small town and beach we were having.

After further investigation when I got home I still can’t be quite sure if the place we stopped was one of Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Labs or if they only sold Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab ice cream but I don’t think it was. From the outside there was no sign other than the Doc Burnstein sign, but inside the ice cream bar was called Hula Hut. Also, after googling Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab I noticed that they only had 3 locations, Arroyo Grande Village, San Luis Obispo, and Old Town Orcutt and technically we were in Avila Beach.

I can’t wait to go back to Central California and get to one of their real ice cream labs. Hopefully I will be able to get there on a Tuesday evening when they have their all you can eat deals. Either way, their ice cream is creamy, soft, and too yummy for words.

Great Shakes in Palm Springs

IMG_8971Driving through Palm Springs I couldn’t help but feel drawn to this little local milkshake, malt and float shop called Great Shakes. After a crazy night of great music and dancing it was number one on my list of things to do. We took a walk into town on our way to the Dinah Shore Sunday Pool Party and stopped for breakfast.

We walked in and this place just screamed fun. They had music from the 1950’s and 60’s playing and we bopped to the music as we reviewed the menu, choose between their hand-made milkshakes, malts and floats, and waited to place our orders. I decided to try the Strawberry Fudge Shake.

Once our orders were taken they started to make our shakes right in front of us, blending in all the gourmet and fresh toppings. As we waited I explored their shop a bit. In front they have a bunch of old uncommon candies that you rarely find in other ice cream shops. To the side they have a huge poster that explained the history of candy. I learned that the first candy was created in 1842 by a 19-year old named Stephen F. Whitman. Yes, Whitman’s candies were the first. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars were introduced in 1900’s and Snickers, one of my favorites, were introduced in 1930’s.

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They brought my shake to the table complete with strawberry slices, chocolate sauce, and a little mini-donut wrapped around the straw. I took my first sip and it was absolutely delicious! Just the right amount of strawberry and chocolate. A perfect breakfast and one of the best shakes I have ever had.

The shop has only been in Palm Springs for about 2 years, but they sure do make a Great Shake. It’s definitely a stop you want to make next time you’re in town.

Three Twins Ice Cream

IMG_8971I was looking for a little local ice cream shop to check out one day and was searching yelp. I came across Three Twins Ice Cream in Santa Monica and headed over to check it out.

Three Twin Ice Cream is an organic ice cream shop company that has only been around since 2005. In 2010 they opened an ice cream factory in Petaluma, CA where they make all their own organic flavors for wholesale at companies such as Whole Foods Market and The Fresh Market. According to their website, while their company has grown their mission remains unchanged: “To produce inconceivably delicious organic ice cream that is affordable and accessible. Three Twins still donates one percent of sales to land conservation initiatives through 1% for the Planet. We still use organic ingredients and serve our scoops in compostable dishes and spoons. We still enjoy what we do. And, we always enjoy making our customers’ lives just a little sweeter in the process.”

When I arrived I noticed that it was much smaller that I anticipated, but it had a good rating on yelp so I headed in to try some. They had about 10 different flavors, not a huge selection, but one flavor stuck right out at me, the Mexican Chocolate ice cream. I had them put a scoop  on a sugar cone and took my first lick. Absolutely delicious. It had a creamy semi sweet chocolatey flavor. I had never had a flavor like it before. Not super sugary and  not bland, just what I was looking for. Definitely give it a try if you are in Santa Monica on Main St.