Monday, August 15, 2005

Anniversary #6

Well, the weekend is over and here I am back at work.

Saturday Victoria and I made our way to the Del Mar Race Track for our 2nd and final 2005 trip to place a few bets and hopefully come home having had a free day of fun. What I realized as the day went on is that odds and numbers really don't mean a thing. I had gone through this long arduous task of taking the morning line odds for every race since the start of the season, the odds at post time and how often each combination came up winning money. I even split it between win, place, and show so that - for instance - I knew that if a horse had eight to one odds in the morning but a minute before the gun went off he was at four to one, I had good odds to go bet him to win and show...or something like that. Well what I didn't factor in was emotion.

I get there, I buy a Daily Racing Form and I start looking at analysis of each horse thinking I could weed out those horses who had the odds in their favor but who were really just duds. After the first couple races I learned that this didn't help. Sure I had a winning ticket in nearly every single race, but over the course of the day I bet $60 on horses and came out winning $35.40 and that was mostly helped by the 8th race when I bet the winning horse to win, place, and show and the show horse to place and show which out of $10 won me over $13.

The 3rd race killed me. In that race there were 5 horses. Two had virtually no shot and two were so heavily favored it didn't make sense to try a quinella with them. So I bet Exacta boxes with horse 2 & 4, and also horse 4 & 5. Then I bet the two favored horses to show and one of them to also place. Wouldn't you know it, Robledo the horse with the worst odds comes in second and ruins everything. In fact this horse was leading to start the race, quickly faded and then came on strong at the end. ARGH! That $10 bet won me $2.40. The show bet on the winning horse. The horse I bet to place and show...came in 4th. Frustration.

Anyways Sunday was a much better day. Gotten woken up quite nicely by the wife, headed out for a required trip to Target then breakfast at Coco's. Now don't scoff, I happen to like Coco's. We had a good breakfast and headed to her parents place. Victoria took her mom to see Charlie & the Chocolate Factory. They came back and Victoria and I headed to the Prado at Balboa Park. AMAZING RESTAURANT. For those who might be a meat and potatoes type person not into real fancy foods and even for those that love fancy foods I dare you to try it. For those meat and potatoes people I sacrificed and went with the Pork Prime Rib. Let me tell you this was no sacrifice.

The website has it wrong slightly. It's a center cut pork prime rib with mashed potatoes that have this like crust of Panko bread crumbs around it. Reminds me a bit of Potato Knish. They serve it with this medley of mushrooms, grilled onion, green beans, and squash all chopped up small and the whole thing is served on what seemed to be an apple-ginger demi. If a season had a flavor, this would be autumn. I took one sniff and I was picturing myself in a wood, in a cabin at a table with a fire going with the leaves falling, the jack-o-lantern out and the whole atmosphere schools try to pound into you about autumn when you're a child. Oh it was heaven.

For starters we had the crab cakes. Panko crusted jumbo-lump crabcakes mixed with herbs & seasonings, served with a chipotle-lime aioli & crispy tortilla, jicama & black bean salad. Amazing. For desert the restaurant covered the cost and gave us desert for free. What I liked best is they let us choose the desert instead of them just bringing out their least popular dish. We had the lemon cake. Delightful. If anyone has never been to The Prado at Balboa Park I highly highly recommend it. I will warn you the prime rib on the site is listed at $19.95 and was $23.95 at the table. So expect that the online menu is slightly outdated. Otherwise the service is great, they serve you water with amazing flatbread and the best chipotle hummus I've ever had as you sit down.

With starters, two entrees, desert, a glass of wine and a cosmopolitan (yes we were glass each) then adding in gratuities the total came to $92.00 for two people. Not bad for a place like that. Compare that to my in-laws who might have had the best steak served in San Diego at Donovan's Steak and Chophouse Saturday night but who paid nearly $200 for the priviledge.

We came home, watched old episodes of The West Wing and went to bed. Great Anniversary. I woke up this morning very sad that yesterday had to end. Still though, I get to spend the rest of my life with a woman I can only describe as the greatest blessing God has every bestowed upon me. Anything less would only do her a disservice.


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