Father’s Day. Didn’t we just celebrate 2014’s? That’s how I felt as my daughter and I discussed some options over cappucini and a quattro stagioni (four seasons) wood-fired pizza last week at Caffé Calabria in North Park.
“Home Depot gift certificate,” I suggested.
“Mo-o-o-o-m,” she groaned, “you may as well hand him a honey-do list, and no man should be handed a honey-do list on Father’s Day.”
I smiled. “What a wise girl you’ve become.”
She blushed. “Thanks, Mom. How about a gym membership?”
“I don’t think so,” I replied. “That’s something he should do for himself. If we do it for him, it’s too much like an intervention or some such. And he might feel like I’m trying to tell him that I don’t think his body is attractive anymore, which is not true. I love his dad bod.”
“Gross,” she responded. “The less I know on that subject the better.”
We sat in silence. I nibbled a second piece of thin-crusted perfection while my daughter swirled the water in her glass. “I’ve got it!” she said. “Let’s make it water-themed. Dad loves the waterfront. Let’s put together Dad’s Day on the Bay.”
I smiled my approval, and we whipped out the iPhones and got planning. Here’s what we came up with:
3221 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach
The day will start off with a ride on the boardwalk around Mission Bay. Ray’s Rentals on Mission Boulevard has bike rentals for $10 for the day, with helmet included. A few more bucks and you have a basket into which to throw a water bottle and picnic lunch. (Ray asks for a deposit and for the bike to be returned before the last 30 minutes of closing.) The boardwalk comes back to Ray’s via West Mission Bay Boulevard bridge, a great spot for a breather and a selfie.
With a nice appetite worked up, we’ll head off to enjoy another bay, for an early lunch at Point Loma Seafoods. The breaded clam sandwich on sourdough bread is a favorite of my man’s ($9.50 for a regular). The view of the boats in the harbor will get him in the mood for a sail on the bay.
Patrick likes to have his hand on the tiller of a catamaran. Mission Bay Sportcenter rents a Hobie Wave catamaran, a 13-foot vessel, for $60 for two hours.
My interest was also piqued with their Hot Tub Cruisin’ offer. A hot tub on a pontoon boat for an hour. “What’s not to like?” I asked.
“The $215 an hour,” my daughter answered. “True,” I replied. I stowed that one in my mental folder for when I win the lottery.
After a couple hours of tooling around the bay, Patrick will be ready for some relaxation. Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, with its view of Mission Bay, is offering a Dad of the Year package: 50 minutes of a muscle-and-joint massage and a 50-minute men’s facial ($225). A second option: the Pineapple Vichy Scrub. It’s a sugar scrub followed by a vichy shower, and Patrick loves him a vichy ($100).
The beast will need to be fed at this point, so we will scoot over to Bali Hai on Shelter Island for a little old-school Polynesian vibe with killer views of the San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. The mai tais ($8.25) have a decades-old reputation for potency.
If we’re keeping up with the schedule, then over to the Hornblower’s Father’s Day Sunset Dinner Cruise, which will leave the Grape Street Pier at 6 p.m. Boarding is at 5:30, with a complimentary glass of champagne or sparkling water. The boat pushes off with a three-course dinner and dancing. For $78.95, cruise the bay for three hours and return at 9 p.m.
If a mai tai–induced nap after lunch has caused us to miss the boat, plan B is to grab some pizza slices from Pizzeria Luigi in Golden Hill and drive over the Coronado bridge, sit on a bench next to the Hotel Del, watch the sun set behind Point Loma, and dream of another year of fatherhood.