Clare Teal: California dreaming of full plates to ward off the jet lag

Greetings from Monterey, California. Big "phews" all round, we made it after all. Last Tuesday, we arrived at Minneapolis in the snow (minus six).

If you ever have the need or desire to buy a native Indian headdress, a rhinestone-infested leather shirt or a gigantic plastic moose, look no further than Minneapolis St Paul International Airport. From there, we journeyed on to San Diego.

I haven't flown long-distance since I was 18, so was a little surprised to find myself awake at 5am – but what a sunrise. By 10am we'd all assembled in the lobby; it was almost 80 degrees – F not C. As the gig wasn't till Thursday, we spent all of Wednesday with the boys in beautiful La Jolla, eating pancakes, walking along the beach, watching pelicans and egrets, drinking some of the nicest beer I've ever tasted, chatting with the seals and sea lions, trying to photograph the hummingbirds and gazing in disbelief at the birds of paradise flowers.

As we were only 25 miles from Mexico, we dined that evening on mountains of nachos, followed by burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas with rice and beans, accompanied by really great Mexican beer. From there, we trolled along the street in no particular direction until we heard high-calibre singing and guitar-playing.

We finally located the bar and sat snuggled under the outdoor heaters, listening to a great young Canadian chap, I didn't catch his name, but he was very good. When he finished his set, we went inside to play pool; by this time the jet lag was really kicking in, and by 10pm everyone was ready for bed.

Thursday started with French toast, which is now high on my list of "things I'd really like to get good at making". Thick slices of brioche dipped in egg then fried in butter (I know!) covered with icing sugar and fresh strawberries, served with a jug of maple syrup.

Benny, I'm thrilled to say, emptied the whole shebang over the toasted lovelies. Complete silence amid a frenzy of four spoons. Within 30 seconds, a clean plate.

I learned today that baby whales can put on up to 100lbs per day. We obviously eat at the same diner.