March 17, 2013

California Dreaming

We spent the rest of our two weeks in San Diego (aside from spending afternoons in La Jolla and visiting the San Diego Zoo) biting our fingernails thinking about the impending end of our year long journey exploring downtown's Little Italy and Gaslamp districts, laying out on the Pacific and Coronado beaches and admiring the other treasures around the city. The two weeks flew by in an instant and all I have left to prove that we were even there now is the collection of pictures I took and the golden tan on my skin. There is something to be said about Southern California...life is just different here. This region of the country has an amazing smell to it; it smells of sunshine, of freshly cut grass, flowers. If this smell could be captured, I think it would be a top seller for car air fresheners, although its likely it would cause an increase in traffic accidents, as drivers would tend to drift off, happily dreaming about California.

San Diego downtown view from Coronado Island
San Diego downtown view from Coronado Island
We wasted whole afternoons laying out by the ocean on the warm, golden sand, watching kite surfers and sailboats go by. Since our next destination (Portland) doesn't deliver quite as much sun as the SoCal region, we were trying to soak up as much sunshine as we could before we left to make the drive north. Our most favorite beach ended up being Pacific Beach mainly due to its popularity (lots and lots of interesting people watching!), its wide and clean sandy beach and its long boardwalk.

Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach
Me, trying to work on that horrible shorts tan line!
The boardwalk on Pacific Beach
The boardwalk on Pacific Beach
A pup enjoying the views on Pacific Beach
A pup enjoying the views on Pacific Beach
Spring Break rolled around during our second week in California and the beaches filled up with all kinds of amusing folks out for their one week of freedom. We would pack up our beach blanket, a picnic lunch and our books and head to the beach late morning. We'd spend the rest of the afternoon goofing around on the beach and then in the early evening we would walk the boardwalk and wait for the sunset. Sunset over the Pacific Ocean is one of this nation's greatest assets. We tried to capture as many as we could.

Sunset on Pacific Beach
Sunset on Pacific Beach
One Saturday afternoon we drove out to Coronado Island to visit the Coronado beach and see the famous Hotel del Coronado. It turned out that a dog beach was nearby so we spent a good portion of our visit there, watching dogs happily run around, kicking up sand and chasing balls into the high waves. Afterwards we strolled the beach up to the hotel and got a hot coffee from the cafe inside. We took our coffee to the outdoor patio and sat and watched as guests of the hotel shuffled past, some dressed in swimsuits and some dressed for Rodeo Drive.

Coronado Island
Coronado Island
The Hotel del Coronado
The Hotel del Coronado
Coronado Beach dog beach
Coronado Beach dog beach
We spent an afternoon in Balboa Park and another touring the Old Town San Diego, the birthplace of California. On our last day in town we finally made it out to the San Diego harbor and Skyler got to oogle at historic warships. That evening turned out to be pretty magical. There was a gentle breeze off of the ocean, the temperature was a warm, mid sixties. We strolled the harbor, then made our way to the Gaslamp district where we had an amazing Italian dinner on an outside patio. Afterwards we walked the streets, taking in the casual and happening atmosphere of St. Patrick's Day celebration. We ended the evening with a dessert from an Italian bakery, complete with two frothy caffe lattes. Life truly seemed grand, and it was.

Sky and the Star of India in the San Diego harbor
Sky and the Star of India in the San Diego harbor 
Unconditional Surrender statue in the San Diego Harbor
Unconditional Surrender statue in the San Diego Harbor 
Gaslamp district of San Diego
Gaslamp district of San Diego
Gaslamp district of San Diego
Walking around the Gaslamp district of San Diego
Little Italy district of San Diego
Little Italy district of San Diego
Dessert selection in Little Italy
Dessert selection in Little Italy, who could say no?
If only all days could be filled with as much sunshine as these...but then would we appreciate them for what they were? San Diego has moved into our top ten cities around the US list. We'll be back, maybe often...to recharge our sunshine batteries during long stretches of rain in Portland perhaps. :o)

To see more pictures of San Diego, click here.

Happy California Dreaming,

M.

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2 comments:

  1. Pacific Beach or "PB" as it is known, is simply a magic place. The place has a great vibe and so many cool shops and restaurants. The sunset at the beach is a must do.

    migrationexpert.co.uk | Migration Expert UK

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  2. How lucky! California is my dream destination…

    Very nice article :)

    http://blackgoldwanderlust.blogspot.fr

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