San Diego, CA ᛫ September 13 – 16, 2017
I arrived in San Diego at 10 pm, but it felt much later since my body was still on the Boston (1 am) or maybe even Lisbon clock (6 am). Despite all my traveling, I have a light sleep and can almost never fall asleep on planes. But at the same time, I was very happy to be in California and couldn’t wait to see my sister Caro.
Sister Reunion & Couchsurfing
Thanks to Google maps it was easy to take a public bus from the airport to my Couchsurfing host. Caro had already arrived earlier that day and we could finally start our travel together. Our host lived downtown on the 31st floor with an amazing view of the city. When I arrived, Caro was hanging out with our host and his friend while two other couchsurfer girls were already asleep on the couch. After chatting, laughing and getting to know each other for a while we also went to sleep, Caro on the second couch and me on a blow-up mattress in front of the couches.
It was a short night because my jet lag woke me up at 7 am. I went to the balcony and was greeted by a beautiful morning sky over the city and ocean. After some meditation, I did some stuff on my laptop. Meditating really helps while traveling because it calms me down and handles stressful situations better. Caro also woke up early and we ended up leaving the house at 10 am which usually never happens. At first, we bought some breakfast at the next supermarket. I got pretzel crackers and guacamole, apples, soft-baked chocolate cookies, and ice tea.
Exploring the City
We walked to Balboa Park and spotted a round building with nice paintings. We happily went inside because we had hoped to find places like that in California. The WorldBeat Center looked as cool on the inside as on the outside. There was a small vegan restaurant, a stage, a lot of space and all the walls were colorfully painted. The staff was very friendly and explained that this place is used for cultural events and workshops. Since we had already eaten we decided to come back on our way back to try some of their vegan food.
The park was pretty big and nice. We visited the Museum of Photographic Arts, Spanish Village Art Center, Cabrillo Bridge, California Tower, and some really beautiful old buildings. After the roundtrip, we returned to the center, ate vegan coconut curry, chilly, and drank kombucha. It was all very delicious and the first time I drank kombucha. It’s a fermented, tea-based drink that is said to give you more energy and have health benefits. It’s good for the immune system as well as the gut flora, which makes it especially helpful for travelers. I really liked it, Caro had already been a fan and so we ended up drinking it almost on every day of our trip together.
North Park & Coronado Beach
Afterward, we walked through parts of the park again and then up a hill to North Park, a nice district of San Diego with many cute stores. We also came across a street market with local produce, food stands, clothing, and live music. They handed out free samples, which is always nice of course. 😉
We wanted to watch the sunset at the beach so we took an Uber to cross the city and go to Coronado Beach. It was very beautiful there, but a little too cold to go swimming. Coronado Island is located just in front of San Diego and connected by a big bridge. The atmosphere was relaxed and we found a cheap and good place to eat. We had salads at the fast food place Which Wich (short for Sandwich) that were bigger and better than expected. I can highly recommend all the places we visited that day.
Renting Our Road Trip Car
The next day, I could finally sleep a little more but had an alarm set because we had some plans for the day of course. After breakfast, we went to the airport to pick up the rental car that we had booked online the night before. Even though they wanted to give us an update to a bigger car because there were no small ones left, we were relieved when a new small car was brought in. It would use less gas and was easier to park. 😉 It was only me driving the car because insurance would have cost almost double for both of us since Caro is under 25 years old. This decision was a no-brainer because we tried to save money. But after a while, it got a little stressful and annoying that I always had to drive. 😀
Our first trip with our cute red Toyota Yaris took us to a mall where I bought a new MacBook Pro because my old one didn’t work properly anymore. I also bought a SIM card for my phone because there was no way we would do the road trip without Google maps (the offline maps of maps.me unfortunately, didn’t work well enough for us).
Windansea Beach & La Jolla Cove
Afterward, we finally headed to the beach. At Windansea Beach, we went swimming, sunbathed, watched surfers in the waves and ate our self-made salad with chickpeas, avocado, kale, and other healthy stuff. 😉 Although we really liked this beach, we didn’t stay for too long so we could check out more cool places. On our way to La Jolla Cove, we stopped for some delicious ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I got a big brownie and ice cream cup which was the best thing to do at this time.
When we arrived at our destination it took some time to find a parking spot. This one was obviously a bigger attraction than the previous beach. Around the cliffs and rocks, there were lots of seals and sea lions hanging out. Some people were snorkeling and swimming close to the animals that weren’t scared at all. We walked around the beautiful scenery and found a small beach to watch the sunset.
After enjoying the last sun rays of the day, we did a 20-minute interval workout in the sand followed by some yoga. It was fun with the view and breeze of the ocean and we were sure to do something similar several times more. But unfortunately, it ended up being our only workout like that. On the rest of our trip, we were either too busy or too tired for working out.
Patience is Helpful When Traveling
We drove back to the city to find our host being gone to a festival with the other two Couchsurfing girls. He didn’t let us know where he hid the keys and didn’t answer his phone. So we waited in the lobby of his apartment building. Thankfully, the lobby had security, couches, and bathrooms.
After some waiting, we drove to Walmart to buy some stuff and hung out at this huge store for a bit. It’s always interesting to visit supermarkets in different countries. But this Walmart megastore was another level. It had just sooo many different products, huge sizes and some things we had never heard of before. We bought some sushi for dinner, chilled and ate in the car, listening to music and then returned to waiting in the lobby.
After about three hours of waiting, the two girls showed up and knew about the hiding place. Nonetheless, it took the four of us quite some time to actually find the keys. When we were finally inside the apartment, we packed our things and prepared to leave the next day. Our host came back before we went to bed, apologizing for forgetting to let us know about the keys before his batteries died.
Let the Road Trip Begin!
The next morning we left a little later than planned and really started our road trip, Los Angeles bound. We first came across a nice viewpoint on a mountain where you could see San Diego and the western coast. Then, we drove north along the coast and through small and cute villages. In Laguna Beach, we took a break and chilled by the ocean. Afterward, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner in a nearby mall. I had a tasty Thai coconut curry and of course a big piece of chocolate cheesecake for dessert. It was so good that we ate too much and continued our drive with huge food babies in our stomachs. 🙂
See More Pictures of Our Time in San Diego, CA
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