Once upon a time, we almost moved to San Diego. My husband had a job prospect, and we even flew out with the kids and toured the area with a realtor, looking for a new home. We had pretty much come to the decision that we were going to move, but at the very last moment, my husband had a bad feeling about the job, and everything that had spiraled into motion had suddenly stopped. I’m thankful Someone was watching over us because that “feeling” ended up being a very good thing as the project he would be working on folded the next year.
In spite of everything that happened, I do have a soft spot for San Deigo. The year-long mild weather, the gorgeous warm beaches, and sprawling suburbia (yes, I’m a self-proclaimed suburbanite who likes her Target close by). Don’t get me wrong — Marin is warm and beautiful, but things tend to be a tad “old” around here, and I’ve never been partial to earthquakes.
So when our family decided to go to San Diego for the second half of our vacation (mostly due to my brother-in-law’s desire to run a half-marathon), although it would add a couple extra hours of driving to our trip, I was looking forward to lazily putting my toes into the warm sand. Ironically, it turned out to be one of the coldest weeks — it even snowed one evening!
For some reason, I don’t remember a ton from this leg of the trip, but I do fondly remember two things: the beaches and getting cookies each night at our hotel. The pictures above are from Torrey Pines State Beach and the ones below are from Solana Beach.
I love how these seagulls are standing evenly distanced apart. I wonder if they know they’re doing that.
And there were lots of folks “kite surfing” (I had to look that one up) — it was a great day for kite surfing because it sure was windy and FREEZING!
Seems like fun as the sails pull them up into the air — you can kind of see that here in the distance.
I just like these other pictures because they’re calming and help me to forget how cold it actually was.
We also got to see a great view of San Diego. Yelp is my friend when it comes to traveling, and once again, my friend was very good to us and led us up to Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial, where stands a cross monument overlooking a 360-degree view of the city.
And yes, the sky was actually that blue — well, at least with my polarizer on — if you don’t have one of these yet, you should get one :).
I don’t have many pictures of food from this leg of the trip because I don’t think San Diego is really known for their food. I’m sure there are a bunch of San Diegoans who would beg to differ, so please do share your secret favorite spots. I would love to know!
We did eat lots of shaved ice — which is my husband’s favorite thing, so we must always ALWAYS go get shaved ice whenever we’re on vacation (and often multiple times).
Since we decided to take the long way back home, we cut across from Interstate 5 to Highway 101 and drove through Paso Robles, which from a prettiness standpoint was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Fog, snow, vineyards, rolling hills — all of it!
Polarizer in action once again for those deep blue sky (I think it wasn’t turned the right way in the picture above which is why there’s a gradient, but not too shabby for a “through-the-window-along-a-fast-moving-highway” shot).
And this snow! Missed seeing it having grown up in Chicago, or as some have grown to call it this past winter, “Chiberia.”
We weren’t even driving along the actual coast on Highway 1 (which would have taken 14 hours!), yet we still got to see all of this beauty. California really is such a gorgeous place!
So that concludes my winter vacation, and although we saw so many beautiful things and ate lots of great food, the best part was being together as a family and making great memories, even if part of that included driving together in a 12-passenger utility van.
Once again, if you have any great suggestions for places to visit or to eat at in San Diego, please do share. I’d love to hear about it!