Its Always Summer in San Diego

30 Sep

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This is my love letter to the summer of 2013.  This blog will chronicle all the summer fun enjoyed by lil’ old me.  There was a bucket list.  I didn’t hit every item on my list but I hit most…

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If you’re going to have a awesome summer, you should do something cool for Memorial Day weekend.

I spent Memorial Day weekend in San Jose with my fam bam.  My Grandma Sue, the famous Author of Cookin’ & Talkin’ and the Straight Skinny, took the very long train ride to San Jose from Missouri to meet my perfect nephew, Peyton.  Mike and I decided that the best way to celebrate our Memorial Day and to kick off the summer was by enjoying time with everyone in Nor Cal.  It was also Mike’s first time meeting Peyton.  Spending time with family is something to cherish.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should do something fun for the summer solstice.

Summer solstice was spent on the patio at Buona Forchetta.  We had several courses during our four hour dinner.  The wine was flowing.  As we watched the sun slowly set over South Park it was the perfect back drop for the longest day of the year.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should go to the Del Mar Fair.

Despite living in San Diego since 2007, this was the first time I had ever been to the fair.  It was all I had dreamed it to be.  Between the rides, games, and the fattening food it was a glorious day.  Out of all the things I filled my belly with the gigantic turkey leg was my favorite.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should do something fun for the 4th of July.

I spent the 4th of July at Lake Tahoe.  Mike’s family set up an epic twenty person camping excursion with all of their best friends.  So many fun memories were made on this trip.  Sitting around the campfire was a must do on my bucket list and we enjoyed many hours around the campfire every night.  We also of course enjoyed a spectacular fireworks show over the lake.  My absolute favorite part of the trip was spent all by myself though.  On the final morning of our trip I woke up at 7am and took a paddle board out on the lake.  The lake was like glass.  I went all the way around the island with the Tea House in the middle of Emerald Bay.  It was such a special time; just me alone with my thoughts.  I took a swim after my paddle board adventure.  I would happily trade sleeping in for early morning paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe fun any day.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should go to a baseball game.

My favorite sport is baseball and it’s appropriate that it’s the sport of summer.  There is something so sweet about enjoying a baseball game on a warm summer’s day.  My company has season tickets and I took full advantage all baseball season.  This gamer babe loves the crack of a bat in a bustling ball park.  While my GIGANTES season will not be carrying into the post season unfortunately, I still love them dearly and can’t wait till next year for more summer baseball.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should go on a road trip.

I went on a quick summer road trip and it was such a fun experience.  I stopped in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Montecito.  It was my first time really making an adventure about the drive itself.  I took the long way because it was prettier.  I stopped and took pictures where ever I fancied.  I came home revived and bursting with happiness.  I am going to make a point to take a solo road trip every summer.  Sometimes time by yourself doing something fun is just what your soul needs.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should go to the beach.

The beach crawl is where the summer bucket list was born.  I said to Mike nonchalantly, “I want to try to go to every beach in San Diego this summer”.  Little did I know I was trying to crawl 70+ miles of coastline.  While I was unable to hit every single beach in San Diego I did hit quite a few.  Here are the highlights of the ten San Diego beaches I was lucky enough to spend some time with my toes in the sand…

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~1~

Imperial Beach

Parking – Street & Plentiful

Imperial Beach was the first beach I went to this summer.  The reason we picked it was because we had never been there before despite it being a short drive south down the 5 freeway.  To my surprise and absolute joy there was a dog surf competition going on the day we went.  I like dogs more than people and I love the beach so it was a win win.  Mike enjoyed some surfing.  We had a lovely afternoon enjoying the sights and getting our summer tan on.

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~2~

Cardiff Beach

Parking – $15 in a Tini Tiny Lot

I went to Cardiff Beach with Mike, Smalls, and Pedro (my besties). Smalls hates the beach. Luckily for me her fiancée loves it so she was out voted. Smalls said this was her first time enjoying a beach day in San Diego since moving here.  Smalls prefers a pool day over a beach day. The beach isn’t for everyone I guess. We had a fantastic time soaking up some sun and people watching to her shock. This beach was a bit rocky and narrow for my taste but if that’s the biggest problem I am having all day at the beach I am doing just fine.

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~3~

Silver Strand Beach

Parking – $10 for the Day in a Large RV filled Lot

This was my first and last trip to Silver Strand State Beach.  I will not be going back.  The entire parking lot was full of RV’s as I pulled in.  People that camp in parking lots are not my jam even if the lot is next to the beach.  I saw someone with a dog in a baby bjorn next to their RV at this beach.  One moment I did find particularly heart warming while I was enjoying my Silver Strand Beach day was watching a minivan pull up next to the beach that had two elderly people in the back.  The driver pulled up, opened the doors, and then just sat there.  I watched as the passengers stared out at the waves.  They clearly were not well enough to get out of the van but the fact that someone in their lives took the time to bring them to the beach just so they could smell the ocean and see the sights was so incredibly moving.  I hope someone loves me enough to do that for me some day when I’m old and gray.  At one point during my beach day an entire dojo showed up to practice karate.  Kind of cool but not cool enough to make up for the RVs and baby bjorned dogs.

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~4~

Moonlight Beach

Parking – Street But Prepare to Circle and Swear a Bit

Encinitas is in North County and is a very popular beach destination.  Mike and I went to Moonlight Beach because we had heard good things (and we had never been).  This beach was fabulous.  Moonlight Beach has volleyball courts, fire pits, and even a concession stand.  While we were enjoying our beach day a band even set up to play for the community near all the summer action.  If we had more time we would have stayed longer and soaked up all the summer fun.  Mike had work to get to though.  We stopped by a local fave, Bull Taco, on the way home for Mexican.  That was Mike’s pick for summer must eats.  It was delish; if you haven’t been you should check it out for sure.

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~5~

Coronado Beach

Parking – Plenty of Street Parking if you Don’t Mind a Short Walk

This is the closest beach to my house.  I know this beach well.  I always felt like I was selling myself short by always venturing so close to The Tree House (our home).  Though we had been there many times before we decided for comparison sake we should go to Coronado this summer for a beach day.  As always it didn’t disappoint.  Coronado has a dog beach, volleyball courts, fire pits, and the Hotel Del Coronado.  The beach is large with sand for miles.  If you want to fly solo for your beach day you can set up a spot far away from all other sun worshipers.

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~6~

Pacific Beach

Parking – Street Parking But Bring Your Patience

Pacific Beach is geared towards a younger crowd.  With restaurants lining the board walk it’s a bar hoppers paradise.  I want to go back with more time and take more advantage of the fun atmosphere PB has to offer.  We had a really nice summer day in PB.

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~7~

La Jolla Shores

Parking – Free Lot and Plentiful Street Parking

This beach is cursed.  Every time I think that it is a beautiful sun shine filled day, it never is in La Jolla.  One of the curses of living near the beach in the summer time is that often while it is sunny downtown the beach will be covered in marine layer.  The way La Jolla is set along the coast line it seems to particularly fall victim to the marine layer blanket.  I tried to enjoy a beach day there but I had to jump ship in favor of sunnier prospects.  Had it of been a sunshiny day I would have thoroughly enjoyed myself.  La Jolla Shores is wide and rock free.  Hopefully next summer the beach gods will smile down upon me and give me sunshine.

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~8~

Mission Beach

Parking – Small Lot and Very Very Very VERY Limited Street Parking

I was just about to throw in the towel and give up on Mission Beach when I saw a beacon of light shinning down on a parking spot near Santa Barbara Street.  I don’t believe in coincidences.  Parking on Santa Barbara Street was a sign that my beach bucket list was important to the universe.  I set up my towel far away from the hustle and bustle of Belmont Park.  I was by myself most of the day except for when a pack of older women began to set up right next to me.  At first I was all “really, you had to set up right on top of me”.  However, this group of women were so chill I didn’t mind it.  I quickly named them the “ladies who lounge”.  These women had it their beach day down pat.  They set up quick and didn’t make a sound.  Friends continued to join them throughout the day.  After watching them closely I realized that these were in fact “LOCAL ladies who lounge” as I watched them emerge from the bazillion dollar beach houses that line the bike path.  I felt like I was looking into my future.  Someday, I hope to be one of them.

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~9~

Ocean Beach

Parking – Limited Lot Parking and an Abundance of Street Parking

So I parked near Bacon Street when I went to Ocean Beach.  Bacon Street parking made me hungry and also confirmed my belief that the summer bucket list was important to the universe.  OB is probably the most mellow beach in SD.  I enjoyed the people watching immensely.  There are volleyball courts and a dog friendly stretch for your pup.

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~10~

Sunset Cliffs

Parking – Small Lot and Lots of Street Parking

If you have the courage to hike down to Sunset Cliffs you are in for a perfect beach day.  This hike is no joke though.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  I am afraid of heights so this hike is super duper scary for me.  I would not be able to do it without Mike’s help.  Once you make it down to the beach though it is quite the sight.  There are cliffs that line the sand.  The beach is a bit rocky for swimming so be careful if you are there during high tide.  Mike went surfing while we were there and I was a bit worried but it all turned out fine.  Mike said that Sunset Cliffs was his favorite beach in San Diego because it reminds him of Santa Barbara.  This was our final curtain call for summer beach days and we couldn’t have picked a better grand finale.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should do something fun for Labor Day.

I was lucky enough to have my Brother, Seeeester-in-law, & nephew come to San Diego for Labor Day weekend.  We packed in a lot of fun stuff while they were in town.  One of my favorite adventures was a very hot and sticky Bird Park picnic day in North Park.  We play corn-hole and laid under a tree in the shade.  It was awesome to have my friends meet Peyton.  We took Peyton to his first baseball game at Petco Park while they were here.  The Padres were playing the Giants.  It was such a treat to have time with him.  He really is the coolest little guy on the planet.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should enjoy a pool day.

My girlfriend has a pool at her house in Pacific Beach.  I have been itching to be invited to one of her legendary pool parties.  I teased her that my number one goal of the summer was to be invited to “The Wet Spot” (the name of her home).  Well, I was invited and I had a wonderful time sitting on a floaty in her pool.  She has the two cutest black labs that love to swim.  It was so much fun to live the dream in Betsy’s pool.

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If you’re going to have an awesome summer, you should go to Palm Springs.

Technically, we went to Palm Springs on the first official day of fall.  I am still counting it for Summer 2013 regardless.  Mike and I indulged in a quick getaway to the Korakia Pensione.  It was heaven on Earth.  We laid by the pool and enjoyed the warm desert heat.  My only complaint was that the trip wasn’t long enough.  I can’t wait to go back.  Palm Springs is so close to San Diego and a very affordable vacation if you plan ahead.  I think more trips to the desert are in order.

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~Farewell Summer 2013~

Throughout my summer I have had the same nightly routine.  As I slink into bed each night, the last thing I do before I turn out the light is always write one sentence.  This sentence is the happiest moment from my day.  Some days are easier than others.  Some days its obvious what the happy moment was.  Other days I have to look a bit harder.  It’s always there though.

I can’t wait for summer 2014.  I’m already stock piling fun stuff to do.

I hope your summer was satisfying and brought you happiness in your heart.  Thank you for allowing me to share my happy with you.

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One Response to “Its Always Summer in San Diego”

  1. G/ma Sue September 30, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Thanks for sharing your blog with me. You, Mike, and friends do have some awesome adventures. This group of them at various lovely beaches made me homesick for my favorite one when I was growing up, South Padre Island, Texas……before it was turned into a commercial nightmare. I remember that island when all it had on it was an old hotel, a Coast Guard station, and a ferry boat landing. It was sooooooo peaceful then.

    It’s nice you are finding peace at your favorite beaches. I hope you enjoy continuing your search.
    Love,
    G’ma Sue

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