My two-week adventure down the coast of California led me to my final destination with a few more people to visit and some delicious food to eat. I arrived Sunday night, after another fun Greyhound bus ride and thankfully had a friend that was willing to pick me up from the station. Jared, one of my friends from High School who now lives in Washington DC happened to be in San Diego so it was only natural we take the opportunity to catch up. Unfortunately, our schedules didn't coincide all that well as he was leaving early the next morning, but we still took the opportunity to chat about life, eat some ice cream and bitch about people (all of which we excel at).
After our quick visit, I met up with my cousin who's been living in San Diego since college but who I haven't seen in years thanks to my nomadic lifestyle. I got lucky with my timing as my cousin had Monday and Tuesday off work, leaving plenty of time to hang out with me. I wasn't too worried about doing anything in particular in the city so we decided to wing it, starting Monday with a trip to La Jolla for brunch which was delicious although a bit expensive. As we sat at The Cottage enjoying brunch we observed that there were more people than one would expect on a Monday morning, don't people work anymore!? We made a quick stop at the Cove so I could check out the seals and say I've been, but unfortunately I didn't take any pictures to prove it.
The afternoon was spent taking it easy at the Hotel Del Coronado, my cousin actually used to work there so we were spoiled with free parking, free beers and entertaining company, which made for a successful Monday afternoon. I guess the universe thought things were going too well for us because when we got ready to leave we discovered a very flat tire on my cousins' car. No fear, nothing a AAA membership can't fix. I must say AAA employs some of the happiest, friendliest, most helpful people I've ever met. Both the people on the phone and mechanics that come out to help you are awesome, always helping to turn your day around. Within two hours of discovering the flat, we were back at my cousins' house, original tired repaired and back on her car, talk about efficiency.
Tuesday I decided to play tourist for at least a portion of the day by spending some time at Balboa Park. My cousin wasn't feeling it, and wanted to take advantage of her day off by sleeping in (and fighting off a cold) so she handed over her keys and ID (residence free Tuesdays) and sent me on my way. Driving in San Diego is nothing like LA (thank god) but it still took a bit of getting used to (probably true of any new city) and finding parking at the park was ridiculous. I had no desire to visit the Zoo so I steered clear of that crowd and set my sights on the free attractions instead. Thanks to my alter ego "Lindsay" I was granted entrance to the Mingei International Museum, Museum of Art, Man and the Japanese Friendship Gardens before I called it a day.
I had a little less than 24 hours left in the city (State for that matter) and one more person to see which thankfully was my next destination. An old friend that I met while teaching in Korea had since moved back to his hometown and was more than happy to show me a good time meal. I met Son at South Beach Bar and Grill where we took full advantage of "Taco Tuesday" specials and Happy Hour. It was great catching up with an old friend, this time on the opposite side of the world from where we met, and sharing stories of where life had taken us since that time (in two completely different directions).
I made a quick stop at Sunset Cliffs before returning to Pacific Beach where I was all but ready to pass out but instead ventured out to the bar to watch game 1 of the world series with my cousin and her roommate. Although I was looking forward to the comfort of my own bed (2.5 weeks of couch (air mattress, floor and massage table) surfing was taking its toll on my body, but I wasn't quite ready to leave California. Everyone seems to have their own (strong) opinion on the state, and of course feel the need to share it with you, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time there. Until next time...
I grew up hearing "California, you don't want to live there" but after finally visiting, it's the one place in the US I could actually envision myself 'settling down'