355 miles and 5.5 hours later in our bright yellow Prius, we arrived in sunny California. Unlike "sunny Arizona," once we crossed the border, California stood up to its name! Rachel's extended family conveniently lives in SoCal so we were able to get a little surfing in...couch surfing, that is. Between a quick college visit, walking on the beach and spending time with family, our stay in San Diego went by too fast.
While we may have ventured to the west coast for grad school visits, we still were adamant about making this a true vacation. First on our list was to spend a leisurely morning on the beach at Del Mar. We walked across the scattered pebbles, dipped our toes in the ocean, puzzled at the washed up, odd-looking seaweed on shore and quietly debriefed about life. Now sporting a faint sunburn, we headed back to Rachel's grandma's house for a relaxing, girl date with "Oma."
Tuesday morning we stumbled onto the University of San Diego campus and I tried to blend in with my Bible study "homework." I loved my experience at the University of Minnesota but seeing the view from campus buildings at USD, I started to question my Golden Gopher ways. :)
Just before heading out of town, we stopped by La Jolla to see the seals. Our afternoon activities were mostly filled with quiet beach reflections or being amazed by seal mothers and her pups as they basked on the warm, sun-kissed rocks, but our last moments of calm SoCal life was so needed before returning to the busy schedules back home.
Within 20 minutes of arriving in San Diego, we had kicked off our shoes and were eating homemade peach pie and sipping on freshly brewed coffee - Thank you, Aunt Monica! Our first bite into SoCal, it was obvious this part of our excursion was going to be a feast for our taste buds.
Venturing to Del Mar, we grabbed a cup of coffee at Americana Restaurant and headed out to the beach. After walking to the rhythm of the ocean, we had worked up an appetite and headed back to the main drag of restaurants and shops. Graced with a $40 parking ticket, it was necessary to drown our woes in delicious Peruvian eats at Cafe Secret. Nestled amidst tangled vines, the unassuming cafe has an in.credible. menu. They one-up everyone with a Quattro Leches cake...
On both Monday and Tuesday, we found ourselves scoping out the local cuisine scene in La Jolla. The first night, a girl date with Rachel's grandma brought us to Brockton Villa. Our dinner was accompanied by the soundtrack of crashing waves and the squeals of seals; but, the middle-of-the-road tacos were made better by our quirky waiter that was a living character sketch of Crush, the turtle from Finding Nemo.
We returned to La Jolla Tuesday before Rachel and I parted ways for our trek back home to Minnesota (Her, by way of road trip back to Phoenix then home. Me, by way of the longest middle-of-the-night layover in Las Vegas.). We squeezed in patronizing a few more local spots: Elixir for some coffee, Duke's for the largest slice of ice cream cake, and Cafe La Rue in La Valencia Hotel for a quick bite before heading to the airport. Never short on delectable spots to try, we had our fill of coffee, tacos and treats - all without even stepping foot in an In-n-Out!
Ok, so you may not want to touch the prickly cacti, but I was swooning at the textures of San Diego.
All photos taken with iPhone 6+ and edited with VSCO.
amor y pestas y tiempo para disfrutarlas