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Hi.

Welcome to my corner of North Georgia. I document my adventures and outdoor activities in hopes of inspiring others to make the most of each day. It is my goal to make hiking accessible and non-intimidating, while promoting responsible enjoyment of the environment. No trail is too short!

Cali- North Park

I didn't really have much planned for the Friday of our trip. In the event one of the other days got off track or didn't go as planned, I was going to use Friday as a "make up day". But every other day went perfectly so Friday ended up being completely open. The weather was also looking kind of unpredictable so we weren't really sure what to do. I thought about going to one of the art museums at Balboa Park but wanted to save some money (James' Plant Power addiction is hard to keep up with). So we decided to just go walk around the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. 

I like getting to know different parts of the city and areas tourists possibly don't visit. As the name indicates, North Park is on the north side of Balboa Park. There are a lot of boutiques, restaurants, and other small businesses in this neighborhood. It's also home to a historic theatre and music venue (I would like to go to a show here sometime in the future). It seems to be a hip part of town (although I'm sure we brought the cool factor down). Research tells me it is #13 on Forbes list of "Best Hipster Neighborhoods" (I looked this up just now while writing this post). The fact that Forbes has a list of top hipster neighborhoods is possibly the most anti-hipster thing I have ever heard of. Or maybe the hipsters would embrace the irony of it. 

What I like most about pretty much any neighborhood I've come across in San Diego is the abundance of really cool street art and murals. I love alleys covered in paint and random small pieces of art on sidewalks. So mostly that is what we looked for in North Park and we found plenty of it. We also went in some really cool shops, particularly one called Pigment. If I lived here, I would have no paycheck because I'd spend it all here. It's like the ultimate home decor/stationery/party supply store. I'm pretty sure they may have been the original inspiration for both Pinterest and Instagram because everything there is beautiful and perfect and dripping with succulents. I actually didn't buy anything because there was too much beautiful stuff to choose from. 

It actually rained while we were walking around so we ducked into a great cafe called Sipz which serves vegan Asian inspired cuisine. It was delightful and just what we needed on a rainy California afternoon. We got some amazing Vietnamese coffee and vegan sushi and chilled out for a while before heading out. 

The rest of the day we spent packing up and cleaning the apartment (remember, leave no trace!) and then we walked up the street to another shop I had been wanting to check out, Often Wander at Noon. I don't really buy souvenirs when we travel, at least not the tacky magnet type of souvenir. The past few trips I've bought jewelry because I can wear it every day and remind myself of happy memories (plus, who doesn't like jewelry). But again, trying to reign in the spending, so I bought some cute cactus art prints and a cactus dishtowel. 

In the evening, we walked around the corner to a lovely Indian restaurant called Sundara. It's a little hole in the wall and easy to pass by despite being on a main road in Ocean Beach. A Google search brings up a stunningly bad review of the place, so bad I thought it was a satire on the snobbery of food critics. The chief complaints were bad service, a table set for 4 even though only two guests were seated at it, and using chicken breast in the curry. Well, we received great service throughout our visit from different employees, the table setting was lovely, and I'm vegan so I couldn't care less what kind of chicken they use (although I'd prefer no chicken at all). The waitstaff were very attentive to our dietary needs and food allergies. We ordered samosas, Saag curry (James) and Channa Masala (me) and it was ALL DELICIOUS. We had plenty left over and considered it one of the best meals we had during this trip. It really was the perfect way to wrap up our time in Ocean Beach.

Preacher's Rock 2-3-18

Cali- La Jolla + map museum