Winter on the West Coast
I figured it was about time I sorted through the hundreds of pictures I took in California and actually wrote about our trip. We went to a lot of new places this time around, so I actually plan to split everything into 2 posts. I mean, this was the first vacation we took since the last time we went to San Diego, so of course I had a million things I wanted to do. Due to flight scheduling, we arrived on a Friday around 10:30 am local time. This worked out pretty well because I felt like we didn’t lose a day traveling. I think I’ll try to book early flights from now on!
We couldn’t check into our Air BnB until 3 pm, so we first went to Plant Power and got lunch and then went to the dog beach! it was the first place we ever went in San Diego during our first trip, so we’ve made a tradition of it. The weather was beautiful, but a little chillier than last year. Our friends say overall, the winter in San Diego was very odd this year with lots of rain, colder temperatures, and even more snow in the outlying mountains than usual. In addition to seeing lots of cute dogs at the beach, we also saw a pig! Apparently, the pig is a feature at the beach because our friend said he had met the pig before. After walking around the beach, we got coffee at OB Beans and then went to the grocery store, like real people not on vacation. Then it was time to check in at the AirBnB. Unfortunately, our resident OB friend moved out of his apartment so we had to actually pay for lodging elsewhere, but our place was super cute! I’ll write more about it in the next post. That night, we met up with friends for drinks and tried to fight through the jet lag (early flight meant waking up at 3 am East Coast time). We also caught a amazing sunset, which so far has always been our experience on the first night in OB.
Despite being exhausted, I still woke up at 4 am on Saturday and laid around until James woke up shortly thereafter. We then decided to go to Torrey Pines State Preserve, since it was so early and we figured we could beat the crowds. It actually rained a little bit, but then cleared up and we had a beautiful morning at the beach. We did see quite a few people, but Torrey Pines is one of the most popular places in San Diego. We’d skipped Torrey Pines in the past in order to avoid crowds, but I am happy we finally visited. It was so beautiful! we started on a trail near the visitors center and took it through the hillsides down to the beach. Torrey Pines beach was one of the prettiest beaches I’ve been to in San Diego, right up there with La Jolla. The cliffs were stunning and the beach full of beautiful round pebbles. We got to the beach as the tide was rising, so we didn’t stay down there too long. James still managed to get his running shoes wet though!
We spent the rest of the day napping, sipping on drinks in OB, and then hanging out with our friends at the birthday event we were actually in town for. We saw lots of people we hadn’t seen in a while and had a great time. On Sunday, attempts to sleep in failed again, so we got up and ate brunch at a great new restaurant called the OB Garden Cafe. It’s run by the OB People’s Co-Op, a grocery store we’ve shopped at before and really like. After brunch we drove over to Coronado, another place we’d actually never been before. Again, the weather was a little sketchy, going from cloudy/windy/rainy back to sunny in just a few minutes. We walked around the main part of Coronado, which was really cute and full of shops, cafes, and other businesses, and then went out to the beach. We parked a few blocks away from the Hotel Del Coronado and then walked up the beach to the hotel. After getting a few pricey drinks at the hotel bar, we looked around a little bit (didn’t see any ghosts) and headed back to Ocean Beach. Sunday night was again spent with friends, since the work week was about to start for everyone else and we would be off on our own doing vacation things!
On Monday, we finally got some real hiking in! I woke up feeling sick but there was no way a cold was going to ruin my vacation. We hit up the drug store for some supplies and then headed off to hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. We did a short hike on the PCT last year but I wanted more (may have been from watching “Wild” a few weeks before…). We did the Eagle Rock stretch starting from Warner Springs. It always blows my mind you can be at the beach in San Diego and then an hour and a half later, hiking in the desert mountains. I LOVE SAN DIEGO COUNTY!! The Eagle Rock trail was perfectly easy to find, but also a good distance with lots of varying scenery. We saw everything from huge oak trees, a free flowing stream, snow capped mountains, and of course, the namesake “Eagle” rock formations. James really enjoyed the hike, which was heart warming for me to see since he usually complains about hiking! After the hike, we went to Julian for some apple pie and small town charm. Since I wasn’t feeling well we then called it a day and headed back to OB. I knew I’d need to rest up since we had plans for Anza Borrego the next day and there was no way I was going to miss that!