My trip through the States has been one reunion after another, mainly with people who I met while living in Spain, over three years ago now. Probably the most exciting of these was my reunion with Carisa, because even though we only met four or so months before I left Spain and have not been in the same country since, we have maintained such a strong friendship via whatsapp, Skype and Facebook that she asked me to be part of her wedding party. I built my whole trip around that occasion, and I was beyond excited to travel with her for nearly two weeks leading up to her wedding.
We met at LAX. Carisa flew in from Anchorage, Alaska, where she is now living, and I took the train for the one and only time in LA. It took us a while to find each other but we made it in the end, picked up our hire car, and set off down the coast to San Diego.
I really enjoyed San Diego – along with San Francisco its a city I think I could live in. It has a very laid back beachy vibe, and lovely weather.
Unfortunately the surf wasn’t real nice, so we didn’t end up surfing, but we did ride bikes around Coronado Island. It’s a residential suburb on an island just across the bay from the city. There are bridges across to it but we took the ferry which was a much nicer way to arrive.
We stopped for some food at the cutest old-school diner. I just love experiencing American traditions just as you’ve seen them in TV and movies. There’s something interesting about things being so familiar, even though you’ve never seen them in real life.
San Diego is a very beautiful city – any city situated on the water has a lot going for it I think. Sydney included of course!
One thing I researched before my trip was whether there were any good bands playing in the cities I was visiting. Carisa and I ended up seeing The Naked and Famous at the House of Blues, which was a fun night even though there were sound problems and the band walked off twice. Still, I think I got Carisa hooked on these guys!
Another day we visited Balboa Park, which has a ton of museums and the like. We didn’t visit the museums but just wandered around and checked out the beautiful buildings.
That same day we checked out Old Town San Diego, which is kind of like what Old Sydney Town was all about, if anyone remembers it. It was really well done and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I thought it would be kitschy and lame but it was actually really fun.
In the end I felt like we didn’t have enough time in San Diego. I could easily have stayed much longer than 3 days. You never know, maybe I’ll be back!
Accommodation note: We stayed at the Pacific Beach Hotel, which is in Pacific Beach (duh!). Its about 15 minutes drive from downtown, but there’s lots of nightlife and restaurants in the PB area so it was a good place to stay. The hotel itself was nice enough, in a great spot right on the beach. It was lovely to hear the waves!