I had the second best day of my summer vacation so far (I’m not sure if anything else will top that San Cisco concert) yesterday when my friend, Matt, and I went to San Diego for the day! After a very challenging and upsetting five days of work, I was ready to let loose and go on an adventure far away from making pizzas and washing dishes. As my old coworker, Matt also knew the struggle and strains of being a Pieologist and knew how important it was to unwind after an arduous week of work.

Although I was running on four hours of sleep, I was up and at it by five in the morning and we were on our way down to SD by 6 am! It would probably be best to make a list of all of our steps…. yes, a list. (cue satisfied chuckle)

  1. The Menu: By the time we arrived in San Diego, we were hungry for some good ol’ breakfast! Matt took us to one of his favorite hole-in-the-wall spots and I had a delectable french toast with acai and fresh berries… just thinking about it now is making my mouth water.
  2. Pacific Beach: One of the cool things about this beach is that there are houses on the pier that it seems like couples or families can retreat to and rent out during the summer or whenever they feel like having a taste of the salty waves when they first wake up in the morning. There was also a neat community clean-up effort going on and if I was dressed properly for the occasion I would have gladly joined! Matt and I walked along the beach and I was really impressed by the hip-looking bars and little knick-knack shops adorning the sidewalk.
  3. Junipero Serra Museum: We thought that there would be a sick view of San Diego at the top of the museum, but to our disappointment, the balcony door was locked! But it was all good. We saw an old-fashioned wheat grinder. And I learned that San Diego is one of the four Presidios in California, along with none other than my beloved SF!
  4. Old Town: This place was oozing with Mexican culture, and I loved every bit of it! I could totally envision myself spending a good part of my day on a date in that area, walking through the streets of Old Town with its historic monuments and structures…
  5. Gas Lamp District: This was definitely the downtown of San Diego; it reminded me a lot Denver, with all its bars, shops, and eateries. Matt and I went to The Neighborhood, this modern bar that gave off a pastoral feel with its woodwork and extremely friendly bartenders. I had “Reverend Nat’s Revival Cider;” it tasted so crisp and sweet! Honestly, it was hardly a draught and probably had very little alcohol content, but little ol’ light-weight me was feeling rather tipsy after barely drinking half of it… you can only imagine what I was feeling after finishing the whole glass! This was also my first time day-drinking ever, and I found that it was different from night-drinking in a thrilling, exhilarating sort of way! Let’s just say that it made walking through the beautiful streets of Gas Lamp more fun than a sober stroll would be.
  6. Phil’s BBQ: By the time we were back in the car, I was craving Phil’s badly! It’s been on my list for years to go to San Diego for some Phil’s BBQ, because everybody that I know that has tried it says that it is much better than Lucille’s– cheaper, bigger portions, and much more flavorful! Luckily, we didn’t have to go through the hour wait that most people endure to have a taste of delicious, falling-off-the-bone, saucy baby back ribs….! And it sure did not disappoint. The ribs and the onion rings were everything that I expected and wanted it to be. By the end of the meal, I was sleepy (from being deprived this week), buzzed (still!), and on a massive food coma. I felt sluggish, but it was a good kind of sluggish. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! I can’t wait until the next time that I’ll get to try Phil’s again.
  7. Ocean Beach: This was honestly the best end to our trip. Upon arrival, we were surprised to see this grand street fair with numerous street food, cultural vendors, and grungy live bands playing on various stages. I don’t even know how many streets the festival occupied or what it even was, but it was so amazing. I felt like I was being transported to a whole new setting and people were so wild and carefree… just like in the Bay Area. It really hit home for me. And my day could not have ended better after I met my new teammate, Marlayna! She is incredibly sweet and genuine and I am excited to see what’s in store with her for the whole year.

I really needed this trip. Badly. I’ve been so exhausted and grumpy from work, and the SoCal heat has been really hard on my Oakland-tempered body. And to make matters worse, I’ve been feeling so homesick; I can’t wait to go back to Holy Names and be near the city that I love so much. However, the most amazing revelation from my daycation was that San Diego was very reminiscent of San Francisco and Oakland! It was gloomy, overcast, with random bursts of sprinkling. There were houses on hills that we can spot from a distance and for a split second I thought I was looking at San Francisco (my eyes sure can be deceiving). The festival/street fair in Ocean Beach reminded me a lot of First Friday in Oakland. Actually, it was eerily similar, what with the culture and the hippies dancing in the streets and all. Also, the fact that San Diego had a Presidio just like San Francisco surprised me; I didn’t know that! And all in all, I felt that the people in SD were just so friendly and loose like the people in the Bay and I really appreciated that break from the tough streets of LA. Since I’ve passed my half-way mark of my summer break, I think this trip was exactly what I needed to keep me going until August. It gave me a refreshing taste and reminder of wonderful SF and Oakland, and for that I am very grateful. Although it still doesn’t hold a candle to San Francisco for me, San Diego has won a piece of my heart with its a quaint little beach-town-feel, probably adventurous nightlife, and hippie folks. I’ll be back, SD!

  The Menu

 Pacific Beach

 A rad view from the museum

 Old Town– a cross between old western feels and Mexican vibes

 I told him to take a picture with it!

 I hadn’t drunk in over a month.. I blame my low tolerance on that fact!

 Gas Lamp District

 I think fire escapes are my second favorite structures of all time… after bridges, of course

 Do you feel your taste buds tingling??

 Wacky street fair at Ocean Beach

Met the beautiful Marlayna Durant, future HNU Hawk!


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