San Diego: Uncovered

Last week I was hanging out with some people at a bonfire and one, whom I’ll just call X, offered to show me some of the sights and sounds of San Diego sometime.  Especially have hearing that I haven’t really been south of La Jolla since I’ve been here.  So Friday afternoon, I headed down to La Jolla to meet my tour guide.  We started working our way south and the plan was to just see and explore as we went.  I learned a TON about the city on this adventure and will hit some of the highlights here, in the approximate order in which we saw them.

First stop, Pacific Beach, where we parked and wandered down the pier (which oddly enough is part of a hotel, with “rooms” on the pier).  After walking around Garnet Ave, we jumped in the car to move on south through Mission Beach.  I learned that I need to go to a breakfast place called “The Mission” and a restaurant/bar/entertainment center known as the “Wave House” where you can sit and eat and drink while surfers ride the perfect wave in a pool in front of you.  Interesting…

Mission Beach/Bay is also home of tons of sailing clubs and will be the site of my SheRox triathlon.  Below that is Ocean Beach, where there is another pier (the only other pier being up north in Oceanside… a journey for another day).  After watching the fishermen here, we stopped for dinner at the South Beach Bar & Grille where I enjoyed my first fish tacos!  Those of you not from around here probably don’t know what a rite of passage this was.  I had one wahoo and one yellowfin, both were absolutely amazing.  I’m so sorry I have turned my nose up at the idea.  But I still refuse to like/try tuna.

Sunset Cliffs

From OB we continued along the coast to find Sunset Cliffs, a spot even X hadn’t been.  Much to my enjoyment, we found them and even witnessed the end of a wedding!  The cliffs were really cool and I could see myself hanging out there on a random day.  You’ll see in the pictures above that it was overcast on Friday (a rare thing here) but you get the idea.  After the cliffs, we tried to get to Point Loma. I say tried because apparently they close at 5pm.  It was almost 7… but we just parked and walked around the barricade, up the hill to the Old Lighthouse (below) and then around to look down on the New Lighthouse.  The more impressive part of Point Loma is the view of the city center, but my pictures weren’t awesome in the light so I’ll have to go back on a sunny day.

The Old Lighthouse at Point Loma

From there we turned inland to explore Balboa Park.  Now, I’ve been to the zoo but nothing else and we probably walked 3-4 miles around the grounds just checking out all the buildings, architecture, people, etc.  It was really fun and we stumbled upon a pedestrian bridge to nowhere at one point!  We also sat in the grass to listen to the really amazing karaoke going on… it was a live (high school) band with monitors for the sweet sixteen girls to sing along with them.  Wow. So entertaining 🙂

The bridge to nowhere

It was quite late at this point, well maybe like 9:30pm, so we headed to Hillcrest for some night life.  This is the most gay-friendly neighborhood of the city and was very alive at night, we put our people-watching skills to good use.  After that, we pretty much called it a night but had a few missing sections of our tour so we agreed to meet up again to finish on Saturday.

Number one on Saturday’s tour was Old Town.  This is a section of San Diego that is really unique.  It’s almost out of an old western movie because a lot of the original buildings have been preserved from the missions that really founded San Diego.  It has also become QUITE touristy, but does seem to have a lot of restaurants as well.  My favorite of the quaint shops?  The Old Town House of Jerky & Root Beer. One, does that really fit in with the mainly Mexican vibe?  Not so much.  Two, they have SO MANY kinds of root beer!  Jerky does nothing for me, so I skipped that.  But the mix and match six-packs of root beer.  Sign me up!  I have had two so far and don’t worry, there will be a blog about that once I finish them… so good though!

Root beers of the world?

From Old Town we wandered around through some of the smaller neighborhoods (many with their own sign over the road welcoming you… which is apparently a thing here).  Then we decided on a Moroccan restaurant called Kous Kous, which was in Hillcrest again if I’m not mistaken.  It was SO good, so good… but I’ll have to write a separate post for that to really do it justice.  For now, I’m going to wrap it up and give props to X for showing me parts of SD it would’ve taken me months, if not years, to find on my own!

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