I had the pleasure of spending Memorial Day weekend in San Diego with my wonderful friend Jen. We have been friends since our first day of college in 1995, when we were assigned to be freshman year roommates. And after all this time, we had never taken a trip together! It was something we’d been talking about now for like…oh, probably six years since our oldest children were born.  Thus, we were very happy to be setting off on a little (much needed) vacation together!

We flew out Thursday morning, and given the two hour time difference on the west coast, had an extra two hours in our initial afternoon in San Diego. After getting our rental car (a beautiful snow white Impala!) and checking into our hotel (the W downtown- thanks to Jen’s husband for letting us use his points to stay there gratis), our first most necessary stop was for pedicures.

(at some unknown point on the trip I lost these dumb flip-flops that I had just purchased. How one loses flip-flops is a mystery).

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We walked around the Gaslamp quarter a bit afterwards, relaxed in our room, and then headed out rather early for dinner as we hadn’t eaten anything since the MSP airport. We came with a few restaurant recommendations, and decided to try one out for our first night. The place we chose ended up being a wine bar with minimal food options, which would have been fine except we were starved.

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Also, the flight of sangria sucked, 1/3 of my wine flight sucked, and the bartender told us we were ordering WAY too much food when we placed a food order. We finished all of it, natch. Even the cheese that tasted like coconut. Anyway, this place was pretty lame for what we were hoping for our first night on the town, but we took it in stride and were back in our hotel room by like 9pm reading our respective books:) And loving it!

Friday: We had breakfast on the sunny outdoor patio at the hotel and then made our way to Coronado Island. Most well known for the famous Hotel del Coronado, the island is a quaint little destination with lots of cute shops and a relaxed mood. Perfect for us. We did a little shopping, and then had lunch on the patio of the del, overlooking the ocean in front of us and the pool behind us. It was lovely. After that we hit the beach for the rest of the afternoon, until it was time for a little more shopping and some malts.

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(this one below was me testing out my camera and comparing the images to the ones made on Jen’s camera, and me proving that my camera is CRAP. and I need a new one. And that Jen looks terrific no matter what camera is used!)

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Just look at the beach here!

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We bought matching nautical BFF necklaces…

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Did I mention we finished up the day with malts? Man I love traveling with people who like to eat.

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That night we had dinner in Little Italy. And then back to the hotel we went to read our books and fall asleep early.

Saturday: Substantial breakfast at hotel, which we regretted once we arrived at the SD farmer’s market in Little Italy and wanted to try some of everything at the food stands. The produce was amazing, and grown year round. Still can’t wrap my head around a place where you can grow produce year round. I bought carrots, some flavored salts, and a glass of raspberry lime juice.

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After the market, we drove north to Torrey Pines Park Reserve where we did some hiking amidst spectacular views.

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On the trail. We were on red alert for rattlesnakes the entire time. Right when we parked to start hiking a family had just finished a hike, and had JUST SEEN a rattlesnake.

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The rocky, sandy trails led us down to the beach.

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The same beach where I learned that Jen’s goal for this trip was to take lots of jumping pictures!

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I do love me some ocean. Didn’t she capture my emotions accurately?

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the Torry Pine tree

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Later that evening after some down time in the hotel, we enjoyed the most excellent dining experience of the trip at Cucina Urbana. Our MN-grown bartender treated us well with the cocktails, and then we dined on suckling pig and chopped salad and pizza and pasta and doughnuts….oh my! I’d return to this restaurant in a heartbeat.

Sunday: Our last full day. We had set this day aside to spend in La Jolla. It was another gorgeous sunny day with puffy clouds and a nice cool sea breeze. We walked along by the ocean and saw lots of seals and more splendid California views.

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We strolled through the town and perused a few shops, and then ate lunch at another farmer’s market. Followed by a piece of key lime cake the size of my head. We hung out for much of the afternoon, reading in the sun and relaxing. We decided to drive back south through Mission and Pacific Beaches, and since it was Sunday of a holiday weekend could not find one single place to park. So we never hung out in this area, just did a quick drive-thru.

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This was the view of the beaches and San Diego, as we were heading out of La Jolla.

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We didn’t want to call it a day quite yet, so we continued driving onto Point Loma, famous for its sunset cliffs and Cabrillo National Monument. We walked around in a few different areas watching surfers from above. On our way to the monument we came across a military cemetery that was all decorated for Memorial Day (we missed the monument anyway- it had closed hours earlier.)  IMG_0055 IMG_2297

In addition to jumping, Jen was really excited to photograph lots of migratory birds!

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We had accomplished lots of sightseeing this day, and sought out some fish tacos to end the day at Point Loma Seafoods. We got there JUST in time…mine was the last order they took for the night. After eating, we walked down the little dock area where all sorts of fishing boats were docked for the night. We were surprised by a giant seal that appeared out of nowhere right next to us as we were walking along (a blind seal, nonetheless). Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the seal. I did steal these few from Jen though…

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Monday: Our last morning we walked down to Seaport Village and along the marina. We thought we deserved one last treat before heading to the airport, so we strolled back to Little Italy for some iced coffee, a canoli, and gelato. That’s how we roll.

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And then it was time to leave the land of sun, breeze, surf, sand, SUN, to return to the overcast rainy midwest. The San Diego weather is just about perfect if you ask me. And I could easily turn myself into a Californian, no problemo.

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There’s the Grand Canyon! We flew right over.

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This trip was AWESOME in every respect. Jen, so glad we made it happen, and it definitely needs to become a tradition! (Also…I think you fell asleep before I did three out of four nights. WHAT?!?!?)

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