“So don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied, choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tide” – Garth Brooks
Miles traveled: 0.0
There is something so addicting about being by the ocean, where the waves break, and standing on the edge of America that is so intoxicating! I’m a water gal – I need the ocean near by to feel at home. This is something I have learned about myself over the past several years after growing up on the ‘edge of America’ in Charleston and enjoying the wonderful beaches that aren’t but a hop, skip, and a jump from town. Needless to say it has been too many days since I have seen the ocean – so I was excited to finally get to the other edge of America today. Per recommendation from my SAS pal, I headed up to Torrey Pines and La Jolla to check out the beaches and enjoy the Pacific coast. I don’t think you can really appreciate the size of the Pacific ocean until you have sailed across it over a 14 day period. I had the privilege of doing just that in 2004, and it was a truly humbling experience. To be anywhere near that giant just brings so many memories from 10 years ago! The coast along the Pacific in California is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. And to experience it on a day where it was sunny and 75 (and oddly a bit humid) was near perfection! I spent most of the morning hiking along the cliffs along the Pacific, watching the surfers mastering their sport, watching the brave people paragliding off the cliffs, and seeing nude folks boogie boarding (thankfully from quite a distance) on Blacks Beach. I think I could have sat there all day at those different beaches and been a happy camper!
After the morning at the beaches north of San Diego, I made my way to Escondido, CA to meet my good friend Nicole’s dad and step-mom for lunch at the one and only Stone Brewing Company. Stone is the proud brewer on one of my favorite porters – the Stone Smoked Porter – so I was excited to ‘meet the parents’ for lunch at Stone. We had a great lunch, sitting outside on the patio near the koi pond. Rick and Cindy Morris were the perfect blend of kind and hilarious while we chatted over lunch and a few craft beers. Great company and great (and entertaining) conversation makes for a wonderful experience in a far away town – so it was really great to meet them and I loved hearing about their future RV adventure around the US (I tried to sell them on the Airstream to no avail) that will take place “sometime in the next 20 years”! It was really a great lunch with genuinely nice people – I had a great time!
I walked out to the Jeep after lunch and realized there was a brewery tour in less than 30 minutes, so decided to stick around for that before heading to my next stops of the day. Great tour (for only $3) with a great tasting of 4 craft beers! I learned that San Diego has 112 craft breweries and has the largest number of craft breweries in one place in the world – who knew (well, I do now, but I didn’t before)! I also learned that South Carolina established the Stone Law recently to allow them to put a location there when Stone Brewing Company was determining where to establish their next facility, although ultimately they selected Richmond, VA. All in all a great time at Stone Brewery!
Next stop was my SAS reunion part 2 and I met Melissa and her friend, Elisabeth, for dinner at a great taco place near Balboa Park called Taco Perla. Dinner was great and I enjoyed getting to meet Elisabeth over some pretty delicious tacos! We walked over to Modern Times brewery to sample some of the local beers before heading to Balboa Park. Balboa Park was beautiful, even at night, and it provided a great view of the blue moon! The weather was pretty close to perfection and we found a seat in the park, listened to some live music, watched some interesting dancing, and swapped some entertaining stories (oddly enough the famed elephant story came up again!). After saying goodbye to my blast from the past SAS friend, I headed back to my hotel for a good night’s sleep, prepping for a day on the road tomorrow.
I will be back to San Diego in the future for sure! It is a great city, a place my dad called home in the Navy from 1970-72, and a place I wish I had planned more time for! It was so great catching up with Melissa and meeting Eric and Elisabeth – that was absolutely the best part of visiting San Diego and I cannot wait to come back!
Thanks to some wifi challenges (I will never understand how I can have full wifi strength and connection yet cannot get a page to load – hmpf), so this post is a bit later than usual!
Until next time…