Warming up in San Diego & the OC
Our roadtrip started and ended in Los Angeles. After sleeping in at our hotel close to LAX airport we picked up our car and drove south towards San Diego. The stretch between LA and SD is called Orange County (OC). All the beach towns in OC has their own vibe. We took a stop at Huntington beach on the way down. A surfers paradise. We also would have loved to stop by in Newport, a wealthy place where many series have been shot – OC being one. Unfortunately the only parking place available would have costed us something like 20 USD for an hour. We spent 30 minutes cruising the streets for a spot then gave up 😦 After that we hoped to manage to the annual dog surf competion in San Diego but instead we got stuck in a massive queue. I can tell you, our mood was not on top at that moment as we saw ourself spending our complete vacation in massive queues like this. Luckily, this was the first and worst…
We spent four nights in a cosy hostel in San Diego, in a sleepy neighbourhood in the area Point Loma. One day we visited the famous San Diego Zoo, documented in my last post. One day we went up the coast again, to Laguna Beach. The most picturesque of all the OC beachtowns. There we had a date with my old friend Hanna. A finnish girl I got to know when I lived in Amsterdam many years ago. She is living in LA nowadays. It was great to see her after many years 🙂 We had fish tacos at famous Taco Loco and the coffee with a view.
On our last day we went to the nice coastal neighbourhood La Jolla, in northern San Diego. There we had great Korean lunch and strolled along the shore. There were many sea lions to be seen and many charming and daring squirrels. We enjoyed the fresh air, preparing ourself for the desert heat to come.
To summarize those first days I have to admit San Diego did not completely live up to my high expectations. The zoo was great and La Jolla charming and relaxed. But we didn´t like the famous downtown area “Gaslamp Quarter” at all, nor the atmosphere along some of the beach communities in the city. Despite this we loved our hostels and the great free pancakes every morning. It was a great place to unwind. After all, this was the place were we spent the most time on the entire trip. And even though the gay district Hillcrist was just three uncharming and empty streets (when we visited), a rainbow cake can make anyone smile. And a beautiful sunset over the ocean might sometimes be enough to relax the mind. But the absolutely best memory from OC and SD is the amazing Mexican fusion food, the most famous dish being FISH TACOS. They are cheap, healthy and yummy!