The only unfortunate thing about doing a spring co-op is that there’s only one day that you know you’re going to get off from work: Memorial Day. Deciding what to do for the long weekend is difficult because you actually have the time to travel if you wanted to, but then again staying home and sleeping in is always a good option. I opted for the former option, and in early April I booked myself a ticket to San Diego, California to visit some good friends from school.
Before January, I’d never stepped foot on the west coast, so the thought of hitting the most South Western point of the continental US was a pretty cool moment for me. I woke up early on Saturday for my flight, and by 12pm, I was sitting in my friends car with In N Out in my hand. I give the burger an 8/10, and the fries a 5/10, but I would definitely hit it up again. Due to my early morning, I crashed on my friends couch once I had settled in, and woke up with 10 minutes remaining in the Maryland/Hopkins men’s lacrosse game. Soon enough it was time to head to my other friends house for a girls night in. I was taken out to a real sushi place where we were fed probably 8 plates of different kinds of sushi, fried crab, and crispy rice. It was by far the best sushi I’ve ever had in my life. We got home from dinner around 10, put on a movie, and I quickly passed out on the couch.
On Sunday morning I got to sleep in until 9am, which is definitely a long time these days, before getting up and heading out for Sunday morning brunch. We went to this restaurant in La Jolla called the Coffee Cup, where I had breakfast tacos. I had more Mexican food in the span of three days than I have in the past two months. It was absolutely delicious and I would definitely go back if I ever find myself in La Jolla again. Post breakfast we needed a quick walk, so we headed down to the beach where I got my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. I saw some Sea Lions tanning on the beach, and I was able to dip my toes in the ocean for a few minutes. Hopefully before I leave Seattle I’ll be able to see the Pacific Ocean from the most western point, Cape Alava. Later that night, my friends family was going to a graduation party, and I was invited to come along with them, and for the first time I saw Mexico; I mean it was from a distance, but it was still there. After hours of games and a-Capella singing with the graduate, we headed home for a good nights sleep.
The next day was going to be filled with some more touristy stuff, which included the San Diego Zoo and hiking Cowles Mountain. We were lucky enough to see some of the youngest members of the zoo, which included a five day old giraffe, five month old gorilla, and a young jaguar cub. After 2.5 hours of walking around it was time to find some grub, so we stopped at a small Mexican place where I had a gigantic burrito. After a quick nap, we drove out to Cowles Mountain, which is the tallest peak in San Diego at 1500+ feet above sea level. It was such a different hike than I’m used to because there are no trees on the mountain, only shrubs and bushes, and this is mainly due to the fact that we were practically in the desert, so the entire hike up, I could see the view and how much higher we were getting. When hiking at home, or in the PNW, the entire trail is typically surrounded by trees until you reach the summit or a clearing of some sort, and the best you get of what is to come is by peeking through the trees. Hiking up Cowles, I could always see where we were headed, where we were, and how high we were climbing. When I got to the top, I hit the bell on the marker and soaked in my accomplishment before heading back down. My friends parents made tacos for dinner with the best guac I have ever tasted, and soon enough we sank into the couch to watch the hockey game.
I would say that my first trip to California was definitely a success. I got to see some friends that I hadn’t seen in months, I was able to explore a new city and see things I’ve never seen before. I definitely want to explore more of California, Yosemite is on my list, as is San Francisco and LA. Someday maybe I’ll get to travel there, but in the mean time, I’ve got the memories of San Diego to get me through however long that may take. I’m really enjoying the west coast, and coming out here was definitely something that I needed to do even though I didn’t realize it until right now.
I’ve only got four more weeks out here, and I’m ready to make them the most memorable four weeks yet, filled with adventures and exploring.