San Diego Summer Getaway 2018

We spent a week in San Diego this past week and I thought it would be nice to do a post on what we were up to. San Diego is usually a great summer getaway for us. It also helps that my mom and my brothers live there so we try to escape to there whenever we can duck out from work.

At this time of year, it's humid and warm in San Diego and the beaches are amazing.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, we saw a lot of tourists. I think the secret is out and renting an AirBNB in Coronado, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, or La Jolla has become the thing to do.

As for us, we stay in our RV next to my mom's apartment. The RV is well-appointed and honestly, super romantic. Our bed is comfy, the kitchen does all a kitchen needs to do (so we can prepare and cook meals or fix a nice cup of tea or coffee), and the couch allows us to watch Dilbert before bed in comfy goodness. And, of course, there's a toilet though no shower. Believe it or not, RV life can be very cozy.

On the downside, every third day or so we have to take her (our RV) out to dump out the gray and black water tanks and fill up the main water tank. Fortunately, the Mission Bay RV dumping station (it's the best) is nearby and it's only a short drive away. So all in all, it's very nice and works out nicely for our dog and ourselves. We don't have to struggle to find a place that is dog-friendly whenever we travel and we enjoy being super close to most of the attractions in San Diego from my mom's Point Loma location.

Our main goal during our trip was to enjoy beach going activities, check out some of our favorite stores, and for me in particular, spend a little quality time with my mom. So on our first day, my mom, my brother, and his girlfriend and myself dropped in at China Max for a dim sum lunch. I love dim sum and I try to have some whenever we go to San Diego. China Max was just ok this time. Their shu mai dumplings did not impress me as in years past. Their turnip cake, on the other hand, is still pretty awesome. There's something about the mushy but crisp fatty goodness of turnip cake that harkens back to my childhood. It's very hard to mess it up! After lunch, we had a chilled evening in because we got up super early that day.

On our second day, we joined my mom and my little brother in their quest to buy a used car.  My brother found a car on craigslist and made an appointment to see it. Surprisingly to me, my mom and brother purchased the car within half an hour. Thankfully a visit to Fry's in the early evening drowned all my worries away about having purchased a lemon. At Fry's my husband and I played with the HTC Vibe virtual reality headset. It was awesome though very buggy. I had an amazing underwater experience in which I stood right next to a blue whale and my life was transformed. I can't wait until VR becomes mainstream, and affordable!

On our third day, we visited my brother's and his fiance's new apartment in Rancho Bernardo. They just moved out on their own and we were very curious to see how everything panned out. My brother looked so happy that I was incredibly happy for him too. He even showed us his new vegetable spiralizer and cordless vacuum! Aww, kids grow up and move on! C'est la vie! After dining at Claim Jumpers with the entire family, we spent the rest of that afternoon at Sunset Cliffs where we saw kids jump off the cliffs into the ocean, couples take wedding or engagement photos, people set up to enjoy the sunset with blankets and chairs and took in the different types of cars on the road and discussed which of those models we thought would become iconic in the future. It was lovely!

On our fourth day, we spent a great deal of time doing our online machine learning course in the morning. We then took our car to get smogged in our old neighborhood where we hiked through Tecolote Canyon and walked past our old house while we waited for our car to be done. I was excited to see all the renovations taking place in the neighborhood (as getting a feel for the economy is part of my business). In the afternoon, we decided to drive our RV to Fiesta Island to walk our dog and cook dinner. However, maddening problems ensued. The RV's home battery compartment completely ripped off from the wall (having been held only by the lip of the molded plastic box without support from the bottom) causing the kitchen sink's pipe to be knocked to one side and causing water to spill on the kitchen floor when the pipes got disconnected indicating something was wrong. As the sun set, we realized we needed to go to Home Depot for a drill and screws to fix it all up. Thankfully my little brother was available to pick us up and take us to Home Depot and my husband was handy enough to fix it. Disaster dealt with!

This sink had an interesting slid design in which water would fall. Have you ever seen anything like this before? Not me.
On our fifth day, we begrudgingly went to Tijuana to have some mechanical work done on our car, a Jeep Cherokee. I made arrangements the day before to bring in the 4x4 1990's Jeep Cherokee to have a new clutch installed and unfortunately, they did a shit job. They only hand tightened the bolts on the transmission giving my husband a near heart attack when he noticed and causing us to spend the afternoon tightening bolts. Thankfully many of the bolts had held on for dear life driving back from Tijuana. Too bad our regular mechanic was not available. The clutch, fortunately, felt as smooth as butter and I was thrilled to have dealt with that problem as it had begun scarily vibrating a few weeks beforehand. Although we were overcharged by the mechanic, and screws tightened with the strength of one Yuki (which isn't very strong), a new clutch is always a nice thing to have. My mom was also super instrumental in finding the mechanic's shop because I am awful at navigating Tijuana's streets and directions.

Tijuana was interesting. We had not been there in ages...ok, something like three years and usually just for quick business. In those three years, the city has changed. My mom was driving us around which probably eased us into the entire experience and it allowed me to really look. To my surprise, the city looked well taken care of, cleaner than usual, renovated and dazzling with fully completed real estate developments. It was nice!

While in Tijuana we stopped at the Hotel Lucerna to check out their events venue (someone I know is having a party there) in Zona Rio. I was impressed with the hotel's bridge over the pool. It looks just like a troll bridge from Troll Hunters, a cartoon on Netflix, and being the child that I am was delighted. The courtyard was generally beautiful and peaceful. We then we went to Puerto Nuevo in Rosarito to grab a lobster lunch.

In Puerto Nuevo, I had one awesome fluffy flour tortilla that I had been craving for a while and amazingly tasty lobster all with a view aka "the special." The light in Puerto Nuevo is always so amazing and glittery that it made me super happy to enjoy an early lunch with two of my favorite people. My husband and I had never been to that particular restaurant before. The menu was lackluster so I was very happy to select the special after my mom recommended it. After lunch, we headed back to Tijuana to check progress on our car and see if we had time to catch a movie. They were about halfway through the clutch job when we arrived back at the shop so we decided to head to Plaza Rio to catch a movie at the VIP theatre. At the VIP theatre, none of the movies on show caught our attention. Instead, we opted to get a coffee at the fancy Burger King and after an hour or so we decided to browse through one of the department stores. At around 3pm we headed back to the mechanic's shop but our guy was not done yet so we waited around. I do not recommend waiting around for your mechanic. It is a bad idea. He might forget to tighten the bolts because he's a nervous nelly.

On our last few days, we met up with our friend to do photography in Coronado of the San Diego skyline and catch up over beers.  We also strolled the Coronado boardwalk that ends at the Hotel Del Coronado and begins at a dog beach and while it was beautiful it also made me long to have a condo in Coronado. We also went electric scooter riding from Mission Bay to Pacific Beach with my brother and his girlfriend and enjoyed a beach stroll back. No trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to Torrey Pines and a bit of archery. We hiked Torrey Pines Broken Hill trail and went to the San Diego Archers club in Morley Field for my husband to enjoy shooting a few arrows while I walked the dog and listened to my favorite podcast, The Mustards.

Over the course of those last few days, I also spent some quality time with my mom watching cheesy foreign movies and talking about health. Besides that, on one of those early days during our trip, we dropped in at the Mission Valley Ikea which I thought looked rundown in general (maybe there's more traffic through the store which causes excessive wear and tear) and the quality and selection of the goods lackluster compared to years past. However, I must be living in LALA land as recently we dropped in at the Restoration Hardware outlet in Oxnard where I was sticker shocked, something that doesn't usually happen to me. They wanted $70 for a fork! A fork!

All in all, it was a very satisfactory trip. Although we did not enjoy much beach time we will probably be back in San Diego sometime before Thanksgiving. Too bad the water won't be warm anymore.

What's your favorite thing to do in San Diego?

With Love,


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