Hey everyone! I got back from baby mooning in San Diego a couple weeks ago...and I gotta say, Toronto is rude. It's a frigid -25c and there's snow on the ground. After spending four days in sunny and 70-75 weather, home was a rude awakening.
That aside, I wanted to let you guys know how I spent four days in beautiful San Diego, California! This trip was a hella-lot different than most vacations! I couldn't hike, surf, kayak, go whale watching, ride scooters or bicycles lol. Instead, we enjoyed a lot of low-key things and soaked up the gorgeous sunny weather!
I personally am a huge fan of extra-long weekend travel over a week/two weeks away. By shortening trips I can go on more. HOWEVER, this was one trip I probably could have enjoyed a few extra days on top of what we booked. I had such a tough time coming home from this vacation knowing that I won't be able to travel again until likely, November (we are hoping to go to Hawaii for our first family vacation). But that's okay - this vacation was still perfect and Bryon celebrated his 37th birthday while we were there as well!
We chose San Diego for a couple reasons: no zika, Bryon has been before and loves it, we both love California, the weather isn't too hot and not too cold, the ocean.
I had a loose list of things I wanted to do. Usually I'm the planner, but with the limited things I could do, we enjoyed a lot of free time just relaxing rather than hurrying from place to place.
Check out what we did below the photos!
(Old Town, San Diego)
(Baby bump at La Jolla)
(La Jolla Surfer)
(Children's Pool, La Jolla)
(In 'n Out Burger)
(Admiring my Homer Donut from Donut Bar)
(Our selections from Donut Bar)
(La Jolla Cove)
(My face is getting a little bit swollen from pregnancy lol. This is at Holy Matcha in North Park)
(Coffee in La Jolla)
(Hanging with the giraffes at the San Diego Zoo)
(Lazy Seals at Children's Pool, La Jolla)
(Holy Matcha - the donuts and avocado toast are unreal)
(A Monkey at the San Diego Zoo)
(Coffee break with B in La Jolla)
We got in Friday morning around 11:30am, which meant we were exhausted because we obviously had a very early flight. 8am to be exact. And because of the government shut down in the U.S we needed to get to the airport earlier than usual. We stayed in Gaslamp Quarters. This is a perfect spot to stay if you're having a girls or guy's weekend away or if you plan on enjoying the nightlife in San Diego. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and it wasn't too bad! There are TONS of really great restaurants to eat at and stop in a cocktail in this area. I so excited to see a Tin Roof (a Nashville bar) and we went in for a drink (Bryon drank lol) and listened to the live music, which was really fun. Fifth & Rose and Searsucker looked like super cute places for drinks and a bite to eat as well. We went to a few random places and obviously stopped at Ghiradelli for ice cream sundaes and to stock up on chocolate - it's a must! Otherwise, we spent the day wandering in that area, and at one point went back to the hotel for a quick nap to recharge before heading back out.
Knowing we both had to work as soon as we got back, we decided to do our best to stick to our own time zone - early mornings, early evenings. It worked in our favour! We went to bed early Friday night and woke up early the next morning so we could get ready and get out the door. Saturday was BRYON'S 37TH BIRTHDAY!! We rented a car for the day to we could explore areas outside Gaslamp. Our first stop was North Park - a very cool neighbourhood that reminded me of a super quiet Queen West, Toronto. We got matcha lattes, avocado toast and shared a chocolate matcha donut for breakfast at Holy Matcha (cute little Instagram-worthy spot with delicious snacks and matcha). You will never experience better avocado toast than the one they serve here! After that we drove to La Jolla. Ohhhh La Jolla!!! Next time we come here we will for sure be staying in La Jolla. Seaside, it has lots of restaurants and little shops and it's just a very relaxing area. Plus you can wander over to the Children's Pool and watch the seals hang out in the sun. There were lots of pups and they were so adorable. I probably could have stayed there all day. We ate at Duke's for dinner, which had a beautiful view. Put your name on the waiting list between 2:30pm and 3pm if you want to enjoy the sunset. The food was meh, but it was a really lively spot, there were tons of cocktails to choose from and the staff are super friendly. It was Bryon's birthday and they gave him this GIANT piece of Hula pie which is a vanilla ice cream cake sitting in a pool of chocolate with chocolate on top and macadamia nuts sprinkled over it. I'm allergic to nuts so I didn't indulge, but it looked amazing. Duke's seems to be the hot spot, along with George's and it's likely because of the views. We went down the street to have some coffee before dinner at a really cute little coffee shop - but I can't remember the name. If you're looking for Instagram-worthy, Parakeet Café would be a great spot to check out. In general, just walking along the shore path or the flat rocks is a great way to spend time in La Jolla. In La Jolla, you can surf if you're really experienced or you can join a kayak tour, which I think we would have done if I wasn't pregnant. Bryon didn't think I would be comfortable in a kayak, plus I have to pee every five minutes.
After we finished up at La Jolla, we took a scenic drive back to San Diego and dropped the car off at the rental place and took an Uber back to the hotel. I was tired at this point, but it was Bryon's birthday and we needed to celebrate a bit more hahaha. We went back into Gaslamp for a drink at one of the bars that was close by. There are so many places in Gaslamp to eat and drink, and if you sit on the patio or close to a window, it's great people watching haha. There's a pretty major homeless problem there, however. So be aware of this.
On Sunday we went to the zoo! I have a love-hate relationship with zoos. On one hand - some of the animals are rescues, nearly extinct and are protected by being in the zoo, and on the other hand I feel terrible for watching them while they are in cages on display while people push through the crowd to try and get their photo taken with an animal that is showing abnormal behaviour. However, I really enjoyed the San Diego zoo. I did love looking at the animals. The leopards were my favourite and I was excited when I saw the female hippo was a year older than I, and had a son named Tony who was born in 2017. They were very sweet. The zoo was SUPER busy, and honestly over-priced. For both Bryon and I it cost $150 USD, and the price was about $10 less than the adult ticket for a child. So you really need to be excited about going to the zoo to justify the expense. Since I'm pregnant, we had to skip out on kayaking and whale watching, and hiking too (in part because I have to pee ALLLLLLL the time, but also because my physical ability to do these things isn't quite there anymore), the zoo was our 'big' attraction expense, so it was okay. I still enjoyed it! We had the intention of walking through Balboa Park, but my feet were killing me from all the walking at the zoo, and Bryon was pretty tired too haha. So we did go back to the hotel and contemplated swimming until I saw myself in a bikini hahaha. We opted for heading to Old Town San Diego instead to watch the super bowl finals. HIGHLY RECOMMEND eating at Coyote Café here. It's a MASSIVE restaurants, great service, unreal food and an extensive margarita list. Bryon got a little tipsy that night hahaha. After we finished dinner we went across the street to a bar to watch the rest of the game. I really loved it here. It felt like we weren't even in San Diego.
It was a really chill trip! We had a few ideas of things we wanted to do, but for the most part we played it by ear. I'm really looking forward to going back again. Bryon loves California, so I have no doubts that we will be making multiple trips there. Next time we would love to stay at a boutique hotel or AirBnb in La Jolla. The beach areas were more our vibe, but I think if you're going to San Diego for the first time, Gaslamp District is a great place to stay!
If you have any questions about visiting San Diego, let me know!