It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I had a wonderful time in sunny San Diego and a horrible time trying to get Air Canada to find and send me my luggage. This post also happens to be a tale of two cities after this airline cancelled my flight to San Diego and rerouted me to L.A. 16 hours later. When I reflect on this trip, memories of the salty sea air, beautiful beaches and sunshine mixed with torture, fighting daily with Albert (manager from Air Canada's Central Baggage Office), washing my face with a bar of soap and using sunscreen as a follow-up moisturizer all come flooding back to me at once.
Did I mention I was travelling with a 5 month old and a 3 year old? This made lost baggage especially terrible. I think I had what they call an epiphany when my 5 month old crapped though her last outfit. It should have been my breaking point but; luckily, it happened in a Target and I went into survival mode like a Walking Dead member in a post-apocalyptic store pulling the necessary items off of the shelves. I learned I was a fighter and began to look at the entire situation this way. I decided that for each con I was thrown, I would find a pro.
CON: Travelling for 16 hours straight with a baby and toddler
PRO: I made it, so I'm booking a trip to Hawaii or Australia next year with the kids. It won't be a problem!
CON: Paying to spend a night in an airport hotel in L.A. while also paying for a beach house in San Diego.
PRO: I got to drive Highway 101 from L.A. to San Diego the next day.
CON: I had nothing and was travelling with a toddler and an infant.
PRO: The house stayed clean.
CON: All of our stuff was temporarily lost.
PRO: We were eventually styled by Air Canada and Target. My husband, Francisco, particularly enjoyed the Star Wars line.
So the trip eventually got better (But before that happened, a black cat literally walked in our path; my brand new Target sandals were washed away in the ocean; I lost my Baby Bjorn and a brand new Turkish towel that basically claimed I would get dry just looking at it; Air Canada permanently lost our car seat; and, being in the U.S., we forgot about that pesky RRSP deadline date). Here are the things I thoroughly enjoyed, and you'll know they're good because they made me happy even while I was stuck in a vortex of bad luck.
1. Coast Highway Route from L.A. to San Diego I definitely didn't intend to make this drive, but as mentioned in my con list, I had to get myself to San Diego after Air Canada's little mishap. Luckily, it was a great drive. Around San Diego, there are some great beach communities you should definitely check out if you are in the area: Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana, Del Mar, Solana and La Jolla. This link offers a lot of information about each area and recommends some great things to do (beaches, attractions, shops, restaurants, coffee joints, pubs and sightseeing). We took a little detour and also went through Torrey Pines Golf Course and Mission Beach.
2. The USS Midway Museum This aircraft carrier is voted the #1 thing to do in San Diego and is described as "a city at sea." An adult admission ticket to the ship costs $20 (Children under 5 are free) and includes a very interesting audio tour. The ship itself contains many exhibits, 29 restored air crafts (Including a jet from Top Gun), and a lot of history. There is an old post office, cafeteria, barber and even a jail. They also have these human robots that tell you stories and the realness of them (e.g laugh lines, visible pores, receding hairlines and stained teeth) absolutely terrified me.
If you get hungry while you're there, you can eat your packed lunch or buy something from The Faintail Cafe aboard the ship. They have a wide-variety of food items, and some items are from the ship's 1945 cookbook. They even serve Starbucks coffee, beer and wine. You can eat on outdoor patios that overlook San Diego and the waterfront.
My favourite part of the ship was the flight deck. I'm not sure if it was because I got to enter a helicopter via a rear ramp or because it was funny to watch my 3 year old son's response to it: Break into a 15 minute long excitement dance (Pictured below).
3. Solana Beach ââThis city is about 30 minutes outside of San Diego and definitely worth the drive. There are great restaurants, pubs, shopping and, of course, beaches in this community. Numbers 4-6 on my list cover things to do in Solana Beach, but you should know that I particularly enjoyed San Diego BeerWorks (437 S. Highway 101, suite 7) as it had a friendly and fun atmosphere with a wide variety of local beer. They offer tastings and their employees are more than happy to help you choose a great beer. If you do get to Solana Beach, try stop in here.
4. Fletcher Cove This beach has a very easily accessible public access point with a parking lot and free street parking. It is "located at 111 S. Sierra, at the end of Plaza Street where Lomas Santa Fe Boulevard meets the beach." It is a great place to relax on the beach, watch surfers (Or take pictures of them and their cool tiger boards).
5. Seascape Surf This quiet and uncrowded beach is just south of Fletcher Cove and can be accessed by a pathway and staircase at 501 S. Sierra Drive. This stretch of the beach is enclosed by 90 foot cliffs and great for beach walks, jogs and watersports.
6. Del Mar North Beach (AKA Dog Beach)This beach had volleyball nets, a hiking trail up the North Bluff Preserve and dogs...lots of dogs. The hike offered an amazing view of the beach, the San Dieguito River meeting the ocean and The Del Mar racetrack. If you're looking for an extra workout, bring an infant and toddler.
7. Cedros Design District This shopping district was so fun to walk as it was a street filled with shops, spas, restaurants and coffee shops. The stores had unique and trendy home decor; I wanted to buy everything I saw. Unfortunately, I didn't have room in my suitcase...actually, scratch that. I didn't have a suitcase to bring anything home in.
8. La Jolla Cove This beach town is not to be missed. According to trip Advisor, it is ranked #3 among the best 25 beaches in the U.S. and it is a great spot for seal viewing.
9. Legoland This place is great for a 3 year old...and an adult who would choose to clothe themselves in a Star Wars line, if ever presented with the opportunity. The tickets were pricey ($88 each), but there was a lot to see and do. My 3 year old drove a car, boat, and helicopter and rode a ship, horse and a roller coaster. It was easily the best day of his life.
I really enjoyed Miniland USA, where cities are recreated out 20 million pieces of lego. This exhibit ended with recreations of famous movie scenes. It was here we parted ways with Francisco for the day as we stumbled into the Star Wars section. We were asked to meet him back at the underwater scene of the Planet of Noboo at the end of the day. Also the best day of his life.
What did I miss? What are your favourite things to do in and around San Diego? Leave your suggestions in the comment section for others to see.
My name is Sara and I love finding new things to do in a new city. This website is an attempt to share the things that excite me in a new place through stories, photos, lists, travel tips and tricks.