Jan 30-Feb 5, 2017
A surf trip to San Diego is the perfect mid-winter getaway. It is a much needed booster shot of outdoor embrace. The daily surfing provided aerobic ocean adventure,
while HomeAway hooked me up with the greatest ocean view home,
right beside D Street Beach, in the heart of Encinitas…a short walk to all!
The surfing was epic and safe, thanks to the savvy Corey’s Wave instructor guidance. I’d go with no one else.
So yes, we live on the East Coast and have for a long time, but every time I arrive in Cali mid-winter I instantly find myself questioning why I don’t live there year round. The outdoor living and healthy, adventure filled lifestyle are hard not to fall in love with.
That house was perched on a bluff with full panoramic Pacific ocean views was more than the perfect start.
The palm trees and sunshine and balmy breezes were enticing. The surf sessions at Swami’s were invigorating, captivating, terrifying at times, and infinitely beautiful at others.
The waves I caught made me cry with delight and the waves that caught me up in their power made me choke and panic.
The memory of that handsome sleeky seal that popped up in front of me to share my wave was a beautiful connection to the sea that sits with me like a friend. And for a brief moment I thought I might hit him right in the whiskers with my fiberglass board as I rode down the face of that wave. But he was too smart and savvy to let that happen. Clearly, seals are sea stewards, and I was just a kooky visitor he barely took notice of.
I was giddy with the dolphin sightings as we sat in the lineup waiting for a set to come through. Watching the dolphins jump out of the water and then ride inside the waves held me transfixed and envious. I wanted to ride the waves that way!
Then the ultimate joy overtook the surfing amateurs and pros alike, when whales soared fully up and out of the water not too far beyond the line up. With no cell phone or GoPro to capture it, I was left to sit astride my board and pause, simply making gleeful noises at having witnessed such ocean majesty in motion.
The nightlife was better on weekends for sure, but chill and relaxing fun on the weekdays. The beer out here was fantastic, and healthy food choices were abundant. But so was Mexican food!
After surfing in the morning, it’s easy and worth it to explore the surrounding area. We found a lot to love about DelMar’s shops (Frustrated Cowboy is still my favorite!) and nightlife (L’Auberge DelMar has great live music in the lobby!) and dining (Jake’s is the best, especially the tables by the water!).
We also had one of the best sunset experiences of my life at the Glider Port at Torrey Pines. Walking all the way down to Black’s Beach was like being in a movie.
The scenery just kept getting better and better. Everything about that area was gorgeous. The wind was too calm this time, but I will definitely go paragliding or hang gliding next time! And Black’s Beach is not only clear water and full of great surf to ride, but it is also a nude beach, which was quite an odd surprise! 🙂
Intel to help you plan your own San Diego trip:
Accomodations: L’Auberge Del Mar, HomeAway
Transportation: An Enterprise rental car worked well. That shuttle from the airport is what you you need to do to rent any cars at San Diego airport! If you get a mini van or a sedan or small SUV then you can bring it across the border to Mexico, just as long as you purchase Mexican insurance at the airport.
Food: Market Del Mar for top notch dinner, Raul’s for Mexican food for lunch, great smoothies are adjacent to that, Juanita’s is awesome true Mexican, Better Buzz for morning coffee and breakfast sandwiches, Filiberto’s late night Mexican, Take out Cardiff Crack, Papagauyu, Kitchen and Taps near Swami’s was highly recommended and looked awesome, but I ran out of time before I could check it out. Next time!
Nightlife/music: Playing pool at The Saloon (a dive bar), insane beer selection at Biergarten, First Street Bar for weekend dancing, Jake’s in Del Mar, L’Auberge Del Mar for awesome live music in the lobby, Belly Up at Solana Beach is a great concert venue, The Coyote Bar & Grill in Carlsbad for karaoke and outdoor live music and dancing…so fun!
Shopping: Frustrated Cowboy in DelMar for really stylish boots, shirts, purses and belts, Detour Salon & Store for haircuts and fun clothing, Flashbacks for cool vintage (I got Frye boots 2nd hand and broken in perfectly and so much less than original price). Progression Surf shop in Leucadia for board rental, wax, sunblock, fun billabong dresses
Adventure/sports: Torrey Pines Gliderport, Black’s Beach at Torrey Pines, Swami’s beach for surfing, D Street Beach for swimming and surfing, Corey’s Wave surf instructors (the absolute best on both coasts!!).