Tuesday, March 5, 2013

California Part 2

Day 5, Wednesday:

On Wednesday we relaxed in the morning and then I met my blogger friend, Sarah, for lunch. Her office was conveniently only 3 minutes down the street from our motel! RJ drove me to meet her on his way to the library to print some documents.

We had a great lunch at this fun place called Lemonade. Again, full of healthy and inexpensive options and (surprise!) really great lemonades. I got a cucumber mint lemonade that was really good.

After lunch, we walked back to Sarah's office and the views of the ocean were incredible.

RJ came back by to pick me up and we went back to the motel to get changed and head to the beach. I took a long walk and RJ played guitar.

Darn Los Angeles and their crowded beaches!

This picture makes it look deserted and that wasn't the case. There were people there, just not the swarms of people you'd expect the way people talk about LA.

We stayed at the beach for awhile and watched the sunset there.

For dinner, we decided it was time we got some California Sushi! We found a place close to our motel and had some really good sushi.

Day 6, Thursday

On Thursday we decided to head to San Diego to check that area out! It's about 2 hours south of Los Angeles. We had done some research earlier in the week and decided we wanted to eat at the most authentic Lebanese restaurant we could find while we were out in the LA area.

We found a place in Anaheim called "The Olive Tree" that, according to reviews online, had the best, most authentic Lebanese. We have a Lebanese restaurant here in Akron that is one of my favorites.

Think hummus, falafel, pita bread, tabouli, baba ganoush.. all that good stuff.

We decided to hit The Olive Tree on our way to San Diego so got all packed up and checked out. We told the motel we were going to leave for the night and be back Friday, and they were really cool about refunding the one night and crediting our account. To give you an idea of how inexpensive it is to stay out there (at non-peak season anyway) - our hotel in Manhattan Beach, LA was $79/night and we stayed at a Motel 6 downtown San Diego for $62 Thursday night. I'm not saying it was fancy or anything but we had everything we needed and a good, clean bed and bathroom. The Crimson in Manhattan beach even had a pool, hottub, continental breakfast, shampoo and a hairdryer for that $79 - and a 5 minute drive to the beach. Right up our alley!

Anyway, we checked out and headed toward San Diego and found The Olive Tree. I'm so glad we did - we loved it! They had all these beautiful plants set up around the patio and of course we sat outside. Thursday and Friday were the nicest days of our trip (coaxing us not to leave on Saturday..) and it was 75 and sunny.

The food was absolutely delicious - definitely the best Lebanese I've ever had! It was so authentic that we were the only non-Lebanese patrons! I can't wait to go back someday.

We got to San Diego around 3:30pm and went straight to Torrey Pines State Park. We parked at the top of the hill, changed into tennis shoes and did a nice, long hike down to the beach. The scenery was beautiful and I was jealous of the "locals" on the trail that didn't feel the need to be snapping pictures, because they see it all the time.

After the hike, we headed toward Downtown San Diego, where we were staying the night. We knew at some point during our San Diego stay we wanted to get some authentic Mexican, but that night we were both craving Italian. We found little Italy on the map and headed off in that direction on foot. It was fun to see downtown San Diego at night. There were a lot of Italian options in Little Italy (of course) and we chose a little mom & pop place called 'Felipi's' and had some delicious pasta.

We walked around a little bit and called it a night.

Day 7, Friday

Friday was our last full day in California, which was sad. I have another blogger friend who lives out in San Diego, Audrey, and we were able to meet her for lunch in La Jolla. It was really cool to meet her in person and eat at a little cafe, outside of course. After lunch, RJ hung out on the beach while we walked around the little shops in La Jolla.

When Audrey had to get back to work, I moseyed back down to the beach to find RJ, window shopping the whole way down, of course. We sat for a little while and started hearing seal noises (I'm dead serious). I thought it was fake, it was so loud. We decided to walk around and find where it was coming from. I had no idea this was even there, but apparently in La Jolla there is a Sea Lion overlook in this beautiful place called "The Cove" where the Sea Lions all hang out on the rocks.

After watching the Sea Lions for awhile, we decided to move on to one of the next things we wanted to see in San Diego. We walked along Mission Beach and then drove around the Gaslamp District (the historic, downtown area with the old gaslamps - see more by clicking here if you're curious) and then headed to Balboa Park. We parked and did a mini-hike around Balboa Park and saw some beautiful vegetation and cacti.

 I really loved all the trees and plant life in California. Many of them we dubbed: "Dr. Seuss Plants" because they were unlike anything we'd ever seen before.

Take this one, for example:

After walking around Balboa, we decided it was time to have some authentic, San Diego, Mexican food. We found a little hole in the wall taco shop and stopped there. It was definitely authentic - like what you would get in actual Mexico authentic! It was good - but I still prefer El Campesino's or Monterrey. However, the chips we got were probably the best I'd ever had. Each order of chips was made-to-order, so they were steaming hot and extra delicious.

After dinner we headed back to Los Angeles. We stayed at the same hotel we'd been staying at earlier in the week.

Day 8, Saturday

Unfortunately, our flight on Saturday was at 11am, so we had to get up and go straight to the airport to return our rent-a-car and get through security.

One funny thing that happened when we got to the airport was that somehow, they got the idea that we worked there. I didn't understand that until after it was all said and done or I may have blown our cover. All I knew was that after printing our boarding passes, one of the guys who worked there was ushering us to the front of the security line and we went right through, no questions asked. I played it cool because RJ was, and after we went through I asked him what that was all about. He said that at some point, the guy said to him: "Well you guys work here, so you know how it works" or something like that. He didn't know what he meant but didn't ask any questions and that's why we were able to get ushered to the front of the line. 

It was pretty funny. We were hoping we might get bumped up to first class, being employees and all, but no one else got the memo that we were somehow special. Oh well.

We had direct flights on the way there and going home, which was a blessing.

The pets did great with the pet sitter. We were in touch with her throughout the week so we knew they were ok.

We are happy to be home but I know I left a piece of my heart in California.

I know we belong in Akron for now (and I do love Akron), but I know I'll be back for it someday.

Maybe next winter!


No comments:

Post a Comment