Tuesday, September 18, 2012

SoCal - Pacific Coast Shock in San Diego

Posted By: Leah

 This post  is part two of my SoCal San Diego vacation. Get caught upon gorgeous Laguna Beach HERE. I'm from North Carolina. I'm on Eastern Standard Time (EST) which is a pretty good thing usually. I get to ring in the new year before of the rest of the country, we get election results sooner. It's kind of nice being first all the time (j/k lol). That is until I fly out to Cali and was in for a shock.

BF and I went out with one of his SoCal friends after arriving in San Diego from Orange County. We went out in a super cute area called University Heights, the area where we were staying, the first night that we got to San Diego.

I really liked the restaurants/bars we went to. We got Mexican food and YUMMM it was amazing. The salsa... AMAZING PS- I am SUCH a salsa fan anyway. The salsa verde and guacamole in San Diego was the best I've ever had. We went to El Zarape (this became a daily stop) and also Small Bar. And by 10pm that first night we were ready to turn in (it was 1am EST and we were exhausted from traveling all day). 

We woke up bright and early the next morning at 5:30am PST! Which was technically 8:30am EST and I felt like I had slept in, waking up at that time. But guess what? At 5:30am, nothing's happening. So I was stuck trying to make myself sleep in more. But it was impossible, it was already so so hot.
The whole reason we got to go out to Cali in the first place was because we were house sitting for this sweet bungalow (above). Our friend who ownes the home used to work at Anthro and check out her pinterest-worthy wall of plates:
So cute! And yes, their home was so very hot. Apparently (from what people tell me) California is supposed to be this 'perfect 78 degrees year round with no humidity.' UM All I know is that when we were there, it was 95 deg WITH humidity. Basically, it felt like North Carolina, yet with no A/C. This princess (aka ME) was a little toasty. And my NC friends have asked why they didn't have a window-unit. Well the adorable bungalow was built in 1920 and has the orig. wiring, so any kind of a/c could totally blow out the home's electricity.  But you may then ask, why couldn't I open up windows? Well, we were house sitting and also pet sitting their 2 and their neighbor's 2 sweet pups. The 4 doggies like to explore and jump out the windows, so opening them was a strick no-no. And what about screens? They don't have bugs in SoCal, so no one has them. I know, a different lifestyle for sure ;) 
All Imported-73
But it was fine, really. BF and I headed out early (7:30am PST by then) to grab breakfast and ride bikes. Outside there was always a little breeze. We even discovered these gorgeous morning glory's in the ally behind the home (which bloomed all day).

And in the neighbor's yard I saw some lemons just laying around and also some on the sidewalk. It seriously did not dawn on me that people in Cali freakin have lemon and lime trees just growing all over the place. This was so shocking to me. Seriously!

We got bikes from where we were staying and stumbled upon a really awesome farmer's market a few miles away. But before that, let me talk a little more about my 'pacific coast shock.'

So remember I thought cali was super lush and green? Well I'm sure it is in some places (Laguna) but in San Diego, this time of year, it's pretty much in the desert. People have grass, but I heard it's only green and beautiful in December-ish. People only have green grass if they water it. We were there in September, so it was a little crisp. The grass, not the air.
All Imported-61
And this is a photo below  I snapped on my phone at Twigg's at breakfast, seriously one of the best coffeespots ever. This view is what you see a lot of in SD. It's just kind of like businesses in old-ish buildings. Some greenery that people work very hard at (or palm trees) but it's a lot more weathered by the sun than I imagined it would be.
And it's not a bad thing. I mean it's the desert, I get it. We're by the beach. Sun and sand is hard on any structure. I just had visions of like all the lush plants and tropical flowers and waterfalls and... ok I think I thought I was going to Hawaii.

On the way to get yet another surf and turf burrito from El Zarape, I did stop to take pics of some especially cool palm trees, plumeria and a black succulents growing. Super gorgeous.
Clearly there were really pretty plants and trees all over. But I also knew San Diego was the beach. So wouldn't it be more lush? Water everywhere? Oh that's right it never rains there. Ever. Maybe a couple days a year, but that's it. Not like in NC where it rains pretty much everyday in Spring, and Summer, and Fall... ok and Winter too. I totally didn't understand that before visiting SoCal.

And can we talk about the smell again? It was only really really bad next to the coast, but there was for sure an 'aroma' of surfer and dead fish everywhere we went. I liked to blaim it on the fact that I could actually breathe out there and it wasn't 100% humidity clogging up my nose.

And the people. I watch way too many Cali reality shows and movies. I was under the impression that all the girls in Southern California would have blonde hair, blue eyes, be perfectly tan and have rock-hard pilates bodies. Perfect 10 dime-piece status. This blond hair/blue eyes business was far from the truth. The girls out there in SoCal actually looked pretty much exactly like me. Or I looked like them.

Oh look it's a california girl. Wait no it's just me in my regular sunglasses, flip flops, tank top and shorts (with my cell phone and camera stuffed in my pockets). Everyone in San Diego just assumed I was a local. All the girls had brown hair, and some were tan. Some were not. In my entire time I saw maybe two girls with those 'rock hard beach bodies.' Everybody else just looked. Idk, regular.

Honestly, the girls in North Carolina look more 'Cali' than the actual girls out there. Remember Bachelorette Emily Maynard from Charlotte? This is what NC girls look like (for the most part). Make-up, tan, blonde, super nice jewelry and clothes. In California it truly was a lot more laid back. I honestly put on make-up once when I was out there, and it was only a tiny bit of mascara.

The Cali guys look exactly like I expected. Pretty much all identical to Rob Dyrdek. Small guys who like to skateboard and surf. And wore their hats with a flat brim.
Oh and the tank tops! All guys wore colorful, striped tank-tops.
The pacific ocean is supposed to be warm, right? I mean the Atlantic is like bathwater in the summer. But surfers have to wear their wetsuits year round because the pacific is so cold. So weird! And not what I expected! I seriously must have thought I was going to Hawaii or Puerto Rico or somewhere else because San Diego did not look, feel or smell how I thought it would. 

So that's more than enough for today, and yes Cali was a shock. Not what I expected, but not bad, just different. I wish I had know, though. 

More posts coming up with gorgeous pictures. Like I said, even though it wasn't what I thought it would be like, it was still really awesome out there. And if you are reading this and live in SoCal I hope I wasn't too harsh speaking about your area of the country. I really did like it when I visited. I guess TV makes everything look different, or I didn't research enough on the exact part of Cali I was visiting, or idk, my imagination got the best of me. Also there's a crazy heat-wave so visiting any other time of the year would have been different I'm sure. 


  1. Imagine what people think of NC after watching shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"! :)

    1. So true! People come over here and see people with nice homes, cities, manicured lawns, and probably think 'wait... I thought everyone in NC sat on the front porch of their trailor playing the banjo.' LOL!

  2. Haha! Bill used to dress like Rob Dyrdek ALL THE TIME when he lived in San Fran.. cause... well... he used to skate! BAHA!!

    Loving the photos my dear! Looks like you guys had fun! Wish I could go to Cali someday !!

  3. too funny!! I agree guys out here LOVE their tank tops.. i dont understand it but they do!! I am glad you enjoyed San Diego!!!! :) Hope you enjoyed some yummy mexican food, there really is no better place than SD for that!!!

  4. I loved your flat billed hat comment - cause when I see someone wearing a flat billed hat, I seriously have to question their sanity. Bend that thing already.


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