I love exploring my own city, but when it’s buried under an eternal winter it’s time to explore elsewhere – like California, for example. I was on a solid 15 minutes of sleep when I arrived in San Diego. So all I felt like doing was flopping on the beach and sweating bullets. That did not happen. After Natalie picked me up from the airport, we stopped for a quick burrito and rented some adorable beach cruisers. FYI, that saying that goes “It’s like riding a bike. You never forget!” is a bald-faced lie. The last time I rode a bike by the Harbourfront, I crashed into two old ladies and left blood on the pavement. The time before that, I hopped on my bike and careened right into a pile of other bikes. Yet here I was, on a bike again.
Though slightly terrified, I faced fear head-on, in a wobbly, teetering fashion, peppered with apologies to anyone in my vicinity. We ended up biking a gorgeous route, known for its stunning views from Ocean Beach to Mission Beach to Pacific Beach and back – a total trip of 17km. Not bad for a girl with no balance, sleep or bike skills. I was so close to opting out because of fear. Imagine I had missed out on all this: Sure there were times I was terrified, but more often than not I was in awe of my surroundings. It reminded me how important it is to force yourself outside of your comfort zone. That being said, it felt good to be back on my own two feet. And on Sunday, I used those feet to hike at Torrey Pines State Reserve. The Guy Fleming Trail is one of the most popular trails, with some pretty lookout points and wildlife. You’ll get some awesome views of the rugged badlands on the Razor Trail: And lastly the Beach Trail led us down to the Beach. We sat for a bit on Flat Rock, which is teeming with colourful, squishy life. We walked along the beach for a while and just as the sun began its descent, a lone seal emerged from the ocean and basically posed for us. Being by the ocean, seeing this gorgeous being come out of the water, reminded us how badly we wanted sushi. So that night we went to Hane Sushi and had some of the silkiest, softest sashimi of my life, and the mind-blowing Del Mar roll: panko-fried scallop, crab, shrimp and asparagus, topped with jalapeno and Australian Kobe beef. Oh. My. God. We had a few other “OMG” food moments while we were there, like the OMG French Toast at Snooze. It’s actually called that. The French toast is brioche, stuffed with mascarpone and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, strawberries and coconut. Disclaimer: on a Monday at 11:30, we waited an hour for a table. It’s that good. Amazing as it was, I wasn’t full. So I ordered 2 sides: chorizo and hash browns. Both were incredible. And so for the first time ever I sent my compliments to the chef. Because… why not? I’ve fallen in love with the food at countless restaurants and never thanked the person who crafted that edible masterpiece. So I asked our waitress to tell the chef that it was the best French toast, best chorizo, best everything I’d ever had. She smiled widely and said “Dude, you rock!!” I didn’t argue with her.
Another favourite was the Acai Bowl. We had this a couple times, but I especially loved the bowl at Juice Crafters, which had layers of acai puree, fruit, nuts, and almond butter. This is a big thing in California, and I was delighted to discover that these places in Toronto make them, too. Oh and that day we got even closer to some seals at La Jolla Cove, a beautiful little spot where they love to sunbathe.