Renting a beach house in San Diego was one of the best experiences this summer. After a holy lot of hiking and spending time outside being active we were lucky enough to spend a few days at a front row beach house at Mission Beach. Thank God because I was buggered at that point!
There was a list of things planned for San Diego. We wanted to go out and explore the food, the brewery scene and Downtown San Diego. We wanted to maybe drive up the coast a bit but as soon as we arrived we pretty much settled at our patio and didn’t move much until we flew off to Chicago 6 days later! I loved it!
I usually always always have bumblebees in the ass and cannot sit still for long. But maybe the combination of too much hiking, the salty air and the heat knocked me out and made me appreciate to have a few days of sweet nothingness. The occasional day drinking that has or has not happened might have had a hand in that, too.
In full disclosure renting a beach house at Mission Beach is hella expensive. For sure we wouldn’t have been able to afford it if we hadn’t opted for renting via Airbnb. This Airbnb was a single room with an attached bathroom and a seperate entrance in a front row house. We shared the kitchen and patio with the host who lived there with his son and wife. But we didn’t see them much. It was perfect. If you’re interested in how to find great Airbnbs you can find my Airbnb booking guide here.
It’s save to say this was the laziest part of our trip yet we did a few fun things. It was damn perfect in my book!
1. Enjoying the Ocean
The Pacific Ocean has so much to offer. But a comfortable temperature is definitely not one of those things. In fact it was so fucking cold that I didn’t really go in the water for the first few days. I am a damn chicken! But Stefan had so much fun hopping up and down in the waves that he finally convinced me to try it. And once my limbs finally went numb it was really really funny!
We took the gopro with us and had a little photo session with the waves. It didn’t make me look less stupid but we got a bunch of funny pictures. Most of them not appropriate to share online! If you ever need to blackmail someone take a waterproof camera and take them to the ocean!
2. People Watching at Mission Beach
People watching is by far my favorite thing to do anywhere. And Mission Beach is a people watching paradise! I swear there are so many funny, interesting, a bit creepy, a bit weird and also utterly ordinary people there. I didn’t know where to look first. People run, people surf or hang out at the beach. People go for a walk, rollerblade or just hang out at one of the many beach bars. There are also a bazillion people riding their bikes.
Like my favorite person at that beach. The one on the picture above. I named him Easy Rider. Heavy Metal Music was booming from the tab he had attached to his bike. After passing us he stopped and switched the music to the hardest gangster rap ever. He hopped on his bike again and continued his journey. I was in love!
3. Tasting Local Beer and Favorite Foods
You walk for a few minutes in either direction and you will inevitably stumble upon a beach bar. One of the things that was on our bucket list for the trip was to try as many local beers as possible. San Diego is a beer paradise. We went to a couple of places and staged our own local brewery scene tasting. Even though all of those places were definitely more on the touristy side we really enjoyed the food and drinks.
We ate an utterly indecent amount of beef nachos at Draft Mission, I had a genius brunch dish at the Pacific Beach Alehouse (which inspired Friday’s recipe) and I tried an Acai Bowl for the first time in my life. I don’t get that hype though. We also enjoyed a cool blonde or IPA to cool down during the day on more than one occasion. Day drinking is a thing!
4. Morning Coffee at Mission Beach
Mornings are my favorite! I am a morning person through and through. Even though I enjoy watching sunsets (we will get to that in a bit) sunrises motivate me, give me power and make me calm. There’s just something magical about starting a new day. Also beaches are my happy place. That combined with the magic of a hot cup of coffee makes me the most happy and content person in the universe.
Every morning we grabbed a steaming hot cup of coffee and walked the 5 meters to the beach, sat down in the sand and started the day there. So if you even wonder how to make me happy, invite me to have a morning coffee at the beach.
Do you know these moments when you look at your surroundings and feel like everything looks too perfect. And you want to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming this up? This was exactly how I felt every damn evening when watching the sunset at Mission Beach.
I have a double-edged relationship with sunsets. Obviously they are stunningly beautiful, especially when the sun sets over the ocean like here at the Westcoast. But they also make me sad. I don’t deal well with endings. Yet that didn’t keep me from photographing the hell out of every single sunset. It was almost too beautiful. People paddled or surfed into the setting sun. One day we even saw dolphins.
We then went out to grab dinner at one of the places along the beach or grabbed a few drinks and all warm clothes I had with me and ended the evening on the patio. Once the sun was set it got freaking cold at the beach.
6. Downtown San Diego
One day we decided to make at least a little bit out of San Diego and hopped on a bus to explore Downtown. The bus ride was only a few bucks and took about 30 min. Not too bad. If I had to sum up that day in one word it would be HOT! Seriously, the streets were empty besides a few tourists that were as dumb as we were. It was not enjoyable at all. We walked a bit through the Gaslamp Quarter but settled rater soon at a lunch spot where we stayed in an airconditioned corner for a couple of hours. You couldn’t even really watch people because there were none. We had a delicious lunch and a cold drink and a littler later in the afternoon we dared to hit the streets again. Within seconds I was drenched for the second time that day.
We grabbed more water and walked through downtown and finally arrived in Marina where we relaxed a bit in a little park under trees. I loved it there. Maybe the light breeze of fresh air did the trick for me. I’d love to explore more of San Diego one day but I think next time I will go in fall or spring maybe.
7. Reading for Pleasure
In between food and drinks and going for a few walks (to get food or drinks) I sat in my favorite patio spot and read on my tab or caught up with my travel journal. I got a lot me time at Mission Beach, too. I needed it! I barely read for pleasure anymore as I read so much at work that when I am not working my TV holds way more appeal to me!
I really really really enjoyed staying at Mission Beach. These few days were one of those lucky coincidences that happen when you have no specific area to live in mind and just look what cool looking accomodations are available. When I am on vacation I am usually a go go go person. But that’s just not feasible to keep up when you travel for more than a week or so. So a few days of relaxing were definitely the best thing that could happen to us. Sometimes even on vacation it’s not the exploring you need but the rest!
This sounds absolutely delightful and the perfect breather in between hiking and Chicago. Next time you have to check out Balboa Park. Jon and I ran through there and it was pretty amazing. I love how you got catch up on reading, writing, and people watching. Also coffee and sunsets with a side of day drinking sounds like perfection to me.
Balboa Park was on our list but being lazy was just too appealing 🙂 It was really necessary to get some time to read and write. I would have probably skipped writing in my jounal and regretted it later.
I would love to consume all my beverages at the beach if possible.
Ok can I just start with how much I loved the fact that you used the word ‘buggered’ at the beginning – I haven’t heard anyone use that since I left the UK – made me smile! 🙂
Oh Juli eveything just sounded like it was so amazing. There is something so special about the sea air and warmth that just slows everything down and makes you more chilled and relaxed. The best part of living on the west coast is defintiely the sun sets… I understand how they can make you a little sad though, yet there is so much beauty you can’t help but go wow.
Haha you Brits have the best words and sometimes I feel like American English takes over. So back to the roots 😉
You’re right it really slows down everything. I could go back right now!