Soaking Up San Diego

Having lived the majority of my adult life in the mountains, I often forget that I was born and (mostly) raised by the ocean. I was born in New York and enjoyed Connecticut for short while as well. While living in the suburbs of Boston, I spent the summers of my youth at Cape Cod, camping along the beach. It wasn’t until I attended Colorado School of Mines that I turned in my beach towel for a warm sleeping bag and started camping on top of mountains. Thankfully, Jake knows me better than I know myself and can see when I am missing the ocean. In the middle of a cold winter, we decided to escape for a long weekend in nearby San Diego, where we could leave the snow of Santa Fe behind and soak up the sea air.

Day 1: Checking in and Checking out the Sunset Cliffs

A quick morning flight from Albuquerque to San Diego and an Uber ride to the island of Mission Bay brought us to Paradise Point Resort & Spa, where we settled into our quaint beach themed room just in time for lunch. We ordered room-service, which consisted of creamy macaroni and cheese and a colorful kale salad. By 2 p.m. we were in the hotel pool, splashing in the salt water. After a relaxing swim, we ended our first day in paradise at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, watching the waves lap lazily onto the shore at low tide as the sun set into the ocean.

View from the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park at sunset.
The setting sun cast a glow over the cliffs.

Day 2: Sea Lions & Paddleboarding

We woke to a drizzly morning, perfect for a cup of cold coffee by the bay. We took an Uber to La Jolla Cove after breakfast, eager to get a close up of the sea lions. The sun slowly came out behind the clouds as we wandered around, snapping photos of the birds, sea lions and waves.

The sea lions, basking in the subtle sunshine, are used to being photographed.
While most sea lions enjoyed napping on the cliffside, a few dove into the water for a morning dip as the tide rolled in.
While most sea lions enjoyed napping on the cliffside, a few dove into the water for a morning dip as the tide rolled in.

Jake had to drag me away from the beach and back into an Uber so we could make it on time to meet up with some old college friends at Jasmine Seafood Restaurant to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We ate dim sum in the popular family-style restaurant. With full tummies, we happily made our way back to the hotel where Jake had paddle boards waiting for us by the bay. As we paddled into the sunset, we waved to the birds soaring above and the sea lions swimming among us. Jake only fell in twice.

Day 3: Balboa Park & Liberty Public Market

Mini golf is one of several free recreational activities offered at the resort. 17 holes later, I was beating Jake by one point. After checking out, we decided to spend our last day at the beautiful Balboa Park, a popular San Diego destination for tourists and locals.

Facing the pond and gardens of Balboa Park.
Facing the pond and gardens of Balboa Park.

While San Diego is home to several breweries, I was told about one in particular while doing research for a different story: Stone Brewing at Liberty Station. Little did we know Liberty Station was a gorgeous area with a golf course, several top-rated eateries and the bustling Liberty Public Market. My only complaint, we heard before we saw the planes take off, which only reminded us that we were soon leaving our romantic paradise.

A wall of succulents below the Liberty Public Market sign marked the entrance to the popular market.

Our late night flight brought us home and back to real life in time for a quick night’s sleep before work the next morning. I woke up rejuvenated by the sea and ready for spring. Little did I know, snow storms were brewing…

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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