It was finally summer time! My partner and I knew we had to take a road trip South to the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Since he is from Italy he had to see the So-Cal lifestyle for himself, not to mention we bought tickets to the Mayer Hawthorne concert, performing live in San Diego. With our bags packed and the excitement for a new adventure, we headed South on HWY 101 with nothing but a stretch road in front of us and the wind in our hair.
After about five hours of driving, we took a detour to Santa Barbara to spend the night. We checked into our hotel and decided to take an evening walk down State Street, the downtown center of Santa Barbara. We walked to the edge of the pier seeing the sea lions swimming together and the old fishermen dangling poles off the edge hoping to get a bite. As the sun was setting and it started getting dark, we headed to the nearest restaurant. We had a few tacos and very expensive margaritas as we watched the day turned to evening.
We awoke early the following morning and got back on the road. Within a few hours, we found ourselves in the beautiful city of San Diego. The first night there we stayed in the downtown Gaslamp district where hotels, restaurants, and clubs lined each side of the street. I was STARVING so once we were checked into our hotel we headed out on the town for dinner. We bar hopped from one place to the other drinking and eating until we were so full, drunk, and tired, we called it a day.
The next day we headed to the beach, I rented a bike and he brought his skateboard. We rolled along the beach bike path for hours, taking in the lovely So-Cal atmosphere. It was a beautiful day with the warm sun and smell of sea salt in the air, people were playing beach volleyball, BBQing, sun tanning, swimming, surfing. It was a beautiful day in Southern California. At the end of it, we met up with a few friends for beers and spent the evening drinking wine talking, laughing and reminiscing.
The following day we decided to go to an Italian restaurant suggested to us by the friends we had met up with the night before, called Buona Forketta. As we walked into the little restaurant we could hear the servers and chefs all rapidly speaking Italian. They sat us, and we ordered beers, Gnocchi with pink sauce and a prosciutto and arugula pizza. The-food-was-AMAZING! The most authentic Italian food in all of California that I’ve eaten. I cannot wait to go back! Later that night we headed to the Mayer Hawthorne concert where we danced and drank the night away. Mayer Hawthorne is a great performing artist and I loved the intimate setting of the theater and people standing around jamming out to the smooth man-about-town music.
For the last night of our road trip, we headed to Los Angeles, booked a hotel somewhere downtown and headed to Santa Monica beach to do some exploring. It was a pretty big party scene, plenty of drunk people and cops. We walked down to the end of the pier to take in the view of the big blue Pacific Ocean. It was a gray cloudy day but the liveliness around us was not dampened by the weather. We stopped to eat at Thai restaurant to have some noodles and soup. This was another amazing restaurant that I highly recommend, the Siamese Garden. Just a block away from the beach and the best Tom Ka Ga I have ever eaten.
Before we headed North back to San Fransico we had to check out Hollywood Boulevard and walk among the stars. While it was a good item to check off our list of places to see, it was way too touristic (of course). There were men standing proudly next to their fire red Lamborghinis offering people a 10 min ride for $150-, people dressed up as superheroes and mickey mouse, others carrying giant boa constrictors… it was crazy. We spent about 2 hours there then decided we had had enough it was time to head home.
We had had our fun in the Southern California sun and saw the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
Overall, we had the best time in San Diego. It’s a clean, young, lively city with lots of things to do and see. LA is cool but it is such a big city, you definitely need to know where you’re going. It’s a difficult city to explore blindly because of its size and the fact that one wrong turn can lead you into some really sketchy neighborhoods.