Hanging in Pacific Beach, San Diego

Pacific Beach

One of the biggest benefits of going back to school is having breaks again.

And I kicked off my spring break by driving two hours south to sunny San Diego with John this past weekend. (It was his birthday!) We’d stayed in the city before, and we each had spent some time on Coronado Island, but this time, we opted for Pacific Beach, which was beautiful, laid-back and very bike-able. I was so glad we brought our bikes along—we hardly drove anywhere all weekend.

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Pacific Beach pier cottageslifeguard standTurns out a lot of other people were traveling to San Diego for spring break, too. While there was some debauchery, nothing ever interfered with our visit. It helped that we were only half a block away from the beach.

Pacific Beach

My favorite part? Watching the sun set over the Pacific two days in a row. On Friday, we watched it from a rooftop bar. On Saturday, we watched it from the beach. Both times, the crowds that had gathered to watch applauded when the last sliver of sun disappeared.

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach

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Other trip highlights include stargazing by the shore. People watching. Dog watching. Making rum-infused smoothies in the hotel room. (We brought our own blender.) Spending a weekend away from the computer. And simply relaxing. A shout-out to Woody’s, Beaumont’s and Dirty Birds, which were some of the food & drink highlights of the weekend. Not to mention all our servers and bartenders. Is it just me, or is everyone nicer on the West Coast?

Now, I plan on using the rest of my spring break wisely by getting some reading, writing and cleaning done.

Do you have any upcoming travel plans you’re looking forward to?

Found in L.A.: Urban river bike path

A couple of weeks ago, John and I took our bikes out for a ride. We visited the L.A. River bike path, just a short stretch of cyclist-friendly road that parallels the interstate.

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The bike path is an odd mix of urban jungle with a mountainous view. We went in the late afternoon when it was cool enough so that we didn’t break a sweat. There were a bunch of “real” cyclists out and about, and others out walking their dogs. There were also a few people who seemed to be living and/or scavenging in the trees below the embankment. Los Angeles! It has everything.

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The bike path was pretty in a way—we saw a blue heron in the shallow, marshy water, and riding toward the mountains in the distance kind of felt like being out in the wild—if it weren’t for the cars riding alongside you. It’s also grungy in parts, but that’s what gives it its character. Right now, the L.A. River bike path is broken up into two short and unconnected paths. But the river is under a $453 million renovation to make it a 51-mile continuous path by the end of the decade. It’ll be cool to see how it changes in the coming years. It seems L.A. is trying to become more bike-friendly, which I know a lot of people are anxious for.

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It felt really good to get out on the bikes. The air was crisp, the sun was bright, and we biked several miles before heading home and immediately stuffing our faces. Yet another round of city exploration achieved!

To any Angelenos (or frequent L.A. visitors) out there, do you have recommendations for where I should visit next?