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Coast to Coast

May 28, 2013

Wait, I have a blog? Whoops.

May has been a whirlwind of both hard work and fun. I work at a school, so the month of May consists of everything winding up before it winds down.

But on the fun side of things, I’ve been grateful to take some time off for a couple of very different, very fun beach trips.

At the beginning of the month, Matt and I traveled to San Diego to visit our friend Thomas, see the sights, and sample the local beer.

TorreyPines

Sunset over the Pacific at Torrey Pines State Beach

San Diego sights:

We stayed with Thomas whose apartment near UCSD is on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. The view was amazing to see every day. On our first afternoon (Thursday), we hiked (on a road) up the sandstone cliffs at Torrey Pines State Beach right before sunset. The sun set over the ocean while we were there; then we hiked down the beach side (not on a road) and walked back on the beach as the light faded. Gorgeous.

Stone

Matt, me, and Thomas at Stone Brewing

On Friday, I finally had In-N-Out for lunch. (Last spring, I experienced a failed attempt at it in Vegas.) I’m glad I finally tried it, but — especially as much as it’s built up — it isn’t that great. At the end of the day, it’s just fast food.

Then we headed to the beach at Coronado Island. Unfortunately it was a little chilly and foggy, so we took a short walk on the beach and saw the Hotel del Coronado before heading to a housewarming party hosted by one of Thomas’ friends.

Saturday morning called for a run in a nearby (wealthy) neighborhood followed by brunch in La Jolla and a visit to the La Jolla Cove and the Children’s Pool. It was fun to see the seals and practice my new photography skills. (More on photography to come in a future post).

Then we headed to Escondido and San Marcos to Stone Brewing and Port/Lost Abbey respectively for the rest of the day. (More coming very soon in a post dedicated to San Diego beer.)

On Sunday, which was Cinco de Mayo, we spent the day at Pacific Beach (but not on the actual beach — it rained off and on throughout the day) with Thomas and some of his friends. However, since a few of the destinations were clubs, Matt and I wandered off and found a few pretty cool places on our own. Thomas warned us that the area was a bit “bro-ish,” and it felt like a cross between Panama City Beach and the Jersey Shore. But we did get a beautiful sunset after the rain cleared.

Matt and I flew back to Atlanta on Monday, and it took several days to get over the jetlag. My body has a hard time staying up later on weekends as it is; a three-hour time change doesn’t help.

Sunrise over the Atlantic at Topsail Beach

Sunrise over the Atlantic at Topsail Beach

Andrew and me

Andrew and me

The next Saturday (we’re at May 11 now), I headed to Topsail Beach, N.C., for a weeklong vacation with my parents, Kolby (their golden retriever), Andrew (my brother), Lee (his girlfriend), and Sonny (their yorkie). Unfortunately Matt had to work and couldn’t go, but it was great to spend so much time with my family in such a relaxing location.

Most years since 2004 my family has gone to the beach at St. George Island in Florida. But since my parents now live it Charlotte, the beaches of North Carolina are much closer. They found Topsail Beach because it’s so similar to St. George — also an island, dog-friendly beaches, quiet, no high-rise condos.

Kolby

Kolby

Topsail is only a little farther from Atlanta than St. George, just over seven hours. I made the trip solo with the company of many podcasts. Shout-out to This American Life, Pop Culture Happy Hour, and Radiolab for keeping me entertained. How did people drive long distances before podcasts?

Seven nights, six days, four runs, almost three books, and a few magazines later, I think I actually found relaxation. Everyone should get to take a trip to the beach for at least a week every year.

The weather was gorgeous. Chilly in the mornings and evenings, very warm during the day; it got even warmer toward the end of the week. We celebrated Mother’s Day together as well as my birthday, which was the day after I drove back home.

Getting back to reality wasn’t easy, but at least we had the excitement of my birthday, shortly followed by Matt’s birthday and Memorial Day weekend, to keep it going.

I promise the San Diego beer post is coming soon — it started as a section within this post but got out of control.

Talk soon!

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