Before I even got to San Diego I was already starting to feel the good vibes. A quick stop in Julian, CA assured that my arrival would coincide with the consumption of charming crusts containing the captivating compote of the Julian Pie Company. When I did show up the weather was perfect and the people were beautiful. I spent a large part of the morning creeping around the UCSD campus while trying to surprise a friend of mine, but he was too sneaky and I gave up to go hang out on the beach. Here I met my brother and we crushed a fun traverse that is literally right on the beach at one end of La Jolla Cove. I had never climbed in a downtown area before and was both shocked and inspired by the public’s faith in my climbing ability as they lazily walked and loitered directly below my (sometimes quivering) legs.
Soon the day was over and the night began, after that there was another day, and so on. Looking back at my trip to San Diego the days kind of blend together, so rather than provide a day-by-day I’ll tell you that I… went surfing for the first time! My brother and one of our friends go surfing with some regularity and our friend had a spare board and wetsuit so I tagged along and tried it out. After some on-beach instruction I’m proud to say that I caught the very first wave I attempted. I’m less proud to say that this was only because my friend was holding the board steady and gave me a push at the right time. Still, baby steps. Over the next hour or so I proceeded to fail on ever other wave I tried, save one where I got up for the better part of a second before falling over with a huge grin on my face. At the end of it I couldn’t move my arms an inch from all the paddling and couldn’t move my mouth from all the smiling. I need to surf more.
I also spent a lot of time (as you might imagine) hanging out at the beach. Despite the unusually wintry (for San Diego) weather it was good to see these boulevards of sand populated every day of the week. When the Sun went down (too early) the promenades along the beaches lit up with street lamps and the comfortable murmur of happy people. Just off Mission Beach one night I found a group of guys in jacked up hot-rods showing off their hydraulic systems. Right before a cop showed up one of them was bouncing around like an excited puppy. It must make his suspension guy very happy.
Another day I met up with another good friend of mine and we checked out Ocean Beach. The tide was way out and had revealed a wonderful collection of tide pools beneath the Ocean Beach Pier. Wandering around, looking for weird creatures, and sticking my fingers in sea anemones made me feel like a kid again. We also made a new discovery: the Sea Hare. We first saw one when I nice British man pulled one out of the water to show off, and afterwards we noticed them everywhere. They ranged from tiny to huge and we found one that was about as big as my arm. Crazy!
All too soon it was time to pick up and leave. On my way out of town I ran into something very unusual for San Diego: a massive rain storm. The rain itself was no issue, but it finally gave me something to dislike about the city: no one turns their lights on when its raining. Apart from that San Diego is as close to perfection as we might hope to get.
The Ocean Beach Pier is apparently the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Cool.
During some rain on the way to San Diego I noticed some water leaking in through Van Halen’s font windshield. Further inspection showed the sealing around the outside of the windshield had disintegrated and come loose. I think the rough roads of Texas really shook Van Halen up.