This week, one year ago, I flew 1hr south to San Diego and spent time at some of the most scenic locations in Southern California. 

Balboa Park

is filled with people who buy berry-flavored gelato or pose for photos at one of many picturesque spots.

a girl hands me her phone and then jumps into her partner’s arms. wrapping her legs around his torso, she presses a cheek close to his—smiling. I snap as many shots as possible, freezing the moment, and trying but failing to hide a smile of my own.

later, we find a group of dancers near the park’s fountain. they tell us the style is called Brazillian Zouk; a dance that was popular in 90’s Brazil with roots in the Caribbean. I watch for a moment before one of the dancers asks if I would like to learn. placing one hand on the small of my back and the other in my open palm, he pulls me into a partnered position. the basic step is familiar and easy to follow, so my girls and I catch on quickly. by the start of the next song, we‘re dancing en masse— moving our feet in time to the clap of our instructor’s palms and the catchy Zouk rhythm. ⁣

La Jolla 

our day in La Jolla /la-hoya/ starts with Açai bowls from a place called Fruittitude. the frozen blend of fruits is cool and refreshing in San Diego’s heat.

We make our way through the seaside village–past boutique stores, stucco buildings lined with potted plants, and people who zip by on electric scooters– towards La Jolla Cove; a sandy beach enclosed by jagged cliffs.

From one of the cliffs, it’s easy to see neon-colored kayaks dotting the ocean, and manatees sunbathing on the shore as curious beachgoers inch closer to snap photos.

Pacific Beach 

our Uber driver is an older Black woman who’s chatty and happy to give us recommendations for where to go. inside the car, a song by Megan Thee Stallion plays from her iPhone. she dances along energetically, pumping a well-timed fist in the air. I don’t know the song but its catchy so I dance along with my friend Yemi in the back seat. taking our driver’s advice, we ignore our initial destination, and agree to be dropped off at the Pacific beach boardwalk.

for a sunny day, the beach is surprisingly uncrowded. we wade barefoot through warm shallow water, enjoy coconut shrimp and margaritas at a restaurant called El Prez, and watch from the rooftop deck as sunset darkens the beach.

Good to Know 

Getting to San Diego 

1hr flight from Oakland California on Southwest Airlines 

If you use google flights to book tickets, Southwest isn’t on there. You will have to go to their website. 

Getting around San Diego

We were only in the city for a weekend, so we got around using Uber. For a longer stay that might have included more travel, I would go with a car rental. 

My favorite spots for food and drink 

Breakfast 

     Fruittitude – for Açaí bowls 

Lunch 

   Ban Thai – for Thai food. The yellow curry is very good. We visited twice.

Dinner 

  The Grass Skirt – for Asian fusion cuisine

Drinks 

 Raised by Wolves – for stellar cocktails. we went there twice in one weekend. 

•••

All photos shot by myself and Yem on iPhone XR

As always, thank you for reading.

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Same footprints, Different sands

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