I finally made it to the lower part of SoCal where I’ve been meaning to go for over three years. There’s been a “thing” (not that thing like in the doo wop song) set in my mind that San Diego would put an instant smile on my face, but for some reason I never found the right excuse to take a day or weekend trip. Like geez, maybe shut up and go Jo?
Luckily, I moved to Los Angeles so I don’t need much of an excuse to head down South for a break, and to top it off, one of my dearest friends moved there for grad school last year. To add to the party, my other best friend from New York came in for the weekend making it an ultimate girls’ trip of splurging and purging… on the latest of the late college gossip.
I first had this impression that the Amtrak train down South would be a super cheap, until I saw $37 each way… oh hawwlllll nawww.
After a bit of research: “dirt cheap way to get to San Diego from LA without a car,” I found a round trip bus ticket for $30 bucks and booked within the minute.
A quick bus trip from Union Station got me towards downtown San Diego and just like that we were all in the middle of town hugging it out in a somewhat sketchy bus station. Travel tip: the cheaper the fare, the sketchier the stations will most likely be, unless you got a flash deal or something.
As soon as we finish our cozy hello moment, we all think about the next best indulgent part of life: food. Like maybe a classic burrito from Lucha Libre. To give you some context, this is the kind of burrito shop that makes people wait in line for two hours to get their perfectly seasoned burritos with fries inside.
I didn’t capture the moment with my camera, but honestly, that California Chicken Burrito was soooooooo bomb that it will permanently live in my taste bud’s Hall of Fame. Plus, they had unlimited chips and a bangin’ selection of salsas so I was sold before even arriving.
After a night of lounging and laughing, we slept and woke up to start official day 1 by heading to the beach.
The visiting New Yorker who never touches a steering wheel managed to drive us all out to Coronada Island’s beach to catch some waves on the boogie board. The sand felt softer than a bag of flour under my feet, the waves were perfect and glassy, and despite the clouds covering the blue skies, it was a recipe for the perfect beach day. But knowing my friends who haven’t been bitten by the beach bug yet, we couldn’t make it an entire day, so I settled for a short hour and then we headed back to the grad-chelor pad and got ready for lunch.
Sidenote: everytime I’m with my best girlfriends, it reminds me of how not-girly I am. Like, why do I take 3 minutes to get ready and you all take at least an hour?
After the mid-morning pit stop, we decided to try our luck at Phil’s BBQ which we heard was all the rage for both pork and non-pork eaters.
Brazilians, you know we have a thing against admitting that someone else’s BBQ could come compete with our churrasco, but this came pretty damn close. I put my pride in my pocket and a piece of chicken and rib on my plate to chow down.
Phil, you got it goin’ on. Never have I ever tasted such amazing macaroni salad with tender ribs and marinated chicken, YES! The bloated stomachs set the tone for the our next stop: digesting at one of San Diego’s finest viewpoints: Sunset Cliffs.
Somehow we photobombed a wedding proposal video and got free Mariachi music for our own photovshoot. All worth the $0 spent to see this panorama.
When things had finally settled in the stomach, we hustled back to the car and drove up to our last stop, Mount Helix to let the sunset marinate in our souls before calling it a night.
Comment below if there are any gems I missed from San Diego!