A funny thing happened a few weeks ago during the drive from Organ Pipe Cactus NM to Yuma. As we rolled west on I-8, signs that read, 250 miles to San Diego, 200 miles to San Diego, and so on began appearing. We joked that we should keep driving. Forget about the desert, forget about the planned dental work, and go hang out next to the ocean instead. Well…as often happens, logic prevailed and we stuck to the plan of spending a week on AGM road. But as days passed and we discussed over and over again where to go next (Joshua Tree? Mohave NP? Sam’s for a meet up with friends and a week of hot springs?) the seed that had been planted by those signs blossomed. Finally, on Friday morning with the weekend closing in and our previous zeal for desert life diminishing, we pulled the plug and decided to head west all the way to the coast.
Last minute camping reservations in any coastal area are a challenge, but then you throw a popular city with year-round perfect weather in the mix and things get downright tricky. Fortunately, we have no hard and fast rules about where we stay (just some strong preferences) and were willing to make a few sacrifices to be close the ocean. It only took a few minutes of perusing the Campendium app to discover a small RV park in Del Mar a mile from the beach.
We quickly secured the last spot in the park that would fit our size RV (oops..we forgot it was a holiday weekend) and on Saturday early afternoon we pulled in, set-up and made the short bike ride to the beach.
The Surf & Turf RV Park is small, offers no privacy between sites, no amenities of any kind, and is plagued by constant road noise. But it’s also very clean, quiet (aside from the traffic), run by a sweet and helpful onsite manager, and best of all…the weekly rate it only $200!
Because the location was so great we stuck close to home for most of the week. This has been our trend for the past few months. We are both immersed in work projects right now and staying in a spot where we can easily walk or bike to fun stuff right outside our door helps motivate us to get out of the house every afternoon. Nearly every day we either rode our bikes or walked to the beach. A couple times we walked over to Whole Foods, and one day we explored the Coast to Crest trail and newly created park in the San Dieguito Lagoon.
At low tide, the beach in Del Mar stretches for miles in either direction making it ideal for walking. The closest beach access point to our location happened to be a dog beach. Maybe it’s because we used to have a water-loving doggy, but I really, really love watching a bunch of pooches race up and down the beach.
We did manage to tear ourselves away from the beach long enough for a few outings. On Sunday we drove over to La Jolla for the fabulous farmers market. In addition to munching on samples and loading up on fresh produce, we timed our visit perfectly to indulge in some lunch from the many food vendors.
Another day we hiked up and around Black Mountain. This small, barren mountain in the foothills was recommended to us by a San Diego native. Turns out it perfectly fit our requirements for a lack of crowds (this seems to be a place mostly used by locals), a good workout, and some nice views.
Finally, on our last night in town, we met up with friends Kate and Iain. We first met them a long time ago, but haven’t connected in many years and it was absolutely wonderful to catch up after so long. Sadly (for us at least) they are going to be traveling outside of the U.S. indefinitely so who knows when we might meet again.
A week at the beach helped break us out of our no planning zone and we managed to piece together a few weeks of reservations at the state beaches along the coast. More beach walks to come!