Oh Hey There Pacific Ocean, It’s Been While!

February 17-24
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.

Our travel day from Organ Pipe NM to AGM road included a lunchtime stop at Dateland

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.
Del Mar BeachDel Mar BeachDel Mar 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!

Sand & Surf RV Park
As you can see we got a primo site next to the dumpster ;)

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.

Del Mar BeachDel Mar Beach Whole Foods, Del MarDel Mar

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.

Del Mar Beach
So many happy dogs!

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.

La Jolla Farmers Market
Abundant produce and ready-made lunch

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.

Black Mountain, San Diego
On the way up
Black Mountain, San Diego
View from the top

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.

Ballast Point Brewing
Kate & Iain showing off their smiles at Ballast Point Brewing

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!

Del Mar Beach
Our first sunset over the Pacific in many years

Sun Shower

Save tank space & enjoy nature with this quick heating outdoor shower. Has an integrated thermometer so you know when the water is ready to use, a strong handle for easy hanging, and an adjustable nozzle. The 5 gallon size gives 4 -5 showers.

Every purchase helps support this blog

8 Responses to “Oh Hey There Pacific Ocean, It’s Been While!”


  1. Pat Hall

    It looks like a great spot-I’m putting sand and turf on the list for next year/

  2. Jeff

    Welcome to SoCal !!! What Surf’n’Turf lacks in amenities it makes up for in location. You’re close to some nice ‘urban hiking’, and bird watching with the ‘northern migration’ really gearing. It’ll be fun to see what you pick and where you go.

  3. Metamorphosis Lisa

    Yes indeed, San Diego can be a pain to find last minute sites, especially if you want to spend more than a few days or a week. What a great weekly rate that park has! Enjoy your beach time!

  4. David B

    Interesting, we have family in the area, last Thanksgiving parked at Paradise by the Sea in Oceanside, give us another option. Reviews mention no RVs older than 10 years, is this actually a policy of the park?

    • Amanda

      The policy has changed to RVs no older than 15 years. Our ’99 is older but the manager said they usually allow Airstreams as long as they are in good condition. We were a bit worried because we are in far from perfect condition, but the first thing we saw when we pulled in was an early ’60s Airstream. It appears that the rule is enforced at the discretion of management.


Leave a Reply