After trekking across the country, we arrived in San Diego in mid-March. We booked a month at the Mission Bay RV Resort and we were excited to have that much time to explore. Many of our friends have stayed at this park and recommended it for its proximity to town. As with many private parks, the sites are pretty close together, but there are some nice trees in the park that offer some shade and make it feel less like a parking lot.
The park has a very nice one-mile walking path that goes along Mission Bay. It’s lined with palm trees and was a perfect place to walk the dogs every day. And the weather was beautiful – sunny, blue skies, and in the 70s. Just perfect.
The RV park is on the same property as the former De Anza Cove Trailer Park, which was first established in the 1950s, but due to a long, complicated battle over land use rights, is now basically abandoned. You can read an excellent, detailed account of the whole situation here. It was fascinating and weird to see all the empty homes. All I could think was how much the former residents must have loved living here, and how sad it was that they were forced to leave. Many of the yards had beautiful landscaping that was still going strong.
A few of the homes still had random furnishings and personal items strewn about. We thought it would make a great zombie apocalypse movie set.
The future of this property is still uncertain and we heard many different rumors of what may happen with it. Whatever happens, I hope the RV park remains.
The park also provides easy access to the Mission Bay Bike Path, and Deas and I took a long ride all around the bay one afternoon, returning just in time for a beautiful sunset.
The moon even made appearance for this gorgeous sunset.
The climate in San Diego is amazing – everything is in bloom, all the time it seems.
Another day we visited Sunset Cliffs Natural Park in Point Loma. The cliffs are very dramatic and honestly in some places I’m not sure how the road wasn’t just collapsing into the ocean. I wouldn’t want to be here for an earthquake.
There were a few surfers surveying the waves from the rocky cliffs.
As we walked further down the path, we saw a beach far down below full of college kids, but we couldn’t figure out how they got down there.
Eventually we figured out that there was no easy path down to the beach – they were just scrambling down the rocks to get there. Crazy kids!
Our social calendar was booked solid during our visit. A childhood friend of mine, Nina, lives in San Diego and we met for dinner one night. We hadn’t seen each other since we were kids!
Thanks to social media, we also connected with Blair and Shae of BS Adventure and had dinner with them one night, and also Dave and Shannon of 2 Wander Away, and had several fun outings with them.
We also met Jimmy and Susan at Mission Bay and hung out with them quite a bit, including this fun day when we ended up at a crazy beach bar and got photobombed by shirtless spring breakers.
By lucky happenstance, several friends were visiting Sand Diego while we were there, and we were able to meet up all of them. Two of my college friends, Ryan and Lynn, were in town for work conferences, as were our friends Patrick and Christi. Our friends Greg and Lisa were in town for a family vacation. And our friend John got stuck in town due to a layover/canceled flight, so he met up with us and Jimmy & Susan. We had a great time meeting up with them all!
Our month was flying by faster than we could imagine, but there were two “toursity” things we really wanted to do so we made sure the squeeze them in during out last week. First was the famous San Diego Zoo which we thoroughly enjoyed.
I’ll spare you most of the pictures I took, because we’ve all seen plenty of pictures of zoo animals, but I will share my two favorites with you. The polar bear had a great blue heron hanging out in his exhibit, and they would just walk right by and ignore each other. I thought was so weird and funny to see those two animals together. And I just loved this huge, serene orangutan.
The second touristy thing we wanted to do was tour the USS Midway Museum. It’s not generally the type of thing I’d be interested in, but since so many people kept telling us how great it was, we decided to check it out. And it really was a very interesting experience. We spent about 3 hours there but we could have easily spent a couple more.
The massive size of this carrier is hard to convey. See the huge chains in the picture below? Those are for the anchors! The docent said that the noise created when the anchors were lowered/raised is so loud that the crew needed to wear ear plugs when working in that room.
Many of the rooms on display had mannequins in them, which I have to say was kind of my favorite part.
Deas and I entertained ourselves posing with them in different rooms.
I especially loved this guy in the brig. Does he look like he’s regretting his decisions, or what?
The whole ship is basically a self-sufficient town. They even had their own operating room and dentist office.
The best mannequin set up of all was the dentist chair, complete with the sounds of dental equipment and a moaning patient.
San Diego is often called the Craft Beer Capital of the Country, so no post about it would be complete with out mentioning the breweries. There are around 125 of them in the area, so there’s no way we could visit them all. We did hit as many as we could though, including the big ones like Stone, Ballast Point, and Karl Strauss. We mostly enjoyed the smaller ones though, particularly Fall, Resident, Pariah, Acoustic Ales, and Kilowatt. Our very favorite one was Modern Times. Not only was the beer amazing, the tasting rooms were so funky and cool. There are two locations and we visited them both. One of them had a entire huge wall made out of Post-It Notes, and the other had lamp shades all over the ceiling.
There is a couple I follow on Instagram called Greetings Tour, and they travel in their RV painting murals in various cities around the country. One of their murals is in San Diego so we made a point to track it down and get a picture of Jake in front of it.
So that wraps up our month in San Diego – we had a blast and could have easily spent more time there. In fact we loved it so much we booked 2 months for 2018 before we left! It looks like we won’t be able to make it after all because of some family commitments, but San Diego is definitely a place we will return to some day.
7 thoughts on “San Diego”
Great post about San Diego. We have two months at Mission Bay RV park starting early Dec if we can get out of this repair facility in time. We were there last year for the women’s march which was definitely the highlight of our visit.
That trail park is truly enigmatic. I loved walking through it and pushing the boundaries of where you are allowed to walk. You have to wonder about the emotional and financial trails the residence experienced. It is as good a modern day ghost town as I have ever seen, and right in the heart of a big coast city. I hope that at least some of that area is restored to the crucial wetlands destroyed during the development of the whole bay area.
We spent 2 days in the carrier and I might go back when we are there this year.
If you are into fitness the Mission Valley YMCA is an easy 4 mile drive from the RV park and is an excellent Y with great classes. The cost is $73 a month for two adults and you get free access to a lot of classes including spin.
Enjoy your time in SD! We are really looking forward to going back. Thanks for the tip on the Y!
We head back to San Diego today for 3 months. Enjoyed your post. Maybe we will run into Pam and Ed from the previous post!
Jealous! I wish we were going back – Deas’s brother is getting married here in GA in March so that’s why we’re having to postpone.
Wow. Thanks for this awesome post about all the cool things we’ll be able to see and do in San Diego when you’re not there. Because you abandoned us. Abandoners.
Sorry we couldn’t meet you all down in San Diego, but very glad we got to see you in Venice! Adding Modern Times to our list of breweries to check out.
Wow, you guys sure made the most of your time there. Nothing better than exploring new places and meeting great people.