When you grow up in New England you dream about California. Heck, I think you dream about the state when you grow up anywhere outside of California. Living here allowed me to visit many places in this fine state, but I hadn't been able to make it all the way to San Diego. I'd heard about the famous Gaslamp District, the beautiful beaches, the great weather, and the zoo, but had never had the chance to visit. Though I love solo travel, I had no interest in going it alone. San Diego seemed like a place for romance or fun times with friends. At the time of making the list, I was lacking in both areas.
As with everything on this list, this dream came to me in a big way. The first time I went to San Diego, a boyfriend at the time had whisked me away for a romantic getaway. We stayed in the Marriott in the harbor, walked the Gaslamp district at night all dressed up, ate yummy waffles in the morning at Cafe 222, and visited the zoo and the beaches. It was the perfect weekend.
But with every dream, one time doesn't seem to be enough. I say this with a bit of a cringe because I don't talk about my personal life on these pages, but San Diego seemed to be the place of romance. Aa few years later, another boyfriend took me to San Diego for a getaway. He was on business and we stayed in a beachside resort. We ate Sushi with rice crispies and strawberries in it ( I know it sounds weird but it was so good). While he worked I visited the farmer's market and walked the beach. I made a decadent lunch from goodies bought at the market and ate on the balcony. Later I watched the sunset.
The next day we explored the coast, popping into funky antique stores and eating seafood on the beach. We stayed in the Gaslamp district, partying till dawn in night clubs. It was the perfect three days.
But San Diego must suit me well, and just a year later I returned, this time with a bunch of friends. We stayed in Coronado, the island across from the city. My friend Alex Sotello is a wine maker and he brought us to restaurants where his wine was served. We feasted on the best steaks of our lives, danced in the night clubs, actually went to an open-mic. opera, where people got up and sang the most amazing songs, and played music on the rooftop of our hotel while making a barbecue feast.
I would say, I'm happy to keep this dream of visiting San Diego alive. It's one of my favorite places in California and it always brings incredible memories.