San Diego & LA – Spring Break Pt. 2

San Diego & LA – Spring Break Pt. 2

Six years ago, I stepped foot in Los Angeles, my first time ever in the U.S. That was still the time when I lumped all the West Coast cities together and thought Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are all in California. Being the geographically ignorant kid that I was, I’ve come a long way since then, though I’m still not that much better with geography…

Before this trip, my memory of California solely consists of hazy images of Universal Studios and Santa Monica. I don’t remember things being so spread out, or that getting around requires so much driving.

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Me – post finals

 

I flew from Portland to San Diego for the second part of my spring break, and gratefully welcomed the California sunshine. Christina generously hosted me and Cat, driving us around and showing us the touristy areas, the nooks and crannies, the best places to eat, hot spots for watching sunsets. It’s relieving to have a local bring you around – with no researching required, all I need to do was to nod or shake my head when Christina threw out suggestions, and sit at the back of the car while she and Cat played hardcore EDM and jammed so hard the car kind of shook a little.

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The Cottage – one of the best brunch places in San Diego. I’m in love with egg benedicts, UGH.

 

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The Cottage – this Stuffed French Toast was GODSEND.

 

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mhm.

 

Being in San Diego was like being in a completely different world. Bare foot treading on wet sand under sunset. Sunglasses perched on your hair while cool breeze grazed your skin. Lettuce falling out and hot sauce dripping as you hungrily attacked the famous tacos. In-N-Out for the first time ever. Never-ending hiking trails and beaches. San Diego is laid-back and calm, like the friend that you would want to chill with in your backyard on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

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Oscar’s Mexican Food – Surf and Turf Steak and Shrimp Tace and Battered Fish Taco. Amazingggggg.

 

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In-N-Out! I still like Shake Shack more, though. dontkillme

 

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Board and Brew – Turkado Sandwich. A hearty, ginormous sandwich packed with layers of turkey and a rich avocado spread. I’m glad to get a taste of Christina’s favorite sandwich.

 

LA for the weekend was also a surreal experience. Cat and I caught an early morning Amtrak to downtown LA, and within the short span of less than two days, we went to the Grand Central Market, LACMA, the Original Farmer’s Market, Santa Monica and Koreatown. The weather was amazing, the food was on point, and we took many Instagram-worthy pictures. What more could we ask for?

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Grand Central Market in downtown LA

 

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LA’s evening view

 

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Grand Central Market – Pierogi platter, accompanied by the freshest pesto and brussel sprouts I’ve ever had.

 

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Grand Central Market – pupusa, a Salvodoran dish that is basically a thick corn tortilla stuffed with black beans, pork and cheese.

 

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Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong – one of the most sought-out and popular Korean BBQ places in LA, you gotta be prepared to wait in line for 1-2 hours to get seated. We got the Boneless Short Rib and Thinly Sliced Brisket. The meal comes with a platter of banchans, Korean side dishes. The meat was very tender with the perfect ratio of fat to meat. Would’ve preferred it to be more seasoned, but there’s no denying the freshness and quality of the meat.

 

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Mmmmmmmm.

 

Everything in California seemed to be coated with a salmon pink-orange tint – from the misty, early mornings to the last few seconds of twilight, the sun refused to sink without leaving its mark in the city. There is no other place that I’d rather be to end my spring break.

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San Diego Hot Spots:

Tourist Attractions:

  • La Jolla
  • Old Town
  • Balboa Park
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Coronado Island
  • Seaport Village
  • Gaslamp District

Food and drinks:

  • The Cottage
  • Oscar’s Mexian Seafood
  • Snooze
  • Phil’s BBQ
  • Board and Brew
  • The Crack Shack
  • Convoy (an area with lots of Asian food)

Nature and beaches:

  • Pacific Beach
  • Del Mar
  • Solana Beach
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (hiking and beach)
  • Sunset cliffs
  • Lake Poway to Mt. Woodson (hiking)
  • And many other hike trails and beaches…

LA Hot Spots: (this is a pretty brief list as we didn’t stay too long in LA) 

Tourist Attractions:

  • Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Arts (LACMA)
  • Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)
  • The Grove
  • Santa Monica
  • Venice Beach
  • Hike to the Hollywood Sign
  • The Last Bookstore

Food and drinks:

  • Grand Central Market
  • The Original Farmer’s Market
  • Koreatown
  • Bottega Louie
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