Sunny Last Days in San Diego (Coronado, UCSD)

Hello there!
So this is my last post from San Diego, and I don’t like the word that starts with a G and ends with a “bye,” since I believe that every change is the start of something new, and never the end of anything, so I will just talk about the rest of my San Diego experience avoiding that. :)

That week, I met a coworker named Kelly, who is starting at Outdoor Adventures (the equivalent to outdoor recreation) with USD this year. She had just moved to San Diego  a few weeks prior, and she was telling me about this beach yoga on Wednesdays at Sunset Cliffs in OB (Ocean Beach) that she went to. She asked if I wanted to come, and I of course said yes. How could I say no to this view?

That same week, a coworker at USD went to Julien, CA, which is known for it’s delicious apple pies. I asked her if she could bring me back a pie, and she did! It was definitely extremely delicious, and I tried to share with as many people that crossed my path as I could!

That weekend was my last weekend in San Diego, so I tried to fill it with fun adventures with friends. First on the list was the Little Italy Farmer’s Market with Maren (a USD grad intern) and Kelly.  I ate a blackberry cheesecake cup and had a delicious mango lemonade as we walked through the streets, looking through various stalls and vendors.
After Little Italy, we grabbed lunch at a street Thai place called J&T’s and parted ways. I then went to Coronado with John (residence life grad intern) and Terrence (USD Community Director). I had never been yet so it was a lot of fun! Coronado Island is funny because it is not actually an island. It is connected by a very thin and long strip of land called the Silver Strand that is mostly just beach and road, and stretches south of Coronado, connecting it with mainland SD eventually. Coronado is a really beautiful little place. A good portion of the land is reserved for the military base.  I was also told by either Terrence or John that the buildings on Coronado all have to be different styles, that no two buildings can look the same. I thought this was interesting! I also heard from one of my CouchSurfing friends that Coronado is one of the most expensive places to live in the entirety of the USA.
We first explored some shops where I bought some postcards, and then walked across all of Coronado to meet up with John. We ended up at the Hotel Del Mar, which is a super nice and expensive hotel, perfect for weddings (we saw one happening while we were there), and other celebrations if you have the money.  It also has one of the most vacation-like beaches in San Diego – looks like something out of a dream, crazy!




So did you know that palm trees have flowers as well as small fruits? A lot of palm trees had this, sometimes in pink, other times in yellow.  Bees pollinate the flowers and then fruits form. :) It reminded me of jewelry a little bit!









The inside of the Hotel Del Mar.

After Coronado, we went to Slater’s 50/50, which is a burger joint that serves burgers that are 50% beef and 50% bacon. So delicious!That night, I was invited onto a night cruise on the bay with my CouchSurfing friend Ryan and his friends.  I took two Dramamine and hoped for the best… and I gotta say, the views were gorgeous. It was difficult to catch with a camera phone, but the skyline was beautiful.

USS Midway, as seen from the water at night… HUGE ship!
The next day I took it easy, cleaned, and started packing to musing blaring from my laptop. The next day though, I was invited to a Padres game with Terrence! I had never been to a baseball game, and didn’t even know that the Padres were a baseball team until I got to San Diego. It was awesome, and the stadium even sang, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at one point! We did the wave, and ate pretzels and drank lemonade, and cheered for the Padres who won, surprisingly.
On Wednesday, I had the good fortune of visiting UCSD. A project of mine had me reaching out to various administrators and gathering information about Peer Advising programs, and one of the people I contacted was so kind as to invite me on campus to meet with her! I was able to take a walking tour of campus, and then have lunch and meet her office. So nice!
UCSD is definitely a different beast than USD. It was beautiful, surrounded by trees, and made of a lot of wood so it gave it a camp-like feeling. It felt a lot more like Rutgers, and had something really interesting that I liked a lot – 6 different colleges where students can under different philosophies of thought, such as the independent spirit or the renaissance individual. It was very interesting to see the culture of each college, even expressed in the architecture! The wonderful thing is you can major in subject you wish, regardless of the college you belong to. They sometimes just have different requirements. Very interesting!
This was a thrift shop on campus, and all the proceeds went to funding students looking to study abroad. UCSD has an extensive study abroad program, and try to make their opportunities as accessible as possible.  I met the most wonderful ladies inside the shop, one from Germany, another from Ireland. :) Europeans unite!


The International Center. There were people doing some kind of folk dancing in the middle. You can kind of see them in the left side of the photo. :) Was kind of itching to break away from my tour and watch them!





Food Co-Op!
That thing far in the distance is the Sun God, which is the unofficial mascot of UCSD. The official mascot is the Triton. A funny story the tour guide told me was that if you walk backwards through the arch underneath and wish to do well on your next exam, you will get an A because the Sun God looks like an A. ;)



Geisel Library, houses the largest Dr. Seuss collection in the world. Why? Because Dr. Seuss lived in La Jolla and his name was Theodor Seuss Geisel. :)
Check out the house on the building on the left! It’s part of an art collection called the Stuart Collection. You can actually visit the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays!
The tree at the end of the pathway is called the Silent Tree. It is a work of art in protest of trees being cut down to expand UCSD. There is also a Talking Tree and a Singing Tree. The Talking Tree plays all kinds of spoken word, and the Singing Tree plays music. :) Beautiful!


This path was really interesting. Apparently the scales are somewhat fragile and they break from time to time. When they are replaced, they are changed to a different color tile, so the snake “sheds its skin” over the course of time. You can view aerial photos of the changes online!
Finally, as one of my last two San Diego experiences, I had a California burrito (which wasn’t really a California burrito but more like a carne asada with extra things added, but whatever. My very last experience was Blue Water with Manda and Nancy, and it was this really amazing seafood restaurant with crazy cray fresh fish.
So that was my time in San Diego wrapping up, and it was a really great week! My last day was especially wonderful. The whole vibe of the day was warm, hopeful, and positive, and I managed not to cry! There were a few moments, when I was leaving my office, that I felt a little bit of heat rise in my face, but for the most part I was too busy having such a wonderful time with my friends that I was focused on that.
The thing I will miss most about San Diego is not the weather, or the palm trees, or OB and it’s crazy people and surfers, but the people that I met there. Everybody I made connections with impacted me in some way, shape, or form, whether or not they know it.  These 2.5 months were made special by everybody that laughed with me, shared their stories with me, and pushed me to think about life through a different pair of eyes. I will miss them all, and really will do my best to keep in touch!
I am going to end on a fun note and post this video that I made for class, talking about USD:

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