We have returned from our first road trip with King Lukas and I am happy to report he did great! In fact, since we’ve been home, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him humming this Johnny Cash tune.
Perhaps he hasn’t been everywhere, but the first trip out was such a success that we see no reason why he can’t join us on other adventures.
The drive from Phoenix to San Diego was six hours. Lukas slept about five of those, if not more. I was thankful we thought to put his doggie bed in the car with us before latching him into the seat with his seatbelt extender. He stayed there for most of the ride.
Minutes after we got to our vacation rental, Lukas felt right at home. He was a little uncertain at first–very excited to race down the street to take care of business and to walk out some of the kinks in his elbows and knees from sitting for so long–but soon we were inside, relaxing together on the couch.
Once we got settled in, we started a tradition that would carry us through the rest of the week–a walk down to the park that sits along the shore. We did this first thing in the morning and right after dinner every night. Not a bad way to start and end each day! Lukas, of course, loved it!
Although Lukas enjoyed our road trip together, he does seem a little more content to be at home. We’d like to think, though, that he enjoys being wherever we are. It’s sure hard to see that face and think otherwise.
For those who live in San Diego, there is always a reason to get out and play, but for those who are only allowed short visits, how do you pack all of paradise into a single weekend? Below are five ideas on how to get the most out of a weekend of play in San Diego.
1. Take a tour with Another Side of San Diego
If Another Side of San Diego doesn’t have a tour to fit your interest, time frame, and preferred mode of transportation, it doesn’t exist! Whether you’re in the mood for history, art, nature, food, or even beer, they’ve got a tour for it. Not only that, but you can pursue your interests by Segway, on foot, in a hot air balloon, on horseback, on a bike, or even in a boat! As long-time resident of La Jolla, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
To explore their tour options, visit their website. To book a tour, you can use their website or call them at 1-619-239-2111.
2. San Diego Botanic Gardens
To get outside and get away from it all, head up to Encinitas and visit the peaceful San Diego Botanic Gardens. There you can walk to the music of nature: birds chirping, lizards rustling in the brush, lacy bamboo swooshing in the breeze. Find a bench alongside the waterfall in the Tropical Rainforest, close your eyes, and listen to the sound of water carry all your troubles away.
On Saturdays at 10:30am, the gardens provide docent-led tours of the splendid variety of plants living in each section. Also, check their calendar for classes and other events, such as making your own succulent art work or cooking with an opera singing chef.
3. Take in a play at the La Jolla Playhouse
If you’re in San Diego to explore the beauty of their outdoor paradise, but you wouldn’t mind taking in a play while you’re there, you can combine the two by attending a Without Walls play through the award-winning La Jolla Playhouse. Over the last year, their Without Walls program has literally led audiences out of the theater and through garden paths or into the intimate surroundings of cars and martini bars.
If there isn’t a Without Walls program running when you visit, it is still worthwhile to see one of their plays with traditional-style seating. It should be stated, however, that none of their plays can be considered “traditional”. Better words might be provocative, cutting-edge, soulful, and unforgettable.
4. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
With two locations to choose from and plenty of docent-led tours available, at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego you can discover just how much you have in common with contemporary art. Take, for example, the current exhibit downtown by local artist Margaret Noble entitled “44th and Landis”. If you’re used to art being oil paintings hung on walls, you may wonder what you can get out of her paper dolls hanging from the ceiling and the wild noises crashing from her handmade speakers. But stop and look at the paper dolls. Listen to the sounds. Suddenly, you see familiar things, like the logo of a Peeps Marshmallow box or the chase of Ms. Pacman through a maze. You hear familiar sounds that take you back to 1982, when you lived for Space Invaders and chased the ice cream truck on your bike until it stopped.
If you didn’t grow up in the 80s, you may still connect with the artists that use light and space to evoke a feeling. Whole rooms are devoted to the sensations and emotions light can have on us. And, if that doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps you will marvel at the wall that breathes or connect with the massive iron heart that looks like a prison.
San Diego is not only charmed with sunny weather and stunning ocean views, it is home to more than its share of talented chefs, fresh produce, and inspired craft beer brewmasters.
If you only have time and budget for one special restaurant, go without delay to Georges at the Cove in La Jolla. Chef Trey Foshee has won tons of awards for his California Modern cuisine, including the San Diego Chefs Hall of Fame and the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. There’s a reason for all these accolades. His food is consistently knock-your-flip-flops-off delicious; the kind of delicious that you remember and dream about weeks and months later. Even vegetarians can get in on the making of great food memories because they offer an entirely vegetarian menu and many of the dishes can be made vegan.
Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling 858-454-4244.
If you go to Encinitas to visit the San Diego Botanic Gardens for an afternoon of peaceful retreat, spend your evening having dinner at Union Kitchen and Tap just down the road. They offer a variety of high-end tavern food (including vegetarian and vegan options) and they offer about 20 craft beers on tap, many of which are locally crafted.
Depending on what time you go, reservations may not be necessary, but if time is of the essence, it may be worthwhile to secure a table by giving them a call at 760.230.2337(BEER).
Where to stay
Hotel Parisi in La Jolla offers elegant and convenient accommodations for almost any sized group and any length of stay. The main sights, restaurants, and shopping opportunities are located just beyond the doorstep of this hotel.
Hotel Parisi also offers Parisi Apart, corporate apartments decked out with full-sized refrigerators, microwaves, silverware and dishes for travelers needing extended stays or those wishing to eat meals in the comfort of their own apartment.
The convenience of this hotel does come at a price, however. Prices start around $300 a night for a basic room and go up to over $400 a night for the extended stay apartments. Parking is an additional $15 per night and other fees may apply.
These are just a few ideas. The possibilities are endless.
How do you like to spend time in San Diego? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas! With your help, we can put together a comprehensive list that will help others plan their weekend at play in San Diego!
KEEN’s Worldwide Recess Day isn’t for another week, but I thought I’d get a jumpstart by playing on the rocks in La Jolla, California.
Stay tuned for more photos from my weekend at play, along with tips and ideas for how you can enjoy “The Jewel” of California!
Don’t forget to upload your photos to Twitter and Instagram on September 14th with the hashtag #TAKE10, for a chance to win a pair of shoes by KEEN footwear! And, although I can’t offer you a pair of shoes, I would still love to see what you’ve got planned for recess, so be sure to go to my Facebook page and post your photos there too!
On a partly cloudy afternoon last October, I took the “Another Side of San Diego” Segway Tour in La Jolla, California. My guide was a very knowledgeable, very friendly guy named Steven. We zipped all over town, taking in sea life, beach scenes, art, and architecture–all while smelling the fresh sea air and feeling somehow more connected to the town, its people, and the sealife because of the openness and accessibility of the Segway.
One of my favorite parts of the tour was actually when we got off our personal transporters to go check out some of the life along the intertidal zone. It was accessible because the tide was out. Happily for me, Steven was a student of zoology and was able to tell me about the starfish, anemones, crabs, and other creatures living in the little pools of water left after the tide went out. It made me want to take their Tidal Pool Tour.
I also loved going into the two art galleries we visited: Legends Art Gallery, where they sell beautiful Mackenzie Thorpe prints and Dr. Seuss reproductions, and Lik Gallery, which showcases the photography of Peter Lik, known for his TV show, “From the Edge” on The Weather Channel. It was so neat to explore these galleries. On our tour, I learned that Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) lived in La Jolla and was inspired by some of the trees, buildings, and landscapes of the area. Peter Lik’s photography has also been inspired by the shores of La Jolla.
There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about my tour. It provided a perfect balance of general sightseeing while focusing in on certain special details about the area. I would do it again in a heartbeat and, next time I’m in San Diego, I would love to take another Segway tour with “Another Side of San Diego”.
The price for this tour was $149. It was two hours in length and started and ended at Scripps Park in La Jolla. I highly recommend it.
Layer: I went in October. The clouds were overhead and made things a little chilly at first. As we went along, though, the sun popped out and warmed everything up. Steven brought along water bottles for the trip and there was a handy pouch on the front of the Segway to store my jacket when I took it off.
Wear comfortable shoes: If you heed nothing else I say, heed this advice. The Segway is all about standing and I learned from a previous experience that feet grow very weary standing on a Segway for two hours. I wore tennis shoes on this tour, and was very content the whole time.
Don’t forget your camera! I only took my iPhone camera but wished I could have zoomed in on some of the seals sunning themselves out on the rocks.