We last left you with our arrival to the southern California coast. We drove to Ocean Beach near San Diego on July 19th and after being land-locked for so long, Mike peeled into the parking lot at the beach, threw on his bathing suit and jumped into the water with his board (beautiful waist-to-chest high sets rolled in for hours off the Ocean Beach jetty…oh, San Diego). Kaitlin soaked in some of the California sun on the sand.
After leaving the beach, we drove around town and then headed to In-N-Out Burger because we had heard so many good things about their famous burgers. The rumors are not wrong – it’s amazing! After an awesome meal, we drove to our hotel…a.k.a a Walmart parking lot where we retired for the evening.
On Wednesday, we shared a delicious omelette at IHOP and then headed to the famous San Diego Zoo. Hands down, best zoo out there for the variety of animals. The one problem was that they were all asleep…thanks guys. Sleeping animals are so fun to watch. Still a very fun day though and we’ve included some pictures below of some new friends we made that day!
After the zoo, we went to Balboa Park and then grabbed dinner in the Gas Lamp District at a great Middle Eastern joint. Delicious! Campgrounds were hard to come by in the San Diego area, but we were able to find a county park above the city that was perfect! So after dinner, we made our way up there and dozed off dreaming about sleeping pandas…
On Thursday morning, we made our way to the shop of Solid Surf, an eco-friendly surfboard shaping company which Mike features on Evergreen Sessions. Mike interviewed Dan O’Hara, who started Solid Surf, on video and learned more about his business. By a crazy twist of fate, when we arrived, Dan was working on a surfboard for Mike’s friend, Jimmy, from Long Island!
After leaving Solid Surf, we grabbed lunch and then settled into a Starbucks for a few hours to get things done on our computers. In the late afternoon, we drove to Coronado, an island right next to San Diego. It has a thriving downtown and a beautiful beach – a great place for a relaxing vacation! We even stopped at the famous Hotel del Coronado where “Some Like it Hot” was filmed (picture Bessie pulling up into the Valet Parking line). The building and grounds are gorgeous and it would be wonderful to actually stay there one day…that night though, we headed back to our county park to camp.
On Friday morning, we headed to Old Town San Diego, also called the “Birthplace of California” because it is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in the state. We enjoyed the beautiful weather, wandered into the exhibits and ate some awesome burritos. We then drove to Pacific Beach and Mike got in a surf (waist high sets off the north side of the Pacific Beach pier). Dinner was Naked Pizza…a healthier approach to pizza using natural ingredients and no chemicals. It was no New York pizza, but it was pretty good! After dinner, it was back to the county park for the night (where we could hear the music of a wedding in the valley below)!
On Saturday morning, we headed to Cardiff-by-the-Sea, where there was a board swap taking place, organized by Patagonia. What is a board swap you ask? Well, people bring their boards to one central location to sell them to people who attend. Another company that Mike learned about through his work with Evergreen Sessions, ReRip, had a table at the event to spread the word about their board recycling program, so we met up with Meghan and Lisa, the organization’s founders!
After leaving the board swap and eating some more delicious tacos for lunch, we drove north up the coast and Mike surfed near South Carlsbad (clean, knee-to-waist high beachbreak with only two guys out). We then grabbed some dinner, did laundry, and slept in a Walmart parking lot for the night. Wicked Saturday night!
On Sunday, we visited the California Surf Museum and then headed to a famous surf spot called Trestles, at San Onofre State Beach, where Mike hit the waves (waist high, rock reef peelers — real punchy waves and super fun!). Kaitlin has made some headway through some books during his surf sessions. After he was done, we drove to San Clemente (love it there!) where we checked out the beach and the town and then spent a little more time at Starbucks. After checking into our campsite (which overlooked the ocean – score!), we got even more amazing tacos (best fish tacos we’ve ever had – check out Pedro’s Tacos if you’re in the area!).
After grabbing breakfast the next morning (it is now Monday, July 25th), we stopped into the headquarters office of the Surfrider Foundation, of which Mike is a member. The mission of Surfrider is: The protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. The staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming and we even got to chat with Jim Moriarty, CEO of Surfrider!
After Surfrider, we grabbed lunch and then Mike had a meeting with a fellow surfer based in San Clemente who is working toward a goal similar to that of Evergreen Sessions — making the surfing industry more eco-friendly. While Mike chatted, Kaitlin enjoyed the beautiful waterfront in town.
Late in the afternoon, we headed to L.A. where we were to stay with Mike’s Uncle Greg and Aunt Susan and cousins Dani and Andre! We’ll pick up on our L.A. adventures next time!
P.S. – Check out evergreensessions.com periodically for updates about our meet-ups in California with several of the companies featured on the site. Mike is putting together interesting videos and posts about our time with these trailblazing companies!
P.P.S. – We were alerted to a mistake we made in an earlier post about Four Corners. The four states that join together are Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah (not Nevada, as we stated). Our fact-checker has been fired.