Going in the water to cool off
As the temperatures soared in AZ, I decided that the July 4th holiday would be the perfect time to get away for a couple days to sunny (not 110+ degrees) SoCal. I had been out to San Diego a couple of years ago for July 4th and had a great time so I was eager to make a return trip. Having moved to Scottsdale a couple of months ago, I only had to deal with a 5-hour drive versus the 6-hour flight I had to take from JFK last time. And to be honest, I was kind of looking in forward to the drive through the desert of the southwest.
The scenery along the drive was amazing. I tried taking some pictures as I was driving, but none of them really show just how beautiful it was. To make matters worse, every time I rolled down the window to take a pic, the blast of hot air from outside felt like I had just opened an oven door right in my face.
Some of the better sites I saw along the drive were just west of Yuma. A church sitting alone on a hill top and sand dunes that reminded me of the Sahara were breathtaking. I even found the mountains in southeast Cali fascinating. It looked like just a bunch of loose boulders stacked on top of each other to make a mountain, rather than the huge solid rock mountains I’m used to seeing.
Starting the day with a little flip-cup
I arrived on the island of Coronado, CA where I would be staying at the apartment of one of my old teammates from college. It felt good to be in cooler weather again and I was actually a little bit chilly at first even the temperature was probably in the mid-70’s. Along with some friends, we went out for dinner and a couple drinks to “The Yardhouse” in downtown San Diego.
Known for their huge selection of draft beers (over 130 I think), I was pleased to find out that they serve really good food as well. After dinner, we finished the night at a small bar on Coronado called “McP’s”. Supposedly a hangout for the Navy Seals based on Coronado, “McP’s” is definitely a local’s bar and everyone there seems to know each other.
The entire beach was packed
I got up early on the morning of the 4th and made my way back across to the mainland and up to Pacific Beach (PB). Parking in PB on July 4th is absolutely ridiculous. Unless you plan on getting up before dawn, you will wind up parking at least a mile away from the beach…so pack your walking shoes or the number for a cab. After breakfast at my friend Steve’s apartment, a group of us made the 3 block walk to Mission Bay.
One thing I learned from my previous trip to PB is that the people there really know how to make the beach interesting. Back at Jones Beach in NY, you’re not even allowed to throw a ball around near the water, never mind drink alcohol. This is not the case though in PB and Mission Bay. People bring couches, propane grills, fold out tables for beer pong and flip cup, aerobeds, slip & slides, ice luges, and 8 person beer bongs. Not to mention the numerous DJ’s that set up their turn tables right on the beach. The music starts early but once the clock strikes 12pm, you can hear all the cans of beer popping open as the party really begins.
Good pic of the bay in the late afternoon
The last July 4th that I was out here, we spent the day on Pacific Beach rather than Mission Bay.
After experiencing the two, I’d have to say that Pacific Beach is a little wilder than Mission Bay although both are an extremely good time. They are definitely more people on PB because of its greater size, but it also seems like there are less families and younger children around.
View down Mission Bay
After the beach, most people head home to sleep. But you shouldn’t waste all your energy partying because then there is a good chance you’ll miss the numerous fireworks shows that light up the San Diego skyline at night. I’ve got to say that SD has one of the best skylines of any city I’ve been to. It really is beautiful… I highly recommend checking it out from a restaurant/bar on Coronado in the evening. And you might even witness an entertaining fireworks display from Petco Park every time the Padres win a home game.
After a long and tiring day, I returned to Coronado for one last beer at McP’s with my buddies before going to bed and heading back to Scottsdale the next morning.