Nov 252015

Hi friends! Today I’m back with the second (and final) recap of my vacation in San Diego with my good friend, Catrina. If you missed part 1 you can find that here!

Catrina and I both had the day off from work on Monday, so we decided to sleep in a bit (ha! Neither of us are good at sleeping in late) before hitting the pavement for a run! As I mentioned in my last post, Catrina lives in Pacific Beach which is an adorable beach town outside of San Diego. Her typical three mile route includes a run along the beach and the bay, which is just insane. Can you imagine running with views like this in perfect 70+ degree weather every day? I swear, this place is not real.


After running along the beach, we turned off onto a side street that would take us over to the bay. The side streets were so adorable, and I felt like I was in Fire Island or some other quaint beach town. All the bungalows were so charming!


We wound up running three miles and then walking about half a mile to cool down. Not a bad way to start the day!

After showering up at Catrina’s, we headed out for acai bowls for breakfast. I had never heard of an acai bowl, but here’s how Huffington Post describes it:

An acai bowl is basically a really thick smoothie that’s been topped with oatmeal, fruit or peanut butter, and then you wolf it down with a spoon. For breakfast. After eating a bowl, you will not only feel happily full (for hours) and have satisfied a sweet craving (no need to cave for a donut), you’ll have also done something that was good for you. Win win.

Sounds amazing! Acai bowls are everywhere in Southern California, but Catrina took us to her favorite spot: Cafe 976. Check out how cute the patio is! I love how all the restaurants in San Diego are so open and/or have outdoor seating; I guess that’s what happens when the weather is always perfect.


Catrina and I both started off with delicious coffees (if I’m remembering correctly, I ordered something like a Milky Way, which was chocolatey and delicious) and then it was time for the acai bowl!


If possible, it was even better than I was expecting. Underneath all the fresh fruit was a cold acai smoothie-like texture, and it was delicious! I definitely need to find a place that sells these on the east coast.

After breakfast, we headed off to our main destination of the day: the San Diego Zoo!


Haha! We are nerds. :)

Catrina knows I’m obsessed with animals, so she figured I would love the famous San Diego Zoo. Well, she was right! Although I am still partial to the National Zoo here in DC (it helps that it’s free…), I was very impressed with San Diego’s zoo and loved how close we were able to get to the animals!

We spent the day bopping around from animal to animal, and especially loved watching all the monkeys. They had so many different kinds!

The elephants were pretty amazing too. :)


After walking around for a while, we discovered a “Zoo Brew” and we each got ourselves a beer to sip on. Sunshine, animals, a best friend, and beer? Welcome to my happy place.


Soon enough we came upon the panda enclosure, which was so amazing! In DC the pandas are always really far away and you can barely see them, if they are even out (sometimes they are sleeping inside). That was not the case in San Diego at all!


I don’t know if it’s just the time we were visiting or what, but these pandas were very close to the edge of their enclosure so we could see them perfectly! One of them was even sitting back and watching us while he rested his bamboo on his tummy. #MySpiritAnimal


After we were done visiting the pandas, it was time for the tigers! At first we couldn’t see them anywhere, but then we discovered they were over by a watering hole playing with one another.


This was by far my favorite part of the day – we got an up-close look at the two tigers playing in the water! Please note these pictures were all taken with my cell phone and, although they aren’t great quality, it shows you how close we were to them.


This one isn’t even zoomed in!


Amazing, right? Overall I had such a fun time at the zoo, and I’m so thankful that Catrina thought to bring me there. She actually wound up having a really fun time too, which I don’t think she was expecting. :)

After the zoo, we walked around in downtown San Diego for a bit, before going back to Catrina’s to relax. We wound up ordering Thai food, drinking wine, and watching the latest Hunger Games movie, which was the perfect way to end the evening in my opinion.


Catrina and I both needed to work on Tuesday, so we wound up next to each other on the couch with our laptops open and Food Network on TV. Not a bad way to work at all!

At lunchtime we headed down to a Greek place in her neighborhood for salads, stuffed grape leaves, and about a hundred pieces of pita. Yum!

When we were done working, we headed down to the beach!


I really wanted to stick my toes in the Pacific Ocean – just to say I did it – so that’s exactly what I did! It was pretty cold, but beautiful. Catrina watched from afar; you can tell she lives in California now because she said it was too cold for her. 😉

After that, we headed to a CrossFit class! Catrina goes to CrossFit a lot during the week, and I loved being able to see where she works out.


Our workout was a tough one and at the end we wound up practicing all kinds of push-ups. Phew! It’s going to be a long time before I can do ring push-ups, that’s for sure. They’re so hard!

After showering up, we met up with Catrina’s friend Eden in Ocean Beach for Taco Tuesday, which is a big deal in Southern California. I really wanted to try a shark taco (!!) but sadly the restaurant ran out. Boo. Luckily the mahi-mahi and regular fish tacos were still delicious!


After dinner we stopped for some fro-yo, before Catrina dropped me off at the airport for my lovely red eye flight back east.


As if you couldn’t tell from these two posts, I had an absolutely amazing time in San Diego visiting Catrina, and I’m already looking forward to when I’ll be able to go back (slash move there? That weather!!). Thanks for having me, Treen!

Question of the day: Have you ever considered moving yourself to a totally different location?

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