Six Hours in San Diego: The Layover
Seaport Village at dusk image- Seaport Village
Words By: Jake Conlee
I have always loved San Diego; but not because of the weather, the beautiful setting of having the Pacific as the backdrop, the useable outdoor spaces which makes this city a multi-purpose city; I love San Diego because it is unlike anywhere else. Even though I grew up just under 100 miles away, San Diego was truly, “Our Exotic Neighbor to the South.” The zoos, the museums, the parks and beaches, Old Town, Seaport Village and Gaslamp; the Chargers and Padres games, ComicCon and the Miramar Air Show, San Diego boasts a great time everywhere you turn. From Oceanside to San Ysidro, from Escondido to El Cajon, there are innumerable different neighborhoods offering different cultures, lifestyles and contribution to this incredible city. I know the area well, but everything in life can be better with a proper guide and great company.
This week, I found myself in the San Diego area for a few hours, and wanted to fill my time there with a view of the Pacific that I miss so very much, a bite to eat, and then a nice walk to work off a portion of dinner. I knew what was around town, but I made sure to be the tourist, since I had such a willing and knowledgeable guide.
Our day started off in Rancho Bernardo, it was warm at 3pm, but nothing compared to the blazing heat of the desert that I left behind that morning. It was an actual relief to feel 80 degree weather, after the mercury here in the Las Vegas Valley has been in the low 100s. After a short drive through the beautiful Scripps Ranch (I had never been), we crossed towards the coast on Miramar, and then snaked across the UTC La Jolla area to have a look at some of the mid-century architecture in University City. I love the area, it is neat and well kept, established and reminds me of being a child at my grandmothers house and neighborhood. My host also seemed to have an affinity for the area, and one house in particular.
She had agreed to guide me towards La Jolla Cove, and within 10 minutes of that neat little neighborhood, we found ourselves face to face with La Jolla Cove and that beautiful and majestic expanse of blue water that I have missed so much. I love the Pacific Ocean, but even more so, I loved standing out with her on the rocks jutting out into the cove. It was as if the world had stopped for a few moments, while I could take it all in. It seemed like just the two of us, even the seals had stopped bleating from the rocks below. The waves crashed at our feet, the fresh waves, coming to die on the rocks, hissing as they recede back into the Pacific. I can still feel the light ocean mist on my cheek.
After making a quick pit stop for some Japanese fizzy drinks, Burt’s Bees and a charging unit for my phone, we were on our way to her suggestion of Slater’s 50/50 for some handcrafted and interesting hamburgers. We made our way out of La Jolla Village via Mount Soledad road, giving a great vantage point of the beautiful expanse of San Diego. Not an easy drive; from La Jolla Cove to Point Loma, but with great conversation and an equally breathtaking view, it made for a pleasant drive.
We arrived at Slater’s 50/50 in about 30 minutes, which was perfect. It was crowded, but it was to be expected. We agreed to the wait time of 30-40 minutes, but we immediately found a pair of counter seats. Agreeing at first to have a Bacon Martini and some drinks at the bar, we decided to settle up here and have our dinner. The conversation was continuing and flowing, so we didn’t feel at all distracted by the noise and action of the bar. She ordered the Avocado monster that is the 50/50 burger, with fried egg and cheese and the typical burger accouterments, I had chosen the B’B’B’ Burger with Bacon, and Bacon Island Dressing on a Pretzel Bun. The burgers were nothing short of amazing, and even though my companion had deconstructed her burger all over her plate and the counter, she assured me that she was very pleased with hers as well. Order it medium for goodness sakes..
After a dessert of S’mores milkshake, we agreed on the always romantic and relaxing Seaport Village. I have been coming here for the greater part of 30 years, as my parents would always bring us here to walk around. This night was cool and breezy and I am lucky that I happened to have a jacket that I wasn’t using, and even though it looked odd and ridiculously oversized, she was comfortable and wore it as if it fit perfectly. We strolled and continued our conversation, popping in and out of the little boutiques, eventually buying some old-timey candies. We walked on for about an hour, before it was time for the both of us to be responsible members of society and call it a night.
I was in San Diego for all of but 6 hours on this wonderful day, but it seemed like it was a span of days. I have always enjoyed San Diego and the places and interests that it has to offer… But with the right person showing you around, it is very easy to fall in love. This city has always been special to me, but within a span of 6 spectacular hours, it will forever be magical to me.