Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Travel Diary: San Diego

Just for a weekend escape (and because of this city's insane capacity of fun things to do), my family and I all drove down to San Diego. And let me tell you, it was an absolute pleasure.

We stayed at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, and because my cousins from Korea were with us, we shared a three bedroom connected villa. The kitchenette was extraordinarily stocked, the couches in the living area were bizarrely plush, and the buildings made me reminisce of binge watching Mamma Mia under my covers at two in the morning. They were just so freaking Grecian!

When you drive up to the resort (by the way, what differentiates a hotel and a resort? I've always wanted to know. Let me know in the comments!), you're greeted by a rainbow assortment of hibiscus flowers, ranging from a blush pink with an intense pomegranate red center, to a vibrant crimson. Terra cotta pots that match the Spanish roofs of the buildings hold white, bubblegum pink, and fuchsia blooms. And I'm a big artist, so I go nuts for color shades.

The first day was spent exploring the many pools and repetitively racing down water slides. Well, that was before I got tired, and when the effects of the increased UV radiation (thanks Integrated Science II!) really started to beat down on me (we were in San Diego, give me a break) I slathered on tanning oil on my god awful field hockey tanlines and laid down. And thanks to the trusty we-sell-them-everywhere trashy tabloids, it was a really nice just doing nothing.

We got breakfast at a continental breakfast buffet at Bistro 65, a restaurant within the hotel. Our table was outside, sunlight streaming in through the minuscule pockets of the linen umbrellas. And get this- a man walks around with a hawk (a hawk!) to keep little birds from coming in and eating our food.

The next day, we headed to Aquatica, a brand new water park that opened up in the San Diego area. I'm sorry, no matter how many childhood memories were forged there, I just cannot go back to Soak City. That place is seems increasingly horrific every time I go back.

But this water park, it was different. I liked this tropical, Caribbean theme they had going. They had flamingos -NO LIE!- in this little sectioned off terrarium, and sea turtles in a rocky tank. The slides were in an array of bright colors and the plant compositions went with the theme perfectly.

After six hours of sliding and sliding and sliding, it was time to go. Each slide was unique and was geared toward a different sensation (the thrill of a drop, the fear of almost slipping out of the tube, a gentle, swaying feeling), and I have to say I liked them all. Fine, gun to my head, the race was my favorite. It is six joint slides, that take you down sharp turns in an enclosed tube, before spewing you out onto similar tracks. They provide sled like devices with grips that leave you racing down the slides like penguins. It's incredible!

We had Brazilian food that night at Sabor de Vida, a small an intimate restaurant that exudes charm. I had piranha, top sirloin, with some rice, salsa, and grilled vegetables. And for dessert… Brazilian white chocolate!

The weekend was relaxing, exhilarating, and exciting. And Carlsbad, San Diego, was the perfect host city. It's like the La CaƱada of San Diego. And if you are ever looking for a beautiful city with an ocean view, drive down now. Traffic free, it's only a short hour and a half of south of LA.

xx Carolyn

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