Tuesday, September 23, 2014

TWENTY-THREE | San Diego Gems

Today's blog prompt: A guide to your city! Share some of the hot-spots and hidden gems of where you live.

I live in San Diego, CA ~

If you’ve been here you know how big it is and how there are tons of little cities within this great big city. I currently live in an area known at Normal Heights/Kensington. When I first moved out here for grad school I didn’t live here. Once I was engaged and only months before the wedding I moved into the sweetest neighborhood here and haven’t looked back.

I grew up in the country in Nebraska on 30 acres of land. Obviously San Diego is NOT like this. However I feel that I have found my own “small town” feel living in Normal Heights. It is certainly more of a cement urban jungle than country but it has it’s own unique charm and hidden gems. Pedestrians, bikers, dog walkers and antique stores line the streets of Normal Heights. There is a yoga studio across the street where I pick up classes, the post office is literally around the corner of our apartment, my hair stylist is just down the street a block. The library is a couple blocks down farther and is quaint and smells of dusty books. Here are a few local favorites :

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters: Go here to learn more about my obsession for this place and their pour over and cold brew coffee. 

Adams Avenue Bookstore: Used, antique, vintage books. There are windy stairs and rows and rows of colorful books. The children's section has its own little room that shares with the psychology books as well. What more could you want! 

 Blind Lady Ale House : One of my first times hanging out with Scott was here. We would go after our class was over around 10 pm and order some beers. I prefer wine over beer generally but this place has fantastic craft beer. I love the atmosphere. I always get the cider or framboise. 

Ponces Mexican Restaurant : Another favorite spot just down the street. Authentic mexican food. I have their shrimp tacos that make my mouth water. They also have bomb margaritas and unending servings of chips and salsa. 

Soda and Swine : This restaurant is exactly what it says. They have craft sodas and all their entrees include some kind of swine whether it's in spaghetti or a slider or a sub. I personally love their side dishes of macaroni and cheese, asparagus, and their frites. They have a fireplace and an open roof that views the stars. They also have Polite Provisions attached to their space which is a classy 1920's places with the most creative drinks. 

Carmelite Monastery : This is one of the beautiful places in our neighborhood. I love riding my bike or walking down here to explore the gardens popping with flowers of reds, yellows, pinks and purples. This is where I find my leaves in the fall and where I gather my faults and learn how to breathe again and again. It is an enchanting little place.

Salon Bordeaux : This is where I get my hair done. The girl I see is fantastic. Going here is like a whole spa experience where you have wine, a girlfriend to chat with and you leave looking gorgeous. Read more about this experience here.

Of course San Diego is filled with so many amazing places. They have the best Vietnamese, Thai and Mexican food I have ever had. There is Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, The Wild Animal Park, Birch Aquarium, Balboa and all their museums, and of course tons and tons of beaches. In the summers, we are congested with tourists and I usually hide from these specific hot spots though.  
I personally love going to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. It is so serene and beautiful. 

One time this summer on a rare foggy day, Scott and I packed a picnic and headed to the lighthouse. It began to rain and it was everything I love. Rain, mist and a romantic lighthouse overlooking  a stormy sea.  This is also a great place to go searching for sea glass too if you are a collector.

             We even were able to tour the inside of the lighthouse and learn all about it's history! 

What about you? What are your local favorites?


  1. Next time I come, we are going to hit up all these spots!

  2. I've been thinking we'll have to make a trip to San Diego whilst the littles are still relatively little (when we can), for the Zoo and Sea World and the Wild Animal Park...have bookmarked your post so, if (when!) we do manage to go, we can sneak in some of your recommendations too. Thank you xxx