Welcome to Solana Beach
As I mentioned a few posts ago, I started my first "big girl" job in San Diego. Simply stated: it's been a whirlwind (hence the lack of blogging activity). Everything happened so quick, and sure, it's had its ups (loving my job) and downs (not having a place to live), but I wouldn't trade out the experience of the last few weeks.
As I mentioned, I hadn't been able to find a place to live in San Diego. It felt like everything within my price range was just unavailable! So, the past week and a half, I've been bouncing around AirBnB's, family friends' houses, co-workers' apartments, and home (yes, driving all two hours away back and forth). It's honestly been uncomfortable and really lonely. After jumping headfirst into a new job and essentially a new life, all I really wanted was to be able to go to a place that felt like home after work, rather than commuting around and literally living out of the suitcase and food in my car. The worst part was that my housing situation made work stressful. I loved work, but near the end of last week it was becoming almost impossible to focus my full attention on my projects while trying to think of ways I could find somewhere to live and where I would stay next.
This weekend, I knew I had to give apartment hunting another go. Rather than drive back to Rancho only to return to San Diego just ten hours later, I booked an AirBnB in Solana Beach, California. I really knew nothing about Solana Beach, but I was pretty partial to a city that had "beach" in its name. Plus, I figured why not try something new and get away from the immediate San Diego area to clear my apartment-hunt-stress-filled mind. So, following work on Friday, I drove to Solana Beach, which was only a surprising 15 minutes away. Though it was a pretty cloudy (and humid...yuck) day, I could already tell the area was pretty.
Before heading to my AirBnB condo and spending my night skimming through endless apartment listings, I decided to explore. I immediately headed closer to the coastline and made my way through the surrounding neighborhood, full of beach cottages and local businesses. Eventually, I made my way to the beach and watched the sunset, which managed to be beautiful even with the thick layer of clouds.
I spent the rest of my evening eating, people watching, and of course browsing through Craigslist. The next morning, I got up early and headed out to the city's design district before I had to leave to my first open house of the day.
Though my stay in Solana Beach was just over 12 hours, it was wonderful and relaxing. I love the slow pace of the beach, and it was a nice little 12 hour "vacation" amidst the stress of the apartment search. If you are ever in the San Diego area or going to the Del Mar Races, make sure to stop by Solana Beach.
Here are my must-try's:
-Fletcher's Beach Park: This park was just the cutest. Located directly west of Highway 101, this park had basketball courts, grass, picnic areas, and a playground...not to mention, a staircase down to the sand. Since I was in my work clothes, I didn't want to actually go to the sand (boo), but I sat on the grassy area and watched the sunset and listened to the waves. It was such a peaceful area in a beautiful neighborhood! Did I mention parking was free?! This never happens at beaches.
-Pillbox Tavern: This bar/restaurant was really close to Fletcher Park, so I decided to hop in for a bite to eat. I came in at a fairly empty time for a Friday, so I got to sit right at the bar. Pillbox had a great selection of local brews on tap, and I enjoyed my Green Flash IPA and mahi mahi tacos. Though I typically hate going to restaurants alone, this place was fun and I sat watching SportsCenter and the bartender. Seriously, after watching him go, I think I've decided I want to get bartender certified. It looked so fun!
-Cedros Avenue Design District: This was just the cutest, most Pinterest-y street. Cedros Avenue was just two blocks away from the beach and still retained the chill atmosphere. The street was filled with furniture and design stores, as well as cafes, coffee shops, and local breweries. I started out with some coffee and browsed through some of the cute shops. It occupied a few hours...and gave me so many decorating ideas for my new apartment! My go-to stores on this street: Solo & Leaping Lotus! Both had paper source-y elements and such cute decor. I was feeling a bit crafty after both.
-Lofty Coffee : I could rave on and on about this place. My host at AirBnB recommended I check this place out as a fellow coffee-lover. It was in the design district, so I figured it was perfect. The place had a line out its gate the entire hour I spent here. I begrudgingly waited in said line, but it was so worth it. The menu looked delicious. I settled on the Costa Rica Las Lajas Honey filter coffee and a buttermilk blueberry muffin. The coffee was divine--it had notes of vanilla and brown sugar. If you get it--drink it black; don't ruin it! The muffin was similarly great, and I loved how the ingredients were local. Definitely a cool breakfast place to meet friends or a place to journal (like me!).