I left the Baltimore hostel around 4.30 am. I am so glad I booked the Super Shuttle, because I wouldn’t have had the strengh to walk for 30 minutes in this freezing weather to get to the train station. It was my first domestic flight within the USA, and I was quite curious to see how it would go. I checked in on an electronic machine and I was very surprised to see I had to pay for luggage, as it was a normal airline company. Throughout, the flight, I felt like I was getting lowcost standards within a normal flight. We had good legroom, but no entertainment, no free food and no luggage for a 6 hours + flight. I guess, 6 hours is just a normal flight for locals. Anyways, I checked-in, forgot part of my e-ticket on the machine, had to rush back and I manage to get it in time before they were gonna throw it out. I boarded at sunrise. The flight was pretty uneventful, but we did fly over beautiful landscapes. I was glued to the window for a few hours…
When we landed in San Diego, the sun and warmth were here to welcome me. I was so happy. I easily made my way to the hostel, the HI San Diego Downtown, got settled in my lovely room and went out to explore. I will tell you all about San Diego in a future post, but first, I wanted to tell you about my beautiful californian road-trip.
Indeed, the next day, I met up with a friend, Darshak. I had met Darshak last year in a hostel in Savannah, Georgia. He was travelling across country. I was beginning my trip around the world. We met again in a hostel in New Orleans and all over town. He has lived in San Diego for the past year and I was very lucky to meet him, as he is leaving for new adventures next week. It is so great to catch up with travelling friends, to tell each other all our stories and adventures and to go on a new journey together. As he had never been either, he agreed to go on a little road-trip with me in Southern California along the coast.
First, we went to San Juan Capistrano, a city just south of LA. The city is full of history and was great to explore. We took a guided tour of the Mission and I learned a lot about the history of the mission, of California and about native americans. It was instructive, interesting and a very beautiful place to walk around for a while.
After that, we headed for some lunch at a Mexican place, El Campeon, where I savoured a burrito and a fresh orange juice. I also took this opportunity to practice my Spanish and it went very smoothly. This is something I didn’t notice last time I came to the States, but this time, as I learned Spanish last year in South America, I realized that Spanish was all around me. I really love this mix of culture. We walked off our big meal in the historic center of the town. It is pretty small, but very cute, with lovely cafés and boutiques and a few historic buildings.
We started to drive south on the Pacific Highway, but the road is now closed in various points so we had to get on and off the Interstate 5 and to try to follow the coast as closely as possible. We stopped first to take a few pictures of the wild San Onofre State Beach and at the Mirador Las Flores. It is a shame the sun goes down so early these days, because we could not enjoy the whole road.
However, we got to witness a spectacular sunset in Oceanside. It was quiet and really perfect to take it all in and take some good pictures. I hope I will not bore you with all my sunset pictures, but it was hard to only choose a few.
This short road-trip was a great introduction to California. I got to see some beautiful beaches, an historic place and a few cities along the way. It really makes me wanna come back for a long road-trip across country… Anyone wants to join?
Don’t forget to follow Taralynn’s adventures in France on Voyages et Vagabondages!