The first of many beaches

When I think back on the week I spent with my wife in and around San Diego, I’ll remember the beaches the most.    I’ve always felt drawn to the water, and that place where land meets ocean has always had a hold on me.   After spending the partial day we arrived in San Diego on a city tour and eating tacos (I’ll be writing much more on tacos later!), we spent a lazy Sunday morning in bed with good coffee and the New York Times before deciding to head north of the city to Pacific Beach.

With cloudy skies and the temperature only barely touching 20°C, the normal Sunday crowds were nowhere to be found, giving us more than enough space to enjoy the sound of the waves of the Pacific Ocean lapping up on shore.

Pier at Pacific Beach

My wife and I headed for that pier above for a vantage point both up and down the coast.   At the end of the pier nearest land there’s a number of cottages for rent where you can sit all day long and watch the waves crash ashore.  We filed that away for a future vacation idea.   The pier is really the perfect place to take in Pacific Beach.  Here’s the view south toward San Diego:

Pacific Beach

… and in the other direction, north toward La Jolla, as it juts out into the Pacific:

Looking toward La Jolla

While we stood at the end of the pier, we couldn’t take our eyes off about twenty surfers looking for their next wave.   It was a pretty calm day, so there was quite a bit of this going on.   I love the surfer on the bottom looking like he’s taking a nap on his board.

Surfers at Pacific Beach

Every couple of minutes a reasonable wave would materialize, and you could immediately tell who the better surfers were.  The really experienced ones only got into position for the waves that actually turned into something to ride.  Here is one of the better surfers in the group getting a bit of action:

Surfing at Pacific Beach

Showing that wasn’t a fluke, here he is again catching another wave a few minutes later:

Surfer riding a wave at Pacific Beach

All that watching surfing worked up quite an appetite. We wandered down the beach a bit in search of a place we’d scoped out for a gluten-free lunch.   Fresh crab, corn and potatoes with an ocean view… Is there any wonder why I’m madly and deeply in love with the west coast?

Lunch of crab overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Fueled up, we set off on a walk south along Pacific Beach.  Perhaps not perfect San Diego weather for a day at the beach, but we’re pretty hearty, and an overcast day is ok with us.

Us at Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach is splendid for a long walk.  It stretches for miles and the sand is pristine.

Pacific Beach

We walked a long way south, both of us carrying our shoes in our hands.  I waded out into the Pacific and let the ocean wash over my feet and legs, making me one of a scarce few who were letting the water touch flesh.  I didn’t find the water too terribly cold, but I’m also pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.  This has become “a thing” for me – if I can see a large body of water when I’m traveling, I need to get my feet into it.  Luckily for me, there would be a couple of other opportunities over the week ahead to get my feet into the ocean along the Pacific coast.

This perfect Sunday afternoon was slowly slipping away and we had tickets to a Padres game in a couple of hours back in the city.   Although I could have walked this beach for hours upon hours, we found a spot along the boardwalk to clean off as much sand as we could before catching a bus back to the hotel.

Boardwalk along Pacific Beach

I’m not sure that I was terribly successful cleaning off the sand from the beach walk as I’m still finding sand in my shoes and bag months later.    The only question is whether the sand is from this afternoon at Pacific Beach, or one of a couple other stunning beach walks that were ahead for us on this trip.


7 thoughts on “The first of many beaches

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