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Exploring Our City: La Jolla

Posted on by Susan Posted in Life | 2 Comments

Well, it still doesn’t really feel like our city. Not the way Vancouver felt to me. Vancouver will always have a special place in my heart. Nevertheless, we live in San Diego now, might as well make the best of it, right? ;)

One of my favorite places to visit in San Diego is La Jolla. On the one hand I’m really enjoying it as it is situated directly at the coast (which means cooler temperatures than where we live). On the other hand, it is such a cute and walkable little town, with nice eateries, art galleries, upscale boutiques, coffee shops, yoga studios and the children’s pool, which isn’t for swimming at all, but has been taken over by sea lions, and which we love to look at.

Unfortunately rents are not exactly in our budget in La Jolla, but I’m so glad there’s a walkable little place we can visit, that is NOT a strip mall (of which there are a LOT of here in Southern California…). La Jolla is about 20 minutes from where we live, and I have grand plans to check out the Sunday Market, toddler yoga at the library and La Jolla Shores Beach and Kellogg Park.

If you want to read more about our adjustment to living in California and some of our first few weeks and months in San Diego, feel free to check out these posts:

- Exploring Our New Home: Farmers Market + Vino

- Moving to Another Country: Culture Shock? 

- And let’s not forget the town of Julian, about an hour and a half east of San Diego. We went there to pick apples this fall and it was gorgeous!

Have you been to San Diego or are you a local? What are your favorite brunch spots? Parks? Things to do? We’re still exploring and can’t wait to learn more, so feel free to share, I’d be super happy about it!

 

 

 

 

Exploring our New Home: Farmers Market + Vino

Posted on by Susan Posted in Fun, Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

And by home, I mean the city we currently call our home.

I cannot believe, we’ve been in San Diego for almost 5 months already.

What can I say, I’m still not convinced. I’m just not sure if the whole California she-bang is right for me. I loved living in Vancouver and exploring the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t mind the cooler temps in the winter or even the rain.

Regardless, we’re in Southern California right now for the foreseeable future, so I might as well try and get used to it, right? ;)

Last weekend’s exploring led us to the Rancho Bernardo WineryRancho Bernardo is a suburban part of the city of San Diego.

It’s funny, because our zip code is a San Diego one, but we’re pretty far north of the actual urban core (more than 20 mi./30 km) The distances are pretty big and the city is spread out on a huge area, especially compared to Vancouver, which is beautifully wedged in between the Pacific Ocean (or the Georgia Straight?) to the West, mountains to the North and East, and the US border to the South.

Anyway, our little guy and I decided to check out the farmer’s market at the winery last week. The weather was scorching hot, like it’s been all summer so far, and the farm stands were set up in a dusty parking lot at the winery entrance.

I was happy to see the Hummus guy, who sells a really delicious, thick and fluffy pita – similar to what I’ve had in Greece many years ago. There were also crafts vendors, a little coffee shop, and even a hair salon on site.

It looked like a nice little heritage village museum, with historic buildings and all sorts of wine-making equipment on display.

Little man loved running around and exploring the grounds. “Look, a wagon!”

I ended up with a little bit of farm fresh fruit and veggies, but the market was not comparable to Vancouver’s Trout Lake Farmers Market, to be honest.

Baby summer squash were a gift from the vendor to our son to try, and the little guy also picked out two yellow roma tomatoes, while I grabbed a bunch of cilantro (I’m obsessed lately!)

Also – mix and match stone fruit: :

We picked 3 delicious yellow peaches, 1 nectarine and a saturn peach. It’s peach season!

All in all, if you’re in San Diego and looking for a nice place for your Friday morning stroll, come well before noon and check out the winery and farmers market. There is a wine tasting room and a restaurant on site, which I’m hoping to try out eventually.

I wouldn’t mind some vino now, would you? :)

What are your plans for the weekend?

Are you going to the farmers market regularly? We are, but we’re now actually on the wait list to join a CSA, which I can’t wait to try out!

Have a great weekend!

PS: I love hearing from you: Feel free to leave a comment for any questions or feedback you might have! If you like what you’ve just read, I’d love it if you follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter!

 

Moving to Another Country: Culture Shock?

Posted on by Susan Posted in Life, Travel | Leave a comment

I thought it’s time for an update on our recent move from Canada to the United States, now that we have been here for almost two months. How has it been two months already?

On the one hand, it seems to me that there is so much I could tell you, but on the other hand it’s all details that bother no one except us. But some things have happened in the past few weeks, including a signed lease for our next apartment. :)

Where are we?

Still in San Diego, still close to the office (to cut down on hubby’s commute time). Trader Joe’s in walking distance to the new place. Score!

How do we like it so far?

This is definitely one of the most frequent questions we get. Ok. Let me start.

It’s nice. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome to have sunshine almost every day. I love palm trees. I love the ocean. I love the variety of foodie finds in grocery stores. I love Mexican food. I love burgers, especially the grass-fed beef burgers from Burger Lounge.

There are some things that bug me, but that is to be expected, as with any move to a new place, there are some bumps on the road and challenges ahead. Call it culture shock , if you want. ;)

It’s silly things, really, NBD. Pushy sales people that have NO clue what they’re talking about (I’m talking to you, Stride Rite lady, that’s trying to sell me a shoe for my toddler that’s about an inch too long…). Or people that drive right in my behind. I’ll get over it. But you may hear me talk about it. #sorrynotsorry

How am I feeling?

OK, this one’s tricky.

On the one hand I am incredibly grateful to be able to experience living in such a beautiful place

On the other hand, I am incredibly exhausted. We have so many things to take care of, and as usual (it happened in Canada, and it happened here again), something went wrong during the process (not our fault). Moving to a new country is no piece of cake, especially if you have a family to take care of. If you’re young and single, no problem, you can just go and explore, meet new friends over a glass of beer and get settled. However, if you have a little one, you don’t really get that option. San Diego is very family friendly, but I find that it’s tricky to make new friends if you have a little one in tow. I’m planning to attend a few more meetups, though, to get out of the house and have some social interaction for me and the little guy, once we are in our new neighborhood. Can’t wait to get settled into our new place in T-2 days!

Things I didn’t expect:

  • Hills/mountains. For some reason I assumed San Diego would be flat. 8-O
  • The distances to get around. Vancouver was pretty confined, space-wise, so San Diego is definitely much more sprawled out.
  • What you see is NOT what you get. I’m referring mostly to our apartment hunt. Most complexes call themselves “luxury rental homes” or something like that. Yeah, I think I have a different view on that. Don’t get me wrong, our new place will be fine. But it’s just a standard (big for our standards, normal for Americans) apartment. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s all about making a sale.

Favorite spots so far:

  • Old Town (touristy, but yummy food, nice music, and great for shopping gifts and souvenirs) and Embarcadero (a stroll along the water is always nice, isn’t it?)
  • Encinitas: This is my type of town. Has beaches, walkability to restaurants and stores, and it’s outdoorsy and cute! <3
  • La Jolla Shores: fantastically wide and family friendly beach, perfect for long walks in the sand
  • Solana Beach Farmers Market: We picked up the most delicious organic strawberries I’ve had in a very long time. Yum!
We’ve seen a few more places around here, but obviously we have only been in San Diego for 2 short months, so we are still actively exploring.
This whole move to the US has definitely been a challenging and interesting time for us. I have always been interested in the States, and I’ve even majored in US Cultural History, when studying in Germany. I never thought I would be living here one day. And here I am, with a 5 year stopover in beautiful Vancouver, BC, our little family actually ended up in sunny California.

Have you ever moved to a different country? What was the biggest challenge you had? 

Any San Diego blog readers? What are some fun places to check out? Next up on our list is Balboa Park (been there once, but only at a playground) for a hike and a visit to the Zoo, and North Park.