Sunny North San Diego, California, USA, 12-2015

The arid desert landscape changes from the higher elevations of mixed evergreen forest as it slopes down to chaparral terrain until it plunges down to the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean arriving in America’s Finest City San Diego, California . This is the region that I call home. The familiar drive from the airport north on Highway 5 via the Pacific Coast Highway 101 to Encinitas highlights the best of the California Beach lifestyle. This scenic drive begins at Windansea where one just has to pause to check out the famed surfing spot then follows the sandstone coastline to the cliffs of La Jolla down into La Jolla Shores. It is not only picturesque but a great place for snorkeling and diving. Continuing north it’s onto UC San Diego Scripps Institute and its world famous aquarium. The Scripps Aquarium is definitely worth a visit. Continuing on the road, a pause at the glider port is a must to take in the view of Blacks Beach and the colorful hang gliders maneuvering about on the coastal winds. The route veers along the bluffs past the well known Torrey Pines Golf Club to Torrey Pines State Beach where the majestic evergreens grace the hiking paths along the coastal bluffs. The road descends along the beach where the “turf meets the surf” at Del Mar and its recognized thoroughbred racetrack. The city of Solana Beach is next in the lineup with a North County institution, the good ole’ Belly Up Tavern that is host to home grown and global musical artists. Continuing North the San Elijo Lagoon separates Solana Beach from the quaint Cardiff by the Sea that is nestled up against the coastal slopes and boasts the quirky “Cardiff Kook” surfing sculpture. Finally 101 reaches the funky city of Encinitas, known as the “Flower Capital of the World”  and its iconic surfing reef Swami’s as well as the lovely San Diego Botanic Garden. For me, despite living abroad for many years there’s no place like home because “you can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the girl.”

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