The day has finally arrived. Today we get to hop on a plan and head home to San Diego, America's Finest City. Not a bad place to call home. It's funny because every other city I've ever lived in besides San Diego, people always give me the confused head tilt and ask, "Why would you ever leave San Diego?" My usual answer: to do something new, because it's expensive, that I'm jaded from growing up in Southern California my entire life and there are other options out there. Ironically, Israel is the first place that I have lived outside of San Diego that I do not get that reaction. In Israel, people instead congratulate you on your move, asking why it took you so long to get to the holy land. It's like I got into an Ivy League or something with the smiles and well wishes that people give you in response to answering that I've made aliyah. Despite the overwhelming acceptance that I've experienced in my move to Israel, it's time for a visit home. No matter where I live, this city will always be home. Let me introduce you to San Diego, my beloved hometown:
Home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park (and don't forget we have Sea World too, Shamu's home):
Beautiful Balboa Park filled with its lovely architecture, wide open green spaces, beautiful ponds and fountains and restaurants, museums and culture galore:
Then there's Old Town with its Spanish culture, colorful surroundings, exuberant music and delicious authentic food:
Mission Bay is a beautiful part of San Diego filled with water-sports, beach-goers and busy beach and bay promenades filled with runners, bikers, roller bladers and dog-walkers:
And then there's La Jolla, San Diego's gem and where I grew up. I can't believe how lucky I am to have called this place home:
Torrey Pines is a favorite of mine with beautiful hikes, stunning coastline vistas and the site of a popular and scenic paragliding ride:
Coronado is just around the corner, famous for its Hotel Del Coronado, a San Diego classic. The beaches here are some of the best in town and the remote, island feel is worth the price of staying on this San Diego island:
The beaches, of course, are a main draw for tourists and locals alike. The entire stretch from Coronado to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach onward to La Jolla and Del Mar and up toward Carlsbad and Oceanside are all beautiful in their own way, each with their own personalities. I prefer the beaches in La Jolla and in Coronado (but watch out, the water is cold here in Southern California):
Last, but certainly not least, is San Diego's famous downtown with Petco Park and the Gaslamp District, always abuzz with activity:
I can't believe it's been nearly a year since the last time I was in San Diego. It's definitely time for a visit home. I can't wait to see all my family and friends and I'm equally excited to explore all my favorite locations that I've been missing for the last year.
I'm sure the time will fly by quickly. As I mentioned, no experience living in Israel is complete without a long visit home. It's far to get there and not easy on the wallet, so most Israelis will try to make it home for at least a 2-week visit. We're fortunate to be staying home for the next three weeks. And then it'll be time to head back to Israel once again after the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I'll do my best to keep up the updates, though no promises until I get back into my routine once again.