San Diego Media Tour Day 2!

Before I delve into the madness that was yesterday, might I say that these city PR agents sure do know how to exhaust their guests?? Whew! I’m going to do my best to recall everything that has happened, but considering I’ve hardly had a moment to breathe, this might prove a bit challenging. Bear with me folks, you’re in for a bumpy ride!

After finally crawling under my sheets around midnight my first night here in San Diego, the 5:30 am wake-up call I set arrived rather fast and furious. Despite feeling extremely groggy and tired, I somehow mustered up the energy to roll myself out of bed and get ready for what I knew would be a jam-packed day ahead. First up: a private yoga lesson on the beach shoreline.

With only a slight background in Pilates, the art of yoga is pretty foreign to me, so needless to say I was a bit intimidated at first. As with most things I’m originally hesitant to try, the lesson ended up being WONDERFUL–so relaxing! Our highly energetic instructor introduced our group to a type of yoga called Anusara, a foundation-based practice primarily focused on body alignment. The soft crash of waves in the background offered a very peaceful start to my morning, and if there was a way for me to begin each and every day with a yoga lesson like that, I would! Feeling very limber and energized, we headed over to the Shores Restaurant just a few seconds away for a light breakfast, and once fueled by a hefty bowl of oatmeal, banana and a much-needed cup of joe, the group and I headed out to our next adventure: a free-fall bike tour through the hills of La Jolla and surrounding areas.

I’ve always found biking a very relaxing activity, but this trip offered unbeatable scenic views all along the coast, making it incredibly breathtaking. Winding up and down the hills offered a small challenge for most of us originally, but we finally got the hang of it, and the 2-hour trip gave us some beautiful picture opportunities. Around noontime, the dreaded San Diego “June gloom” finally disappeared, and once the clouds broke, the weather was impeccable all day long. We’ve come to the conclusion that our early morning yoga “sun salutations” did the trick!

An hour and a half later, we reached our starting point again, and our exhausted bunch couldn’t wait for lunch any longer. With that, we headed over to the local joint called the Burger Lounge where we met up with the restaurant’s marketing manager. In stereotypical hippie, California fashion, he explained that this restaurant was founded and  fully centered on promoting organic grown foods, grass-fed meat and vegetarian dining options. Once we finished discussing the menu’s primary highlights, I decided to try a Burger Lounge Turkey Burger with a side salad and an iced tea.

Yet again, the food in San Diego did not fail me in the least, and I gobbled that Turkey Burger right up (no pun intended!). One thing I’ve gathered thus far on my first media tour is that when you go around town with the city tourism public relations representative, you are incredibly inclined to reap a number of benefits. The complimentary chocolate malt we each received after our meal was certainly of them!

Stuffed to the brim as usual, Joe (our personal city PR rep and tour guide) escorted us back to the hotel to quickly change before our horseback trail ride at the Grande Del Mar, San Diego’s most exclusive and lavish resort. While showing up to such a beautiful hotel in a T-shirt and jeans made me cringe a bit, I quickly forgot how out of place I felt in lieu of the luxurious accommodations around me. Exteriorly, the Grande Del Mar resembles a Floridian-type resort, particularly in architecture; however, it still manages to maintain a signature West coast feel.

Covered in a rich, marble interior, the main entrance is a looker, no doubt, but surprisingly, the guest rooms offer significant upgrades in comparison to many luxury hotels. It seemed to me that every detail was incredibly well planned out, even the inclusion of a doorbell to avoid hallway disturbance! After a personal tour through the resort, we headed out to meet our trail guide and horse companions for the afternoon. Texas stereotypes seem to be coming up all around me, and one of the most shocking revelations I’ve made to the group is that I have only ridden a horse once in my life. A big thanks to Pine Cove Christian Camps for said exposure, otherwise I would have majorly disrupted everyone’s expectations of Texas, especially the Canadians in the group who seem to think Texas is all rodeo, all the time.

By this time, the heat was in full swing here in San Diego, and I was beginning to regret my decision not to wear sunscreen (sorry, mom!). With the sun blazing down on us and not much of a breeze, we set off down the trail on our beautiful horses ready for a sweaty trip. The trail itself wasn’t anything too thrilling, per say, but it did pose a few, slight challenges such as inclines and declines. Scary as it was at some points, the best part about riding a horse up a steep hill is arriving on top to peer over the vast, green property, which is something quite different looking from the regions closer to the shore. Our ride lasted about an hour, and by the end I was feeling extremely comfortable with steering and directing my horse (Pancho). It kind of made me wish I had explored equestrian a bit when I was younger!

Successfully looking (and smelling) like a bit of a hot mess after the horse experience, I was readily looking forward to returning to the La Jolla for a nice, long shower; however, we were swiftly directed to the Grand Del Mar’s stunning balcony for a private wine tasting. See what I mean? There are perks everywhere! We met with Jesse, the property’s Sommelier, who introduced us to three private label wines available for guests. Out of two white wines and one red, my favorite was a 2007 German-made Reisling, called Dr. Loosen, and in spite of my past distaste for this wine, I found it exceptionally fruity and light–perfect for summer.

Once we had completed the tasting, it was finally time for all of us to clean up a bit for dinner at Brockton Villa, a restaurant right off the water close to Seal Harbor. Although none of us were particularly hungry this evening after two large meals earlier in the day, we were sat at a table with an incredible view, and we all enjoyed a light salad. Mine was delicious; raspberries, blueberries, grilled chicken, Quinoa, grilled chicken and a varietal of nuts made for a healthy and satisfying meal. Conversation led us to stay until 9 pm, when the restaurant kindly informed us they would be closing any moment, so we headed back to our hotel. Everyone was pretty exhausted, so we departed to finish off the evening with a restful night in our rooms alone.

Yesterday was quite the thrill ride, and today will be just as exciting! I just finished my first ever stand-up paddle boarding lesson (or SUP lesson, as the locals call it), and now I’m off for a quaint lunch at the famous George’s on the Cove. Check back for more about all of that later!

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