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Road Trippin’ (Part Two): Arizona to San Diego and back

This is Part 2 of the road trip my sweetie, Chip, and I went on a li’l over two years ago to pick up all my stuff from two storage units…in two different states.  Click here for Part 1.

I didn’t want to start posting about our time here in Florida (which started with a road trip from Texas!) without wrapping THIS up first.  Yes, there is a method to my madness. So without further ado…

 

Towards the end of our first day on the road (leaving San Antonio for San Diego), we stopped at another place on my must-try list in Arizona…

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Something Sweet in Tucson, Arizona, was open late (they close at midnight) for our dessert fix
Everything we ordered was sooo rich and yummy!

After a good night’s sleep, we pushed on to Yuma.  The German restaurant on my “list” (Das Bratwurst Haus) was closed so we headed to a nearby shopping center and decided on…

Road trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
A sandwich is my ideal meal during road trips

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

I love these sayings inside Kneaders
Especially the “Life is too short to be serious all the time”


Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Awww, more beautiful quotes

Then it was full-speed ahead to San Diego on Interstate 8. This is what you can expect to see on the looooooong stretch from the desert (Yuma, Arizona) to civilization near San Diego.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Dirt, power lines, sand dunes…rinse, repeat
Occasionally you’ll see a body of water (like the top right pic)

Just west of Ocotillo, it becomes higher elevation with a couple twists and turns (and you’ll see rocks and boulders!).

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Rocks and boulders are way more interesting, don’t ya think?
We spotted the wind turbines minutes after the winding section of Interstate 8 (west of Ocotillo)

Once we reached San Diego, I drove us straight to one of my all-time favorite places in San Diego.  This city was my old stomping grounds so I wanted to show Chip all the cool places I knew of before we headed back home to Texas.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Harbor Island
Lovely views of sailboats, downtown, and ships at North Island Naval Station

For more pics of Harbor Island (taken in 2009), clicky here.

 

Next stop:  Sunset Cliffs!  The perfect place to watch sunsets in San Diego.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Watching the sunset is a big deal here at Sunset Cliffs
There are 4 small parking lots on the same side as the cliffs…and right before sunset, the lots fill up

 

Next stop was dinner at Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill (on Rosecrans & Midway).

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Like ohmygod, it was Chip’s first time eating a Rubio’s fish taco, like ever
(Their Fish Taco Plate comes with 2 tacos, chips, and pinto beans….all of it is yum!)

 

One more stop before we called it a night…

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

The gorgeous view of downtown San Diego from Coronado (Centennial Park)

 

I posted an ad on Craiglist of stuff we were giving away the next morning for free.  The first few would-be takers responded by email but didn’t bother to call me to confirm, and thankfully someone agreed to come by and showed up at my storage unit with his truck.  He was recently unemployed and graciously loaded up everything we offered.

Surprisingly, after packing up our van, Chip mentioned wanting another round of Rubio’s (yet one of the many reasons we get along so well :p ).

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Rubio’s (in College Grove)

 

There were 2 more places I had to show Chip before we left for Phoenix…

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

En route (walking) to Children’s Pool Beach

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Children’s Pool Beach in La Jolla
From Wikipedia– “A sea wall built in 1931 protects the beach from crashing waves, making it a favorite spot for divers, swimmers and families with children”

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Views from the sea wall
Lots of people were watching the seals (bottom left pic) while I took in all the other sights

 

One more awesome place Chip has to see…

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Mount Soledad
From Wikipedia–“A cross has been on top of Mount Soledad in La Jolla, California since 1913”

You won’t believe the gorgeous 360-degree views from here…

Road trip to San Diego

Road trip to San Diego

 

First mission accomplished, but we still had another storage unit in Arizona to contend with, and the van was already full.

We popped in Extraordinary Desserts for our sweets fix (take-out).  At McDonald’s, we grabbed some dinner and feasted on this dessert while we planned tackling our next mission.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

We shared this and it was so gooood
Everything I’ve ever tried at Extraordinary Desserts is truly “extraordinary”

 

The next couple of days got interesting.  We rented a 2nd van in Phoenix, Arizona to get other stuff out of my 2nd storage unit (this also meant no more switching off resting and getting behind the wheel; we were each responsible for getting a loaded van back home to Texas). After the 2nd van was all loaded up, we reached the gate a few minutes after closing time…and omigosh, we were locked in!  We had to call the customer service phone number (it took well over an hour of us calling/pleading for someone to help us)…’til an onsite resident manager was contacted to let us out with her remote. Let’s just say the possibility of us spending the night inside the vans ’til the next morning crossed my mind. :p


Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Late-night dinner at In-N-Out (it was a little past 11pm)
We weren’t the only ones there either; you’d think it was dinnertime with the number of customers inside

 

Just when we thought all the craziness was over and done with….

We’re driving along on I-10 southbound around Picacho (there were lightning strikes off in the distance), then wham out of nowhere, a blinding dust storm rolled in.  Chip was driving right behind me (and a tractor trailer behind him), and all I could think about was moving over to the shoulder safely and hoping no one hits me in the process.  Soooo glad there weren’t any crashes, but I imagine some of the other drivers were just as shaken up as I was.  Chip later said when the dust storm hit, he felt like his van was pushed backwards.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Once I pulled over to the shoulder, I took my camera out to snap this shot
The pic captured more visibility and light than I actually saw; upon first impact, there was virtually no visibility

After waiting a few minutes ’til the air cleared and the road was clear from dust and debris, we trudged on.  As if that terrifying event wasn’t enough, not even 10 minutes go by before my van’s low tire pressure warning light came on.  I called Chip to let him know and I took the first exit (Red Rock, Exit 226) to pull over.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

This is where we traded vehicles in completely darkness (I’m not counting our headlights :p )
Thanks Google Map!

The game plan was pressing on to the next city for a gas station where Chip checked the air on all the tires and inflated the lowest one.  Chip also contacted the car rental company, who suggested exchanging the van at the Tucson International Airport, but they were closed until 6am or so. Within half an hour of driving, the warning light came back on again.  This confirmed a real problem on our hands.  The good news is we reached Tucson, and we could swap out this lemon for another van at the airport.  The slight drawback is we had a couple of hours to wait ’til they opened.  Once we arrived at the rental agency, we slept in one of the vans.

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

This is the new van rental we got and unlike the 1st van, all the seats flattened easily

 

Over the next 24 hours, we stopped and rested/slept for an hour or so whenever the dreadful need for rest caught up with us (it happened a handful of times).  At one point, we asked a police officer in Ozona, Texas if there was somewhere we can rest and he gave us directions to a nearby park, where I got an hour and a half’s sleep before Chip insisted we hit the road again (sometimes he can be a meanie :p ).  Argh, I’ll just say it:  sleep deprivation sucks!

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Texas Travel Information Center at Anthony (near El Paso, Texas)

Road Trip to San Diego (Part 2)

There’s no mistaking which state we were in :p
I love the picnic tables!

Once we arrived in San Antonio and got everything unpacked and returned both rentals, we slept for 15 hours straight (might have been more, LOL).

As much we were put through the wringer the last couple of days driving back home, I was stoked to finally have all my belongings out of storage.  Here’s a glimpse of some of my beloved treasures…

Road trip to San Diego (Part 2)

Clockwise from top left:  Betty Boop mouse pad, Kitchen Aid mixer, magnet collection (from traveling), and platter

Road trip to San Diego (Part 2)

My blue vase, platter, and Betty Boop salt & pepper shaker

Home, sweet home!

Check out my video clips on YouTube!
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Beautiful San Diego:
Five years ago (2008):
« « San Antonio River Walk, Part 2 | Another road trip! This time to Tampa » »

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