Snapshot Memories of the Week: San Diego, CA

Snapshot memories is a new weekly series, giving a visual glimpse into different destinations and unique ways to view them. It’s also a way for me to look back on travels that occurred before and after I started this blog, and to give each place I’ve traveled the attention it deserves. 

This week my memories go back to San Diego. 

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San Diego is a hard place to represent just in snapshots. I spent 5 years living there, and often times didn’t take any pictures of the key aspects that meant the most to me.

Cactuses and desert like conditions in San Diego
Cactuses and desert like conditions in San Diego
Llamas in Oldtown San Diego
Llamas in Old Town San Diego
A walk to Blacks Cliffs
A Walk to Blacks Cliffs

It’s a place I went to college and received my degree in psychology and international studies, where I fell in love with my college boyfriend, where I joined a sorority (more on that later), and had countless sleepless nights going out on adventures with California burritos in hand and the beach within throwing distance.

Graduating seniors at UC San Diego
Graduating seniors at UC San Diego
UC San Diego Campus
UC San Diego Campus
Okay, not technically in San Diego - but a great road trip from the city to taste the best apple pie of your life - Julian Pie Company
Okay, not technically in San Diego – but a great road trip from the city to taste the best apple pie of your life – Julian Pie Company

There are many pictures I did capture, and that is what I bring you this week, but as I lived there for so long, I never viewed the place as a tourist.

Mount Woodson
Mount Woodson
Margaritas for my 21st in Del Mar, San Diego
Margaritas for my 21st in Del Mar, San Diego
San Diego Harbor
San Diego Harbor

I never made it to Sea World, never took pictures of the many suburbs I explored on my weekends, or the ornate and beautiful Balboa Park. I never took pictures of my favorite cafes and taquerias. I never captured on film how much I loved hanging out in Bird Rock on a hot summer’s day, iced green tea in hand, and how gorgeous the city looks at night while crossing the Coronado Bridge.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters - The Best
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters – The Best
La Jolla, San Diego
La Jolla, San Diego
Pacific Beach for a night out on the town
Pacific Beach for a night out on the town

I never took photos of the many delicious craft beers I could find at any bar I went to, or how profound the friendships became that I made throughout college. How freeing it felt to go skinny dipping at Blacks Beach in the middle of the night in the dead of winter, how the best beach weather is in the dead of winter, and finally knowing the true meaning of hot and humid summer nights.

Stone Brewery
Stone Brewery
UC San Diego Campus
UC San Diego Campus
UC San Diego
UC San Diego

Instead, I have pictures that will do their best to convey to you a place that I can’t even begin to describe myself, a place I still get butterflies to go back to, I love it that much. I have pictures of sunsets/sunrises, beaches/cliffs, palm trees, and food/craft beer mainly (although I still don’t know how I never took a picture of a burrito, I consumed SO many while I was living there).

Bird Rock, San Diego
Bird Rock, San Diego
Cowles Mountain
Cowles Mountain
The World-Famous San Diego Zoo
The World-Famous San Diego Zoo

These four categories are how I would describe San Diego to an outsider, as well as maybe adding in an awesome live music scene, it’s a good introduction to one of my favorite cities in the world.

Blacks Cliffs
Blacks Cliffs
My Apartment for 2 years
My Apartment for 2 years

After what will be 2 years away, I look forward to starting off my West Coast USA Road Trip in San Diego, and finally taking the time to see it as a tourist.

Sunsets/Sunrises

San Diego

Beaches/Cliffs

Beaches and Cliffs

Palm Trees

Palm Trees

Food/Craft Beer

Food and Craft Beer

I can’t tell you how many songs remind me of this place, and how much it means to me that I can share a piece of it with you here.

I never knew a place named after a whale’s vagina could be so cool.

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Mimi McFadden
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Mimi McFadden

Travel Writer/Blogger at The Atlas Heart
Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.
Mimi McFadden
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