April 6, 2017

A San Diego Adventure

San Diego Adventure Bayview Park San Diego Skyline PhotoAs I mentioned in this week’s Monday Soundtrack, I spent last week in sunny California! In that blog post I shared a few highlights from our San Diego adventure, but I wanted to share a little bit more in the full travel blog post. Which you are reading right now! Yay!

One of my goals this year is to make time for travel, both for work and for fun. So it felt amazing to make progress on that. This particular trip was the perfect balance. I was able to photograph a gorgeous anniversary session at Balboa Park, and I spent some much needed time with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time! And we stopped at Las Vegas on the way home (It was B’s first time there, and we had a blast). But that’s a story for a different day!

So what did we do on our trip? We walked along beaches, explored gardens, discovered a waterfall and – most importantly – ate so much delicious food! I also had my DSLR by my side for most of the trip, so here are my favorite photos!

First Stop: Balboa Park

My favorite part of the entire trip was doing an anniversary shoot in San Diego! Allison and Ollie chose Balboa Park because it’s gorgeous, and it represents part of their story. They moved to San Diego two years ago after their wedding and have been making the city their home ever since. I actually captured their wedding photos, so it was so much fun documenting this special time in their lives! I included a few of my favorites below, but you can view more Balboa Park photos on the blog post.

Highlights: seeing the museums, Spanish architecture and blooming flowers! I couldn’t believe how much there was to see in the park. 


Hotel del Coronado

All it took was one look, and I was hooked!! The beach here is incredible, and the hotel has such a luxurious feel. It also has a rich history, which I love. In fact, the 1958 film Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe was filmed here! How cool! Considering it was also built back in 1887, you know there have to be some interesting stories that went down in those walls. And because I can’t resist a good story, I found The Del’s history page – check it out!

By the way, I would absolutely love doing a session here! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer at Hotel del Coronado – send me a note!! You just might find yourself with a little thank you gift!

Highlights: walking with my feet in the sand, sunny skies above me and ocean waves by my side. 

A San Diego Secret: Bayview Park

This next stop is courtesy of Allison, the travel blogger behind The Daydreamer Next Door. It was the cutest little spot, with the best view of the entire trip. See that San Diego skyline photo below? Yes, that’s the backdrop to this quaint little park. Rumor has it, you can get married here. With the San Diego skyline in your photos. That’s a gorgeous wedding gallery just waiting to happen!!

Anyone want to go with me? I found some more info about weddings at Bayview Park, so be sure to check it out if you’re looking for a unique destination wedding – or if you’re local to SoCal and looking for a wedding or engagement photographer.

Highlights: that skyline view. Enough said.

Gaslamp Quarter

I always love exploring those downtown spots too! We went to Gaslamp Quarter and spent some time by Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.

Highlights: walking down the streets, shopping in the stores and finding a Ghirardelli’s!! Cue all the sea salted chocolate caramels.

Old Town San Diego

If you haven’t noticed, history intrigues me. Obviously, it tells an incredible story, so you know that gets my interest. But it’s also fascinating to see how life used to be! Wandering around Old Town San Diego, the original location of the city, was the perfect way to do that.

Highlights: viewing the historic buildings and accidentally wandering into the most haunted place in America – causing me to think the woman in a colonial dress who startled me was a ghost. In reality, she just worked there. My mistake.

Surfing at Pacific Beach

Since I grew up in Indiana, I was a little intimidated about trying out surfing for the first time. We don’t exactly have oceans there! And when I had traveled to a coastline, I just hadn’t bothered to give it a try. B, on the other hand, had more experience surfing when he was younger. So he did a really good job at staying on the board!

Me? Technically, I didn’t fall off. But I didn’t exactly stand either. Overall, we had a blast though! And afterwards, we went to El Prez – a rooftop bar at Pacific Beach.

Highlights: appetizers and drinks at El Prez, the Pacific Beach Boardwalk, Crystal Pier Hotel and cookie dough ice cream from a beach stand.


Hiking to Cedar Creek Falls

On our last day of the trip, we spent a morning hiking to a waterfall in Cleveland National Forest! I didn’t bring my DSLR with me, but I did capture a few snaps with my phone!

Highlights: making it to the waterfall, wading through the river and not seeing any rattlesnakes along the way – although I swear I heard one. 




After we left the waterfall, we realized we had to climb all the way back up this mountain.


Solana Beach

Although we spent the most time here, I found I barely picked up my camera. I didn’t mind though. Sometimes it feels so good to put work down for a minute and really unplug. Especially when the good conversation lasts for days and days! Cheers to best friends, a bottle of wine and that ocean breeze!

Highlights: breakfast burritos at Rudy’s, sunsets on the hill, the singer/songwriter show at BellyUp and the kind of laughter that makes your sides hurt.


Until next time, San Diego!


  1. We moved to San Diego last year. I’m so glad you loved it! And thanks for these tips – even though I live here I haven’t heard of some of these places yet! Can’t wait to check them all out ????

    Allie |

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