California Girl at Heart

I’m back in NYC after an amazing 2.5 weeks at the Astoria Music Festival. But before I dive into that, my post-San Diego post is overdue! So here it is:

It’s almost my one year anniversary of moving to New York, but part of me never left California. In New York, everyone is rushing to be somewhere, do something, be someone. The past few months have been a bit of a blur thanks to Le nozze di Figaro, a recital, and Così fan tutte, and it wasn’t until I landed back in San Diego that I had the chance to hit pause.

It would have been a perfectly-timed pause if I weren’t also stressing about learning Despina, but even so it was much-needed and much-enjoyed. You’ll be pleased to know I got to everything on my San Diego to-do list and then some!


I’ll come out and say it: the Pacific is better than the Atlantic…


Looking down onto Pacific Beach from a grassy knoll. Pacific Beach, 2014.


A surfer heads into the water. Pacific Beach, 2014.


Strolling along Pacific Beach after yoga. Pacific Beach, 2014.


Not a building for miles around:


The Pacific Ocean. La Jolla, 2014.


Here you can wear open-toed shoes 360 days of the year. Can you blame me for treating myself to a pedicure?


Me, my toes, and my pedicure. San Diego, 2014.


There are trees and flowers in the City, but the variety in San Diego is so colorful and flavored with a dash of the exotic/tropical.


Flowering cacti. Pacific Beach, 2014.


While running errands in Hillcrest. Hillcrest, 2014.


Palm tree. Hillcrest, 2014.


Right before rehearsing with the pianist. Rancho Penasquitos, 2014.


Other than Dante, the only other animals I really encounter in New York are pigeons. So this was a fun moment:


On the Torrey Pines trail. La Jolla, 2014.

Yes, a rattlesnake! And other creatures too – a hippo and a family of giraffes:


Whimsical lawn art. Hillcrest, 2014.

And most exciting (I’ve seen rattlesnakes before), I saw my first wild crab. It was tiny, but it counts:


Miniature crab. Pacific Beach, 2014.


I know New York is one of the best places for food, but it’s pretty darn expensive. Plus, the food in San Diego has a special ingredient – good company.

(And brace yourself to be mouth-wateringly envious…)

Breakfast with close friends:


The Early Harvest Benny at Snooze. Hillcrest, 2014.

Korean with a soprano friend:


Bibimbap at Grandma Tofu and Korean BBQ. San Diego, 2014.

Lunch with a good friend:


Chicken masala at World Curry. San Diego, 2014.

Morning coffee and pastry with a former teacher:


Lemon tart and latte at Bread & Cie. Hillcrest, 2014.


I didn’t get a picture of everyone, but here are a few of the special people I got to see during this visit:


My cousin Eddie, a Marine vet and soon-to-be college grad. San Diego, 2014.

I was at his basic training graduation, and now he’s about to graduate from college. So proud of him and all that he has accomplished.


The one and only Natasha. La Jolla, 2014.

I didn’t just crash Natasha’s Ashtanga class to take a picture either; I survived the entire Primary Series too!


One of my closest and oldest friends, Kristina. Pacific Beach, 2014.

And of course, I caught up with Kristina who took excellent care of me, chauffeured me around town, and kept me entertained.

I love having the opportunity, ability (thanks, day-job!), and excuse to visit San Diego each summer. I’m about 95% sure I will be making the same trip next year — I did not place in Musical Merit, which was a disappointment, but it also has me fired up to try again.

Until my next visit, I’ll tide myself over with wonderful memories, and I’ll continue with the soul-searching this trip sparked.


Breathtaking view on Torrey Pines. La Jolla, 2014.




5 responses to “California Girl at Heart

  1. Pingback: Competition and Contemplation | SINGING life

  2. pinustorreyana

    Dear Joyce,
    It was great to see the beautiful photographic “footprints” of your stay in San Diego. Isn’t summer glorious? We’re glad you had a great time. And we look forward to hearing about your time as an Oregon girl in Astoria.
    Bill and Ida

    • Hi Bill and Ida,

      Summer in San Diego is indeed glorious, and I have an even better appreciation of it now that I’ve lived in Arizona and New York! I am working on my Astoria re-cap and can’t wait to share some more stories and photos!

      Enjoy the beautiful weather for me!

  3. These photos are really gorgeous Joyce! Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a wonderful time

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