When spring break was approaching this year, I remembered how my college friends and I would always look forward to traveling somewhere for spring break to get away from the snowy streets of Baltimore during my undergraduate days. However, this year, I had a different answer in mind when asked, “Where are you going to for spring break?” Instead of traveling far, I decided to stay right here in San Diego for spring break because there is so much that San Diego offers to have a fun and relaxing time away from the projects, exams and classwork. Here are just a few great memories that I have of this year’s spring break. Awesome fact: many of these activities are just a 15-20 minute drive from the Rady School:
Enjoying a Bonfire off Fiesta Island
When the sun goes down (after a typical gorgeous sunset), the fun at Mission Bay and Fiesta Island stays alive with bonfires, music, and great talks and laugher throughout the area. A few of my friends and I found a bonfire pit next to the bay water, had some food and drinks, played music from our car and enjoyed catching up, staying warm from the fire and seeing the stars.
Hiking to the top of Cowles Mountain
Since I moved to San Diego, I have been heavily influenced by the athletic lifestyle that many local people have to stay healthy. Therefore, I helped to arrange an activity with a couple of Rady classmates (1st and 2nd year full-time MBA students) to hike up to the peak of Cowles Mountain. While the exercise was a bit challenging, it was all worth it when we reached the top, which has the tallest view in the San Diego county area. In the far distance, we were able to see the downtown skyline, Coronado Bridge, and the mountain range separating the United States from Mexico. My classmates and I enjoyed getting to know each other more and completing the 2-hour hike.
Attending “The White Snake” play at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park
San Diego has a vibrant and very active arts and culture scene. San Diego’s prominent park, Balboa Park, is a well-known reflection of this scene as this park has numerous museums, an organ pavilion, a Japanese garden, a nationally known theatre, and beautiful landscapes and architecture (just Google images of “Balboa Park” and you’ll see what I mean!). One evening, I had the opportunity to take a stroll in Balboa Park and attend a performance of “The White Snake,” which is based on a historic Chinese folktale. The play was a great performance from the talented actors and musicians against a simple, but powerful stage setting.
Kayaking off the La Jolla Shores
Basically right in Rady’s backyard, numerous companies provide guided kayaking tours from the La Jolla Shores and around (and through, depending on the rip currents at the time) the caves off the La Jolla Cove. I had swum in the water right off the beach, but never had the chance to paddle far off the coast until taking part in this tour. After paddling against the incoming waves, I really enjoyed the peacefulness that exists deep in the ocean and watching a few stingrays, sand sharks, and orange fish that can be seen swimming under you. At one point, a sea lion decided to hop on my tour guide’s kayak and lay out in the sun for a few moments! Seeing the view of La Jolla from the ocean was an amazing sight. The tour was both a relaxing and good exercise, even to the very end when trying to ride a wave on the kayak (unfortunately my kayak flipped on the wave, but the cooler water gave me some relief from the heat wave occurring that day!).
Wine tasting in Temecula
Over the past summer, I got to experience Napa Valley and really enjoyed the casual and relaxing atmosphere that existed when touring the vineyards and trying different varieties of wine. Towards the end of spring break, I visited Temecula, southern California’s wine country, which is just 50 minutes north of Rady. Downtown Temecula has a strong old-town vibe, with a scene full of antique shops, old-fashioned soda and ice cream stores and a large farmers market. I really enjoyed having fun conversations with the locals (all of whom were very friendly to visitors) and learning about the history of the wine scene in the area. Of course, I did a wine tasting and tried a few delicious white and red wines. Before leaving, I drove through the main roads of the wine country to see the acres of vineyards and farmland and enjoyed the simple lifestyle that can be felt there before making my way down the I-15 back towards La Jolla.
I really enjoyed doing all of these activities during spring break and felt lucky to be able to have done them right here in San Diego. I am amazed at all of the diverse places you can visit and activities you can participate in within the county! While I came back to the classrooms and Rady campus feeling relaxed and well rested, I am excited over the thought that there are still countless more activities and places to experience in San Diego. With my post-graduation plans already set to be located here, I look forward to exploring so much more that San Diego has to offer and calling this city my home.
In the meantime, I’m excited to have many more awesome memories created with my classmates during our final quarter of Rady’s MBA program! There’s no better place to create these memories than right here in San Diego!
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Keith Louie (’15) is a full-time MBA student at the Rady School. His hobbies include hiking throughout the county, trying out new restaurants (especially mom and pop places), visiting local coffee shops to get things done, and attending concerts downtown in the Gaslamp area. Louie is also a student MBA Ambassador at the Rady School.