Experiencing Mission Beach and Belmont Park
My Experience at Mission Beach and Belmont Park
I have made the decision to spend my weekends exploring all that San Diego has to offer, due to the realization that I take where I live for granted. This past weekend, I utilized the warm weather to have a day at Mission Beach and Belmont Park. I was a true old school tourist and used a map that I purchased at a local gas station, rather than using my phone’s GPS; I wanted to experience San Diego without distractions and live in the moment.
I was glad I made this decision because as I was navigating myself through the streets by Mission Beach and Belmont Park, I discovered a restaurant that I never encountered before. So, in the tourist like fashion and a hungry stomach, I had to try it. It was called Pueblo. In all honesty, there is more than just playing the part as a tourist that made me want to try it. After you read my last article, you learned that before I came to San Diego, I lived in Florida. There was this Mexican restaurant called Mi Pueblo and it was my all-time favorite place to get Mexican food in all of Florida, so between me acting like a tourist and the name similarity, I had to give the restaurant a try. It was absolutely delicious and I was not disappointed.
After my stomach was happy again, I was back to my main goal: to enjoy Mission Beach and Belmont Park like a tourist should. I knew I had arrived when I saw the wooden roller coaster slightly to the left of the traffic signal. I turned left to prepare to find parking. Please note though, due to Mission Beach and Belmont Park being incredibly popular, it does get crowded fast. I suggest you get there early to get a convenient parking spot. If not, you may find yourself going down every isle until you find a spot or see reverse lights. Once I found an empty spot, I parked and got out of the car. Sporting my sunglasses, I began my journey as a tourist of a familiar yet very unfamiliar place.
I walked on the concrete sidewalk. The boardwalk, that separated Mission Beach from Belmont park and this is where I was greeted with multiple personalities of the senses with all that was around me. Children laughing and playing, concerned parents chasing after them or sitting close by watching with a loving eye, the sounds of the arcade in the distance, the smell of fried foods (Pueblo, of course) and the sweet scent of the few ice cream shops set up along the walkway, some to mention are The Baked Bear, which is by the pier, and Big Kahuna’s Ice Cream, which is right on the boardwalk; The Baked Bear known for their custom ice cream sandwiches and Big Kahuna’s Ice Cream, known for their large cones of delicious soft served ice cream. The boardwalk is crowded though, so I was dodging bikers, those on rollerblades, and groups of people walking and enjoying their time at Mission Beach and Belmont Park.
My experience at Mission Beach and Belmont park may be similar to yours, but it was unique to me. The sun reflected off of my sunglasses as I started my adventure as an observer as I made why way up the boardwalk. The sounds of children laughing and giggling in the background as the sounds of the “pings” and the “pongs” of arcade games ricocheted through my ears. The smell of sizzling hotdogs, popping popcorn, and even the smell of sand and seaweed tickled my nose as I walked down the concrete path that ran alongside the beach. Observing frustrated parents calling after their children as they make failed attempts to coax their children away from the arcade and the beach, hoping to ease them towards the parking lot, I could not help but laugh at this.
I stopped and leaned against the stone wall divider between the boardwalk and the sands of Mission Beach. The sun felt amazing against my skin, as it does for dogs that find that perfect ray of sunlight through a window in the home. Mission Beach and Belmont Park are home to many activities and pleasantries that can be seen, felt, heard, smelled, and simply just enjoyed. It was time to dive in and enjoy Belmont Park.
I enjoyed a round of mini golf, went on the wooden rollercoaster more than once (I will admit and my knotted hair could not lie either), I played a round of laser tag with complete strangers (lost miserably, but it was still fun), and had a cup of Dip and Dots which helped with the heat of the day. Belmont Park had an arcade, mini golf, laser tag, a roller coaster, and even had the feeling of being at the fair with the booths that are available; the strong man test with the large heavy hammer, popping balloons with darts, San Diego insignia on display in just about every shop, a Velcro wall you can get yourself stuck to, and more. In my opinion, Belmont Park is the epitome of summer because of the warm days and nights, the fair always “in town,” and everyone coming together to enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and food.
After looping around Belmont Park enough times to where there was noticeable tread missing from the soles of my shoes and seeing the sun start to make it’s decent, it was time to enjoy Mission Beach. Rolling up my jeans and taking off my shoes and socks, I let my feet sink into the soft sand. I made the trek to where the water greeted the sand and started a hunt for the best shells on the beach. There were people playing soccer in the sand as well as playing frisbee; all in the moment and having a wonderful time. I smiled to myself and whispered, “I live here”. As the sun was setting, I sat in the sand and listened to the waves as I watched the sun kiss the ocean. It was becoming quiet as the families started to pack up and leave.
I felt the warmth from behind me as bonfires started to light and an entirely different scene Mission Beach has to offer, began. The smells of food being cooked over the bonfires; hotdogs and the sweet sugary smell of marshmallows wafted through the air over to where I was sitting. I could not help but smile to myself as I saw couples; men and women, women and women, and men and men coming together for a romantic evening and friends and families just coming together to enjoy the moment. Life truly was beautiful. The idea to take life through the eyes of a tourist, so far has been an experience that gives me much pleasure and I look forward to my next tourist trip in the city that I call home.
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