San Diego, California Weekend Road Trip

Odometer (Legend):  534,065


Odometer (Legend Sedan):  146,991


Odometer (ILX):  134,665


Trip Distance:  734 Miles


I bet you didn’t know that the “official” Center of the World is actually in the middle of the desert about 10 miles west of Yuma, Arizona.


Detail on that sign:


Located in the far southeast part of the state, Felicity, California has a pretty bold claim to fame.  The unincorporated community is home to a population of two along with a number of odd architectural buildings, including a pyramid that’s claimed to be the center of the world.  Among the attractions is this 25-foot-tall section of the original Eiffel Tower staircase.  It leads to nowhere and serves no purpose other than to attract people like me, and that’s pretty much all it’s done since it was planted there in 1983.  This little roadside attraction is just one of a handful of sights to see along the Interstate 8 corridor.



How are real estate prices doing in your neighborhood?  A median house in San Diego, California costs just a little over $700,000 (as of May 2015 data).  If it wasn’t for the insane cost of living there, I’d consider relocation to that area.  I can’t think of a more perfect climate – 263 sunny or partly cloudy days per year, average temperatures ranging from 55 to 72, and beach proximity within a stone’s throw.  I was lucky to reside in San Diego County from 2001 to 2003 as a volunteer representative for my church, and I’ve returned to visit many times in the dozen years since.  This past weekend, I took a few friends along with me for the ride.

Drive time from Phoenix to San Diego each way adds up to about 6 hours after you’ve made a couple of bathroom or fuel stops.  For the most part, our route took us parallel to the Rio Grande River which forms the international border with Mexico.  In fact, at times, it’s possible to look south from Interstate 8 and see the fence in the distance which separates the two countries.


Aside from our quick detour in Felicity, we were stopped once at an agriculture checkpoint just past the California state line and again about 50 miles from San Diego at a Border Patrol stop.  Otherwise, it was smooth sailing.  James was at the wheel of the ILX as we descended from Jacumba to the sea level elevation and watched the exterior temperature dip accordingly.  It’s been quite some time since I was able to ride around in my car with windows down & moonroof open.

The “sunny San Diego” nickname didn’t hold true for us, as Saturday was filled with gushing gutters and intense thunder while the clouds unleashed from about 11 a.m. until at least 5 p.m.  Still, we had a good time enjoying the sights & sounds of the bustling Hillcrest area around University Avenue and we found a few great places to dine, people-watch, and make a few new friends.


Thankfully, on Sunday morning it was back to business as usual and the clouds retreated long enough for us to enjoy some al fresco dining on the front patio at Huapango’s on 5th Avenue & Pennsylvania (best breakfast burritos in town!).


Thanks for coming along, and here are the rest of the photos from our quick weekend SoCal tour in the ILX.

Here’s the pyramid at Felicity.  The center of this pyramid – which we didn’t enter due to it being after-hours – is said to be the official center of the world.


Proof!  Established in 1985.


This seemed a little ridiculous.  The distance from our hotel to a friend’s hotel was .4 miles.  But when I plugged it into Apple maps on my iPhone to get directions, it gave me a 3.4 mile route, taking every possible roundabout way rather than just straight down the street.  Sometimes “smart” phone technology is the dumbest way to go.


My car at the Best Western parking lot.  Everything was so green compared to the desert landscape I’m used to.


Sunday morning, headed to brunch at Huapango’s.


Back to the car for our return trip eastbound.


Easy drive, straight out I-8 to Maricopa County, Arizona we went (via El Centro).


More time in the passenger seat for me.  Good chance to enjoy the scenery and play around on my phone!


13 Responses to “San Diego, California Weekend Road Trip”

  1. How rad to stand in a pyramid just to claim you have stood in the true center of the world! People think of everything. P S I love your new hat!

  2. bbimmer7 Says:

    Sounds like a fun road trip! I try to roll with windows and sunroof open and music loud whenever possible in the TSX, but once it gets about 80 I have to flip the A/C on. At least the interior gets less dusty that way.

  3. A coworker was just talking about San Diego a little while ago. It’s sunny and in the mid 70s with low humidity in Chicago today, which she says those folks are basically spoiled with all year. If we moved our “corporate headquarters” there, I’d go for sure! Glad you had a fun trip. I suggest Google Maps instead of Apple Maps. Siri has taken me on wild goose chases before and would have driven me into a river once had she been at the wheel.

    • Truly – SD is heaven on earth, if it weren’t for the cost of living and a little bit of congestion every now and then (but not NEARLY as bad as LA traffic). As for the maps, yeah – I’ve had similar mishaps thanks to Apple but thankfully never driven into a river. Sounds like you are enjoying some pretty delightful weather patterns. Take your work outside and lounge in the yard today. That’s an order.

  4. I think the ILX needs a weekend rest in the garage. Next road trip the Vigor needs some road trip fun.

    • All in due time! The Vigor is undergoing a little bit of maintenance this week – valve adjustment, new distributor, and a timing belt check. It got a clean bill of health otherwise. The ILX is going to Tucson this Saturday because I’ll also have a 2016 model for road testing. So it’s time for a little bit of 2013 ILX vs. 2016 ILX evaluation.

  5. If you every go back to San Diego, you’ll have to go to Hash House. Chelsea say’s its absolutely delicious!

  6. Sam White Says:

    Tyson! Great post again. Say, what do you think about a 2005 Acura TL for a first car? There is one here in San Fran going for $12k from a VW dealership, it has 71k miles on the clock. Are they pretty low/no maintenance? Will it last long? Should I try and get a better deal on a higher milage TL? Lets me know with your expertise. I look forward to the next post.

    • Hi Sam, thanks for reading. I would FULLY recommend any 3rd generation TL (2004-08) as a great first car. They have aged well styling wise, there are no “major” known issues that I’m aware of aside from maybe power steering, and the performance and driving experience are great. The other day I saw a white on black 2005 6-speed TL with only 55k miles for $12k in Denver. Looks like the ad is gone now, but there are some good deals out there. The one you found in San Fran sounds good too. Even though it has low miles, be sure to ask if the timing belt & water pump have ever been changed.

    • bbimmer7 Says:

      I’d also say go for it. The 2004-2008 TLs are one of my favorite Acura designs, and I was actually looking for one back in 2012, but couldn’t find any turnkey examples with low enough miles in my area. I ended up getting a CPO 2010 TSX with the V6 – not quite as much of a looker, but similar performance and features. I haven’t had a single issue besides a few cosmetic things related to the first owner, and apart from routine maintenance, haven’t had to replace anything.

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