OC to SD Rally Part III

With Covid derailing a lot of our automotive lifestyles, events  like car rallies have been slowing coming back. So I decided to bring back the OC to SD rally for

2 years ago

Latest Post Sunday at Leen Customs by Drew Manley public

With Covid derailing a lot of our automotive lifestyles, events  like car rallies have been slowing coming back. So I decided to bring back the OC to SD rally for part III. Normally we start at the Irvine Spectrum but this year we decided to start at the Cooled Collective + Cali Dumpling Headquarters in Santa Ana. We gathered at 8am for a 9am departure.

Allan from Cali Dumpling supplied donuts and coffee for the rally guests and then we spent time with Verone matching up our radios frequencies. At 9am, we hit the road and headed down to our second meeting spot at Pala Casino in San Diego. Since I was driving, I wasn't able to shoot at all but if  I was to paint a picture, imagine 80% capacity and all of them driving extra slow on the 5 freeway. It was miserable lol.

Once we got to Pala a bit over an hour later, we met up with the San Diego crew and they came in very strong. Ali and Joe brought down their 997 GT3s and if there are two GT3s, you know there will be more GT3s lol. Lots of beautiful cars showed up.

Had a brief driver's meeting talking about the route. We were originally supposed to head straight to Julien Beer Co for breakfast but I did mention to the group that we would be taking a detour to Palomar mountain for some spirited driving but half the group missed the turn and missed the amazing drive up the mountain.

Luckily for you, my son Calvin was in the car and he was able to grab some snaps of the joyful driving the group did all the way up to Mothers Kitchen.

Once we got to Mothers, we had a potty/drink break and waited for the rest of the group that never came. So we decided to head down after 20 mins and enjoy the downhill portion of the drive to Julien.

When we finally got in contact with the rest of the group, we found out a majority of them were sitting in traffic due to an accident on the road up to Julien. So the rest of the group gathered at Julien Pie Co until we got word that the roads were opened up again. This is where we also lost half of the SD crew as some wanted to wait it out and eat closer to the spot we were waiting. The rest of us headed to Julien and grabbed breakfast.

When we headed out, we found ourselves in moderate amount of traffic and found parking pretty easily. We headed to J Beer Co for some BBQ, Pizza and Beer... yea that is right... for breakfast!

So I have been to Julien Beer Co twice and it has never failed me as of yet. They have huge portions so get ready to share your food with friends. Their pizza was actually really tasty. A lot of people got BBQ and there was a brief moment when things were extremely quiet.

After lunch, we all hung out in the parking lot until everyone was ready for the next leg. We were joined by our other friends Jen and Kelly who brought out there 356 and 911 RS tribute respectfully. Doug and Kayla brought out a blanket and sun bathed in the warm spring heat.

Before taking off, we all joined in for a group photo.

The day was so perfect mainly due to the weather being a cool 72 degrees. We tried to stop as often as we could to take photos without making it feel like a chore. This road is a prime example of the gorgeous terrain San Diego has to offer.

Shortly after we all arrived, we got booted from this location. I never knew the motel was an active business since it has always looked abandoned all 3 times I have been here. I guess the No Parking sign was still in effect but it wasn't until the owner came running out to tell us to GTFO of the area lol. So we moved down about 10 mins to a large turnout in the area.

We hung out for a good moment at this turn out and after 40 mins of hanging out, we lost a good chunk of drivers after this point. Had such a great day hanging out with those that came out but still there was more to eat and more to explore... so let's keep trucking.

The next stop was about an hour out... Tacos El Gordo in Chula Vista is a spot that I frequent any time I am in the area. Ice Cold Orange Bang and amazing Abobada Al Pastor is a must.

After our lunch, almost everyone was super full and tired from waking up early and driving all day. I could tell people just wanted to sleep but also almost all of us had to drive two hours up. Instead everyone took it like a champ and continued on to our second to last location.

We were blessed to be invited to Garage Collective in downtown, which is a private car club garage soon to be opened. We got an exclusive look at their space before their doors opened and what an amazing space it is. Cannot wait to come back for their open house in the coming months.

Of the 30-45 people that showed up, this was the final group plus two more that weren't in the group photo. Had such a blast on this all day rally trip to San Diego. Beautiful weather, amazing people, deep conversations and delicious foods and finished off with a dream space for car lovers. What a day!

Big shoutout to Phong in San Diego for helping me plan out the day and thank you to everyone else who made it out. I cannot wait to do it again soon.


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Drew Manley

Published 2 years ago


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