San Diego 2009

In preparation for the San Diego 2012 trip, I thought I would reminisce about the San Diego 2009 trip ;-)

Much like the one coming up, Mom had a work conference there, which I piggy backed on in order to take advantage of the “free” hotel room.

Days 1 & 2 –  Started on a Saturday, flew in, checked in, dinner, lights out early due to the 3 hour time difference. Our hotel was right on the bay.

Our first full day we decided to go back to where it all began, to San Clemente where I was born.

And yes, that IS the view from the first place I ever lived! We then drove up and down the coast (or PCH) for a bit, stopped in Laguna Beach and walked around.

Had dinner in Coronado, just across the bay from where we were staying.

Day 3 – Our third day took us to the famous San Diego Zoo!

The first exhibit just happened to be the Flamingoes! Before we left for our trip, I stumbled upon a picture of me at the age of two, standing in front of a bunch of flamingoes. Could that have been the start of my little obsession? Wouldn’t it be cool to get a recreation twenty-five years later? We later realized that the location was not in fact the Zoo, but instead it was taken at Sea World. Oh well, a good side by side nonetheless.

More pictures of flamingoes, of course!

Also on our adventure, we happened upon Peacocks, Rhinos, Polar Bears, Giraffes, and Elephants.

In the “Bear Canyon” we saw the Koalas, and of course the Pandas.

My love/hate relationship with zoos stems from images like the ones below. I understand that some animals are born/bred in captivity in order to help save the species, others are injured and can’t be released back into their natural habitat. But I hate seeing animals in cages, regardless of how much room they have to roam, it still breaks my heart. But I love the fact that I can see these animals, even if from afar, because I highly doubt I’ll ever get a chance to see them any other way. If you stare really hard at the grass in the middle left, you can see a tiny bit of the tiger’s face (talk about blending in!).

Here’s another guy, hanging close by to the cage door, waiting for his meal.

Despite my sadness for the animals, I still remembered to be silly and have fun! Isn’t that what zoos are really for?

Day 4 – Mom had classes all morning, so I’m was on my own for a while. I made my way to Balboa Park where the roses in the Rose Garden were in full bloom!

Ther were so many varieties, I had to try to take a picture of all of them!

After mom’s class, we did a modified 59 mile drive that I had found on the internet that hit some “must see” spots in and around San Diego.

Sunset Cliffs, which is just what it sounds like, is a stretch of cliffs offering spectacular views of the ocean (while we didn’t stay for a sunset this trip, I definitely want it on the itinerary this upcoming trip).

Mom was none too happy to take this picture of me, fearing that I would actually fall. Sad thing is, a couple of days later we were watching the news and someone DID fall.

Soledad Mountain offers 360 degree views of La Jolla and San Diego. While the infamous SMOG of Southern California was abundant that day, the views were still nonetheless spectacular. 

We then headed down the mountain to La Jolla.

One of my favorite places in SoCal is the La Jolla Cove and the seals. Why pay to go to Sea World when you can see these guys for free (granted, they don’t do flips or tricks, but then again, see love/hate from the zoo). BTW, this is one of my all-time favorite pictures. Talk about reflexes and being at the right place at the right time ;-)

Day 5 – I was on my own ALL day! I drove around for a bit to kill time, then headed to the Birch Aquarium. It’s a small one, not too many exhibits, but it has fish, sharks and a really nice view!

I drove around a bit more, went back to Sunset cliffs to read a book and watch the water.

Day 6 – Mostly spent beach hopping, from Carlsbad down to Pacific Beach.

Day 7 – The second half of the day was spent on a harbor cruise. An interesting side note on the Coronado Bridge; in order to receive federal funding for the bridge, the City of San Diego curved and lengthened it to meet the minimum length for federal standards. The original plans had it much shorter and almost a straight shot across.

Day 8 – We took a tour of our other old neighborhoods and homes we lived in while in SoCal. It was so sad to see the neighborhoods fall into bankruptcy and decrepitude in the 10 years we had been away.

Day 9 & 10 – I was on my own again and spent it either driving around or lying about in the sand, soaking up the beautiful sun. The evening of day 10 (and my last evening), found mom and I at a restaurant in La Jolla overlooking the Cove. Every single night we had hoped to catch a sunset and we were either busy and missed it, our itinerary took us away from the coast, or because it was cloudy and overcast. However, on my last night, I was finally able to catch it and it was worth the wait ;-)

7 weeks and counting down until we return to the sunny and bright San Diego, California!

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