Sunny San Diego

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September 8th 2013
Published: September 17th 2013
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We arrrived to LA by bus and continued to the airport for lodging and for pickup of our rental car the next morning. We had planned to drive north from LA to visit some national parks, but due to an unfavourable weather forecast we changed our plans and went for sunny San Diego instead.

We had initially reserved 3 nights in San Diego via airbnb, but already when we saw Gaslamp quarter, the shopping and restaurant district of San Diego, we started to think about extending our stay. The city had a really relaxed atmosphere with well preserved buildings and lots of nice stores and restaurants without being overly touristy. After our brief first look on the town we continued to our sleeping place where we were entusiastically greeted by our host Mark, and especially by his dog Precious. After getting a thorough presentation of the sights and attractions in town we went for our first hunch and reserved one more night.

Tourist season was clearly over, so Seaworld, which we visited the next day, was quite empty. During our 6 hours in the park I think we had to queue 10 minutes in total, and there were empty spaces in all the shows we attended. We had thought Seaworld would be something similar to an aquarium, but it mostly resembled an amusement park. In addition to rides there were also shows with the sea mammals as stars. The most impressive (and wettest) was definitely the Shamu show headlining killer whales, it was also the only show without a lot of human intervention. We took places in the upper end of the splash zone (which covered half of the stadium) and got only a little wet, only two rows below us people were completely drenched. The sea lion show was a parody on reality TV shows, which meant the sea lions (and an otter) were in much smaller roles. It also partly flopped as the other sea lion decided not to play along and instead swam in the pool and toyed with a fish, which actually was more amusing than it would have been if everything had worked out perfectly. The dolphin show was the show that was least centered around the headline stars, it instead contained human acrobatics, swim jumps, flying birds and some storyline about some princess.

Even if we felt a little tired after our Seaworld adventure we still had more program for the evening. San Diego, like half of the cities on our trip, had an outdoor Shakespere festival ongoing, and this time we actually managed to get to the show. It was "A midsummer night's dream", and the show was great! As it was the original text it was at times a little hard to keep up with the dialog, but the cast was terrific and with a stage that continued into the forrest behind it really felt as you would be in the middle of the forrest. With a lot of fairies they really managed to create this magical feeling on stage.

We continued our touristing the next day with San Diego Zoo. As it was a Friday also here there were a lot of space, also at the biggest attraction, the panda cage were they had a recently born cub. We saw both the adult pandas and the cub, but due to the hot weather they just lay still. This was the same with most of the other animals, the greatest exception was the icebear that instead was playing in the water. Another highlight was the pangolin, a small scaled mammal with an extremely long tongue that the keeper brought forth for a 15 min long demonstration (it is a nocturnal animal, so otherwise it wouldn't have been out).

For our last full day in San Diego we went for a harbour cruise and then split up, I went to see the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier retired ten years ago, and Johanna went shopping. The harbour cruise was nice, but nothing that special, it's just a harbour even if it has a really big military fleet. The USS Midway on the other hand was really interesting, a whole floating city built to serve the fighters and bombers on board.

Before leaving the city the next day we still went to the museum of photographic arts and had a quick stop at Coronado beach. The water was however quite cold, so we quickly continued our trip to Fallbroke to visit my uncle Mini and his wife Kristin. They live in a large house in the middle of the country side, with the neighbors horses and donkey 30 m from the house. We spent a really nice evening there, including a quick tour to the local city centre for pizzas and a brief introduction to my uncles growing business enterprise.

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