Monday, March 16, 2015

San Diego- First impressions

Gonzo and I go on some pretty spectacular trips.  Our best ones are the ones that aren't planned.  For instance, Christmas this past year, since we couldn't go back to Texas to see our families, we decided at about 9:30pm the day before Christmas Eve that we should go to Vegas.  It was only for two nights, but we had a pretty good time.

Recently, on a Saturday after Gonzo had been working all day, around 4:30pm when he arrived home, I asked if we could have an adventure in San Diego soon- preferable the next day (Sunday).  He seemed to accept my proposed time, and reiterated to me that he was hungry and needed to we got in the car for what I thought was a search for food.  Keep in mind, I was wearing my over-sized Las Vegas shirt that I had acquired during our Christmas trip; a pair of gray workout pants and a cheap pair of plastic Old Navy flip flops.

Gonzo put in the GPS a destination and began driving toward Pasadena- which is not a route we usually go to find food.  After we had been on the highways for over 30 minutes I began to assume that our San Diego trip was happening right then, instead of the next morning.  The further south we drove the more apparent it was that we were definitely going right then. 

By the time we reached Oceanside the sun was beginning to set, but from the highway we could see the beautiful teal waters.  That was the color I always felt the ocean should be, mixed with the sunset it was absolutely breathtaking.

I had thought that we would just be driving down to San Diego, making a loop around the city and driving back that same night- why I thought this, I have no idea.  Gonzo checked us into the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina so we could stay overnight.  Our view the next morning was absolutely breathtaking.

We had talked the night before, about maybe going on a boat tour around the bay, or going to the zoo before we made our trip back to LA.  We decided to grab a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant and then take a walk around the little marina since it looked so gorgeous outside.   

I would like to reiterate my foot wear for the day.  Cheap. Plastic. Flip Flops.  The blisters came on fairly quickly.  We learned that there was the Busker Festival happening (Street Performers at Seaport Village), and looked at a few of the sites then decided to make a reservation for a trip on the Seal Tour (which is essentially a Duck boat tour if you have ever been to the Wisconsin Dells or taken a site seeing trip in Grapevine Texas or perhaps even places in Florida), and made our way back to the hotel gift shop (which was more like a store), where Gonzo purchased a more comfortable pair of flip flops and a San Diego shirt for me.  Honestly it wouldn't have mattered what kind of shoe I was wearing, the blisters were around to stay.

Once aboard the Seal Tour they took us on a 15 minute land drive around the bay explaining some of the buildings and touristy sites.  The USS Midway is stationed fairly close to Seaport Village, which we definitely want to go back to tour.

Once we made it to the launch site it was only a few moments before a Sea Lion greeted us in the water (didn't get a picture because he was on the opposite side of the boat from where I was seated).
We began our slow tour of the San Diego bay and it was gorgeous.

The water was the exact color I believe the Pacific ocean should be (keep in mind, my reference point for large body of water color before moving to CA was Galveston TX...if you've been you know that the water there is brown...nothing like what one would expect).
Part of the Seal Tour takes you by the the Fish Bait floating shop that is in the bay.  What I didn't realize is this is also a place where a lot of Marine animals hang out.

From the large harem of Sea Lions sun bathing, to the many different species of birds there was lots to ooh and aah about.  Outside of a zoo, I have never seen a Sea Lion in person and so up close.
The end of the tour was 15 more minutes of land driving to get back to our original Seaport Village launching point.  However, did I mention the Busker Festival?  Since it was also happening that day the traffic was nearly as bad as LA traffic.  While we were stopped a few hundred yards from our final stop, we actually all witnessed a man on a bicycle swipe an older woman's purse while knocking her to the ground.  There was a wonderful stranger who ran after the bicyclist but we don't know if he managed to get the woman's purse back or not.  After that all of us women held our purses a little tighter to get thru the crowds.

After all of that excitement, we went to lunch at a little place with no parking called Kansas City BBQ.  Prior to this trip I didn't have a clue that any of Top Gun was filmed in San Diego...but the scene where Goose plays Great Balls of Fire on the Piano was filmed at this fine eating establishment.
This is a word of warning to anyone from Texas who comes here to eat BBQ...Do yourself a favor and order the Brisket.  The ribs seem to be a little over cooked, but the Brisket is good (once out of the fine state of Texas it is a struggle to find good BBQ).

Shortly there after we began to head back to LA around 4:30pm, which made for some gorgeous sunset pictures on the way home.
Oh, if you were wondering where Gonzo finally got dinner on Saturday night, he waited until we had gotten to San Diego.  We ate at the Fishmarket close to Seaport Village and the USS Midway.  The Bob Hope memorial is there.  The salmon was fantastic!  Gonzo had a lobster tail that was larger than the steak he paired it with.

All in all our first impression of San Diego is that it's amazing.  It's beautiful, sunny and welcoming.  The people are friendly (minus the idiot purse snatcher), and the only horn we heard honk was from the Seal Tour vehicle to prevent another vehicle from driving underneath it.  The traffic was minimal (granted we were there on a weekend, can't verify what it looks like during the week).  If it was possible to live in San Diego while Gonzo kept his job in LA I think we would totally try to make it work.

San Diego will definitely be seeing us again.

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