And the vacation begins…
We reached LA at midnight and started for San Diego at around 2am in the morning. Both of us were fresh after a good sleep in the flight stretching on all the three seats. A road trip at night with Kishore da playing his best from the 70s couldn’t be a better beginning to the vacation. Cruising along the coast with our Kia Optima set on cruise control we were enjoying the songs and singing along. Within couple of hours we started seeing signs for San Diego downtown and we turned on our navigation to take us to our friend’s place where we were supposed to crash for the night. It was 4:30 am in the morning. Her husband was awake and greeted us with a welcoming smile. We felt at home. After taking a quick shower, we crashed on the bed to take a nap. The day was going to be long!
The world famous San Diego zoo and the Sea World are must see attractions when you are in town. Both are huge and would easily take more than a day each. Speaking to a lot of people it was clear that Sea World is for people who like rides (Shamu the killer whale show is awesome!) and shows and teens would enjoy it more. Zoo was for the other set of people those who don’t mind walking miles under the sun to see animals (Skyfari is a must do in the zoo). I am a kind of person who likes to visit those places which would give me the local flavor and hence zoo or sea world were not on the cards.
After a morning drive in the upscale neighborhood (where my wife started dreaming about buying a house) we started off at the Torrey Pines beach.
Stretched alongside the Pacific is a scenic bridge that leads to the Torrey pines beach. Plenty of morning sunshine made it perfect to hit the beach and get some tan. Wifey liked her new outfit and I got to use my new sun glasses for the first time. Chilling on the beach for an hour after playing in the waters, we then were ready for our next pit stop La Jolla Cove for lunch.
La Jolla Cove is an interesting place. Lots of pelicans and sea lions would greet you here on a rocky beach. We had food at a hill top restaurant facing the ocean and then walked near the sea lions. These mammals with external ear flaps and long fore flippers are a delight to watch. They just come out on the rocks and rest there. Yeah.. totally harmless until you try to go near them and they will bark like dogs, probably attack and bite you. There was a family of sea lions sleeping on the beach. Just when one cute gal was busy clicking their pics the daddy lion approached and scared the shit out of her. Guarding the family, daddy did not let anyone near the kids. Family ties in the animal kingdom, rare sight in humans these days!! Looked like the pelicans were keeping an ariel watch.
You can easily spend two to three hours at La Jolla. Our next stop was Pt Loma. Pt Loma is a point from where you can see Mexico border on a clear day. We reached there at the sunset and enjoyed the sun setting down at the backdrop of a cemetery. The other side portrayed exquisite views of San Diego downtown starting to get lit up at dusk.
Coronado is an island connected to the main land by a bridge. Downtown “skyline” is best viewed from here. After Pt Loma we headed to Coronado which greeted us with a fantastic views of the glittering downtown. A quite walk on the beach holding her hands looking at the downtown is simply unforgettable. Our day was coming to a conclusion. We then headed to the downtown. Gaslamp Quarters is the “happening place” in the downtown. It features a lot of bars, pubs, theatres, museums, exquisite dining restaurants and gift shops. After a quick stroll in the Gaslamp quarters and buying a souvenir, we headed back for dinner.
Unlike some of the northern states in the US, people are more friendly here. They will greet you, stop by your house, have a chat, share meals and home cooked sweets and interact more. The day was well spent. Torrey Pines, La Jolla Cove, Pt Loma, Coronado, Gaslamp Quarters and then a fresh home cooked south Indian meal turned out to be the icing on the cake!!
Next was Hollywood…. To be continued…