On Monday morning we left LA and headed south for San Diego. It was another busy day on the roads and there were some navigational challenges, most notably when Google and I had a wee breakdown in communication and we almost ended up driving into an US military base. After a hasty u-turn, we decided to call into Oceanside for some lunch since I was clearly suffering from brain fade. We parked up at Tony’s Sports Bar, which served up the worst meal of our trip so far. The waitress compensated for this by being super lovely to everybody and her efforts to call Campbell “babe” and “baby doll” meant that she still got a decent tip.
We’re staying at Ocean Beach in San Diego. It’s out of the city itself and is a relaxed surf community, and home to plenty of old beach bums. This is our second Air BnB and it’s a bit of a laugh. Our little house is attached to the owner’s German restaurant and shares a wall with the beer garden – there is a locked door in our lounge that actually opens straight into the bar. You can only imagine Campbell’s delight when the owner opened the door on the first night and let him have the run of the place (the restaurant is closed on Mondays). Of all the things we have seen on our trip, it was the photo of his own personal beer garden that Campbell wanted to send to his mates.
Yesterday was our first full day here and we spent the majority of it at the zoo. San Diego Zoo is ranked among the best in the world and that seems to be well-deserved. The grounds and facilities are absolutely amazing and it was really nice to visit a zoo where the animals aren’t all mysteriously “sleeping”. We were a little surprised to see people chugging beers as they walked around the zoo, but it seems that you can buy and drink booze pretty much anywhere you like over here. Six pack at the zoo? No problem! In the afternoon, we popped into Old Town San Diego, which is an area of town that includes old buildings (schools, court houses, saloons etc) that have been restored, and which give an insight into San Diego from the wild west days. It was super touristy, but worth an hour wandering around.
Today we spent the morning at the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway is a retired aircraft carrier that is moored in San Diego harbour. It has four engines that each have 53,000 horse power and, together, mean the ship can go fast enough to tow a waterskier – yeeha! You can wander around it and see the different planes used by the Navy over the years, the engine room and the living quarters. This was definitely one for Campbell, (who watches that kind of stuff on Discovery all the time) but I really enjoyed it as well. We even tried our luck at the flight simulator – Campbell was the pilot and I was the gunner. Luckily for us they didn’t give you your stats at the end, because I think we hit one enemy plane and about twenty of our own (obviously due to pilot error).
We paid a visit to Walmart this afternoon to grab some emergency supplies after realising that we are woefully underprepared for our time at the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. I would need to take ‘layering’ to a whole other level to survive zero degrees and predicted snow showers. Walmart wasn’t quite the freak show we were expecting after seeing those “People of Walmart” pages, but it was still pretty mind-boggling. We sorted ourselves out with some snazzy windbreakers, so hopefully will be good to go now. We spent the rest of the afternoon at Pacific Beach, which is a really beautiful area just up the road from us. If you had a few extra bucks this would be the place to stay.
Our time in San Diego has been really enjoyable, and we both think it is a beautiful city that seems to be incredibly liveable. We’re hitting the road tomorrow and have a five hour drive to Vegas where we expect the pace to go up a notch or two.