We spent the first few days in the city and ended with some California beach time for our final few days in western USA. Our first tourist stop - The USS Midway naval aircraft carrier!! What a beast, and proper Top Gun action!...Maverick and Goose, where are ya??
It's one of the best and biggest examples of the US naval ships and apt that we should see it in San Diego - the USA's biggest naval base on the west coast We did a lot of exploring on foot, taking in different areas including Little Italy and Hillcrest, Balboa park and the botanical gardens. We have been carrying around a jar of pasta sauce and a box of pasta since we bought it in Portland, Oregon (approx 4 weeks earlier!), so we decided we needed to use it before we fly to New York, and cooked up a feast of....pasta with sauce!!...
We enjoyed the hostels free breakfast of pancakes with either nothing or maple syrup. Day two and Lou was managing just about not to burn her's so happy days!....Mine were still fat and uncooked in the middle - I blame the pans! On our last day in Gaslamp quarter we made a bee line for the world famous San Diego Zoo - This place is huge!! We ended up spending about five hours in the Zoo and we still missed bits out. The sea lion feeding was fun and they pretty much have every living animal you can think of and due to San Diego's climate they are able to easily re-create environments such as rainforest and desert within the Zoo park. We were the most surprised but amazed to see Polar Bears!!
The best thing about the zoo was that although it is a zoo and the animals are in a confined environment, they are given lots of space and the park is considerate of the animals and constantly raising awareness to its visitors. For some endangered animals, they have been able to protect, raise and increase the number of a species before freeing them back into the wild so their wellbeing in the long run is a great focus.
The meercats and panda residents in the park were awesome too!
Our last few days were spent in a couple of beach towns on the Lower Californian coast. The first was a cool little surf village called Del Mar.
Trendy and chilled we made friends with some locals and soaked up our last bit of sun for a little while. We also spent some time at Pacific beach which is an ultimate surfer town.
Cool beaches dotted with lifeguard towers, surfers on the waves up and into Sunset, guys fishing on the pier with their kids, and a shop owner willing to negotiate to a 40% discount before we even looked slightly interested in anything to buy! Ahhh loved this place!
Last few days in California were as chilling as they could be... Next stop, the madness of the Big Apple!
From Palm Springs we were going to spend the last 5 days of our trip traveling down the coast, taking in Laguna Beach and all the other swanky Cali beach towns, but as we have covered so much ground, we thought it would be cool to spend some proper time in San Diego, so we headed straight for the city for our last few 5 days! We checked into a cool little hostel in the Gaslamp area of downtown, which is the 'old' part of San Diego and is where the action happens!