Out and about in San Diego

Trip Start Dec 22, 2006
Trip End Feb 20, 2007

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

We have been having a fabulous time in San Diego. We spent a couple of days exploring the city of San Diego. The first tour we took was of a US Navy ship the Midway. The tour was a self guided tour via your own personal radio. So everyone walking around the ship had headphones, it actually looks quite funny. Mark loved the Midway, he took turns with all the kids sitting in the planes! We then explored the harbourside and lunch in an all American pizza shop, where for $3 you receive a massive slice of cheese pizza. The next stop was shopping!
The next day we went out on a whale watching/harbour cruise. This was a little disappointing as we only saw one very small whale, and as the swell was so rough, it made the trip not very rewarding. It was interesting to see how tight the military presence is in the harbour, very different from home. There is a helicopter and speed boats which do regular patrols. We did pass by some US submarines on the tour and some dolphin pens, our guide said that the Navy trains the dolphins to check for bombs. Who would have thought!
We then visited Balboa Park, which is the 2nd biggest park in the US. The park is filled with museums, gardens, theatres and beautiful architecture. We visited a photography museum. The 'migration' theme of the museum, turned out to be a bit of a political statement about the poverty in Mexico. It focused on the hardships of Mexican migrants entering the US, it was a very moving museum.
A highlight of the trip, was a visit to the desert. 1.5hours from the beautiful city of San Diego is a massive desert. It is quite a unique experience, you drive through beautiful countryside and then suddenly you drive down a mountain and you're in the desert. The desert was truly captivating. Who would have thought, that sand & gravel & cactuses could be so beautiful. It was a great experience.
After the desert we stopped at a town called Julian, it kind of looks like an outback cowboy town from a US 1950s movie. We went to a little café, where we had Buffalo burgers for lunch and sodas from their original soda fountain. The town was famous for its apple pies, so we bought a pie home for Marks relatives. (Its odd, when we see signs for pies, we automatically think meat pies, but in the US its only fruit pies!)
Another highlight was Geoffs walking group. We joined Marks uncle and his friends for a walk around Rancho Santa Fe. It was great, Rancho is only 30mins from the city and yet we were in the countryside. The walk took us up and down valleys and past hobby farms. We then joined the group for a BBQ Mexican lunch at one of the members homes, where we mingled with some of Geoffs lovely friends. It was a very unique experience, that we thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to see a different part of America, other than the city and tourist attractions.
Mark went with the boys to see the Motor Show (I passed on this excursion!). Mark was impressed by all the giant big trucks and the extensive variety of 'wank' options.
New Years Eve was spent with some of Lorraine and Geoff's friends. We had a lovely time singing and dancing to Retro music and sampling a variety of new foods.
So, we are having a wonderful time, and are totally being spoilt by Marks family. They are going to extreme efforts to make sure we see everything, and have a variety of experiences. Lorraine is also a fantastic cook, so we having been enjoying some great cuiseine. I don't know how we are going to cope without her for the next 5 weeks.
We have hired a car and tomorrow we are off on our own to become stars in Hollywood, relive our youth at Disneyland and Universal Studios, eat clam chowder in San Francisco, hiking in Yosemite National Park and then finally Celine Dion in Las Vegas, before flying to Cancun (Mexico)!
Suz & Mark!!
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