Back To The Coast!

Trip Start Mar 28, 2013
Trip End Jul 31, 2013

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Where I stayed
Santa Fe RV Park

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

San Diego has been a long awaited stop for us on this trip.  Anyone we spoke to about California said to make sure we got to San Diego and that it was worth the drive that far south.  Everyone raved about its great climate, the beautiful harbour and beaches, and all the amazing things to see and do there.
We stayed at Santa Fe RV Park which was just a little north of the Misson Bay Area and ended up being a pretty good location.  The day we arrived we hung out at the pool, did laundry, rode our bikes around, and the boys played pool with Gramps.  A police helicopter flew by a few times using its loud speaker to give a description of a man they were looking for.  They were asking people to call 911 if they saw him and later they flew over saying thanks to everyone for their help.  We don't see that too often in Kingston!  The boys were also amazed to see a sky writer plane leave an ad for Geiko in the sky above us.
We went to the Pacific Beach area for dinner and ate at a fantastic New Zealand restaurant.  After dinner we strolled on the boardwalk by the beach and watched all the surfers in the waves.  It didn't take long for the boys to start asking when they could try surfing again.  That was certainly on the agenda further up the Californian coast.
We've put a little over 16 000 kms on the truck so far on the trip so we thought it might be a good idea to get another oil change in San Diego since we were going to be here 4 days.  After that was done we drove to Old San Diego to take the Old Town Trolley tour to get an overview of the city.  We really enjoy doing these tours because you get so much information about the city.  It's nice to be able to get a good look at everything and not have to worry about traffic or directions and you can get on and off to spend more time at the places you find interesting.  The kids love going on the trolley and Clare cuddled right into Gramps for the entire ride.  We got off in Little Italy to have lunch and enjoyed sharing some real Italian pizza.  Bruce will have to say he didn't think it could compare to his long time Kingston favourite - Mamma Mia!  
 We were surprised when our tour guide pointed to a beautifully designed, tall building in the center of downtown that looked like a regular office building but was actually a jail!  Aimee had to stop at Kansas City BBQ where the bar scene from Top Gun was filmed and picture Tom Cruise singing You Lost that Loving Feeling in that exact spot!  We walked around Old San Diego which is a State Historic Park and looked in the shops and toured La Casa de Estudillo and Seely Stable.  In the early 1800's it was the social and political center of San Diego.  The house was beautifully furnished and it was so neat to see how some people lived back then.  The boys, being boys, lost their minds laughing at the chamber pots in all the bedrooms.  They couldn't imagine what it was like back then without all our modern conveniences.  
Gran and Gramps encouraged us to let them babysit while we had the chance and sent us out for the evening.  We drove to Misson Beach and rode our bikes along the boardwalk on the beach.  It was a beautiful night and we stopped at a bar on the beach and enjoyed a drink and watched the sunset.  The bar had 2 flow riders (surfing simulators) and we had lots of fun watching people try it out.  They had hot tubs to relax in while you waited for your next turn.  We had a great night out and once again debated hitting the road just the two of us but couldn't do that to my parents and figured we'd miss the kids after awhile!

We spent the next day at the San Diego Zoo.  We were all really excited to see over 800 different species of animals from all over the world.  We started our day by getting Gran set up with a new set of wheels.  We all thought an electric scooter would be a good idea for her to use since we were going to be doing so much walking.  The boys were pretty excited and hoped they'd get their first driving lesson on it.  Bruce was just as excited and would run and get it for her whenever we had to leave it somewhere that wasn't accessible.  Clare bummed a ride most of the day and thought Gran was her personal chauffer!  
Everyone enjoyed a ride on the "skyfari" a gondola that takes you from one side of the zoo to the other.  It was quite high up and it was nice having a birds eye view of the whole zoo.  Part of the admission cost included a double decker bus tour that gives you an overview of all the different sections of the zoo and animals.  The tour was about 40 minutes long and what we learned in that short time period was amazing.  The zoo is a botanical garden as well and the trees and flowers were beautiful.  The habitats were all well done but we found the zoo much more condensed compared to the Toronto Zoo.  
We saw almost all of the zoo and at the orangutan exhibit you could sit in front of a glass wall that the orangutans would come right up to.  It was late in the day when we arrived at the exhibit and there wasn't many people around.  When the kids sat down 2 orangutans came right over, plopped down and just seemed to be staring right at us.  It felt like they were watching us instead of the other way around.  It was a really neat experience.
 Our favourite exhibit was probably the Mom and 10 month old baby panda.  They were so much fun to watch! The baby kept trying to climb on the Mom and she just kept knocking him off.  One time while they were in a small tree in their exhibit she knocked him right to the ground!  Everyone took a big breath in but he popped right back up and continued to chase after his Mom.  The panda keeper said panda's can fall 50ft out of a tree and be unharmed, pretty unbelievable!  
We were all tired but had an excellent day at the zoo!  We decided to stop at the Wavehouse for a late dinner on the way home so we could show the boys the surf simulators.  They thought it was really cool and wished they had their bathing suits along so they could give it a try.  Bruce was definitely thinking the same thing!  San Diego was a great city and we're so glad we ventured all the way down the coast to see it!
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Neil on

Kept wishing for a video clip of Bruce surfing...........

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