Sightseeing in San Diego

Trip Start Aug 16, 2004
Trip End Aug 13, 2005

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, July 3, 2005

So after landing in LA at around 11:30am on Friday (before we even took off from Auckland), it took us over 1hr to get through immigration. I guess this is because they now fingerprint everyone and take their photo, so the whole process takes a lot longer. While we were waiting, we kept on hearing announcements apologising for the delay in the luggage coming out onto the carousels. Well we must have a lucky streak because once we finished with immigration, we found our bags straightaway on the carousel. We got quite a few envious stares from the hoards of people still queuing for their luggage.

My brother, Aloke, who works in San Diego, picked us up outside the airport in a convertible. Well it is America! Never been in a convertible before, and I have to say, they are a lot of fun! Unfortunately the journey to San Diego was not a lot of fun. It normally takes 2hrs but because it was the start of a long weekend (4th July is Independence Day) the traffic was a lot heavier. I did manage to sleep a bit of the way though.

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and getting over jetlag.

Today, after a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs, feta cheese and smoked salmon, we went out and about in the car. First stop was to go sailing in Mission Bay. Just before we got to the boat, we had to walk in the grounds of a hotel. It has a sealion enclosure that houses sick or injured sealions. Today we saw two of them there. Aloke has been sailing for years now and is a member of the sailing club in San Diego so he took us out on a very small boat for an hour, just round the bay. Very relaxing as it was a calm day.

After that we went to La Jolla Cove, to see the Harbour seals. They are normally basking in the sunshine on the beach, but they were busy having a swim. However there was a group of them swimming quite near to the beach so we watched them for a while. On the walkway by the rocks, we could see lots of little black and red crabs scuttling about.

We then drove to the top of Mt Soledad and had a look at the views of the city. Unfortunately it was quite hazy today so we couldn't see very far. They filmed some of the flying scenes from Top Gun at Miramar Marine Corps Station, which we could see from the top of Mt Soledad.

Next stop was to see the plane that Aloke is learning to fly in. It's just a tad smaller than the plane we came over from Auckland in. That was the longest plane I've ever been in - it seemed to go on forever. Anyway, this plane was a little Cessna, and it hopefully won't be too long before Al gets his licence.

After a meal in a nice Thai restaurant, we went out to a couple of bars. First bar was at the top of the Hyatt hotel. We didn't actually have a drink there but just admired the views of the city. Then we went to Kansas City Barbeque where they filmed some of the bar scenes out of Top Gun. The old piano that Goose played in the film is still there but in some serious need of repair.
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