NO!! Not Mexico! San Diego Por Favor!!

Trip Start Aug 21, 2009
Trip End Aug 20, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, October 24, 2009

Simon: Well, after a very nice 9 days taking it easy in a lovely house, we headed back to San Francisco on the Greyhound Bus, which we'd heard bad things about. The journey from Arcata to San Francisco was perfect! Quiet, incident free, quick! This bus lark wasn't so bad! So after spending a few days in San Francisco again doing relatively nothing, we weren't too worried about our next journey from San Fran to San Diego.

That was a mistake.

It started off fine, but about halfway between San Fran & LA (150 miles from each!) in the middle of the desert; we broke down. The bus skidded onto the shoulder (made of sand!) and the driver spent 20 minutes fixing it. He got it running, but about 40 miles later, it lost all power and we had to pull into a truck stop and wait for another bus. Wait 3.5 HOURS!!!!! That was quite annoying. But we were assured another connection to San Diego would be available, because we'd missed ours.

We got to LA about 4 hours late, but luckily a bus was leaving to San Diego in 5 minutes! Hurrah! We double checked with a couple of people that it was definitely going to San Diego - "Si Senor! San Diego!" Great. we'll only be a bit late, and we'll get in before midnight.

Errrr, or not.

Well we both fell asleep, but when i woke up, we were just coming up to a big city. Cool i thought, we must be getting to San Diego now, and he'll take an exit soon. He Didn't. he skipped the next 6 or so exits, and by this time i KNEW the city was San Diego, because it said it on the signs! We finally pulled off the Freeway at the Mexican Border! He stopped the coach in a tiny place on the border called San Ysidro and told us to get off! He couldn't find the exit for San Diego, so he was just gunna drop us off at the border and leave us!

NO WAY!! I told him politely that he wasn't leaving us in this stinking place, and he was taking us back to San Diego, but he told us to wait for 1 hour 20 minutes for another bus. We both refused to leave the bus or get our stuff off, so he phoned one of his Mexican friends who also happens to drive a bus. About 10 minutes later a little fat Mexican man in a string vest turned up in a coach! He had some other people on his bus going to San Diego too!

We were SAVED!!! 

The little Mexican man even helped us find our hostel, and we got into San Diego around 1am. Phew!! We were both relieved and completely shattered after a 17 hour bus journey from hell!

Flo: That was where the bad stuff stopped!! From the second we got to our hostel, San Diego was great!! When we arrived some of the hostel staff were just getting in from a pub crawl and they were very drunk! We checked in and fell asleep instantly!

Our first day in San Diego we slept quite late. When we finally got up we just explored the local area. Our hostel was in the middle of the main tourist area, the Gaslamp District, so we were really close to everything. (Our hostel was above 2 bars and a restaurant) We also checked out the shopping plaza (but Simon didn't let me buy anything :( ).

Second day we were up early to go to SeaWorld!! It was really really amazing :) First we saw a Sea Lion comedy show where they dressed up and did dance moves and stuff! The show was based on Halloween, and the Sea Lions were hilarious! There was also this big fat white ugly Walrus in the show too. See the pics.

After we went on a few of the theme park rides before heading over to watch the Sea Lions be fed. You could pay $6 for a fish and feed them, but we just watched everyone else do it! You could get so close to them, and this really big one kept knocking the others out of the way! Then we had some lunch before heading for Shamu Stadium for the Orca show. The day we were there they were filming the TV show "The Bachelor" in the stadium before everyone else was allowed in. We caught a sneak peak of the show through the railings before being moved so the TV crew could get out.

The show itself was AMAZING! The Killer Whales were so massive and graceful, and there was a little baby one that copied its mummy and could do all the flips and stuff already! Simon decided however that we would sit in the middle, about 5 rows from the front in the 'Soak Zone'. the soak zone goes up about 16 rows, and they show a video before about how wet you get - VERY! I was very worried about getting drenched, but luckily we only got splashed half as much as everyone else in our row, who got soaked! One man sat with his back against the tank and Shamu did a giant splash which absolutely COVERED him in water! The only disappointing part was it didn't go on for longer! It was really really good :)

Simon: After the show we dried off a bit before checking out a pet show which was funny, but nowhere near as impressive as a giant flipping splashing Killer Whale. The cats on the highwires were pretty funny tho. We checked out the last few aquariums before going to our last stop, the Interactive Manta Ray tank. you can put your hands in and stroke and touch the Rays! They felt like silk and their wings were so powerful, it was just really cool. I even patted one on the head like a dog!!

We both had a great day

Flo: That night we got back and had 2 new roommates, they were English and traveling the US like us! We got on really well mostly because i could swap magazines with them! (I didn't read the country and western special though!) They seemed quite excited that we were writing a blog too and they would be in it, so Hi Ros & Olivia!! :) 

Next day we went to Mission Beach and relaxed. We watched the surfers and sunbathed and did very little else. That night we went out for a drink with Ros & Olivia at a bar just down the street called Whiskey Girl. It was Friday night so there was a few hen parties and birthday parties, and we spent most of our time trying to tell if this dancing person was male or female!! We only stayed for a few drinks then headed home for sleeps.

Simon: After spending a second day at the beach (Ocean Beach this time) we went to Hodad's diner for a yummy burger. The place was so cool, the walls were covered in licence plates and photos, and they had half a tuk-tuk buried in the wall that you could sit in and eat! It was like a biker diner and it played awesome punk and thrash music and had a big grizzly chef dude. Awesome.

Our last day in San Diego was spent going to it's main attraction, the best zoo in the world, The San Diego Zoo. It's the best zoo in the world for a reason. It was bloody amazing! It's so big that it has its own tour bus that takes 45 minutes to do a whole tour! We did that first and got to see all the awesome animals up close. 

It's so good because you get SO close to all the animals, you don't think it's possible! The Giraffes were about 3 feet away, and could easily lick your face if they felt like it. The fence separating them from us was only around 4 feet high, it felt like i could touch them (and probably could!) The same went for the Rhinos, Pandas, Hippos, Lions, Tigers and Elephants. The Elephant enclosure was pretty new and really cool, we got to ask the keeper loads of questions while he was feeding an elephant, and the fence was so small it was nearly non existent! I think an elephant could have easily broken through it, but apparently not! Check out my pictures of the Lioness, oh and the Giraffes. They don't do it justice though, It was really an amazing place, easily the best zoo i've ever been to.

The next morning we were getting the Greyhound to Las Vegas, but thankfully this time we had company, Olivia & Ros were getting the same bus, so at least we'd be together if we go dropped in Mexico again!

I'd never even thought about going to San Diego before, and didn't really know much about it apart from the Zoo and Anchorman, but i'd definitely go back. It has so much going for it, it's warm, the beaches are great, great nightlife, and the Zoo & Seaworld are too good to miss. Hands down a better summer beach holiday than The Canary Islands, Greece or Spain. Oh, and the hostel was probably the best we've stayed in. So friendly and laid back, small, free pancake breakfast, and a beautiful building too.

Anyway, on to Vegas!!

Simon & Flo


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