<3 San Diego, Yeah, it's that great...

Trip Start Dec 30, 2012
Trip End Jun 27, 2013

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What I did
Balboa Park San Diego
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, January 20, 2013

San Diego has been a favorite destination of ours for some time. I have been there once. Jeremy has been there a few times. The weather of course is beautiful, but the vibe in San Diego is what makes it so great. The city brims with arts and culture at all levels. It's full of parks and outdoor recreation, and its close to the beach. What more can you ask for?

Day 1:
Rolled in from Vegas on Friday night. The drive out was a dry one, going through the desert. Just looking out the car window made me hot and thirsty. The sun literally bakes you in your seat as you drive. When we arrived we took a much needed opportunity to do laundry and had Thai delivered to our room for dinner. Later we went out for drinks and discovered O'Hungry's The food there is not too great from what the reviews said. We never confirmed that. Instead we partook in the $1 beer.

Day 2:
Woke up. Trying to incorporate some healthy habits while traveling, so we went for what we expected to be a run through old town and into a nearby park. This quickly turned into a hike once we entered Presidio Park. But it was worth the effort. The park ascends to the top of a hill and there you can get a great view of Old Town and the bay below.

The hike wet our appetite for physical activity, so we ventured to Balboa Park. You could spend several days here and not see everything that they have. We had a healthy lunch at the Grow Cafe. It just so happens that the the Museum of Photographic Art is right next door to the cafe, so we figured why not? From October through February the museum is showing the Ruud Van Empel: Strange Beauty exhibit. Each of these works is a collage of many of Van Empel's photos. So if you look at one face or figure for example, that person does not exist in life, rather they are formed from many other photos. I really enjoyed The Office series, which explores how we have dehumanized the work place in recent years. I would encourage anyone having a rough day at work to look at these pieces and laugh, or just empathize with the subjects.

From there we headed back out into the sun and wandered around the park for a few hours. One bird rescue, several street Musicians, one orchid show, one Quinceanera, and one Didgeridoo later, we called it a day and found our way back to Old Town. There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in Oldtown, so can you guess what we had for dinner? I finished the night with hot chocolate and a stroll around the shops at Old Town. Among all of the typical kitschy souvenirs I also found a lot of Mexican pottery and Dia del Muerte art.

Day 3:
Went out early for a hike at Mission Trails Regional Park. At the visitor's center the volunteers suggested we try Climbers Loop Trail. It was a really cool trail where at the very highest point there are large stone bluffs to climb. We watched several groups scale the peaks. After we finished we went back to the visitors center to browse around and I discovered an artist named Sue Britt. She had several paper tapestry works on display there. Too bad I didn't have the $ to snatch up one of her pieces. She only recently started displaying her work, and if my taste in art is worth anything, I predict that she will go far in the art world.

The San Diego episode of our trip is almost over. I will make a separate post about our Whale Watching tour shortly. Until then, I want to conclude by saying that there are so many outdoor / dog friendly places in San Diego, which made me really miss our two dogs. To try to make myself feel better I went on the Just Puppies website tonight to look at pictures of puppies. It didn't help. None are as cute as Stuey and Molly, and none of them are snuggling under the covers with me tonight... Can't wait to see them when we get back.

More on San Diego tomorrow.
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Dawn on

I love all your photos! California looks absolutely beautiful and full of culture! I love Jeremy's fountain picture ;)

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