Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
217Trip End Ongoing
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Seldom does a city draw us in so much that we end up staying for two laundry cycles. That's one of the few measures in a life with little other routine ;)
A double-decker Amtrak train (delayed by 1.5 hours) chugg-chugged it's way from LA Union station to Santa Fe depot, San Diego. We weren't too bothered though because we had table-side seats, a chatty fellow passenger, a newspaper and backgammon to entertain us. Besides someone was having a much worse day; the guy whose car got knocked by a train at an intersection at Fullerton. Apparently that's why the trains were constantly honking their horns, a powerful noise that gave me a helluva fright each time. We weren't even perturbed by a rock that was either thrown (or had flown) against the window just behind us
We finally made it to SD after sunset and negotiated our way past all the homeless people to our hostel called Lucky D's. We hadn't booked but something led us to believe that we'd be "lucky"! Not that we believe in luck, no! :-p
Lucky D's was clearly the place to be in SD! They organised an excursion to a Padres game at nearby Petco Park and kickstarted our stay with a pub crawl in the glitzy Gaslamp quarter. That's how we made loads of Insta-Buddies initially (for definitions see: http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/thelees/1/1307047173/tpod.html):
* Helena, a German/Sri Lankan sweetie who made us feel right at home from the minute she checked us in.
* Our roommates, Jacob, a geographer from Port Townsend (near Seattle) in town for a conference, and Dan, a Kiwi airforce pilot who had driven down from Vegas on a rental Harley
* Aloo, a fun-loving French student chillaxing in mental preparation for his International Arbitration exam.
* Bo, who claims to be from Denmark but sounds more Dutch (inside joke!) who has been travelling for around the world for the past 20 months, and was in SA for all the Danish fun and games.
* Matt & Helen from Burnley, England who were in the final month of their 1.5 year jaunt around the world.
* Emily, from Michigan, who arrived early for ComicCon and educated us about this international event that now a lot more about pop culture than just comic books!
* Joanna & Thais, students from Brazil who arrived when the noise in the common room reached a crescendo!
* Tahara with the gorgeous glowing skin from Arizona who recently started working at Lucky D's
* Taps, a Zim ex-pat living in SD for 10 years, seemingly long enough to know everyone in town! We met him randomly getting pizza after working up an appetite during the pub crawl.
And... I'm sure there were many others along the way but you can see the weird and wonderful range of people we meet in hostels. We also met up with a Love You Long Timer, Lindsay, and her lovely American/Colombian boyfriend, AJ. We calculate that we haven't seen her for more than 8 years, possible not since our Commitment Celebration in November 2002 (btw that's what we called our marriage after-party). They kindly took us on an outing to Coronado island, crossing the freakishly long bridge for lunch and to take in the splendour of Hotel del Coronado, where lots of famous people go and it's been featured in loads of movies. It was great catching up after so much time and to hear that Lindsay has retained her accent ;) Ah, sweet reunion!
So much socialising was had in San Diego that nearly a week had passed when it dawned upon us.... How much of the city had we actually seen?? Great thing we had some flexibility to stay a little longer (see next entry).