February 25, 2008

San Diego: Point Loma

As we were leaving Ocean Beach, we caught a sign for Point Loma so we decided to go ahead and see as much as we could before dusk. Before hitting the park, we stopped at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery to pay our respects to our fallen military and their families.

Then we continued on to the Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates the day in 1542, when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European, set foot on what is now the West Coast of the US.

Mexico in the distance

Point Loma Light House

From the light house looking back on San Diego

A cruise ship leaving port

We got kicked out of the park at closing so we headed over to Sunset Cliffs to watch the sunset

Afterwards we headed to downtown San Diego, we decided to park at Horton Plaza and catch a movie. We were too tired to walk around and we needed to pass time and work up a hunger. We got tickets to see Jumper, we walked around the mall to kill time until the show started.

We got seated inside the theater, evidently there’s no such thing as personal space at these theaters. I had my feet resting in between the seats in front of me and this guy picked there of all places, in a half empty theater, to sit. Then, right before the previews began another guy came and sat right next to me despite the entire row being open. During the commercials before the previews (does it bother anyone else that they do this? It irks me $20 for a movie and advertising is still crammed down our throats!) the screen froze, we waited 30 minutes, but gave up and requested a refund.

We were still beat so we didn’t want to do much of anything so we decided to head over to Los Panchos for dinner. Yes, the same place as the day before. We started with chips and salsa. We each had two Cadillac Margaritas, yum! Frank had a chicken burrito and I had the best carne asada burrito I’ve ever consumed. We finished up the meal with fried ice cream. Muy delicioso!

We went back to the hotel. I had been super cold all day. My face was sunburned from earlier in the day and from the day before, so the cool breezes felt especially chilly to me. I hopped under the covers to warm up and I was asleep in seconds.

We got up fairly early, we showered, packed and we were on the road by 9am. We stopped in Baker at the Mad Greek for lunch, we each had a gyro. We continued on the drive back home was a breeze. We had a great time, and we really enjoy San Diego, but we were happy to home.

San Diego: USS Midway Museum and Ocean Beach

After we finished the boat tour we decided to check out the USS Midway Museum, which is actually the ship itself.

These are the sleeping conditions for the junior officers

I don’t think Frank was cut out to be a sea man. It was hilarious watching him squeeze into this bunk.

We toured many areas of the ship before we made our way to the flight deck

Where 20 or so air crafts were displayed. The A-7 is on a catapult to help it gain speed since the “run way” is such a short distance

Back inside the ship, here's the command center and communications

I could not imagine being the one responsible to have all the knobs turned to the proper frequency to be certain that messages were delivered

Here’s the Island, we did not tour that portion; it was near the end, by then, we were exhausted and hungry.

We left USS Midway and went to Fuddrucker’s for a bite. After our late lunch Frank asked if I still wanted to head to Point Loma and Cabrillo Monument. I said we could another time since I didn’t think we’d have enough time to appreciate it because we only had a couple hours of sunlight left. We headed to Ocean Beach instead.

When we were driving there, it felt more like LA/Santa Monica than San Diego, I guess most beach towns are similar and lend the same vibe.

The ocean breezes were FREEZING, it was so cold, I have no clue how surfers and beach bums were able to tolerate the cold. Much like the beaches around LA we weren’t impressed, between that and the cold we didn’t stay long.

San Diego: Harbor Tour

We were up bright and early; we stopped for breakfast at CafĂ© 222 before heading to the harbor. It’s a great little spot. Frank had pancakes with a side of sausage and I had peanut butter banana French toast. When I saw it on the menu I just HAD to try it, since I like to make myself peanut butter-banana-honey sandwiches fairly regularly. The French toast was much like my concoction, naturally, I enjoyed it.

We went to the harbor and located SD Harbor Excursions we bought tickets for the 2 hour tour that covered the North and South bay.

We began with the North Bay, it was the first tour of the morning so crowds were sparce, it made the trip very enjoyable.

Shelter Island

Sea lions at the bait barge

Point Loma in the distance

Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma: The most SW point of the US

Coronado Bay Bridge

Coronado Cays

Naval ship manufacturing plant NASSCO: building USNS Amelia Earhart

USNS Mercy and USNS Bob Hope

Other ships

San Diego Skyline

Seaport Village

Petco Park

USS Midway

February 19, 2008

San Diego: SeaWorld

We hit the road around 5 o'clock Friday evening. On the way down to San Diego we made a pit stop in Ontario for a bite at Fuddruckers. Yum, just as good as we remember it. Bellies full we continued on, we pulled up to our hotel Mission Valley Resort around 9 o’clock. We reserved a king bed, but none were available so we were stuck with two doubles. The room was clean, but everything was small, the bathroom was especially tight. We made the most of it; we crashed pretty early knowing we had a long day ahead.

We slept terribly, each of the beds were lumpy and hard. We called the front desk to see if we could switch rooms, but the girl was unaccommodating and pretty well useless. We figured we try again later. We head out for the day, first stop was Parkhouse Eatery. It was a charming place, with good food and fair service. I had sun-dried berry pancakes and Frank had a ham, pepperoncini and fontina scramble. Next, was a fun-filled day at SeaWorld. We got to the park at 10 right as it opened. Crowds weren’t bad at all. A couple exhibits were being renovated for winter and the sky rides were closed due to high winds.

We started with the sea lions and harbor seals. It was feeding time so we were able to feed them frozen fish.

The seagulls and birds nearby were very aggressive they kept stealing fish out of people’s hands, it was amusing to watch.

A guilty seagull

Next, we caught the dolphin and pilot whale show at Dolphin Discovery.

I took video of the shows, I’ll upload those later. They give a better impression of the experience.

We fed ducks and flamingos at Flamingo Cove to kill time before the next Clyde and Seamore show.

Afterwards we visited the eels, sting rays, freshwater aquarium and shark encounter, but none offered good photo opportunities.

The next stop was the Penquin Encounter

Followed by the Wild Artic Exhibit

We caught the walrus at feeding time. It was great fun. I have a video that captures the interaction, but the pics didn’t turn out well. It’s a shame the glass wasn’t clean.

Beluga Whales

Next was Shamu: Believe

The show was a bit of a let down, but I managed a few great pictures despite us sitting clear across the stadium at the top of the bleachers.

Then we sought after the salt water aquarium. The stonefish was my favorite since I had seen most others displayed at other aquariums around the country.

After that, we saw the sea turtles, these guys were just like the one that spooked us in Mexico a couple years ago.

We covered the park by 4, our final stop was the Hospitality Center to see the Clydesdales, but they weren’t out. It was a fun day, but we were beat.

From SeaWorld we headed downtown to the Gas Lamp Quarter to have dinner at Los Panchos de Charly. A delicious Mexican restaurant we found on our last visit.

A couple photos of downtown

Dinner was excellent. We shared a quesadilla filled with chicken, onions and mushrooms, and devoured chips and salsa. Then, Frank had a California Burrito and I had a Carne Asada Burrito. We washed it all down with Cadillac Margaritas. We were in heaven!

After dinner we didn’t see much more, we were just too tired. We headed back to the hotel. We were able to switch to a king bed smoking room. It stunk terribly, but it was more comfortable than the previous room so the move was worthwhile. Frank freshened it up a bit with a cigar. We spent the rest of the night lounging in bed watching TV.