Monday, January 29, 2018

That One Time We Went to San Diego...

Remember that one time we went to San Diego?  Yeah.  It was about a year ago.  Let's see if I remember anything about it.

Mark was already there for a conference so I flew over alone.  I had nightmares of the kids getting sick right before I left and that I'd need to cancel the whole shebang, but what do you know, everything turned out okay.  My layover was in Denver (Hooray, mountains, I love you.) and my flights were fine.  Bam.

Our first task was finding an In + Out, especially since I had never been there before.  Dear Everyone - the stories are true.  It's all true.  Just go there.  Please, just go there. 

We are not fancy vacation people and like to explore a little bit.  Sometimes this means we find awesome hotels and quaint surroundings.  Other times, well...  I'll just mention a few fun facts about our San Diego hotel situation and let you imagine the rest.  1) "Breakfast Buffet" meant stale and slightly burnt coffee with Hostess donuts and a big fat sign that said, "ONLY ONE DONUT."  2) The guy who tried to check in before us left swearing and slamming the lobby door.  3) "Free Wi-Fi" meant no wi-fi.  4) Our neighbor was a heavy smoker who had a couple of vacuums sitting outside her door (just in case I guess).  By the sounds of it, she also had four poorly behaved dogs and a major potty mouth.  I'm not sure I've ever heard the f-word used so creatively.  5) The bed was a little droopy in the middle, but we slept fine and had hot showers, so we had what we needed!  It was an adventure.

We went to tour the Midway aircraft carrier, which was something I was initially doing for Mark and so that I could tell my Dad I went, but, let me tell you, it was so fun and so, so interesting.  Mark had to run out to our car and pay for extra parking time since we ended up spending double the amount of time we had initially anticipated. 

The zoo was great.  Mark made sure we got our money's worth by circling the entire zoo twice on foot and once on a safari tour bus thing.  I'm sure we walked over thirty miles. 

He also made sure to get our money's worth by insisting on taking several pictures of every.single.animal.and.exhibit in the whole place and burning through my camera's SD card.  "For the kids," he said.  I would like to point out that the kids made it through about twelve of the two hundred pictures in our slideshow before they got bored and started to ask if we were done.  Anyway, I decided not to eat gluten free because vacations are not for healthy eating and had one of the best hot dogs of my life in the zoo cafe, so I'm not complaining.  It was a great day.

Speaking of not healthy eating, whenever we vacation, we look up Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives from the Food Network show.  It's always such an adventure finding little holes in the wall with great food, interesting atmospheres and tastes of local culture.  This time around, we stopped at OB Noodle House for Pho and Saigon Fried Rice, HoDads for THE best burger I've ever had in my life, El Indio for some great Mexican, and Crazee Burger for, well, crazy exotic meat burgers.

We went whale watching to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.  I'll just post my Instagram rants to sum the experience up...  I'd still like to see an orca sometime in the wild.  Add that to my bucket list.

And then...

Old Town was fun.  The food was amazing (I tried Horchata for the first time - yum) and the little street market was great. 

Balboa Gardens was beautiful.

If I remember right, we spent our last day on Coronado Beach (the sand really does glitter) and snuck into the Hotel Del Coronado to take a peek.  I'm surprised they didn't kick us out immediately because our grubby clothes and backpacks stuck out pretty badly in such a fancy place.  It was beautiful.  I finished reading The Shack and ugly crying on that same beach.  I know the book is controversial, but it's my all time favorite.  I can't help it.  Call the theology police on me.

We spent a good chunk of our time in San Diego driving around and exploring little neighborhoods.  I just love the Spanish architecture, the tiny houses, colorful doors, and hippies camping on the beach with Mexican blankets and VW Vans.  Everything was a messy and creative hodge podge that felt carefree and relaxing - especially compared to our everything-needs-to-match-and-be-just-so Dutch culture. 

Anyway, this getaway wouldn't have been possible with the help of our family who wrangled our kiddos and flushed a dead fish for us while we were gone.  <3 familia.="" gracias="" muchas="" nbsp="" span="">

And, you stay classy San Diego. 


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