Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season and also the onslaught of a weird time of the year. I hate the cold weather as much as I love to travel. God knows how I survived school in Chicago. I was there for two winters and had decided that Chi town is not for me. I say that it is a weird time of the year because it leaves me in a pickle with having to choose between the warm cosy ‘heated’ home and the joy of holidaying. As I always do, this weird time of the year is reserved to visit balmy destinations. Last year, it was the trip to Vegas, Grand Canyon, Page and Zion. This year, it was going to be ‘Americas Finest City’ – San Diego.
This wasn’t going to be our first time in San Diego. We were here last year in June but only for a day trip and that too was aimed only at visiting the Sea World. I knew I was wrong about making a day trip to San Diego and I was determined to atone for it. This was perfect timing as Neha was getting a little fussy when I mentioned another national park for the Thanksgiving vacation (Death Valley National Park). The last two trips were around national parks – Yellowstone & Yosemite. Being at a ‘drive-able’ distance from the bay area, it didn’t need as much planning either. Cutting to the chase….
We started on 11/28 Thursday early in the morning to beat the Thanksgiving traffic between SFO – LA – San Diego. We were partly successful as we were stuck in LA traffic for around an hour. We reached San Diego at around 3 and checked into our hotel. We left after an hour to La Jolla Cove. This is a beautiful place to visit. Boundaried by the Pacific on one side and Scripps park on the other, it is a great place to watch the sunset. We saw a lot of people slacking in the Scripps park, some playing with their lil ones, some grilling food, some taking a hike to the beach down the cove but what intersected was the fact that every one of them was having a good time. It’s comparable to the sunset at Clearwater beach, FL which is one of my favorite places to watch the sunset. Here are a few pictures of the sunset at La Jolla Cove:
We weren’t able to find a place to eat because it was the Thanksgiving day and most of the businesses had closed by 5 PM. Thankfully, there was an American diner right across the street where we stayed that was open. They had amazing food. They served big portions, and I mean BIG GIANT portions. We ordered one veggie omelette with pancakes and a side of country style potatoes and we weren’t able to finish it. When I say I couldn’t finish it, trust me, the portions were huge. And the food was delicious.
The next day was a bit cloudy and our plans to visit the zoo had to be altered. We decided to do Cabrillo National monument and Point Loma Lighthouse. We went shopping before that and checked out the Westfield mall in downtown San Diego. After shopping a bit, we drove around the Gaslamp district and headed to this amazing restaurant called Ranchos Cocina. Great service, fantastic food and large portions again. This place is Vegan and Vegetarian friendly.
Resisting the food coma, we left to Cabrillo National Monument. This place is on the western tip of the city at an elevation which gives a nice view of the city on one side and the ocean on the other. We went down to the tide pool area, clicked a few pictures, drove to the visitors center and checked out the light house. We walked a bit and watched the Sun sinking behind the clouds into the ocean. We stopped at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery for a few minutes on the way back.
We also met a cousin in San Diego for dinner. We decided to go to this rundown Indian place called Punjabi Tandoor which had some sick reviews. The food was good and the price was right :) That was for the second day.
The third day was mostly around the zoo. Though we were at the place by 9:30, we weren’t able to cover a few parts by the end of the day. The zoo has a thousand species of animals and birds and about 6000 types of plans and trees. It is THE place to go with kids. The kids were having a great time. The Skyfari, 4d theater, bus tour are some of the good things to do here.
I wanted to catch the sunset again at La Jolla Cove before we left the city and we were out of the zoo by 3:30. Despite the clouds seeping in, the sunset was fancy. The colors danced from behind the curtain of the clouds, peaked to a bright orange and then slowly faded into the senile pinks and maroons.
We then left to Old Town area for dinner. Walked around the square with some charming little shops and a good variety of restaurants. We picked Cafe Coyote which turned out to be a good last meal in the city. We left town that night. We had originally planned to stop half way between San Diego and Bay area for the night, but I had decided to drive home all the way that night. We reached home at around 4 AM and I slept like a baby for 11 hours straight.
This was a nice little vacation for us which was relatively relaxed and we ate some seriously delicious food. I loved San Diego and opine that it is a great place to live or settle down. The drive from the bay area is a little brutal but we might fly down here next year again for a mini recess.