On the way to San Diego & first evening
Right after getting the car, I picked up David (from the craigslist ad, see previous post). He just came back from a long travel in Asia and wanted to visit his family (and doctor). I did not know at all what to expect. He had a good laugh when I asked him for help to get gasoline, the systems are differ here in the USA. Most of the times, you pre-pay inside. If you use a creditcard, the non used credit goes back to your card. Convenient 🙂
We drove to San Diego during rush hour, traffic is just as bad as in Belgium. Interesting to know is that you can take a special carpool lane (as with other regions in the USA, such as New York). You are only allowed on this lane if your car has more then 2 persons or you are driving an electric car. This is one of the reasons several people are switching to electric cars nowadays.
Compared to other regions in the USA, such as Nevada, guns are not allowed here. Especially with the close border of Mexico. Sidenote; most of California was previously owned by Mexico (hence the spanish names of the cities).
On the freeway, close to San Diego, you can find a huge military base. Here the US army trains with helicopters, amphibian vehicles, bunkers, helicopter-plane combi aircrafts, supercarrier warships (I think to have seen USS Theodore Roosevelt), …
Hospitality from a stranger and his family
I dropped off David at his place, a very nice (the best?) area in the San Diego hills.
He invited me inside where his mother had a dessert moment with family and friends. She invited me to join them. It was just lovely, the table was filled with fresh fruits, delicious small snacks/desserts from foreign countries in a very nice typical terrace & garden.
This place was lovely and very typical, very spacious & warm!
To see a panorama, click on the picture below:
David was meeting a friend at this place that he did not see for a long time, but it did not hold him back to take me to a beautiful sunset spot in the hills, the coastal reserve on the biodiversity trail.
To see a panorama, click on the picture below:
After the sunset, I went myself into the city to find out about the spring break madness! More about that later in this post.
Next stop was Pacific beach, going to mission beach was too far (apparantly this is more a party beach). I just hope I did not miss anything. Finding parking around mission beach is really difficult… you can park your car for free by the side of the road, but you’ll need some luck. If you decide to park your car on the shopping parkings, be aware that apparently they do tow (I just wonder how they can check?). You can opt to pay 5 USD for one hour and up to 20 USD for overnight parking.
The boardwalk of mission beach is a nice walk, you’ll find many bars & dining opportunities. I got myself some fresh crab.
I got the following advice from locals to go out: tuesday is taco Tuesday, a very good day to go out in San Diego. Wednesday is not so good, and it is especially the weekend that is active during Spring Break. A good pub is ‘The Tavern’
Later that evening, David & his mother invited me to sleepover. I got a private room, private bathroom and had an amazing sleep since a long time. In the morning, the breakfast on the terrace was just epic :). His mother gave me some cookies and banana chips for along the way, for sure at some point I would need them.
I was so thankfull to have met this ‘stranger’ on what was just a simple carpool offer, who invited me to his family, where they offered me a bed and a lot of advice. Being impulsive and travelling alone can get you far! David, if you read this… thank you again! 🙂
Following their advices, I continued my travels.
Spring Break – Where is the madness?
At the time of arrival (beginning of April), spring break was on for the colleges & universities around San Diego. Unfortunatly I did not find any madness.
Over the years, it seems that the government has taken many actions to make it a safer happening. The drawback is that many of the spontanious madness fades away.
One example was the attempt to forbid drinking on the beaches. A year after, everyone was drinking & partying in tubes on the ocean, since the law did not forbid to drink on the water. Nowadays, you cannot find any activity on the beaches.
A morning in San Diego
It was going to be a busy morning. First visiting Mount Soledad (Park) gave extensive sights over San Diego. On this mountain, an (volunteering?) officer was offering his guiding services (for free) in case someone had any questions about the memorial landmark. The monument holds names of many USA soldiers, including all their decorations (which are very important here in the USA, apparantly it was a sensitive quesion to ask the officer…).
I went to the Cove and walked all the (scenic! Many animals!) way to the Childrens garden / pool. This beach was constructed for the children as a playground, but in the end sea lions took over and since these are protected animals… you can guess 🙂
Along the way, I was interviewed by a camera-crew which asked my opinion about the sea lions being to close to humans (you can get very close to them). They also asked a question how they smelled 🙂 …
For a panorama, click below:
For lunch I wanted to eat a typical California burritos (the other typical alternative was Fish Tacos) at a local place.
I asked a lady on the street, who was very kind to help me out. After some minutes, I did not manage to find it till suddenly the lady showed up, re-explaining me since she made a small mistake. Just amazing these people here!
For just 6,59 USD I got the Burito at a Mexican place called Cotija’s. For the ingredients, look at the menu.
My last quick stop was getting an invertor at RadioShack for 55 USD to be able to charge all my electronic equipment from the car cigarette plug.