When taking our cruise to the Panama Canal, we decided to add a few days in San Diego, before sailing off. There were a few places we wanted to strike of our list…
Old Town is the historic heart of San Diego, as it was California’s first settlement – dated 1769. It’s great to wander around, with a lot of specialty shops, Mexican restaurants and historic sites.
San Diego Zoo
Leading the fight against extinction – that’s quite a mission statement. How can anyone not support it? When taking a look at my posts, you might have guessed already my husband and myself are CRAZY about animals. Although nothing tops spotting them in the wild, having a relaxed stroll in the midst of species that are more difficult to find in nature, we can fancy an occasional visit to a zoo.
And talking about a zoo, the San Diego Zoo is prominently represented in the lists of the biggest and best zoos in the world. It’s covering an area of 100 acres and houses over 4,000 individual animals belonging to over 800 species. In addition, there’s about 6.500 species of rare and unique vegetation. No wonder we were really looking forward to our visit – we had stretched out an entire day and were glad we did.
We’ve always wanted to experience the ambiance of a true American sports game. As we’ve been told that Baseball is still America’s second favourite sport, we had to check it out. So our visit to San Diego wouldn’t be a success without having seen a game of the home team, the San Diego Padres. Without knowing what we would get ourselves into, we bought our tickets at the counter of the Petco Park, for the game against the Detroit Tigers.
As we first wanted to get something to eat, we arrived just in time to hear the Star-Spangled Banner finish and the crowd rising up and applauding. Literally: goose bumps. Again, amazed by the way it all felt so familiar, we found our spots and were waiting for the “show” to start. Right in front of us sat an older couple, who were meticulously noting we-don’t-know-what down whenever something seemed to happen on the field. I say “seemed” to happen, because – to be quite honest – I find baseball not the most exciting sport in the universe. We thought there were going to be home runs all over the place – but no, if we’ve seen 3, it would be a lot. And it takes such a looooong time… After about 2 hours we forfeited… Sorry guys, not the biggest fan. But we did enjoy the commercials! And, of course, I had to get myself a foam finger, which is still proudly standing on the closet in our study room.
Animal lovers as we are, we already went to SeaWorld, Florida – but we couldn’t resist stopping by the one on the West Coast as well. As we’re the biggest fan of the manatees and there weren’t any here, it’s not that hard to pick our favourite…
USS Midway Museum
This one was on my husband’s list… It’s actually the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century, with about 29 restored aircrafts. You can take a self-guided audio tour – narrated by Midway sailors – along the 60 exhibits on the ship. If you would take the entire audio tour it would take you about 3 hours, but of course we skipped a few. You can check out the engine room, the sleeping quarters and even the ship’s jail. There are also flight simulators you can try (was surprised by husband didn’t want to…).
Apparently, as a visitor you can watch young men or women re-enlist on the flight deck, see an authentic change-of-command or witness an inspirational retirement ceremony. Would have been a great experience (Americans really know how to handle these occasions), but we weren’t that lucky.
As we were a bit early to enter the USS Midway Museum, we killed some time at the Seaport Village, which we accidently discovered walking down the shore. Quite a picturesque setting with some nice shops and restaurants.