Stay classy san diego!

Trip Start Sep 13, 2009
1
4
7
Trip End Jul 31, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, September 17, 2009

after an uncomfortable 8 hour bus journey from Las Vegas, we arrived into San Diego around 9.45pm.  Fortunatley the hostel was only a short 5 minute walk from the greyhound station.  The hostel is located on 5th av, which is San Diego's busiest area of town to go out and party located in the gaslamp quater.  It was a bit of a struggle navigating the streets with all our backpacks on amognst the crowds of people but nevermind.  after checking in, we decided to go out and check out the local surroundings.  San Diego is buzzing thursday to saturday nights, and theres always plenty of places to go and its a load cheaper than Vegas!!

In the morning we opted for a trip to beach.  The public transport is ace, easy to find where to go bus or trolley.  The nearest good beach is pacific/mission beach which is about 20 mins on the bus from broadway.  I've never been to the pacific ocean before, the surfing looked ace, loads of big waves and plenty of people in the sea surfing.  The surf rental at pacific beach was pricey! about $30 an hour for a board so i decided just to sunbathe.  It lived up to my expectations in regards to californian coastal beaches, lush sand and an awesome view (a few weirdos on the beach too).  I was keen to get in the sea and probably managed up to my shins...it was freezing!  After an hour we got an small personal air show from 4 American Military chinooks flying low over the beach pretty cool.  Although San Diegos a naval town so we'd end up seeing Apaches and Chinooks quite often.

Friday night we went on a happy hour tour of the gaslamps bars, it starts at 4 most nights and ends at 7, but its pretty cheap! $2 beers! After the happy hour we got some food and chilled at the hostel and went out again to play some pool and a few more drinks, i dont recall a lot after that and woke up with a bad headache!

First thing after shaking off the thickhead and freshening up, we thought we'd give the world famous San Diego zoo a try (as sea world was a ridiculous 80 bucks) not after a visit to the harbour.  The harbour is dominated by a the USS midway, a war ship that had a career streching over nearly 50 years including action in vietnam.  It was $17 to go aboard which we didnt as we were a bit pushed for time.  The city has a very relaxed feel to it, nothing like the rat race of other big citys, its very slow paced which is just what was needed after the mayhem of Vegas.  Once we had finished taking our time mooching around the harbour we headed towrads the zoo which is a short bus journey to balboa park just north of downtown San Diego.  USA hostels have a many offers on local attractions, so we purchased the tickets from the hostel which saved use $5 each on the price.  The zoo itself doesn't dissapoint on the huge variety of animals on show, they had everything from pandas to polar bears.  The weather was probably at its hottest since we arrived in the states, which made walking around the zoo a task in itself, that and arguing over which way was best to go on an illustrated childrens map.  :)  The zoo grounds are so vast we didnt manage to cover everything that was put on a proposed agenda.  Its worth the money ($30) but i can imagine it being absolute paradise for zoo inthusiasts!

Again on the nighttime, the gaslamp quater seemed like a safe bet to head out on again, the streets packed with clubbers and bars heaving so much that people were congrigating on the pavement.  It was quite possibly the worst time to go out, as there were too big fights on TV floyd mayweather and some UFC fight, we tried to no avail to get into somewhere showing the fight but everywhere wanted at least $10 cover to watch it, even Hooters!  So it ended being a relativly short and sweet night out after some food at the hard rock cafe, try the legendary burger...oh yeah!  In fact drinking and partying couldnt be further from our minds, as we had tickets to the see the Chargers vs Raven tommorrow!

After a early start and no hangover (woo-hoo) we thought we'd indulge in some of the hostels free pancakes.  However you have to cook them yourself.  Optimistcally i grabbed myself a pan, greased it up and began cooking my pancake mixture in the hope of a tasty breakfast, what unfolded can only be described as a pancake catastrophe, i consider myself to be kitchen/cooking saavy....not anymore.

The metro is located about 7 blocks away from the hostel which made easy walking, there was no chance of getting lost as we followed the swarms of chargers fans.  The stadium itself is impressive, a 70,000 seater which by NFL standards is small-ish as others can hold upto 105,000!!!  Being a football fan, i have been to a fair share of games but i have never seen anything like this.  Americans must get to the game hours early to set up the spread of food, barbeque and TV that engulfed the 360 degree parking lot around the stadium, it was like looking at a small festival!  We took a walk around to soak in the atmosphere.  The stadium inside looked a lot bigger than it did from outside, our seats were located at the top tier second row from the back with a suprisingly amazing view our only problem.....the sun cooking the back of our necks for the next two hours.......after sun please!
   The opening ceremony was to say the very least OTT, a giant American flag sprawled across a football pitch, a 200 strong marching band, cheerleaders, fireworks, noisy and boistrous fans to top it off?.....how about a squadron of F-A18 fighter jets flying over the top of the stadium? wow.  The game is taken in very good spirit, fans from both sides throwing banter either way, if this had been at a football game at home, we'd have been caught up in a 100 man brawl.  I cant say i'm American footballs biggest fan but it was entertaining, just very very long.  The chargers lost which put a dampening on the atmosphere but still...a great day out. 

I simply cant say enough good things about San Diego, its a place in America that i've taken to and would definatley visit in the future having the oppurtunity be there.  Now we pack our bags again and off to LA and Hollywood, mixed feelings to be honest having not heard many good things about the place, but its worth the risk!

Stay classy San Diego!

LA here we come


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