San Diego with a dash of Mexico

Trip Start Feb 06, 2014
1
6
43
Trip End Jul 02, 2014


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Where I stayed
Wyndham Garden
What I did
USS Midway Museum
Tijuana, Mexico
Big Food
Safari Park

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

And so we flew 300 hours from Manila to the United States of America.



We landed into Los Angeles and were greeted by really long immigration and customs lines. But once through we entered the country that will be our home for the next 2 months and we don't have to do airports and planes for at least the next 4 weeks. Also the people we have met and dealt with so far have been amazingly friendly and the customer service has gone above and beyond most times which has been really nice.

 The number 1 thing recently married couples advised us is to make sure you tell everyone that you are on your honeymoon so you can get upgrades and discounts etc. And so when we went to pick up our rental car the nice guy there gave us an upgrade!!It took us 15 minutes to work out what all the buttons and gadgets did in the car and another 10 minutes of us sitting there stupidly laughing in the car park trying to work out how the thing even started!!
 
Anyway leather seats, seat warmers, sunroof, reversing camera and inbuilt GPS is definitely an upgrade on what we were expecting. And considering we have the car for the month we are very pleased.

 Once we got the car started we drove a couple of hours south down the coast from LA to San Diego. So far the driving on the other side has been fairly straightforward however still getting used to being able to turn right on red lights.

 On our first full day here in San Diego we went and checked out the Old Town and then caught a trolley into the city. San Diego is a very nice, clean and a modern looking city. And for a major city in the US it isn't very busy or have much traffic. The next day Mez got to live her dream and visit the Happiest Place on Earth... LEGO LAND!!

 Ok so that was an exaggeration however it still was pretty fun and cool. Yes almost everything there is made of lego and there are some huge lego recreations of characters, people and cities which were amazing. We didn't get to go on most rides as the lines were huge but we did go on a couple. We also got to see how lego was made.

 Next day we drove into the city and parked next to the Midway Museum. The USS Midway is a massive wartime Aircraft Carrier ship. The ship is just gigantic. With tunnels and tunnels inside and all the fighter jets and helicopters on the top deck there was so much to see we couldn't see all of it.

 At midday we went to a meeting point and got picked up by a bus as we had organised a day trip to go and see Tijuana in Mexico. There was only another 10 people on the bus. A few years ago there used to be hundreds of tour busses that would take thousands of tourists across the border to Tijuana. Now there are hardly any tour companies and very few tourists. Mez had been once before during high school and the place is no longer recognisable. Once through the Mexican border (which was really quick and easy) we could see why. Because there are hardly any tourists anymore due to them being scared off there were not many shops or marketstalls open as there used to be years ago. Most businesses had closed down and the people there are struggling with no tourism. It was still good to see and experience though and we got a couple of hours to roam around look at the shops and have real Mexican food while being serenaded which was great. Our Spanish needs to improve massively before we return to South America though. The other people on our tour (from the US and Canada) were really lovely as well and the driver was the best as he was really upfront and honest about what was going on and drove us through some of the less touristy bits. Getting back into the US wasn't too hard either we only had to wait 45 minutes when sometimes it can take 1 to 4 hours according to the driver and the others who have had to deal with border crossings. 

On Tuesday we went to the San Diego Safari Park. The park was gigantic and went on and on. It felt like we were in the middle of the desert with some of the landscapes as there is nothing else around the safari park.There were some pretty cool animals and we got to see 2 of the last 7 white rhinos on earth which is pretty sad. The Safari Park is a non for profit organisation and is a leader in animal conservation around the world and has done lots to bring almost extinct animals back into good numbers.

 

 
The food so far has been really delicious but really fattening. So we have gone to a supermarket and bought a lot of healthier items for us to eat and snack on over the next few weeks while we road trip it.
 
The weather here in California is nice and has not experienced the epic cold storms that have hit the other parts of the US. So far the average temperature has been 23 degrees. Our next stop is Palm Springs.

As Ron Burgandy says "You stay classy San Diego"

 Joe and Mez Platt.
 
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