Wednesday, July 23, 2014

San Diego: Shamu! Shamu!

"Huhhhh? What's there to do in San Diego?" 

That was the blank look I gave Panda when he said he has booked a 4D3N trip to San Diego. I love mountains and national parks. Theme parks and beaches? So-so. 

But since it is again a $10 airfare trip on Southwest, I am not complaining. And thanks to Jo, we found an awesome deal on Costco for a 4-Day Go San Diego Card, which includes SeaWorld, LegoLand, Safari and more. 

We can hit so many places with just one pass. So the budget housewife in me says, off to the south we go!

And no prize for guessing my favorite attraction in San Diego.... It's SHAMU at SeaWorld! 

We drove to SeaWorld as soon as we landed on Day 1, armed with a list of their show times so that we can maximise our time there. One Ocean was the first show we saw and we were completely blown away by the intelligence of the giant orcas. They flipped, they jumped, they splashed.

Awesome beyond words! 

A close second would be the dolphin cutie pies. They have this perpetual smile on their faces and were absolutely adorable even when begging for food!

I wished they could swim near enough for me to pet them. Too bad I can't jump right in and swim with them - they are probably the only underwater creatures that I dare to swim with. Oh, I also found out that although they look small, they are much taller than us!

Love these cutie pies!

Since it was the 4th of July, we also stayed for the evening fireworks. Had a pretty cosy spot at the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium to watch the spectacular firework display.  

Was ready to collapse on the bed by the time we got back to the hotel after midnight. 

We visited LegoLand and San Diego Zoo Safari on Day 2 and 3. But unlike most people who planned a full day at the parks, we only spent half a day there so that we could enjoy more of San Diego. 

A good thing too, because after we've been to the SeaWorld, LegoLand and the Safari were a little underwhelming. Maybe because we are not kids anymore?

Or maybe because the only thing I get to pet is the goat? I mean, I was not hoping to get into the lion's den, but if only we could go up to the giraffes. Sigh. 

On Day 2, before hitting LegoLand, we joined a bicycle tour at Coronado Island. The 90-min tour was included in the pass, and the guide took us to several spots: We had beautiful views of downtown San Diego from cross the bay; we also stopped by the award-winning Coronado Bridge. 

My favourite spot has got to be the state beach, where Hotel Del Coronado is located. It would be perfect to just laze around and enjoy a drink or two under that awesome weather. Never mind the sunburn.

We also did something I have been wanting to do: GoCar! Again, it was included in the pass and we paid just a little more to extend the rental.

It wasn't as scary as I thought, being on the road with bigger cars and trucks. The scooter car needed some getting used to, because you must turn the handles to accelerate and squeeze the brakes really hard to stop. But that was the fun part; I've never driven a scooter car until now! 

We followed the audio GPS, which is like an audio tour guide, and went from the harbor all the way through Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter. 

And it was the coolest hour of my life. Everyone was staring this little yellow car on the road and I had so much fun waving back at the pedestrians. 

Before leaving for the airport, we swung by the famous Balboa Park. I regretted not setting aside time for this beautiful park. The architecture reminded me of Europe, and I would have loved to check out one of the many lovely museums around the park. (For information, the Museum of Man was having an exhibition on Instruments of Torture. Nasty.)

Once again, there are still so many places to explore, and so little time. We only have about four more months left. Can the sun not set so soon on our US stay?

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