Weekend in San Diego, California || Jess’ 21st Birthday Weekend || October 25-27, 2013
Another “throwback” post with fun memories from our first year of marriage. 🙂 Only 2 weeks after our trip to Albuquerque, NM, we took off on yet another vacation for October of 2013. It was my 21st birthday weekend, and since I had never been to California, it seemed to be top priority that we visit – especially since we were only 6 hours away! At this point in my life, I was beginning to appreciate the whole idea of traveling and seeing and learning all I could about where I was living. However, I was not yet “outdoorsy” so that’s why visiting a big city in CA was on the top of my list. 😉
We left on a Friday afternoon after school, and drove the whole 6 hours with almost no stopping. Amazing. We only had one little incident with our truck Yeti when we hit congestion somewhere near the Mexican border along I-8 in Southern California. Yeti had this thing where if we were in a traffic jam and slowly creeping along, he liked to overheat on us. So cute. So glad he’s no longer in our life.
I found a great deal on a cheap hotel right along the Pacific (around Oceanside I believe) so we stayed there for the weekend. It was dark when we arrived, but as soon as we checked in we went out for a late night stroll on the beach. We were so excited about it being our first visit to the ocean as a married couple, AND it was our first time on the Pacific Coast together. Aww.
The next day was a beautiful sunny day, so we went around San Diego doing touristy things. We discovered how awesomely military friendly everything was – everywhere we went, Curtis got free admission and I got discounted tickets. Our day started off at the zoo. The beautiful weather proved to make it the perfect day, as all the animals were very active and we saw a lot of personality out there. Below you can see some of that in the pictures I took. The ape in the top pictures was just sitting there looking off into the distance, and some kid near us loudly commented to his dad, “Whoa check out his muscles!” Then the ape looked over at the kid and stroked his arm as if to say, “What, you mean these?” The next one down appeared to do a face palm while staring at all the people staring back at him. Okay, so maybe we’re projecting a personality on all these animals, but zoos are seriously way more fun if you have a bit of imagination (and if you’re visiting one with your brand new husband!).
The only time we waited in line was to see the pandas, and they did not disappoint! They were all eating, of course, but would look up and seem to give big smiles at the people passing by. So cute! Then there were the elephants – my favorite. We came just in time to see the keeper make one do a trick for a head of cabbage. Oh, and we may have scored a few letterboxes while wandering through the zoo. Maybe. Anyway, if you’ve ever been to the San Diego zoo, you know that it’s HUGE. We walked around the whole thing, and seriously, it was just as much walking as we would have done had we gone hiking or something. Haha.
Our next stop was around the same area as the zoo, so we just walked around and left our car parked wherever it was. We wandered around Balboa Park and found some letterboxes, and ate a quick snack at a small outdoor restaurant around the area. Then we saw the ghost buster car as we made our way back to get our car. True story.
Next up was the Midway Museum! We figured we had to do something Navy related while we were there – there is a huge military presence here after all, and it’s one of the options we have once the time comes for Curtis to be stationed on a boat. Once again, Curtis’ ticket was free and mine was discounted. (This seems like an even bigger deal to me now because we’re now living in an area with a big military presence and we’re lucky if we can get more than $2 off at any tourist attraction, haha.) I can’t remember if I had been on an aircraft carrier before this, but I think it was the first time, and it definitely blew us away. It was huge!! Curtis kept talking about how big and fancy all the rooms are compared to those on a submarine. The ship is a great museum and definitely worth a visit. We also really enjoyed the view the ship gave us of the San Diego coast, with all the boats in the harbor as the sun was starting to set.
That night back at the hotel, we walked along the beach and boardwalk some more before walking to a nearby sushi restaurant. What else would I pick for a birthday dinner?? Haha.
On Sunday, (my official 21st birthday and our last day of vacation) we went to Cabrillo National Monument and to check out the tide pools. We didn’t see many (live) sea creatures, but just the rocky shoreline was beautiful on its own. (West Coast Best Coast! Ahem.) It was super foggy that day, but because of that we were like the only ones around there. Oh, it also happened to be our 3 month wedding anniversary, which was also a big deal. (We still celebrate month-iversaries. Just made it to 35 this week! 😉 )
After that, we started the drive home – this time stopping to find some letterboxes and replant one of Curtis’. At a border patrol zone, the patrol guy made fun of our truck – probably because we had its name “YETI” written on the side. Our favorite stop on the way back was around the wetland area in Yuma. It was the most green I had seen since moving to AZ, and there were scattered wildflowers around the trail. We had a pleasant walk there (but unfortunately it doesn’t sound like people who went to find Curtis’ letterbox have had quite as nice of an experience here. haha) and after lunch in Yuma we finished our drive home. Though we may have had to stop at Walmart to pick up some things that we could now obtain now that I was 21. 😉