Monday, July 14, 2008

California: San Diego

We had a lot of fun in California. But I don't think we had more fun than in San Diego. It was a beautiful city and we had a beautiful hotel close to downtown and about half an hour away from the zoo. We were close to the beach and close to everything. It was great.

So the first day we were there, we relaxed and got settled in our hotel room. But the second day, we went to the zoo, and spent most of the day there. The zoo is located in the middle of this huge park, right beside all these old missions and fountains. The parking lot was the size of the Assiniboine Park Zoo. It cost 60 dollars each for a five-day ticket to the zoo and to the Wild Animal Park, which we did the third day.

Anyway, the zoo was really big and really impressive. We saw a lot of animals I had always wanted to see, but never did. We saw a Komodo dragon, an anaconda snake, a snake with two heads, hippos, elk, an Arabian wild cat (which I wanted to bring home), giraffes and elephants. I'd never seen an elephant before and we saw Indian and African (there's a big difference apparently). There was so much neat stuff in the zoo. We saw the pandas, but there were so many people looking at the panda that it wasn't even comfortable. We even took a sky train that went right over the park. We also saw two polar bears have a huge play-fight in their pool. It was intense. On top of all that, we saw real live tigers! Cool! And I bought a Corona in the zoo and walked around with a beer. In a zoo. Crazy.

After the zoo, we were pretty much sunburnt and tired, so we went back to the hotel, changed and then hit downtown San Diego. We went to this neat outdoor mall where I purchased a cool Abercrombie and Fitch golf shirt. I also picked up, for seven dollars, Wes Craven's New Nightmare, which is my personal favourite Nightmare movie.

From there, we walked around looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant. We're super close to the border, so we thought we'd try real Mexican food. We found this great place called La Puerta. Oh my god. This might be the absolute best dining experience I've ever had in my life. Nothing has compared. The place was casual and small, but fun. They had old Mexican movies playing silently on televisions around the place and the bar was filled with more bartenders than there were customers. Also, they have an entire separate menu of tequila. Wow. We were served by two servers, one the regular server and then another guy who just kept filling our drinks and asking how everything was and being really awesome. We had "street tacos" with the most delicious guacamole ever - and I hate guacamole. Oh it was so good. Then I went up to the bar and asked one of the bartenders to pour me whatever tequila she liked best. As she was pouring it, she told me about how it was made and why it's so good. It was called Herradurra. I was giddy with the taste and the smoothness. Oh it was awesome.

We wandered downtown for awhile and it was really lively. Every club seemed to be jumping. Unfortunately, my g/f is under the drinking age in the US, so we couldn't imbibe, but we still looked in.

The third day we went to the Wild Animal Park, which tries to replicate an actual habitat for the animals. Not only was the Animal Park way bigger than the zoo, it was way more awesome. They had rhinos walking around and giraffes and cheetahs and jaguars. We saw some weird mountain goats who came right up to us looking for food. The best part of the entire park though was seeing the sleepy lions. They were all sleeping on top of a Jeep in the middle of the park. It was so neat. We also saw real gorillas. They were masssive!

After the park, we went back downtown and went right back to La Puerta. It was that good. I would recommend everybody and anybody to go to that restaurant. It was awesome.

So that's pretty much San Diego. There was more, but I don't feel like typing it. It's a beautiful, clean, fun city and I would go again in a heartbeat. Next up was Los Angeles!

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