When Beth and I did travel nursing from 2005-2007 we both enjoyed our time in California more than anywhere else. It’s hard to describe, but there is a certain vibe in California that is unique. We couldn’t wait to get back to the Pacific Coast and I’m glad to say we finally made it.
San Diego is about five and a half hours away from Phoenix, so we made the trip a four day vacation. Two of the days were spent mostly in the car, but (as usual) we squeezed as much stuff in as we could.
Saturday we started off at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. It isn’t as big as some of the big city aquariums, but they had everything you would want. They had a lot of educational elements in their displays.
After the aquarium we visited a beach called La Jolla Cove. It is a small beach area that is inhabited by a couple hundred sea lions. The thing that I like the most about the Pacific Coast is that it is very rocky. That makes for some fun rock climbing on the beaches, and La Jolla Cove had some cool rocks to explore.
We finished Saturday by going to Belmont Park at Mission Beach. The Mission Beach area is cool because it has everything you would want in a beach. It has a sandy beach, boardwalk, amusement park, shops, restaurants and more. Unfortunately it was too late in the day for us to enjoy most of it. But we did get some pizza and had some fun at the Belmont Park Amusement Park.
I’m not sure if Sawyer was just extra cute, or what was going on, but he got some extra attention. While I was buying tickets to some rides, a group of teenagers walked up and gave him a ball that they won from a game. About 10 minutes later, while at the arcade, an older gentleman gave Sawyer a handful of 45 tickets he wasn’t going to use. Finally, as we were cashing in the tickets, a father and two sons gave Sawyer vouches for another 400 tickets. So in the course of 15 minutes he got a free ball and enough tickets to get he and Sophie some cool gifts!
On Sunday morning we went to Balboa Park for an Earth Day festival. They expected crowds of about 30,000 people so we wanted to get there early. I heard there was a children’s parade, but that turned out to be pretty small. It was interesting walking around the booths, but we didn’t spend as much time as I figured we would.
After lunch we hit the coast again and visited the tidepools at Point Loma. Sophie and Sawyer talked to the rangers to learn about the different animals and organisms that live in the pools. Then we got to explore and see what we could find. The tidepools are within the Cabrillo National Monument, so we stopped and checked out the visitor center before we left. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. He was the first Eurpean to set foot on the West coast.
We ended our trip by visiting a shopping district called Seaport Village. It was another typical tourist place with lots of shops and restaurants. By this time the kids have both gone without naps for the past few days. Plus we have been keeping them pretty busy, so everyone was exhausted. We had a quick dinner and went back to the hotel fairly early. A long day of driving awaited us the next morning.