Memorial Day weekend is one of the worst weekends to travel by car through Southern California, or pretty much any big city, but somehow we made it work this past weekend. The key to making it work? Not being stuck to our original plans. The original plan going into the weekend was to leave Saturday morning, arrive at the zoo around noon, then hang out in the Gaslamp Quarter area of San Diego that night. Our return trip to the LA area would then include a stop over in La Jolla, CA.
Well, we were stunned by the enormous amount of people at the zoo and the utter lack of parking available. Not stuck to our plans, we made a quick change by deciding to hit the zoo early Sunday morning, arriving just as they were set to open. As it turned out, the simple change of plans worked like a charm. And after a 3 hour drive to San Diego, it was nice to arrive at the hotel and have a chance to relax for a little bit on Saturday afternoon.
We arrived at the zoo on Sunday morning around 8:30 AM, about 30 minutes before they officially opened. The best part about going to the zoo just as they opened was being able to see the panda’s first thing, not dealing with the lines. This was a big change from the last time I went to the zoo, when we waited on a long line to be funneled past the panda’s, not having a whole lot of time to sit back and watch them for a bit. Getting that part of the zoo experience out of the way off the bat allowed us to enjoy the rest of the trip. Another little tip for attending the zoo is to bring a camera with a better than average zoom lens. This allowed me to take close-up pictures of the animals that I would not have been able to with just the iPhone camera.
We still did stop in La Jolla, CA on the way back to LA, which made for a lot of walking for a single day, but it was totally worth it. The last time I went to the San Diego Zoo was during October 2010. There are plenty of picture from that trip, so I’m only including a smaller number of pictures here. Enjoy!
It didn’t hit me until today, talking to my neighbor on the plane back from San Francisco, that I’ve been traveling a bit the past couple of weeks, for both work and pleasure. It started with an afternoon drive to La Jolla, CA (near San Diego) after work last Friday. I stayed in La Jolla the night after getting dinner and drinks at the Shack. The next day I wen to La Jolla Cove where I strolled around, got some coffee and took a few pictures (as you see below). It was a little cloudy, which can be said for most of this summer in SoCal. I left around noon to go to Del Mar to bet on the ponies, where I managed to leave with more money then I brought… I picked the winner in 4 of the 8 races! Later that day I drove back home only to pack for an early morning trip to Columbia, MD, where I stayed for 3 days/2 nights. Finally, after getting some time at home for the holiday weekend, I got up at 4:30 AM this morning for a day trip to San Francisco. I should be home now for a few weeks, maybe even months.
Pics from my trip to San Diego on August 8-9. Activities included the Mets vs. Padres on August 8, Dick’s Last Resort at GasLamp Quarter, the Sky Lounge on top of the Marriott GasLamp Quarter, and La Jolla.
[singlepic id=469 w=320 h=240 float=right]What a fun weekend! This was my first time spending any amount of time in San Diego. I had a day trip there a few months ago for work, but I don’t really count that. After staying out later than I should have on Friday night, Vince and I started our trek to San Diego around 11 AM yesterday. The main reason for heading down to San Diego was to catch the Mets as they were playing the San Diego Padres. The drive to San Diego was over 3 hours with lots of traffic on the way. It wasn’t pretty, but we finally arrived at the hotel ready to start the festivities. We stayed at the Marriott @ Gaslamp Quarter. Gotta love being able to use hotel points for a weekend getaway. There’s no way I would have stayed there if not for the points. But I have to admit, the location couldn’t have been any better. The hotel was literally right across the street from Petco Park and just a few blocks from main attractions of the Gaslamp Quarter area. After grabbing some lunch we made a quick trip up to the Sky Lounge on top of the Marriott. The view from the Sky Lounge was unbelievable. We could have watched the game from the Lounge as it looked right over left field of Petco Park. But that just wasn’t going to happen. After a drink at the Sky Loung we went to the game. Petco Park is a pretty nice stadium. Our seats were pretty good, we were on the lower level along the 3rd base line. During the middle innings we walked around the stadium to see what it had to offer. I actually thought the park behind center field would be a cool place to go and hang out on game days. Tickets to see the game from the park are $5, which is very reasonable, and the view is pretty good. After that, you just have to be up for paying $8 for a bottle of Bud. In the end, the Mets lost. It’s been a tough season for them (and their fans).
[singlepic id=479 w=320 h=240 float=left]The festivities didn’t end after the game. After heading back to the hotel to drop a few things off (sunglasses that were no longer needed), we went to 4th Ave to check out a few bars. Well, we only ended up checking out one bar, Dick’s Last Resort. Not only is Dick’s a dive bar with live music, the wait staff are outright rude… on purpose! They literally give everyone a hard time, no one is exempt. At times I thought it was little over the top, but oh well. The drinks were reasonably priced and there was a good crowd. Another thing I didn’t really understand about the bar, people throw paper balls at each other. At times I couldn’t tell if people were pissed or not when they were hit… not by me, I didn’t partake in that part. After having a few too many drinks at Dick’s we went back to the Sky Lounge at about midnight to finish the night. There was a long line to get into the elevator which went straight to the bar. Lucky for us we were staying there and were able to get in without worrying about lines. We hung out up there for a good hour or so until the DJ/music stopped. Some interesting choices of music, at one point the DJ was playing Bell Biv Devoe. Either way, it was a lot of fun.
[singlepic id=480 w=320 h=240 float=right]Earlier today – after getting Starbucks – we started the trek back to Marina Del Rey, but first we decided to have lunch in La Jolla. This was my first time in La Jolla too. Very nice views at the cove. We didn’t stay long though as we were both pretty beat from the night before. Luckily the trip back didn’t have as much traffic and only took about 2 and a half hours.
Check out more pictures from the weekend in the photo album here.