January 18, 2012

Roaming: San Diego Getaway

 On New Year's Day, our family kicked off 2012 by driving down to San Diego for a 2-night getaway. This was an easy, fast trip for us. San Diego is barely an hour's drive south, so it was almost like a "stay-cation."  Since we were taking my mom along (the trip was actually part of her Christmas gift), we didn't have any plans to go to the big tourist sites, like Sea World or LegoLand.  But lots of fun was had by all, without any need for amusement parks.

We arrived late in the afternoon of the first, so the first night's stay was simply dinner out at a seafood restaurant and settling into our hotel on Shelter Island.  In the morning, we took a quick drive through the Point Loma neighborhood and arrived at Cabrillo National Monument.   I was really, really hoping to spot some whales (its their season to migrate off the coast toward Mexico), but it was too foggy. That white sheen in the right of the above photo isn't sunlight, but a big bank of thick fog that sat just off the coast. 

After this, we got into the car and drove over to Coronado, specifically to check out the Hotel Del Coronado. I've seen plenty of photos of this grand old hotel, but none of us had ever been there.  It was magnificent and old and all of the history and architecture made my heart beat fast with happiness.

Inside was a contrast to all the white buildings, with dark wood paneling on the wall and ceilings:

Really, it all seemed quite fabulous.  But with an ocean-front room close to $400 a night, I can't see that we'll be checking in any time soon. Still, it was lovely to just walk around and soak it all up.
After the Del (and after letting the kids blow off some energy at Spreckles park a couple miles away), we headed to our next tourist destination: Old Town State Historic Park.   Old Town has lots of adobe buildings dating back to the ranchero days, when California was still part of Mexico. There's also plenty of shops and eateries (especially Mexican restaurants, all claiming to have the biggest/best margaritas, burritos, home-made tortillas, etc.)
Lily and a very fake smile in Old Town. We closed out the day with dinner at an open-air Mexican restaurant, and the kids liked watching a performance of some ballet folklorico on a nearby stage.  Next day, we checked out of our hotel  and walked along the bayview strand, over to the small Shelter Island pier.  As you can see by all these pictures, we lucked out with some glorious January weather.
 We spent the rest of the day walking around ginormous, beautiful Balboa Park.  I don't think my mother had ever been here before, and she was amazed at how big it is.  We often go to the Ruben H. Fleet Science Museum, which is perfect for kids (lots of hands-on exhibits). But this time, we checked out the Air & Space Museum.  Which was a lot of fun, but doesn't really warrant any pictures. Space and aviation: you get the idea. 
Great trip, fast trip.  Since the kids had three weeks of winter break this year, I was determined that we go somewhere. And I think its very auspicious indeed that we kicked off the first day of 2012 with a road trip.  Bring 'em on!

1 comment :

  1. The pictures from San Diego are amazing. I would love to visit San Diego for the summer and see some more sites.


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