Faith and I left Las Vegas on an early Greyhound bus bound for San Diego. The journey took eight hours, during which the bus stopped for a quick lunch break. The ride was not as arduous as I thought it would be. We arrived at the bus terminal before evening and found our way to USA Hostel a few streets away. It was pretty hilarious as we lugged our bags up the flight of stairs to the hostel reception. We checked into our respective rooms and decided that we’ll visit the renowned San Diego Zoo the next morning and find our way to a beach the day after.
It was easy to spot the Hispanic influences in the city’s architecture. San Diego once belonged to Spain and then, Mexico, before California became part of the USA and is now a city with strong military presence with naval bases by the coast. It shares the USA-Mexico border with Tijuana, which makes for a great day trip.
Our walk to the zoo took us through the city and over the freeway. There were many museums and also a Shakespeare theater along the way to the zoo as we cut through Balboa Park.
San Diego Zoo was nice. I can’t remember the last time I visited a zoo prior to this but I would think this famous zoo was comparable to Singapore’s. We were a little disappointed by the fact that many of the animals were sleeping or hiding in the daytime though.
I especially enjoyed seeing the giraffes and the panda, although I wondered how the polar bears acclimatized to the California weather. Faith and I had a laugh over mama Josie, the orang utan. And I spotted a little boy wearing an “Ithaca Is Gorges” T-shirt. That made my day. Outside the zoo, I saw a Volkswagen Type 2 van and it reminded me of Little Miss Sunshine.
The next day, it was between a day trip to Tijuana or the beach. We decided on the beach. We took a bus and half an hour later, we were at La Jolla beach. Our map showed us where to get off the bus and we found ourselves surrounded by nice houses and tall palm trees, with the faint sounds of the Pacific Ocean crashing upon the shore.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a day to relax and just do absolutely nothing after many days of sightseeing. It really helps. After a wonderful day at La Jolla Beach, we had dinner at a nearby Mexican joint before taking the bus back to downtown San Diego. Our third and last night in San Diego was fun, it was a Friday night if I remember correctly, and we got to see how San Diego folks welcome the weekend at a little bar near our hostel.
We were going to take an early bus to Los Angeles the next morning and meet up once again with our schoolmates. My California summer had been perfect so far, thanks to San Francisco and San Diego.