Thursday, 2 February 2012

San Diego Day 7 01/02/2012

One picture I forgot to upload last night - it's a "herbs" store. The small text promises herbs for happy, healthy, high and horny.

This trip originally looked like a 10-day stay in San Diego, but in reality when traveling time is taken into account, it's actually only a week. With my flight at 6.18am tomorrow, tonight's gonna be tricky!

Got a message from my dad asking me to get keychain souvenirs, so I paid a visit to the nearby random-stuff store to look around. I think this is the funniest thing in there to report! Anyway I went a little crazy on the keychain buying, spending US$35. Crap!

What ensues here is a bunch of photos I took after deciding to explore San Diego's expanse of beach.

Ocean Beach ends off at this point where the sea enters land and becomes a river.

I spot a bridge in the distance. It must've been over two kilometres away at that point. Me being me I decide to trek over.

The river starts off as a marsh - ducks make it home.

A skateboarding park. There were some very decent skateboarders in there.

<-- Mission Bay Park
<-- Mission Beach
Dog Beach -->

I didn't actually think Mission Beach, immediately above Ocean Beach (which is also known as Dog Beach because it's a popular spot with dog owners), was so accessible. Seeing this, I started to wonder if it was possible to go all the way up to La Jolla, the furthest north beach in San Diego.

Entering the bridge that passes over the San Diego river.

<-- Mission Bay Park
<-- Mission Beach
Ocean Beach -->
Downtown -->

I found myself in what I think is a very swanky and expensive chalet-like place with a pier. This was the start of my discovery of what an expensive American getaway can be like.

Was getting hungry from all the walking (probably covered three miles), so I settle into this cafe where I found the owner animatedly talking to one of the patrons, both in excited agreement that fast food is a travesty. Sounded promising that the food that comes will be of home-made goodness, and indeed it was. Ignoring the standard fries, this was a sumptuous classic Philly Cheesesteak.

Sensing that there was a lot more to be discovered and traversing the coast wouldn't be too difficult, I decided I needed a speed boost. Got a bicycle!

Anyway, some quirks about this bicycle: Those handles are really stupidly designed. They make me grip the handles in a weird way and my wrists eventually will ache, so I end up grasping the ends of the handle instead like they were joysticks. Another thing is that there are no brake grips at the handles. I later find out that to brake the bicycle, I had to cycle in reverse.

These are photos of Mission Bay, a man-made giant salt lake, and those are houses. What an lavish place to live!

Passed by a theme park on my way towards Mission Beach. None of the guide books said this was here!

Mission Beach is comparatively more bustling than Ocean Beach.

Soon, I was at Pacific Beach, the second furthest north beach in San Diego after La Jolla. Those houses alongside the beach are vacation homes for rent.

The waters pushing against the shore of Pacific Beach come directly from the Pacific Ocean.

7-10 Bar - the place with open mic on Wednesdays. Kris told me about it yesterday and said he'd be down to perform tonight. He actually told me to hit him up for drinks, but I couldn't get my phone to connect to the network and thus couldn't contact him. Too bad then!

I pitstop at this bench, and end up chatting with Claudia, a smiley elderly woman who has lived in San Diego since 1981.

La Jolla is up ahead! But alas, I had no idea how far away was La Jolla, plus it was already 3.30pm and I had to return the bicycle because the shop closes at 4.45pm.

I spent some time watching these ducks (yeah, those tiny dots were ducks). It was fascinating - they were socialising (well, I can't be sure, but it looked as if they were), and sometimes they caught fish by dunking their heads into the water with their feet in the air, or by flying and skimming the water surface and then stabbing at fish while gliding.

I'm not sure what birds these are (yes, those dots are birds) but I think they were socialising too mid-air. Stop asking me how I know.

Dogs coming out in full force as sunset approaches. But I guess I wouldn't have taken this shot if not for the cute blonde in shorts haha.

I rest out on the rocks, watching surfers conquer the waves. It's the first time I'm seeing such big surfable waves for real.

Quite a solid distance covered today, I think! Maybe 15 kilometres?

Anyway it could be that it's still, residually, winter in California right now (OBI Hostel classifies November to February as winter and charges lower rates during this period). But I think it's way too cold for me to appreciate the beaches here right now. Coming from hot and sunny Singapore, I have my notions of a good sweat at the beach before dipping into the cool (but somewhat warmed up) water for relief. Over here, it's actually very cold! I wouldn't want to walk along the shore, where the icy winds are blowing in like crazy, without at least wearing a cardigan over a t-shirt. I can't imagine what going into the water must feel like.

I return back to the hostel to find that a fair has sprung up! All sorts of edibles were being sold - from teas to honey to fruits - with the odd t-shirt shop here and there. Buskers were everywhere, as Jason Mraz songs filled the air.

WTF, 草泥马!?

And OMG this unsurprisingly smug guy has an iguana. I want one! I'll look this smug too if I had one, or a chameleon.

A last look at Newport Avenue, as my 923 bus taking me to the airport pulls up at the bus stop. I've decided that the plan is to head to the airport around night, and stay overnight at the airport til my 6.18am flight. This will save me a night's accommodation.

While at some bookshop at the airport... WTF more 草泥马?!

Another grueling set of flights await me; my next update when I'm back in Singapore!

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