Santa Monica to San Diego
Got up relatively early this morning – 8am or so, had a shower, and walked down the road to buy some milk for breakfast. Alas, the local gas station’s milk fridge had broken down, so I headed back up the road, jumped in the car and drove up to a convenience store a couple of blocks away. After breakfast we finished packing our bags, checked out of the hotel and then headed south.
Leanne drove for the first couple of hours – her first time driving in the US – and first time driving a left-hand-drive car ! Fortunately it was pretty easy – the roads were very quiet (being early on New Year’s Day) – and we basically followed the same road all the way. Lincoln Blvd heads south and eventually becomes the Pacific Coast Highway, following the coast down through a series of beachside suburbs/towns – very pretty area.
Eventually we got onto the I-5 interstate, and then following our Neverlost instructions, headed to I-805 and CA-163 into San Diego. We found our next hotel, the Staybridge Suites San Diego Downtown, without too much bother, checked in and dumped our bags. We then headed back out while the sun was still up to see a bit of the sights around town – letting our Neverlost system guide us to some of the local landmarks.
One thing we didn’t find was some national monument listed as a local attraction. We followed the navigation system directions, but that lead us to the entrance to one of the local naval bases – a submarine base, where the young lads with submachine guns at the gate politely, but firmly told us this is NOT the way to get there. We did give us some instructions on how we could find it, but we gave up, choosing instead to drive away and find something a little less difficult to find (since our Neverlost system seemed quite insistent that the guys with the guns were wrong !).
Eventually, as the sun was starting to get low, we headed back to our hotel, had a bit of a break and unpacked a bit, before getting changed and heading into town to find somewhere to have dinner. Our room is self contained – with full kitchen facilities too – but we decided for our first night (being a Saturday night too) – to head out and eat at a restaurant.
The first place we tried (having spied it earlier while on our tour of the town), was a seafood restaurant overlooking the bay, but it turned out to be closed (we assumed closed for the holidays). So, we headed back around to the Gas Lamp district – a local restaurant strip, where we wandered along until we found something that took our fancy. A very nice italian seafood restarant, again sitting outside (under a heater) watching the world go by.
Back to the hotel for an earlier night – I’m now taking the opportunity to use the free broadband internet access here to catch up on some of my blogging and do some emails and such !!
We are here for four nights total, and the plan for tomorrow is to head up to the world famous San Diego Zoo and spend the day there. Hopefully the weather will hold up – it’s forecast to be 16 degrees and showers – but with rain forecast for Monday, we’re thinking tomorrow is still probably the best day for the zoo.
Will try and start processing some photos and uploading them when I get a chance too.