November 10, 2012

California Dreams! : Downtown San Diego

I barely had time to rest after I came back from France cos I went to another country 2 days later.

That trip was the furthest, and the longest I've flown so far. 

14355km and 23 freaking hours! 

But I won't complain. Cos I got to step foot in the US of A baby! I was very excited cos it was my first time there and so, I wanted to enjoy every minute of it. So super thankful to my bosses for trusting me to handle our new project and thus, the opportunity to go for that business trip. I mean, staffs in the company usually go to Japan, China, Taiwan or other Asian countries. But lady luck sprinkled her charm on me, and so I was selected to be among the lucky ones to be sent to USA and also France.
*stops blogging and works harder now.. haha*

The initial plan was for me to directly fly to San Diego from Paris or Frankfurt, but after checking with the company's travel agent, the fare was too expensive and it would be cheaper if I took return tickets for both destinations.

My company is all about costing down (typical Japanese), so yeah.. basically I flew to Amsterdam, Alsace, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Diego and back to KL again, all in 2 weeks time frame.

Tiring indeed, but I definitely enjoyed the trip!

Just like in Alsace, I also didn't manage to cover much in San Diego, but I did make sure I had time to go to the Premium Outlet. Shopping time~

happy shopper!

 The nearest premium outlets to San Diego are Carlsbad and Las Americas but my managers brought me to Carlsbad since it was nearer to our hotel. I heard Las Americas has more choices though. Well.. next time perhaps!

San Diego's downtown district offers a lot of activities. Since I had limited time there, I just followed a tour on our last day for a speedy sightseeing.

Bought the Trolley Tour and Seal Tour package for USD 72.

The concept of this trolley tour is a Hop On - Hop Off where there are several stops along the route. You can get off at any stops and explore the area before catching another one. 

The trolley tour started at the Old Town State Historic Park. This park is a state protected historical park, commemorating the early days of San Diego town. Established in 1968, it includes a number of historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870.

We stopped at Seaport Village for the Seal Tour.

 The 90 minutes tour was fun. We rode a bus and toured the historic streets of the city before it transformed into a boat as it splashed down into San Diego's Big Bay.

The sea lions!

Yeah.. we actually saw sea lions. Not seals. I saw hundreds of them lounging on the platform.

If you're lucky, you can see dolphins too.

Naval Base San Diego is nearby so you can see the navy vessels in the bay.

My tour guide told me that the Navy has about 100 dolphins, where they train them to detect bombs on the sea bed. The sea lions are also trained by them to detect swimmers approaching navy vessels and help to retrieve torpedos out in the Pacific. Impressive!

Done with the Seal Tour, we hopped back on the trolley and continued the tour.

Among the stops that we got off were the Gaslamp Quarter, considered to be the historic heart of San Diego.

It is a historical neighborhood in Downtown San Diego, with most of the buildings were constructed in the Victorian Era. The neighborhood underwent urban renewal in the 80s and 90s and now has become a business and entertainment district.

 Pit stop for my shot glass collection.

 Did some shopping at Macy's too. :D

The trolley also goes to Coronado, an island resort city which is the home to one of the world's top resort and one of America's best beaches.

Coronado Bridge

But I didn't get to take a lot of pictures there cos we were actually rushing to go back to Downtown.

Then we stopped at Balboa Park and El Prado, where many of the museums and interesting attractions are.

San Diego Museum of Man

San Diego Museum of Art 

 There's so much to see and enjoy at the park, but I guessed the jet lag had taken its toll on us. We were really sleepy as we got there. Dang!

Overall, the tour was worth it. The guide was a lot of fun and had great stories to tell about everything. I only wish I had more time.

Shall make full use of my 10 years visa! 


siti masyitah said...

i suddenly found your blog when i was googling for India trip as i'd like to do solo travel and... i love it :)
you have travel a lots and nicely share ur experiences here. i am ur blog reader now. keep writing :)

Farikica said...

bestnyer rara....wpon it's a bisnes trip but boleh ja sambil menyelam minum air.. wah, lepas ni ke US ajelah ya..since visa ada 10 thn....

My name starts with M said...

pergh.. ni yg aku malas nak bukak blog kau.. psl everytime bukak mesti aku ternganga dan mcm, bestnye bestnye bestnye! hahaha..
well i guess SL entries will be published later la eh? heheh tak sabar..
p/s: lupa nak tgk passport kau aritu.. tgk passport farah je, tu pun mcm, waaa byknye chopchop! :D

rara said...

masyitah: thanks! :) will write more, insya allah.

Farikica: tu lah.. alang2 dah sampai haruslah minum air. hehe.. kena kumpul duit la buat US trip pulak lepas ni.

Mas: let's plan for the next trip!

aziahmk said...

Wohooo USA tuh..... Sangat jelessss( sambil hantuk2 pala) hehehe

rara said...

kak monik: no need to jealous! u've travelled to a lot of places too! :)