San Diego

We had every intention of staying in LA for one more night before heading into Mexico, but there was no more availability at our hotel.  Looking for a new hotel in LA somehow morphed into buying a train ticket to San Diego and staying there instead!

But first, before we left LA, something that I had owed Kim since our New York trip in October – breakfast at IHOP.  I wasn’t that keen, when Koreatown had so many amazing food options, but I have to admit that it was fun.  It was also very popular with the locals!  We were queuing outside like it was the hottest new restaurant in Soho, to get into what in my mind was America’s answer to Little Chef.  Once finally seated, I opted for the breakfast sampler, very much IHOP’s answer to the Olympic breakfast.  Kim opted for something very similar but with slightly fewer pork products!  Essentially, both were a full fry up with a stack of surprisingly good fluffy pancakes on the side.  We wouldn’t be needing lunch!
After breakfast, we made our way to Union Station to catch the Amtrak service to San Diego.  The train was comfortable and the views out over the Pacific were often breathtaking and more importantly, we had begun our journey to Mexico and beyond.  The only slight downside of the journey was an over zealous conductor with a penchant for passive aggressive announcements.  We weren’t the only ones on the train who were pleased to see the back of him when we disembarked at our destination.

Our arrival in San Diego was greeted with a blast of “California Love” from a boom box on a passerby’s shoulder.  We liked San Diego already.

At check in, we asked for recommendations for the next day and were told that La Jolla would be the place to go.  So, after an evening exploring the picturesque waterfront area in downtown San Diego, the next morning we took the bus over to La Jolla.

We had come expecting colonies of seals and sealions, but were greeted by a squadron of pelicans (yes, I might have had to look that up).  If the sight of 30 large pelicans wasn’t enough to take in, the surrounding cliffs and rock formations were also pretty spectacular.  La Jolla had certainly made an instant impression on us.

We walked further along the coast, admiring more pelicans along the way, until we had our first encounter with the more famous mammalian residents of La Jolla.  The first colony we stumbled across were sealions, or so we were able to establish from the helpful signs.   

Later on, we would see over a hundred seals on a single beach, haven taken over a sheltered area that was built for children to swim in.

All in all, apart from the smell of seal and sea lion urine mixed with pelican shit, it was a fabulous walk with some truly stunning coastal scenery and views out over the Pacific.  

Next time, read about our journey into Mexico and our first attempts at putting our newly acquired Spanish basics to the test.

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