Friday, June 3, 2011

San Diego tour

It was the 3rd theme park I visited in the USA.

San Diego visit was a long pending tour to us. While living in Southern California we never visited San Diego. Once in November 2009 we made a plan, even my husband booked the hotel there. Unfortunately my son and I fell ill and we had to cancel the trip.  After that we never made any plan to visit there. At last in July 2010 before moving in Northern California my husband decided to go San Diego. That time also we didn’t think of going there. Rather we made a plan to go to Lake Tahoe. But my husband’s friend suggested going San Diego. The idea of visiting the place  struck in our mind once again. We understood that was the good opportunity to visit San Diego as it would be much easier to go to San Diego since that time the place was 100 miles from our then home. So within very short time we changed our plan from Lake Tahoe to San Diego. Everybody told us that it was going to be too hectic due to summer. However we knew that we could make it possible.
On Friday 2nd July we started from our home at 11 o’clock in the morning. This time we decided to travel in a very relax way. First we went to my husband’s friend’s house which he bought new. From there we started our journey to San Diego around 12:30. Our plan was to go directly to Sea World. When we reached Sea World the weather was very good. The temperature was very pleasant and moreover it was cloudy. After entering, first we decided to go to the Shamu show. We found that we didn’t have much time in our hand so we rushed to watch the Shamu show. At last I got the opportunity to see in my human eye the world famous show. It was truly amazing how those enormous killer whales were tamed who listened to their trainers’ direction.

The Shamu Show


 After that spectacular Shamu show we went to see other things before entering to the Blue Horizon show. After the show we decided to go to the Blue Horizon show. When we went there we saw a long queue for the show. It was difficult to get good position to watch the show. So we went to watch the ‘Sea Lion Live’. That was a very cute and entertaining show with sea lions. We literally ran to stand in the queue of Blue Horizon show just after ‘Sea Lion Live’ show. I was very much excited to watch the show as I already read about those shows in the internet. I couldn’t wait for  long. At that moment my son became very cranky. He didn’t want to sit at all. Actually that was his nap time. My husband took him outside. The show had already started I wished to go outside with my husband but he resisted me to do that so I sat alone there.

Blue Horizon Show


 After sometimes my husband came inside. I became speechless after seeing the skill of the performers.  I was thinking that how much practice they did to put such a show before people. The level of perfection was beyond my imagination. It was worthy to see such a show in life. When the show finished we were very tired. I asked my husband to go back to hotel. After taking rest for a while in hotel we went to Sea World again. That time all of us were very fresh. My son and I took the Elmo Ride.

The Elmo Ride


He was too small to enjoy that rather he was scared of falling down.  After the ride my husband and I planned for the next few hours.  Our plan was to see all the night shows as we were going to Coronado Island on next day evening. We had plenty of time before those shows. So we went to the Wild Arctic. Wild Arctic was a simulator ride through the Arctic set in a giant helicopter. As our son was too little we were not allowed to take the helicopter ride. So we took the tour by foot. We saw beluga whales and walrus. We thought that our son would enjoy those. But he didn’t enjoy that. Might be he was too tired to enjoy that. From there we went to the Penguin encounter. There were too many little penguins; I forgot the name of the species due to my bad memory. My son enjoyed those penguins. It was already the time of Sea Lion Tonight’s so we rushed to the stadium. It was very funny and entertaining show. I could say that it was show caricaturing the Blue horizon Show. I laughed a lot and the show really made me feel happy. After that we went to the show of Shamu Rocks. Again it was another spectacular show of those killer whales. It was really hard to imagine how those people toiled behind those killer whales to give such performance. After the spectacular fireworks at 9:30 at night we dragged ourselves to the hotel.

The next day we woke up early for our next day visit to the park. In the month of July we feared for scorching sun but to our delight the next was cloudy and little bit cold. Anyway we chalked out our plan to cover the maximum shows and exhibits.  First we went to the Forbidden Reef.  One part of the exhibit was an underground cavern with eels and the other part was a lagoon where many stingrays are swimming and are within arm’s reach length to touch them.  I went to see the eels taking my son in my arm. First I couldn’t locate the eels then I found those snakes like gray color eels in the cavern.  Suddenly I felt that my son was going to slip from my arm and I felt the chilling current on my back, though it didn’t happen at all.  I hurried back from there. My husband tried his best to convince my son to touch the rays but he didn’t want to do that.  From there we went to Rocky Point Reserve.

Dolphins at Rocky Point Reserve


When we reached there, dolphin feeding time was already over. Actually first when we went there we found a long queue for feeding dolphins. I cut down my enthusiasm by seeing other peoples’ enthusiasm to feed dolphins. Anyway with great disappointment we went to see the dolphins.  I always love those cute animals. In my childhood once I read that they are very friendly to human beings, I also read that they don’t survive long in captivity. Though I was delighted to see them but somewhere in my mind I felt little bit sad by thinking that they were in captivity.  Our next destination was World of sea Aquarium. Here my son became very excited to see many fishes. That time he was already very accustomed with fishes. I showed him many pictures of fishes before so when he saw the live fishes he started shouting in joy without knowing that everybody was laughing at him.  I saw numerous kinds of fishes but unfortunately I couldn’t remember any of the names.  From there we went to California Tide pool. Some spots along the California coast – especially Laguna Beach – are famous for their naturally-occurring tide pools. SeaWorld recreated a typical California tide pool there, and just like the real thing, the creatures like sea stars, urchins, crabs could be touched, picked and admired that dwelled within that environment teeming with life. 

California Tide Pool


 Just beside that there was the Shipwreck Rapids ride. But we couldn’t take the ride as my son was too small to take that ride.  Then we went to see the 3-D movie of Sesame St. It was already the time for Cirque de la Mer show. Cirque de la Mer took us on a journey to the island of Amphibia, where brightly colored Amphibians combine characteristics of humans and sea creatures. These whimsical creatures captivated me as they demonstrated their super-human abilities through exhilarating acrobatic feats of strength and discipline. That Amphibitheatre, a stunning bayside backdrop designed to host the outrageous antics of our characters. The show featured the highest level of talent with specialized, painstakingly honed skills.


The Amphibitheatre

The Show


Their art is blended with imaginative costumes, sophisticated production elements and an intriguing story line. The trapeze bungee, tumbling mini tramp, Chinese Poles, and a giant "Russian Swing" thrilled us. I was wishing that the show would never end.  Our last destination was the Shamu close up. It was thrilling experience to see the giant killer whales so close. That was the end of our visit in the Sea world. When we were coming out the weather started becoming sunny and hot. We were lucky as we already covered everything there in cool weather.

After coming back hotel we had our lunch we decided to go to Coronado Island in the evening.  In the evening we started for Coronado Island which is connected with the main land with Coronado Bay Bridge. The small island was one of the expensive places to live in the USA and which could be seen by the look of the Island when we entered there. Any way we directly went to the beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado.

The Coronado Bay Bridge


Hotel Del Coronado


The hotel was so huge it looked like an island itself. My husband and I started our wild planning to stay in the hotel for seven days just to relax. My husband is an expert of making wild plans. We stayed for a while in the beach and started from there towards the scenic drive. My husband told me that the scenic drive was famous for the beauty and the through the road we could reach the last point of the USA. I didn’t know what rout he took. We reached a deserted place. That time it started becoming dark and I suggested going back.

 Next we went to the San Diego Zoo. I was very excited to see that zoo as I heard so many times from my friends about the zoo.  We encountered a flock of flamingos as soon as we entered the zoo.

Flamingos


My son became so excited after seeing those flamingos that he simply refused to go anywhere else. We had a tough time to convince him for more exciting things. 


 Then we took the monkey trail and we saw numerous birds and monkeys. The zoo was created such a way so to make it look natural. After seeing all the monkeys and birds we wanted to take the other trails but we were reaching the same spot when we were following the map. Then we decided to take the bus tour to better understand the zoo. Our tour guide showed us many thins and gave much information about the animals there. 

Indian Camel


Guanaco



Among the many animals I first ever saw was the wild boar, red river hog, guanaco, tapir, capybaras etc. we saw numerous kinds of lizards, snakes and frogs.  Long ago I read about the Komodo Dragons. I read that they were natural habitats of Komodo Island in Indonesia. I had a picture of something huge in my mind but there I saw a much smaller dragon. I didn’t know whether they were small like that or it was a smaller species. I came to know about so many animals which were already extinct. To my delight I saw okapi about which I also read in my childhood.

Okapi


 It was really a nice experience to me to see many animals about which I read in my childhood but never imagined that I could see them. Lastly we went to see the tiger. The bus tour guide warned us that getting the glimpse of tiger might not be possible as the tiger didn’t come out in the heat. But the day was cloudy and comparatively cool. Although my husband was not so inclined to take the tiger trail as it was very steep and was difficult to go with a child in arm but I was determined to go. I took my son in my arm and started walking. Our labor didn’t go in vain, we could see the tiger. Coming back from there was very difficult but there was no other option but walking. In the zoo there was an exact replica of La Brea Tar Pit.

Replica of Tar pit


Tar pit, or more accurately known as an asphalt pit, is a geological occurrence where subterranean bitumen leaks to the surface, creating a large area of natural asphalt. Animals are sometimes unable to escape from the asphalt when they fall in; making these pits excellent locations to excavate bones of prehistoric animals.

From there we hurried back to hotel to see the fireworks of 4th July. As we were told that we could see the 4th July fireworks from the hotel roof. When we went to enquire about that, to our disappointment, we were denied as we had our little son with us. We didn’t know from where to watch the fireworks. I was very much eager to watch the show as I had no experience of the fireworks.  At last the lady in the reception suggested us going to Coronado for watching the fireworks. We hurriedly got ready and rushed to Coronado Island. We decided to go Tideland parks. But when we entered the park we found that the crowd was very arrogant and they were fighting which was very scary. So we didn’t get down there.  Then we started driving inside Coronado but to our astonishment there was not a single space to park our car. I never saw such a crowd before. In the meantime my son became cranky so I wanted to go back. But my husband was determined to find a parking space. At last we parked our car and walked more than one mile to reach the beach from where we could see the fireworks.  I started feeling very cold though I was wearing jacket. I wrapped my sleeping son in a blanket. Sometimes later the fireworks started.  Our effort paid off. We watched grand fireworks. Up to that part everything was fine. We happily walked one mile to reach our car with a sleeping baby in my arm. Our all joy vanished within one moment when we saw the traffic in the road. I didn’t know when and how we would reach our hotel. Every ten minutes the cars were moving by inch. It was 8:30 at that time. I thought that before one in the morning we couldn’t reach our hotel. If he woke up that time it would be a real mess. I would face a next to impossible job to make him sit on his car seat in a stand still car. We faced real tough situation. I was praying to keep my son sleeping.  That condition continued for one and half hour. Then we got the clear road. At last we reached our hotel around 11:00 at night.

On 5th of July before starting for home we went to La jolla beach. That day was also cloudy and cold. So seating on the beach was not at all pleasant. Anyway still my son started playing with sand. In the meantime my husband put him in the cold sea water and he became very angry and refused to stay there. So we left the beach and came back to our car. After having our lunch in the car we set out for home.


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