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Old 10-13-2010, 09:43 AM   #16
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We stayed in San Diego for 4 nights at the end of July, basically ending our roadtrip. We stayed at The Bristol Hotel; we found a good rate off Expedia.

Bristol Hotel: This was probably was of the nicest hotels, we had stayed at for our entire 5 week roadtrip, the only problem was the bathroom and slow valet pick up. We stayed here 4 nights, the room was the smallest we had, had but this is downtown.

The room was nicely decorated, double beds, the issue was the bathroom, there was a weird slide along door, that like to come out of its hinges, and a shower that liked to flood the bathroom floor, housekeeping always lined the shower edge with towels, but the shower needed to be dipped into the floor. We had a car, valet was $26 a day, but this was the cheapest decent hotel I found in San Diego including valet, though you could have a wait a little while in the morning to get your car.

Good location, tourist attractions are quite close in SD, we never got stuck in traffic. Room could get noisy though we faced the Greyhound bus Station, and would hear a lot of beeping, and sirens all through the day and night. I have never heard so many emergency vehicles sirens before, and I though San Diego was one of the safest cities. Would stay again.


Wed 28th July: We drove to San Diego from Anaheim, driving along the coast as much as we could, taking up most of the day. We drove through a lot of Orange County, along the Balboa Peninsula, taking the Balboa Ferry back to mainland. Had a late lunch at Taco Laco in Laguna Beach. Stopped at Torrey Pines, watched the gliders and had a look at the golf course as well, continued on to La Jolla, stopped at the beach, we were going to have dinner in La Jolla, but we were still full from lunch, so carried on to the hotel, as we were tired from the drive.

Laguna Beach

Torrey Pines

If I could go back, and change the plan – I would have given us 3 nights in the Orange County area, probably staying in Huntington Beach, or Balboa Island, just to relax chill out, we need a rest after weeks of travelling.

Got to the hotel in the evening, and just chilled out and relaxed, grabbed some pizzas from Pizza Hut Express across the street.


Thrus 29th July: Today was SeaWorld, we basically spent most of the day there, we had breakfast at Perry’s Cafe, on the way to SW. Perry’s was a great breakfast, its more diner than cafe. We put our name on the waiting list, a quick scan of the menu, and they called our name. We sat in a nice 2 seater booth, I tried something different for breakfast for a change, rather than bacon and eggs, I think I had a Mexican Frittata, which was basically 80% meat, 19% cheese and 1% egg, lol! Great breakfast really enjoyed it, busy, bustling place, full of locals.

We got to SW around 11am, and headed straight for the showing of Blue Horizons, the relatively new dolphin show, we have already seen it before though at Orlando, and aren’t really keen on it, too much Cirque de Soleil, not enough dolphins – though this was a TERRIBLE show, organization was off, hardly saw the dolphins, seem they didn’t know much tricks, and didn’t seem to want to perform – whether we caught the show on a bad day, I dunno.

Even more annoying was all the small children around us, they don’t even watch the show, I don’t see the point of them being there, then about 20% of the audience leaves 5-10mins before the show even finishes, this became a reoccurring habit, no one waits for the end of the show, and leaves early [to miss the crowds], so annoying I’m trying to watch, and everyone just gets up and leaves!!!

Next up was Sea lions Live, great show, nice to see a different version compared to the Orlando Pirates version, very funny love the warm up guy. Another annoying thing, no matter how early you turn up for a show now, you still can’t get a prime spot, SW now reserves the best seats for Annual Pass holders. For the sea lions show though, they only had one employee managing the section, [you should have 2, 1 for each aisle], so when he’s turning people away from one side that aren’t Pass holders, regular guests are just sitting themselves down, on the other side!!!

Believe, good as usual – shame the trainers aren’t back in the water with the whales yet, it is noticeable. Checked out most of the animal exhibits, watched the Sesame Street 4D Show, definitely not aimed at teenagers, lol. Rode the Skytower, and Skyride

Had dinner at Mango Joes’, not the nicest and I always remember loving SW food, I made a trip back to the car, for the hoodies as it was cold, apparently on our last day in SD, the radio said this July was the coolest since 1933.

Watched both the night shows, and the fireworks from the Shamu Stadium. The Sea lions show, was hilarious as expected, different warm up guy from earlier that day, Shamu Rocks was great as well. Now SW recommended staying in the stadium to watch the fireworks, but from where we were sitting the trees were all in the way, and we couldn’t see them soo well. We ended up buying hot chocolate while watching Shamu Rocks, in one of those light up mugs.

SW was great, overall though I think Orlando has the edge, with Kraken and Manta.

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Fri 30th July: The plans for today were the zoo and Balboa Park, we had a very nice breakfast at The Mission, nice atmosphere for a lied back relaxing breakfast, I loved to people watch in there. We got to the zoo, around 12pm later than I had wanted; we were parked in the school playground.

Did the guided bus tour first, was a long-ish wait for, this was alright you can’t really see much of the animals from it though. We then rode the Skyfari to the back of the park, saw the polar bears or bear, there was only one out. Saw some reindeer which I’ve never seen before, and zebras, gazelles etc... we were going to see the Pandas next, but Dad suggest we were close to the tigers, so we went into the Lost Forest, saw all sorts of animals [monkeys, tigers, gorillas, snakes], though you couldn’t see much of the tigers, which was disappointing.

Did get to see a monkey, poo and then play with it. Somehow we ended up, back at the front of the park by the flamingos, how I don’t know – we were heading for the Pandas.

We finally made our way to the Pandas, and there was a HUGE queue, I couldn’t believe there was a queue for a habit! It was amazing to see Pandas, we had never seen them before, it was funny to watch the mother swat at her child, while she was trying to eat.

Had a healthy, small over priced meal at the Canyon Cafe next door, I was looking forward to some greasy Chinese food, not eating my first greens in weeks. Hopped on the escalators to the elephants, then the express bus to the giraffes and rhinos.


WDW Trips DL July 2010 DLRP Sept 2012

5 Weeks, 4 States and 3874 Miles around California and the Southwest Roadtrip here

Last edited by iHEARTflorida; 10-20-2010 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:44 AM   #17
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It was now 7ish, we had been in the zoo for 7hrs now, and I was cold, had been most of the day. We were tired, and had seem everything we want to, so jumped into the car, and headed back to the hotel, and had some more pizzas from the Pizza Hut Express across the street, not what I was expecting to do, while in San Diego – I had a whole list of restaurants to try.

================================================== ===

Sat 31st July: Breakfast was at Cafe 222 this morning, you forget was day of the week it is while on holiday, today was Saturday so we ended up with a 45mins wait for breakfast. I had the Peanut butter banana French toast, which had an award or something, TBH it was nothing amazing, I wouldn’t want another one, put some Nutella in it, maybe!

The USS Midway was our first stop of the day, my dad’s into planes and ships. We walked the grounds, but he wasn’t interested in going inside so much though. I think we briefly stopped at Seaport Village, went to use the toilet by the bay, went in to see a row of toilets with no stalls?!? What is up with that? Who would pee with everyone else, watching? A lot of people were just on deck chairs, sitting relaxing in the sun.

Onto Coronado Island, across the bridge, we looked at the Hotel Del Coronado, tried to get parked to check out the beach, but the place was heaving. Carried on down south, and ended up at Imperial Beach, a lot quieter.

We went to Balboa Park, to check out the grounds and architecture. We listen to the Organist, rehearsing for his show the next day.

We then went to Ocean Beach, and grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at Hodad’s, we had a long wait again, but it was a good burger, my dad enjoyed it. But I felt my bacon was too crisp [burnt], and too many toppings in it, you couldn’t bite it in one mouthful; I think we did order a Double though. We got a chocolate milkshake, which were basically 4 scoops of ice cream, and some sauce, tasty though!

We managed to finish our license plate game finally over the 5 weeks, we had 49/50 plates and couldn’t find West Virginia anywhere, we had been stuck for days on 49 and had to get 50, and we finally did kinda, you could say finding it on a restaurant wall cheating, but we finally got IT!

Our parking had run out, so we headed up to Pacific Beach, but again couldn’t get parked!! We wanted to get to the beach, so instead I finally got a bit of shopping time in and we went to the Fashion Valley Mall, though I was on a time limited the mall shut in 50mins!

Back to the hotel, and we started packing our bags for Vegas, and we had been living out of tote bags, for the past weeks, rather than lug our suitcases to every hotel, we actually packed our suitcases that night.


Sun 1st Aug: We were suppose to get up early today, to beat the crowd for breakfast, but didn’t. Our last place on the list for breakfast was Broken Yolk Cafe, queue was out of the door, headed to Cafe 222, queue out the door, we had a long drive to Vegas today, so didn’t wait to waste to much time. Decided to go to Perry’s as it was kinda on the way, guess what...queue out of the door. We ended up having breakfast in Carmel Mountain, at McDonalds [burgers, not breakfast menu] after filling up on gas.

Our last sight in SD was Cabrillo National Monument which we got into free for with our NP Annual Pass, the views on top were good, I got my last stamp in my NP Passport book.

================================================== ===

Overall I really enjoyed SD, I would have loved to had more time in SD, time to just relax on the beach, see more of La Jolla, Pacific Beach , Ocean Beach and Coronado Island etc..., hopefully I will get the chance to come back, and just explored.


Stratosphere: We stayed here one night, for the rides at the end of our roadtrip -- though we never made it to the rides, well we did but had just had breakfast and didn't fancy it! Anywho we checked in late around 9pm, valet parked. The hotel was at capacity and we got upgraded to a Premier suite instead of just the standard room we had booked.

The room was huge, king bed, sofa bed/TV area, dining table, kitchenette, his & hers sinks, separate toilet area, huge tub and walk in shower. The upgrade was nice, though the sheets felt damp to lie on, not to touch -- weird. It was only one night, so we survived. They charged a resort fee, like most Vegas hotels, but no Wi-Fi included, that was other $12 on top. Would recommend staying mid strip for a Vegas trip.


Sun 1st Aug: We didn’t arrive in Vegas til after 8pm we had been shopping at the Ontario Mills Outlets. We valet parked at the Strat and got upgraded to a suite. We’d been driving all day, from San Diego – so just chilled in the room, and went to sleep.


Mon 2nd Aug: We were flying home today; our flight was at 4:40pm. We had breakfast at the Strat buffet, we had a 2for1 coupon, we checked out at 11am and went to the top of the Strat. We were suppose to ride the rides, but we weren’t feeling up to it, after just having breakfast. We watched a few of the jumpers, and admired the views of the strip.

Next we went to the Gun Store and Dad did the Coalition Package, he enjoyed it the shooting lasted all of 10mins in the actual range, if that. We had our last meal at a McDonalds, before heading to the airport and dropping off the car. Flight was uneventful and we were home on time.


Overall, I liked Vegas, but July/August the place is just too hot. I hope to come back when I’m 21 and with my friends, no parents.

WDW Trips DL July 2010 DLRP Sept 2012

5 Weeks, 4 States and 3874 Miles around California and the Southwest Roadtrip here

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Old 10-20-2010, 10:06 PM   #18
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I love your report - how amazing!!

You visited some wonderful places, and i really enjoyed reading about all your travels!!

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:55 PM   #19
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Wow, I just came across this trip report. What a fantastic trip you had, and the pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:21 PM   #20
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It was wonderful to read your trip report!! We are planning many of the same stops next summer. Starting in San Fran, then Yosemite, Monterrey, Hearst Castle, LA, Anaheim, and ending in San Diego. Loved all the photos and details--thanks for posting it!
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:39 AM   #21
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What an amazing opportunity! Its one of my dreams to take the whole summer off and just get in a car and GO!!! Wonderful trip review.
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