Sunday, March 28, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2009 Part IV - San Diego

I didn't forget about it. Here is the final part of our trip from last summer. Don't miss Part I - Vegas, Part II - AZ, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon and Part III - Los Angeles

On our last full day in Los Angeles, we met our friend Jacob for breakfast. Having lived in Los Angeles for a short period of time, we told him to pick a good local place; Griddle CafĂ© on Sunset it was. He’d actually never been there either but it had been recommended to him several times so we decided to hit it up. And I am SO glad we did. This place was phenomenal. When trying a new place, everyone should really order something different so everyone can sample off of everyone’s plates, but after the waiter told us that the French toast was the absolute best thing on the menu, there was no turning back. And oh sweet Jesus that French toast was to die for. I’ve always been a fan of French toast so I know it well and I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the best French toast I’ve ever had. And the size! I don’t even think I ate half of it, which is such a shame because it was seriously delicious. If you're in L.A. and need to good place to eat breakfast, I highly recommend this place.

I didn't take this picture, but this is the French Toast. Oh, I'd kill for some right now!!

After filling up on a delicious breakfast and catching up with Jacob (and reading movie scripts on his iPhone!) we decided to take a day trip to San Diego! With the infamous L.A. traffic it took a little over two hours to make the drive, albeit a beautiful one when the ocean was in sight. And what to do in San Diego if you’ve never been; visit their world renowned zoo, of course!

And on such a beautiful day.

This place was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. And it’s HUGE. They say it’s nearly impossible to walk the whole thing in one visit. That’s why they load you up on double-decker buses and take you on a driving tour of the whole park. When that’s over, you can decided what you want to go back and take a closer look at. So cool.

Me and A on said bus.

And let me tell you about our experience at lunch. Our trip was slowly coming to an end. After Vegas and Los Angeles and everything in between, cash was running low and we had eaten more than humanly possible. And you know how the cost of anything in a park is ridiculous anyway; so we decided we’d just get something small and then we’d grab some dinner on the way back to L.A. That is until we got to this little restaurant outside the elephant exhibit. You see where this is going don’t you? This place had everything you could ever imagine. And it looked good. And smelled even better. And was expensive as all get out! I couldn't make a decision because everything sounded so good! And then we went a little crazy. I got this chicken wrap thing that was oh so very delicious. Or maybe it was turkey? And then I added a side of fries that could have fed a small army. And a coke. And I’m pretty sure I ate it all. I think Cassie got the same thing as me. And I think she ate it all too. And I don’t remember what Alison got, but I know she ate all of hers. And actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Cassie and I did finish ours....because I remember laughing about Alison getting the clean plate award at every meal. Hahaha! Still cracks me up!!! Then we went back. Yeah. And got dessert. Cookies and ice cream. The most amazing ice cream ever eaten. And they are very generous with this ice cream. And then we sat and laughed uncontrollably about how much we had actually eaten on this entire trip for nearly fifteen minutes. And then something along the lines of, “We better get up before people start thinking we’re a part of the elephant exhibit and start taking pictures,” was said.

This is me before we ate. See...I'm already preparing to become part of the exhibit!!

And cue uncontrollable laughter as we walked away with our 15 trays of trash. I kept my cup and every time I drink out of it, I giggle. One of the best times on the trip. Is that sad?

See what I mean? We were basically a part of the exhibit anyway.

After a few more stops along the way back to the entrance/exit and a stop at the gift shop, like we could afford anything else, our day at the San Diego Zoo was brought to an end. If you ever find yourself in SD with nothing to do, go to the zoo. It’s worth every $37 of the ticket. Here are more pictures to prove it.

This panda was a natural born performer. He was clearly meant for this!

Could koala bears be any cuter? I used to want one for a pet. I don't think that's legal. But seriously, look at that face!!

Being in the double-decker bus, we were pretty much eye-level with the giraffes.

How beautiful is this creature?

We had been told that there was no sense in trying to head back to L.A. before 8pm because no matter what, we'd still get there at the same time because of traffic. So what did we do? Well Jacob had told us to hit up La Jolla so we thought, what the heck? But we also have another friend you moved to San Diego a year or two ago to help start a church with a group of people from Carrollton. So we called her up and she was so excited for a visit! We met her at her work in, non other than La Jolla, and she gave us a quick tour around town before taking us down to the shore to see the sea lions.

They were super cool, but the most amazing thing to me was the way the sky looked. The marine layer (sorry, my sister is a meteorologist, I know these terms!) gave the clouds a silver shimmer look that was amazing. And it was so cold! Gotta love SoCal weather. There's nothing like it.

This picture does not do it justice. It was absolutely stunning.

After a too short visit with Ellenor, we decided to head back to the City of Angels. One of the coolest moments of the trip was when we were driving on the freeway heading back into L.A. and all of a sudden these HUGE fireworks lit up the sky above us. We were baffled by where they were coming from as they looked as they were being shot directly from the freeway. Then we realized where we were; Anaheim. As in where Disneyland is. It was Disneyland’s fireworks! So cool! And then another bizarre thing happened as we were getting off an exit in Los Angeles. We were at the red-light when all of a sudden several dozen bicyclists, with flashing lights on their tires, went zooming past us. Somehow we got in the middle of their pack and Cassie told Alison to roll down the window and ask what they were doing and she responded with, “Noooo…they’re all wearing backpacks….and they’re all Filipino!” We laughed so hard. And from that point on they were always known as "The Filipino Biking Club of the Night."

Now fast forward to couple months ago. I'm getting ready for work when Cassie sends me a text that says, "Go watch the new 30 Seconds to Mars video ASAP and let me know if you recognize anything." Of course, I stop everything I'm doing to go watch. At first I'm thinking, "well it's obviously filmed in L.A." and then I see it!!!! It's the Filipino Biking Club of the Night!!! And it's the tunnel they drove through after we were caught in the middle of their pack! We don't know for sure what it was, but we're pretending that it was the shoot for the video. Or that they were all on their way because we didn't see any film crew. Check it out for yourselves here.

This picture is horrible. They were moving. We were moving. It was dark. But did you watch the video? Did you see the tunnel? They look the same, no?

On our way back to the hotel we tried to hit up Diddy Riese in Westwood. They're supposed to have amazing cookies and amazing ice cream that they sandwich between said cookies on the super cheap. See how all we did was eat on this trip? Anyway, we got there and the line was wrapped around the building. After a day at the zoo and then being in the car for over four hours that day, we were done. Next time. For sure. So we headed back to the hotel to pack up and rest up for our drive back to Arizona the next morning. Yes, it was time to leave Los Angeles. I knew I loved Los Angeles before, but it was this trip that made me realize I wanted to live there before I die. Oh, I love it.

The next day was the longest travel day of my life. Here's how it went down. We woke up, checked out, and hit the road. Before leaving L.A. we tried hitting up a Pinkberry for breakfast. Again with the eating! But hey, at least this time it was frozen yogurt with fruit!! Butttt....they weren't open yet. At 10am. Whatever. We ate McDonald's instead. Original, right? Then we gassed up the car, and hit the road.

Not before one more drive by The Runaways set though :)

And then we drove. And drove. And drove.

Again, this was the view the whole time. And sand tornados. We saw lots of sand tornados.

And we stopped to play on Route 66. Why not?

And let me tell you about this stop on Route 66. We pulled off the interstate onto Route 66 and got lucky with this little sign painted on the road. We stopped the car and stepped out and were smacked in the face with the intense heat. And I decided to take this picture laying down. And want to know a secret about this picture? My legs and arms aren't touch the asphalt. No joke. I wouldn't have had any skin left if they would've. It was that hot. When we got back in the car, that had been running with the doors shut the whole time, the temperature read 116 degrees. Ridiculous. And the bottoms of my feet burned for a good thirty minutes after we got back in the car. And I had on my Converse. Seriously, ridiculous.

Love this picture.

Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.

We stopped at a rest stop, the only one to be found on a five hour stretch of road, and found this. Needless to say we have never used the bathroom so fast in our lives.

After five hours in the car, we finally made it back to Arizona. And remember the first In-N-Out we saw? Yeah, it was the last one we saw too. So....what do you think we did? Um, we ate dinner. Seriously, you should've had us figured out by now.

If you've never eaten at an In-N-Out, your life isn't complete. Seriously. Get to one ASAP! It is the most delicious thing you will ever, EVER eat.

After our last meal, we headed to my aunts and had about an hour to kill before we had to head to Vegas to catch our flight. We sat and talked for a while and told them about everything we did while we were gone then we got back in the car for the hour and a half drive to Vegas. They dropped us off at the airport, we said our goodbyes and thank you-s, and headed inside. And let me tell you about checking our luggage. I am not a light traveler. No matter what I do, it's just not possible. And I try so hard, I really do. On our flight out of Atlanta, my bag was 48-49 pounds. The max is 50 before you have to pay extra. And what do you do on trips? Well, you buy stuff. Lots of stuff. Flying out of Vegas, I was sweating I was so nervous about the weight of my bag. I wore the heaviest clothing I had in an attempt to lighten it. And that happened to be jeans and my Chucks. Yeah, a four and a half hour or so flight, overnight, in jeans and chucks. And I stuffed as much stuff in my carryon as I possibly could. When I got up to the counter and they told me to put my luggage up, I literally held my breath. was 47 pounds. What the heck?! Whew! Off to our gate it was. And then our overnight flight. We landed at around 7am and Jennifer picked us up. Then I went home and crashed. And didn't get adjusted to the time change for a good week. And I was so so sad about being away from Los Angeles. Seriously.

It's easy to say that this was the best trip of my life. With the exception of Los Angeles, everything and everyplace I went was new. And I was with my two best friends. I couldn't have asked for anything or anyone better to experience this with. We had the best time. There are stories that we will be telling for years and years to come. Nearly one year later, we still talk about something funny that happened and crack up. I can't wait for many, many more adventures with these loveliest ladies.

This trip changed a lot of things for me. Like I said, it wasn't until this second time in L.A. that I realized I wanted to live there. I truly and honestly believe it's where I belong. I don't know what it is about that city, but it captivates me. It's stolen my heart.


  1. OMG, I am literally LOLing at this post. Thanks for calling me out on my membership to the Clean Plate Club. I mean, that was a big deal in my house growing up. Only members get dessert!

  2. Hahaha!! Sorry, I had to do it! Seriously the funniest part of the trip. Man, I forgot to mention in any of the post how you also got the dirty feet award everyday!! Ha!!