After checking out from the hotel, we went straight to the Balboa Park. In the few hours that we scheduled, we managed to walk around the park without visiting any of the museums. We drove to Point Loma (or somewhere pretty close), but we couldn’t realize what exactly brought fame to that place. After lunch we visited the Cabrillo National Monument, which offers a good (though somehow distant) panorama of San Diego.
On our way to La Jolla Cove, we stopped at several beaches. We didn’t have time to swim, but it was too cold anyway. The previous day’s storm washed out marine plants, which looked pretty ugly. We made it to the Cove right on time to admire the most beautiful sunset imaginable. After an initial failure, we managed to find the road going up on top of Mount Soledad. We saw some city lights, but nothing special – this may be a better place to visit during the day. A boring drive to the next hotel followed, where we couldn’t find any restaurant open for dinner.
Neither the overnight rain nor the morning clouds could scare the three San Diego tourists. We drove to the Westfield Horton Plaza to see its weird architecture – I tried to imagine how frustrating could be to see a store and not be able to find your way to it. After walking a bit through the Gas Lamp Quarter, we drove to Seaport Village. On the shore it became clear that the wind was picking up some speed and the weather was getting colder. We drove across the Coronado Bridge into a really ugly storm, which was spreading the beach sand all over the place. We had lunch at Miguel’s Cocina on Coronado Island, then took a closer look at Hotel del Coronado. The storm started to calm down, but the temperature was still pretty low. We stared a little bit at the San Diego skyline both from Coronado Island and from a little restaurant close to our hotel.
We spent the evening in the Old Town, where we saw the Whaley House – which is supposedly haunted. We got a taste of how life was in the 18th century by staring inside Casa de Estudillo, the house of a Mexican officer. After walking around through all kind of gift shops, we drove to Bazaar del Mundo, where we walked around through more gift shops. Our first day in San Diego ended with a dinner at Old Town Mexican Cafe.
After we stuffed our faces at the Alladin buffet for more money than we would have payed if it was not Christmas, we drove toward the Hoover Dam. Unfortunately the road was under construction and the delays were quite long. We turned around after we stopped at a viewpoint overlooking a marina at Lake Mead (later we realized that we were only 1.8 miles away from the dam).
Because it was getting dark and late, we decided to turn around and drive to San Diego. We got to the hotel at 11:30 pm. Nice hotel, but they rip you off with the parking ($10/night). We found a Denny’s open and had dinner sometime after midnight.