Saturday, April 13, 2013

San Diego, Day 6

Now for the San Diego part of my journey! Breakfast today was the pancake breakfast that the hostel provided (it was called USA Hostels btw). Since it was a hostel, we had to make our own pancakes, but that was a cool experience because it gave me experience with a gas stove. Initially I thought that the burners could only be on 'high' or 'off' but learnt the second day that it sort of functioned like a Western? stove and had 'medium' and 'low' settings too, it just didn't have any numbers on the nob. Because of my inexperience with these stoves, I ended up sort of burning my pancakes hehe...I also dropped pancake batter on the floor because I didn't realize it was one of those dispensers that just plopped the batter out of the bottom. Aside from the pancakes, the offered some bread, fruit, jam, butter, orange juice, coffee and maybe a few more things.

After breakfast and a shower, my mom asked the front desk people for some tips and we decided to go whale watching today! We walked for about 15 minutes to the shore area and bought the tickets. Since we had an hour or so to kill, we walked to this shopping area called Seaport Village. It seemed really small when I was there but I just checked the website and there are supposed to be over 50 store! From what I remember, there were a lot of souvenir shops (of course) and some food places. There was also this really cool shop that had handmade, customizable skin care products! They had over 100 oil scents that they could mix to make certain smells. Then they let you choose the product, the size, the smell, and even the colour. It was really nice to try the stuff but it was a bit too expensive. My mom ended up getting us these tiles made in Mexico with our unit number in some design but I don't think they've put them at home yet.

We ate some seafood for lunch since it was the harbour and so close to the sea life, so a lot of places sold seafood. I had fish & chips while my mom had fish tacos, delicious :) I forgot to mention, while walking along the harbour, I saw two stingray! It was probably weird that they were so close to the shore but oh well. There were also some school of fishes! One school was particularly dumb because they kept swimming to a certain point in the seaweed and then turn around, only to come back a few seconds later lol! It was just so stupid that I had to watch it for a few minutes to see how long it would go on for.

Ok now the whale watching! We took the Hornblower Dolphin & Whale Watching Cruise. This was 2.5 hours and I started off in the top deck at the front, but it got too windy and cold so I was a wimp and went back inside. On the way to the whale area, there were some sea lions resting on the buoys and I even saw a dolphin in the distance! Around 30 minutes into the cruise, someone radio-ed in that there was a whale sighting so we headed to that direction and watched for the 'whale spout'. The captain tried to angle the boat so that we would be able to see the whale better without the glare but somehow he ended up getting really close to it when it surfaced, probably about 15-20 metres close! My mom had the camera so the shots aren't that good, but it's okay :P Since we were so close, we had to wait for the whale to swim away a bit before we could go but we basically just kept circling it from a distance and switching spots with the other 3 boats for an hour or so. The whale spouted a lot but it never did the 'tail fluke' which is slapping the water with its tail or something. Because of this whale stocking, we never ended up going to see the school of dolphins that were there in the distance :(

After we went back to the dock, we went to their Union Station and took the trolley towards Old Town. These trolleys are really cool! They all look really new, open on both sides, and have cool buttons that will open the door! None of this weird 'wave hand' nonsense we have here. Old San Diego actually ended up being very interesting since it was yet again filled with tourists shops, which I enjoy :) It was more walking around a bit and then when it came to be dinner time, we found this cool little pub called O'Hungry's. The reason we went there instead of a restaurant was because they had a $5 dinner deal!! There were around 5 different dishes to choose from and I had spaghetti bolognese while my mom had some sort of fish dish. It was really good and such a good value! The atmosphere was also really nice as well because we came at one of the live entertainment times. Some man was performing songs with his guitar and they were ones easy to sing a long to so of course, every one did. There were also a bunch of people that got the 3-yard long beer so everyone in the restaurant encouraged them! It was one girl's birthday and she actually managed to drink the entire thing, I was actually quite impressed lol. I tipped the guy before we left and then we walked around another section of Old Town. This part was filled with Mexican food and shops and since it was sort of cold, they used fire and heaters to keep everyone warm! We walked around a bit and then went back to our area, Gas Lamp Quarters. The street that we lived on was even more alive than it was the night before! I got to walk around it and noticed that there were a ton of night clubs and bars but too bad I was with my mom and couldn't go to any :( So we just went back to the hostel and rested for the night, even though it was only 10:00 lol. T'was another night of smelly sheets, but at least this time my back wasn't hurting as much.

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