Sunday the 27th July marked the first day of my Wild Western Contiki Tour. Departing our Downtown LA hotel at 8am we cruised down the freeway toward San Diego for the first of our West Coast adventures to begin.
There are 51 people traveling together from a range of Contiki tours, including the Wild Western, Western Highlights and LA to the Bay.
Tour guide name is Tony and our driver Marquis, who are both awesome and a lot of fun.
We arrived in San Diego at 10am on the first day. Had brunch at a place called Panera Bread.
Meet a lovely British girl, an American girl, two German guys, a couple of Australians and a Kiwi. (Sounds like the start of a bad joke?!)
Together we all wandered through the Gaslamp District to the San Diego Convention Centre as it was the last day of Comic Con 2014 and we were hoping to spot some people in awesome costumes! There were a lot of people but sadly not as many costumes as we had hoped.
The little bit of rain, made for some very hot and muggy weather, but from there we walked to Seaport Village and saw the ‘Uncondintional Surrender’ statue, modelled off the iconic photo from the end of World War II.
We also spent some time taking an audio tour and exploring the USS Midway, an American aircraft carrier from World War II.
Too sore and tired to walk back to our tour meeting point, we caught some push bike carts back up to the Horton Plaza Mall, for a spot of window shopping and a snack.
All aboard the tour coach we then made our way to our hotel, to prepare for the nights festivities. At this point I met my lovely roommate, who from all places is local to Campbeltown, NSW. Its incredible how you can be on the other side of the world and meet with people who actually live so close to you back home.
The night started at Tio Chino, a little mexican bar for Happy Hour drinks. I opted for a “Sprite”, because in America lemonade is a very different drink and unfortunately I’m not a fan. Dinner, margaritas and many laughs were shared at Fred’s Mexican Cafe in Old Town San Diego. Except when you order a salad, don’t expect anything other than lonely lettuce, because apparently thats how American’s do ‘salad’.
This was followed by a night of socialising at Kristy’s, the local sports bar which looks exactly like the American sports bars you see in movies! Hats, jerseys and TV’s everywhere!
Day two in San Diego was a tough one, I was really feeling the jetlag and was tired. We started the day at San Diego Zoo. You have to love going to the zoo and San Diego offered some great ways to get around! They had a double decker bus, which does a loop of the zoo with a tour guide talking you through all of the different animals and their enclosures. They also have a skyine … that takes you over the top of the zoo to the opposite end which as an amazing ariel view of the animals and treetops.
We only stayed at the zoo until 2pm after which we went to Mission Beach! Amazing! There’s definitely a reason why Mission Beach is so popular, because it is beautiful. We had burgers for lunch at a beachside restaurant called the Wave House, then spent the afternoon chilling on the beach and shopping for ‘tat’ (the British word for souvenirs, love meeting people from around the world!)
We all went to dinner at a restaurant in the San Diego Gaslamp district called The Yardhouse. Pizza and girly conversation made it a memorable night, as well as dessert brownies that were the size of a small cake! Most people went out to a bar called Whisky Girl after dinner, but sadly I bailed because I was so unbelievably tired.
Overall, my time in San Diego was wonderful as it’s a very beautiful place. I had a lot of new experiences and great meals and conversation getting to know other people on this Contiki Tour. It was a great way to start my American adventure and I would definitely go back and spend some more time in San Diego one day.
Stay tuned for my next post on Arizona!