My plan was to take a day to fly out there, 2 days to play before the race, 2 days to play after the race and a day to fly back. I came up with this plan in the early fall of 2014, then actually registered for the race when it opened in July 2015, bought the plane tickets around September 2015, then procrastinated the rest of the details. Since Kelley doesn't fly I was planning to do the trip by myself, but Mom wanted to join me out there. Then Dad wanted to get in on the act too. I love travelling with my folks, so this was setting up to be a blast.
The Prequel is the first 3 days. Wednesday 1/13 was fly out there day. The flight was easy, everything happened on time.
|Snow covered Rocky Mountains|
|Selfie at the airport|
Play Day 1
|View from the hotel|
We started out thursday with breakfast at the hotel then made our way to the San Diego Zoo! This is one of the nicest zoo's in the country, and one of the only zoos with Panda bears. This zoo is loaded down, and was a blast to walk through.
|Me and Dad in front of the zoo|
|Koi - had a moment of zen there|
|Koalas in the tree|
|That polar bear was quite happy|
|The Panda playing in a tree! His momma was asleep in the next room|
|Hanging with some birds|
After that we ran some other errands, I had to stop by a Target to pick up a headlight I forgot to pack, but we ended up at La Jolla Cove for punch list item #2. I wanted to put my feet in the pacific ocean for the first time. The pacific beach ended up being beautiful. There was a hotel in the cove where we got some drinks and got to chill for a while. It was a pretty epic way to end the day.
|The Cove! La Jolla (which I found out was pronounce la hoya) is really pretty|
|First time got my feet in the pacific ocean!|
|How many selfies can one man take?|
Since our bodies were still on eastern time, we generally retired around 6:30 pm every night.
|Mom in front of the palm trees in La Jolla|
Play Day 2:
I wanted the play days before the race to involve more walking, and then after the race to involve more sitting around. So we started day 2 by getting out to the northern end of the San Diego Bay and hitting Cabrillo National Park, one of the punch list items for me. It was a beautiful cliff-side park with a military graveyard, overlooked the island in the middle of the bay, you could almost see Mexico from there. It turned out to be more beautiful than I expected.
|Pacific ocean - the mountains bleed right into the sea there!|
|Sandstone cliff in the parking lot|
|Coronado Island - military side|
|Hanging with Cabrillo|
|the Old Point Loma Lighthouse|
|the military graveyard|
After that we got lunch at Phil's BBQ, and that was amazing. In the Carolinas, we take our BBQ very seriously, and that stuff was on par or better than most of the BBQ places here (but Kelley still doesn't believe me). After lunch we went to visit the first Mission in California. It's still a practicing catholic church, but has been around since 1769. The 2' thick mud walls and ornate statues and gardens were just beautiful. We're southern baptists, not catholics, but Mom still lit a candle.
|Inside the chappel|
|Mary & Jesus statue - notice the cactus and other plants around there. so neat!|
|This is kelp! Mom is standing next to it for scale|
|Beautiful soft sand, residential on the right|
|My parents in the restaurant of the new hotel|