Day 64 – Los Angeles to San Diego & Seaworld

Now, I have to put in a disclaimer right off the bat – I don’t agree with keeping animals in zoos, or places like SeaWorld, but I’ve never been to a place like SeaWorld, and I am unlikely to ever see Orcas in the wild, so I decided to give it a go. We left LA using our trusted satnav and came across a bit of bad traffic – the reason soon became clear when we saw a burning vehicle next to the road – I’ve never seen that in real life! We stayed on the US 110 up to Carson where we went on the US 405. We cut to the coast on the US 1 at Newport Beach for a bit, but to be honest the whole area is so built up that you only get occasional glimpses of the sea and beaches so it wasn’t worth the hassle of the traffic and having to spend ages driving for that – plus it was a bit foggy again! We got back on the US 5 and had a fairly easy and uneventful trip into San Diego.
We originally planned to stay in San Diego for two nights, but for some reason the Wednesday night was twice the price of the Tuesday night so we decided to just spend the one night there, and the next night slightly outside of SD. When we got to San Diego and saw posters everywhere, we realised the elevated hotel prices was because of the fact that Comic Con was on and people start arriving a day or two before it starts. When I realised we missed a golden opportunity to attend Comic Con I was gutted, but I think Brian was rather pleased! I would have loved seeing all the people around the streets in their costumes – would have been a truly once in a lifetime experience!
The hotel (Comfort Inn Gaslamp Convention Centre) was quite nice with a decent breakfast the next day – not often you can say that! We set off for Seaworld and paid our $59/person (which I hope is helping rehabilitate animals!) without having to queue or anything. We did a quick tour and looked at the dolphins and sharks before watching a bit of the sea-lion show, before sitting down to the dolphin show. It was ok, but like I said to Brian, you see dolphins performing so often on TV shows and things that seeing it in real life isn’t all that impressive. The show only lasts about 15-20 minutes and also features a lot of people diving off platforms which was probably more impressive than the dolphins – and the divers were working harder than the dolphins, and without getting any treats that I could see! We walked around a bit more, waiting for the Orca/Shamu show to start. The whole Shamu thing is completely lost on me and I insist on calling them Orcas rather than killer whales! The animals were very impressive and they create a LOT of splash that drenches about half the crowd, as opposed to the dolphins that can only get a few rows of people! After the show we walked around a bit more (have to get my steps in!) and walked past some flamingos that impressed me no end! They are so colourful and so incredibly dumb looking. We found the ‘artic’ area where I saw a few Beluge Whales as well as a polar bear. They have a little window you can look in at him, and of course he turned around and showed me his *rse just as I started taking pictures of him so I got a nice bum shot!
We didn’t spend too much time at Seaworld in the end, but it was interesting I suppose and the kids there seemed to love it. We went back to the hotel and ventured out into the Gaslamp District where the hotel was. 5th Street is a very busy street with bars and restaurants, and we did a lap of the street before settling on an Irish bar (The Field) for dinner – I think the place was probably more Irish and quaint than any bar in Ireland! I had boxty with chicken and Brian an angus and pork burger – both were ok but not amazing. The area seems to have a few more upmarket restaurants as well and I was quite impressed by the options on offer in just the couple of blocks we covered, so I think SD is probably pretty good as a place to go eating and drinking. As drinks were quite expensive in the Irish bar (they always are in Irish bars!) we moved on to a cheaper place before having quite a sensible, early night.

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