America 2019: Day Three (Monday 20 May)

The world’s standin’ still on the 405
The vampires hang out on Mulholland Drive
Heartbreaker smiles everywhere you turn
Some learn to fly, some crash and burn

Yeah, the sun still shines all the time and the sky’s still blue
And the stars shine bright every night like they used to
Oh, but it ain’t California, no it ain’t California
No, it ain’t California without you

                                                                                                                                  – Kip Moore

 

Monday 20 May

Our final day in San Diego, and finally some sunshine. It took a while to get there, but it did in the end, and even though it was breezier and cooler than I would’ve preferred – the high was somewhere around 19 degrees – better to see some sunshine and blue sky than more rain. So much for that patented Southern California weather…

We ate breakfast at Bunz, the restaurant on the hotel property and again I ate too much because they don’t have just the cereal option. And the waitress, when I asked if I could just eat cereal, looked at me like I was completely out of control. She’s probably thinking, Damn foreigners!

After breakfast and quick stop so the coffee addicts I’m travelling with could have their fix, we headed off to Sea World. Unfortunately for us, the address we found in the TomTom didn’t take us to Sea World, but to some random lot across the interstate from it. So we were close, but not quite there, and a quick Google search for the correct address had us there in no time.

Sea World is an interesting place in that it pairs a world-class aquarium with a stomach-churning assortment of rides, so you can wander from a roller coaster to look at the otters, then jump on a splash-down ride, then see some sharks and…well, you get my drift.

There had been some controversy about the way Sea World looked after their animals, but that’s a long time in the past and I think the park does a good job. We watched three great shows – dolphins, sea lions and killer whales – and rode on pretty much everything that didn’t say ‘Children Only’. Kat and I even went on the chair plane, which I’m not entirely sure what they call here. Nonetheless, it was fun.

We stayed til the park closed at 5:00pm then went to Starbucks – addicts, I tell you! – and drove downtown to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, who are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary season in Major League Baseball. Petco is a beautiful park and one of the newer ones around the Majors. Everything is designed sleekly, and even at the top of the highest bleachers, you’re not that far from the action. We had nice seats down the third base-home plate line and could see everything.

The game took a little while to get interesting. The first third of the game – three innings – wasn’t much to write home about, and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks went up 1-0 early, but a two-run homer by the Padres staked them a 2-1 lead and despite both teams managing to load their bases but fail to capitalise by driving in any runs, the Padres won by the slimmest of margins.

One of the things I appreciate most about an American sporting event is how easy it is to get out afterward. Australian venues could learn a thing or seventeen. We had a smooth run back to the hotel and are now staring down just four hours of sleep before our 3:00am wake-up call ahead of a 6:20am flight to the Midwest.

Ouch! But a fun day!


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