Wednesday, July 5, 2017

San Diego, Mexico, and too many food pictures

Dan and I just got back from a little adventure out west. We spent the majority of our time in San Diego, but we started off with a quick trip to Disneyland. Dan had never been, and I had been seriously wanting some Dole Whip ever since I had it in Hawaii, so we thought, why not go? 10 ounces of frozen pineapple is totally worth a $400 plane ticket, right?

Excited to be on the plane. Slightly less excited that Spirit charges for literally everything, including water.
We were only in the LA area for the day, but it was definitely long enough to feel like kids again at Disney. We had such a blast (this despite only sleeping three hours the night before due to our late-night flight and waiting in line to pick up our rental car for over an hour)!

We mean business with laser guns.

We found Disneyland to be quite vegan-friendly, too, which was awesome. Not only did we get said Dole Whip, but we also had vegan jambalaya (in a mouse ears bread bowl, of course) and pizza.

Ah, the Dole Whip!

The next day, we headed down to San Diego. We stopped in Laguna Beach, where we walked the beach and ate overpriced chocolate candies and gelato (so worth it).

We also hit up Veggie Grill! P.S. What trip to California would be complete without it? It's one of my 'must stop' places whenever I'm there.

The next day, we checked out Old Town San Diego and La Jolla (which, I had to practice saying correctly).

Some shots from Old Town:
Of course I had to be a legal nerd and get a shot of this.
Selecting the finest in fake fruit.
I requested some NKOTB, but was, sadly, turned down.

La Jolla, while completely packed, was gorgeous! Plus, I couldn't believe how close we could get to all of the seals! Note that my pictures do no justice to how close we actually were.

Feeling so much safer with him on duty.

One of the many seals soaking up the sun on the beach.

On our last day, we headed to Tijuana. Neither Dan nor I had ever been there, and we figured, it was 20 minutes away from where we were staying, so why not?

Crossing the border was really easy. We just took a shuttle bus, exited the shuttle bus so the Mexican border agents could review our passports, and then transferred to a mini-van to drop us off downtown in the tourist area. The tourist area was definitely that! It seemed that every shop was a souvenir shop, and they all sold pretty much the exact same things. Although, I will say some of their sales pitches were better than others. My favorite one was "c'mon in, buy some things you don't need."

I almost did.

We forgot that it was a Monday, so all of the museums were closed. Sadly, we found this out the hard way after walking all around to find them. Doh.

Thankfully, we did find a vegan restaurant to try. It was really good!

If you ever find yourself in Tijuana, check out Tury's. 
A cool theater we walked by.

On the border. Taken before we spotted the "no photography" signs...and the border guards with gigantic machine guns.
Getting back to the U.S. was a lot more challenging. I think we spent more time waiting at the border than we actually did in Tijuana. I've crossed the Canadian border several times, but I've always traveled via car. Apparently, unless you're in your own vehicle at the Mexico border, you must cross on foot. So, we waited in line for several hours before we could talk to a border agent and get let back in.

It was quite an interesting process, and I found it even more interesting that when you enter the U.S., you're immediately dumped into the parking lot of an outlet mall. Nothing like saying, "Welcome to America. Want to buy some irregular jeans?" I was just happy it had a Dollar Tree.

On our way back to our hotel, we stopped by San Diego's Little Italy. I didn't even know it had one! We went to a restaurant called Civico 1845, which was out of this world. Beware of more food pictures, but the vegan calamari, ravioli boscailoa, and fettuccine alla bolognese were definitely photo-worthy. Not pictured: the tiramisu made from my dreams.

We were in quite the food coma by the end of the day, so we sluggishly went back to our hotel and passed out. Hello, carb drunk!

I'm pretty sure I gained seven pounds on this trip. So very worth it though!

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