San Diego: Part Two- Sunsets, and Gaslamp, and Bears, oh my!

Well I should probably get this part two written one of these days, whaddya say? I left off Part One with us heading to La Jolla!!! La Jolla was breathtaking- I’ll just let the pictures mostly speak for themselves. It’s just about a twenty-five minute drive from downtown San Diego.

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When DJ and I discussed our favorite parts of the trip after the fact, DJ said La Jolla was a candidate.

The cove is a gorgeous little beachy/cliff strip of land along the ocean. Up from the water’s edge is a quaint city with an inviting atmosphere and a small town feel.

We were immediately greeted by the cutest sea lions. They were a couple of lazy bums, plopping around on the sand until the tide came in too close.. then they would scootch a couple inches, probably the most movement they would have the whole day.

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What. a . life. Am i right?!

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And there was one that was determined to stake his claim.

 

We walked around the sidewalks, edging past other tourists, all of us trying to sneak in glimpses of the glorious views. Per my good friend Annie’s recommendation, we had to see the sunset at the cove. I absolutely understood why as the sun started making it’s way toward the water.

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Babe & Views, Views & Babe

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We sat on a dusty cliff and chatted in the most serene, calming moment accompanied by the background hum of waves and people’s murmurs. I looked over at Deej and said this reminded me of our moment on the cliffs in San Francisco months ago. At that time I had such anxiety, I felt such a hopeless, heavy, suffocating weight on my shoulders. I told DJ now I felt joy, excitement, and a new found hope in the future. This year has been hard (to say the absolute least), but I’m thankful to have had him by my side through every step.

On our way back to the car we spotted an acapella group, and drug DJ toward them to watch to his chagrin. Let’s just say this is not his cup of tea, but I loved it!! Babe & tunes & views!

 

After La Jolla, I had said it was time to rally, rally, rally!!!! I still was not 100%, but much better than the night before. Ohhhhh and you know how I wasn’t sure we were going to ever be hungry again following that massive brunch? L O to the L. We were ravenous. A serious sunset can take it out of ya. We headed to the Gaslamp Quarter to grab some grub… it was only about a mile and a half walk from our hotel.

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I love the energy of the Gaslamp quarter. It’s considered the historic heart of San Diego, yet it has such a contemporary and lively vibe about it all.

Even on a Sunday night, it was hopping on every corner.

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We were craving some good Mexican, and La Puerta had the reputation as being some of the best around. The 40 minute wait confirmed those rumors.

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It has all the rock and roll vibes and all though decorated to give off casual, garage like feels, it was meticulously decorated. The right side of the wall was covered in fake green moss contrasted by a wall of actual criminal mug shots. It was the most unique restaurant we may have ever been to.

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We tried their street tacos- I had the grilled veggies and DJ tried the carne asada. So good, the ingredients were fresh and delicious. The whole meal definitely hit the spot.

Funny(ish) story: The waiter brought out a CD player with our bill… we thought it was basically an eccentric billfold. We put the card in and when he came back to grab it, he was confused…not seeing a card or cash visible. We explained it was in the CD holder, and he said, “Oh no, that’s just staying on the table after you head out.” Whoops! Oh well. But a CD holder would be a creative way to collect cards and money….

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We stopped by our dear San Diegoan Ghirardelli cousin after because I had a serious sweet tooth. I grabbed a few Ghirardelli squares to munch on as we strolled around the street of Gaslamp. (If you ever pass a Ghirardelli they pass out free chocolate squares inside of that season’s flavor).

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After strolling around after another food coma, we decided to head to Altitude Sky Lounge- A rooftop hangout promising the ultimate views in San Diego.

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I highly suggest stopping by here if you visit San Diego. The ambiance was amazing- relaxed and comfortable. They even had a large flickering fireplace that people chatted around into the late hours of the evening.

And the views speak for themselves….

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We were even able to look directly into Petco park

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We walked back to the hotel with happy tummies and happy memories.

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On the 15th (yes we are finally into the next day), I woke up bright and early for a good workout. I loved looking out the window and watching the sunrise. I am trying to read through the “100 Books you should read before you die” list this year. I read, “The Lovely Bones” while working up a great sweat. I will say, it is quite disturbing, but I couldn’t put it down. I have so many highlighted sections and quotes from it that I’d love to share sometime soon.

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DJ and I headed out for the day for our long anticipated trip to the renowned San Diego zoooo!!!! We parked near Balboa park and decided to walk over.

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We did the Go San Diego pass, which I think was the best way for us to do both Balboa and the Zoo. It was the cheapest way and included nearly everything. The only thing the 3-day pass didn’t include vs. the 3,5, and 7 day pass was Sea World. We were okay with that, but if you want to visit sea world I suggest doing the 3, 5, or 7 day pass!

We grabbed breakfast from the cutest little coffee stand in Balboa park. I opted for oatmeal and DJ munched on a slice of lemon poppyseed bread. The coffee was tremendous…

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…Until I spilled some on my white sweater….. ya win some, ya lose some.

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The zoo, oh the zoo!!! Y’all know what a zoo has so I won’t go into much description. This was by far the best zoo I have ever been to. It had everything… it truly had creatures I had no idea existed. I would suggest blocking out at least three hours to see everything.

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DJ navigated us with the map, making sure we didn’t miss a beat!

These little guys below are >100 years old!!! How sturtling is that. I couldn’t believe these little critters were born back in the 1900s. And they were HUGE, I didn’t know turtles (or tortoises?) this large existed. The pictures do not do justice to their size. Males can weigh greater than 500 lbs. 500 LBS. I was in turtle awe.

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Gotta love a good croc.

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One of our favorite exhibits was the gorillas.

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The Easter Giant Eland is one of those creatures that looks magical, and I didn’t know anything like it actually existed in our world. They were spectacular.

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We started getting pretty hungry again after the Panda Exhibit (love love love!). We stopped by Sabertooth grill for some grub. Nothing like some good fried food to accompany a zoo day. DJ wen with the classic grilled chicken tenders and I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a vegan burger!

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Once we were all fueled up, we went back making sure we didn’t miss a single exhibit. We stopped by and watch the Jaguar Keeper talk (super fascinating) and listened the formidable lion bellowing in the neighbor exhibit. Apparently, it’s roar can be heard up to four miles away!

This sweet little man below was one of my other favorites from the exhibit. I didn’t take a picture of it’s name, so I don’t know what type of animal it actually is, but it was precious!!! Does anyone know?!

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The baboons probably should be a PG-13 exhibit to be honest.

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And if you don’t think God has a sense of humor…..

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Badgers are hilarious the way they scamper about.

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To cap off our adventures, we did the sky ride. Definitely do this to get a full look into the zoo! The sun was just starting to set so we had some pretty views of Balboa Park and the sky as well.

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We headed back to our car after several hours of exploring what felt like another world.

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We then made our way to dinner in Little Italy. I will include that in our last part of the trip, Part 3!

Have y’all been to the San Diego zoo?! In general- what’s your favorite exhibit?

xo ❤

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55 thoughts on “San Diego: Part Two- Sunsets, and Gaslamp, and Bears, oh my!

  1. Getting ready for bed and I took one last check of my email and low and behold a Mack post woot!
    Girl you are giving me some serious travel envy AND inspiration.
    Oh my lanta those pictures! I NEED to go now!!!! So pretty! Those sea lions! That sunset! Oh my lanta I am in love!
    Awe huge hugs. I am glad this was so exciting and much more peaceful. You are amazing! And I admire you so much for how you courageously took on this past year!
    Oh my gosh I am always down for a mexican restaurant and that one looked amazing! That is funny about the CD player and so random they bring those out Lol.
    Girllll!!! If I didn’t need to visit San Diego before NOW I really need too!
    Oh my lanta I am ALWAYS up for a rooftop bar! That looks amazing! And you looked gorgeous for being sick! WHAT is your secret?!?! AND you guys are serious couples goals! SO cute!
    Ahhh seriously putting all this info away for June! Thank you beauty!
    Ahhh those turtles are amazing! My nephew would die! HE LOVES turtles!
    Oh my gosh all those animals! All these pictures! Seriously fangirling right now!
    Bwahahaha I just died at your baboon comment. In that case I will need to go see it! ;p Haha.
    Those animals are seriously so cute! Ahhh This post literally gave me all the feels! I Am so happy you guys had such a blast! You deserve it! ❤

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  2. Getting ready for bed and I took one last check of my email and low and behold a Mack post woot!
    Girl you are giving me some serious travel envy AND inspiration.
    Oh my lanta those pictures! I NEED to go now!!!! So pretty! Those sea lions! That sunset! Oh my lanta I am in love!
    Awe huge hugs. I am glad this was so exciting and much more peaceful. You are amazing! And I admire you so much for how you courageously took on this past year!
    Oh my gosh I am always down for a mexican restaurant and that one looked amazing! That is funny about the CD player and so random they bring those out Lol.
    Girllll!!! If I didn’t need to visit San Diego before NOW I really need too!
    Oh my lanta I am ALWAYS up for a rooftop bar! That looks amazing! And you looked gorgeous for being sick! WHAT is your secret?!?! AND you guys are serious couples goals! SO cute!
    Ahhh seriously putting all this info away for June! Thank you beauty!
    Ahhh those turtles are amazing! My nephew would die! HE LOVES turtles!
    Oh my gosh all those animals! All these pictures! Seriously fangirling right now!
    Bwahahaha I just died at your baboon comment. In that case I will need to go see it! ;p Haha.
    Those animals are seriously so cute! Ahhh This post literally gave me all the feels! I Am so happy you guys had such a blast! You deserve it! ❤

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  3. Y’all are adorable!! I can’t say enough good things about your flower photos, the views, the food. Also, I really do lol at your puns – love them! I love that funny story at the Mexican restaurant. Last summer Matt & I dined at a local restaurant, & when they brought the bill, they brought a postcard. I figured it was to be taken, but I later got the feeling it wasn’t. But strange to be attached to the bill pad, dontcha think? 🧐 I read The Lovely Bones years ago, & while very dark, I loved it! I love mystery. Can’t wait for part 3!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, girlfriend!!! So glad you share my sense of humor (Not many do, lol). That’s so bizarre! A postcard?! I have no idea what I’d do in that situation either! I wonder.. I think I would have probably just snagged it too. A souvenir. Haha. It is very good, so different.. unlike anything I’ve ever read before! Would always love more suggestions in the mystery genre if you have them! Thank you again for stopping by!!! Have the best Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I took it as a souvenir 😆 I love The Inspector Wexford Series by Ruth Rendell! Kaci chose it for her senior year major author assignment, & a few years later I picked up one book & became hooked. 🙂 I hope you have an amazing Sunday too!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. In reference to The Lovely Bones book you read, I was thinking I recently saw a movie called The Lovely Bones. Wondering if it was the same as the book you read. I was a very dark movie, but great and sad at the same time. Hmmm!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous photos – love all the wildlife you’ve captured, plus all that wonderful food!!!! (Love the look of your Gaslamp meal!)

    I visited San Diego as a teen, so I can’t remember a whole lot, but I do recall being mesmerised by the Zoo; I’m pretty sure it has changed a Great deal since!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooh, thank you thank you!

        Yes, you’re right, I do need to revisit Cali. Actually, my brother and loads of cousins live in the Bay area. And I have a sister in Phoenix. And more cousins scattered all over the place. But I haven’t made it back Stateside for almost 20 years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve discovered it’s fun having family all over because it makes for a good excuse to travel often 🙂 I hope you make it back here soon! If you do please let me know. I’d love to meet with you for coffee or at least say hello!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Will definitely let you know – it may be sooner rather than later, given all these pulls to visit! I also want to go to Peru (to see the Rainbow Mountains as I am a sucker for rainbow pastel anything! and for the food, of course!), so coming through the US seems the logical thing to do.

        I think we can do better than coffee, Mack! Waffles, pancakes, Eggs Benedict!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The sunset looks amazing!! What a fun way to end that day!

    Those tacos look delicious! It’s currently 8:07 am and I’m trying to think of a way to get some tacos in my belly for breakfast since you have me craving them now.

    Okay here’s a story that’ll make you feel better about spilling coffee on your white sweater. My boyfriend and I were visiting one of his friends in Tennessee and decided to check out the lake one morning. So we go out with our beverages (coffee for him and tea for me) and it had been raining that night but stopped. I was walking extra carefully and then at the very end it was so slippery and I almost fell! The bf caught me but I spilled tea all over his while sweater. And that is the story of why he had to throw out his sweater… Lol oops!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was seriously one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen!!! Hahah, I hope you got those tacos 😉

      Ahhhh! Ok that story is hilarious and it does ABSOLUTELY make me feel better! Thanks for sharing. Haha. Happy monday to youu!

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      1. I’m so glad the story makes you feel better!! I laugh about it now since the sweater was his Christmas gift in 2016 and I was the one who ruined it lol. Maybe white wasn’t the best idea 😉

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    1. Thank you SO so much, Sarah!!! I’m so excited to see you stop by here. I hope you get the chance to go.. let me know if you have any questions or need more suggestions 😉 We basically ate our way through SD!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kath! Did I get this right?!? Hahah… I saw on your instagram it is kathnotkat… and I was like.. hmmmm I’m pretty sure I’ve called you kat 92337589759230840 times.. so my apologies.. lol. Thank you for stopping by, dear! XO

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha this made me laugh! No, I’m Kat to most people!! My family call me Kath and I’ve decided to transfer this blog to another site soon and was trying to think of a new name!!! (I still do want to be called Kat hahaha!) xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oooooo!!!!!!! Hahahha. Ok that makes me feel better. I broke out into like a cold sweat about it, lol. PHEW!!!!! ❤ XO Well definitely keep us posted because I need to make sure to be following your new site when that happens!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Those sunset views were stunning…and the city views too! I haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo…or San Diego. The hubby and I went to the Miami Zoo back when we were dating…a bajillion years ago and we’ve taken the kids to the zoo in D.C. I love a good Mexican restaurant and will have to remember that one if I ever find myself on that side of the country (which I really need to!). ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy!!! Ooo! I bet the Miami zoo was a blast. I think you absolutely need to come visit this side of the states as well!!!! If you ever do, I would love to give any type of suggestions.. mainly food.. because we have basically ate our way through California. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m literally about to catch up on your blog posts. My ipad froze when I was trying to read them so I had to assume it contained lots of photos.. so it did.. Gotta say, not disappointed lol. Love the sunset view, that would be amazing to see. 🙂
    And yay you had mexican food lol. The view from that lounge looks incredible! I’m sure we have something like that (maybe not?) around here. Not too sure, we don’t go out to bars lol.
    And the zoo is amazing too! I’ve only been to the one in LA 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! You are wayyy too sweet to do that!!! LOL! GIRRRRLLL. I am SOOO sorry I stole your Ipad! The sunset was tremendous.. one of the prettiest I think we’ve ever seen. I bet Portland does! Y’all have everything. Hahah. LOVE THE ZOOOO! XO

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beach! It looks really beautiful and seeing those wild (or rather sleepy) animals is so amazing! I love that they have their own spot and can lay around not being interrupted. What a life indeed haha

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Mackenzie, the Gaslamp district looks so fun! It is the first time I have heard of it but have not done enough research on SD. Did the night owls get the tequila? The altitude looks so much fun and I am sure DJ appreciated seeing Petco park. Great photo of you two and I love the red top on you! The zoo looked amazing , I like the photo of you resting your hand in DJ’s two hands, so cute! The skyride looked fun too. Looking forward to little Italy and part 3 . I hope to get to it soon. Have a nice night Dear and happy valentines day, hugs, Terri xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Terri!!! Gaslamp is AMAZING. It’s a foodie paradise. Hehe- we did try their margharitas…. they were 90% ice, but still tasty. I love red and any excuse to wear it! No worries if you don’t make it to part 3, I so appreciate you stopping on by. I hope you had a tremendous Valentine’s Day! XO

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