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Photo courtesy of Tom Dempsey.

Tuesday, April 10

City breaks with the Kids Series: San Diego

San Diego, a popular West Coast destination is an easy jaunt from those in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a quick getaway for Californians. With San Diego's beaches, world famous zoo and wildlife park, Hotel del Coronado, a national historical landmark, Titanic Artifact Exhibit, fabulous food, and relaxing vibe, every member of the family will find something to enjoy.
Beach fun
Boardwalk for walking, skating and biking
Located along the Pacific Ocean, San Diego is a beautiful place to be active or to relax. One can enjoy a day on the beach playing games by the water, surfing, taking walks on the sand, and simply watching passerby's on the boardwalk or the frolicking dolphins. And, the sunsets are unbelievable!
View from our beachfront rental
Our beachfront residence in San Diego was a Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) condo on Pacific Beach. We were amidst restaurants from breakfast spots, taquerias, and trendy restaurants we can walk to. If a home made meal was on the agenda, the grocery store was a few blocks away, as well as plenty of take out places for pizza and burgers. The nightlife at Pacific Beach starts at Happy Hour on the outdoor decks along the boardwalk.
Entering the party zone
Every morning we woke up to the sun, palm trees, and a temperate climate. With the windows cracked open at night, one can be soothed to sleep with the sound of the waves. The extra convenience of having a vacation rental is that you can have a secure parking spot without having to pay the excessive price of a hotel parking garage.

The Titanic Artifact Exhibit commemorating Titanic's 100th anniversary is currently showing at the San Diego Natural History located in picturesque Balboa Park. It has a wonderful display of artifacts including porcelain china served in the first class dining room, leather luggage, shaving brushes, and beauty cremes. 
Titanic view outside the exhibit. No photography allowed inside.
At the historical Southern Californian gem of  Hotel del Coronado, where US presidents of past and present have visited, the hotel lobby takes you back into time with its old fashioned elevators and chandeliers. With the nearby naval base, the restaurants and shops are dotted with military families.
Balmy night strolling the Hotel Del Coronado
The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park will delight both the kids and adults. From the cuddly pandas, the sleepy lions, and lightening fast cheetahs, the animals will captivate you. Make sure to wear your walking shoes, as both venues are vast and lots of walking is required. You can buy admission for both venues to maximize your visit and save money.
Panda exhibit at the San Diego Zoo
Up close with a peacock at the zoo
Along the tram on the African Safari at the San Diego Safari Park
Sleepy lion on a Range Rover at the Safari Park
Flamingos galore at the San Diego Zoo
The VIP packages at the Safari Park is an exceptional experience. As a member of a small group of cheetah participants in a Show and Tell and Question and Answer session, our family was treated to up close encounters with the wild's fastest animal (going 0 to 70mph in 4 strides). It truly was a treat and worth the ticket price.
Along the Cheetah Run at the Wildlife Park
Up close with a cheetah at the Cheetah Safari
On our lunch break in La Jolla, a ten minute drive from San Diego, we were pleasantly surprised by a colony of seals basking on the beach. To top of our San Diego visit, we shopped at La Jolla's boutiques geared for all budgets, and had tasty Oscar cookies at a local cafe to celebrate the award show the following night.

La Jolla's local favorite Girard's Deli

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