San Diego from my lens

San Diego was my destination twice this year (2019). The first one was a birthday celebration in April. The second time, a friend and I chose San Diego as our meetup spot with her buddy in Longbeach third week of August. I absolutely love that city! It was our choice because:
  • We were in the mood for some Sun and beaches ✓
  • Short domestic flight from Seattle, the corner of the continent ✓
  • We wanted something simple ✓
Pleasant surprises that made San Diego even more awesome:
  • Electric scooters ✓
  • Abundance of seals ✓
  • Nightlife ✓
  • Tasty prawns ✓

We stayed at the Vagabond Inn on my first trip in the Point Loma neighborhood. The next time, we were at an AirbnB in Morena. Both are good neighborhoods close to the water.


We rode our scooters along Mission and Pacific beaches. I took more pictures of Pacific beach because it was calmer and prettier 🙂

Pacific beach with pretty flowers looking North

Another angle of the Pacific beach

Pacific beach looking South

As we rode north, Seal rock was not on our list, but I liked it more than La Jolla.

Seal rock

I want to be this exact seal in my next life:

Seal@seal rock

Stinky stinky la Jolla. The snorkeling/ scuba diving is supposed to be great but it was just not our day.

La Jolla

We went to Coronado on my next trip a.k.a. Kirkland of San Diego. I mean a more ritzy residential beach 🙂

Coronado beach

Sunset Cliffs

Can’t miss this one.

Sunset cliffs earlier in the evening
Sunset cliffs right after sunset
Sunset cliffs later in the evening

Balboa park

Touristy park with lots of real estate to walk around, street music, pools, gardens, museums and the San Diego zoo close by. We skipped the zoo.

View from the botanical garden@Balboa park
Alcazar garden

USS Midway museum

This, I, an of course even Tripadvisor 🙂 would say is the no 1 attraction of San Diego. For $20 you could probably go up and down the Needle, here in Seattle. For the same price, you could spend hours here. I spent close to 3.

View of the USS Midway museum from a boat ride

USS midway was an aircraft carrier through Korean, Vietnam and World wars II. With 4500 people on board, it was called the ‘city at sea’. It had it’s own kitchen, laundry, quarters, dining hall etc.

SNJ Aircraft

The engine below is said to have won World war II. The picture is static but the valves and cogs were in motion on the display.


Univac computer to measure and distribute gyroscopic data

Univac CP-64B

1GB memory back in the day to the left, woven by women tailors and hence called LOL or little old lady memory. And it’s size reduction till date.

1GB memory over the years

As a software engineer, my interest in American war museums is the roots and terminology of computer science. A lot of programming innovation came out of the department of defense like encryption in computer security. I saw what an actual controller looks like (a room with buttons and knobs, but hey). I steered an actual helm. Look at the picture of the adapter below. In the software industry today, these are entirely software constructs. I am Indian, as of now. I don’t take pride in or find American wars glamorous. American service people, thank you for your service. I don’t know if you had a choice.

SINS gyroscope data adaptor

Ok, back to present day and fun time in San Diego. Look at this fun view!

View from USS Midway museum at the marina
View of the launchpad from one of the Midway decks

More jets! This carrier does not run out of jets!

Fighter jets on USS Midway museum

You could even walk inside one and play around with the controls woohoo!

Fighter jet cockpit

Let me add I toured it just by myself  while my travel buddy took a sip at Bolt brewing close by.

Local things to do

We landed on what they called ‘day at the docks’ bang opposite our Inn. It had a music show, seafood, $3 boat rides and other fares. My featured image is from the day at the docks at Point Loma. I tried frog legs for the first time. The texture and taste is a cross between Tilapia and chicken. It has a truly amphibian taste 😉

Music show@day at the docks

We rode the giant dipper roller coaster at Belmont park

Little train at Belmont park

I started my second trip with a large margarita on Mission beach

Baja beach cafe@Mission beach

The flight was ~ $120 in April and nearly twice that in August. I did not get in the water either time. So if that is the route you want to go, Spring is cheaper. The AirBnB cost was almost the same both times ~ $85 per night. The summer is too hot for us.

My original list of things to do:

1. Sunset cliffs park
2. Balboa space museum
3. USS midway museum
4. San Diego zoo
5. La Jolla park
6. Kayak and La Jolla beach
7. Old San Diego town
8. National veterans memorial
9. Seaworld

My actual list:

1. USS midway museum
2. Sunset cliffs park
3. Seal rock
4. Pacific beach
5. Mission beach
6. Balboa park
7. La Jolla park
8. Belmont park
9. Day at the docks
10. Coronado beach
11. Old San Diego town
12. Gaslamp district
View from my flight probably over Oregon

We didn’t go to the zoo, Seaworld or veteran’s museum. We were all adults so no one was super stoked about the zoo. The memorial was not aligned with our mood either. My company did not want to watch animals in captivity for Seaworld. We did party in Gaslamp both times and mostly lost count or memory, hehe, of the bars and nightclubs we went to. Prohibition lounge had good blues music that I remember. And El Chingon seemed to be poppin’ with some reggaeton. Everyone looks like they are out of a rap video. This is the place to be. We went to old San Diego town one Saturday night. It was dead. This might be more of a day time attraction.

The seafood and especially the prawns are so much better in California! The drinks were watered down and more expensive than the pacific north west like anywhere in California. The dives do better. There was one called ‘sidecar’ close to our AirBnb at Morena. I regret not checking it out. Overall, San Diego is good for a trip with friends as opposed to solo. I had to throw any planning or time tables out of the window. If you go, remember, it’s all about the company 🙂

3 thoughts on “San Diego from my lens

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