In July, Jason, his wife Dale and nine-year-old son Rudy visited good friends in San Diego. They stayed in their wonderful Del Mar home for 10 days then hanged ten in Hawaii for a week.

Some of Jason’s observations:

– Although the population is huge, the traffic is not really a problem (until you get close to LA, that is!)

San Diego Freeway

They have the road network done right with 6-7 lanes each way up to LA and most east/west suburban link roads are 3 lanes each way (bigger than most of Sydney’s major artilleries).  San Diego doesn’t really have a CBD, most companies based in business parks scattered around the suburbs, so peak traffic is much less of a problem.
– San Diego is known for having a nice climate all year round. The winter high temps are 18C and summer high temps are 26-30C. Did I mention that there is almost no rainfall?
– Because of the good weather, cycling is fantastic all year round and outdoor activity is enjoyed all the time. Whilst in San Diego, I savoured three rides up and down the coast and saw lots of cyclists among the gorgeous scenery. The most amazing thing is that there’s bike lanes on nearly every street.  Since you ride on the opposite side of the road, I had to get used to looking over my left shoulder and getting off the bike on the right hand side (whilst on the street, so you don’t fall into traffic).  The traffic is a lot less agro than Sydney too, everyone seems fairly laid back and give you more than enough room. Our friends said as a general rule in traffic, there’s no beeping of horns, unless someone’s done something very wrong.

Margaritas, relaxing on a perfect Californian afternoon

– Baseball games are great, did you know that teams play 5-6 days a week?  The population is big enough to support it, the Petco Park stadium in SD is packed for most games.

Petco Park, home of the SD Padres

Also the home of the biggest Hot Dog I’ve ever had! Huge sausage wrapped in bacon and covered in several toppings…

– The “marine layer” is a strange foggy cloud that comes in off the ocean most mornings and clears at about 11am each day to reveal a typical clear blue sky.
– It doesn’t rain in SD (much).  We were doing some shopping one day and it started sprinkling outside, locals were coming into the shop excitedly saying “It’s raining outside!”
– The beautiful seaside suburb of La Jolla is pronounced La Hoya, don’t be a dick like me and embarrass yourself.

La Jolla bees

– Beer, wine & spirits are seriously cheap, about half the price it is here, including Australian wine…
– Supermarkets have an amazing variety of stuff, I could spend all day in stores like “Whole Foods”.  I just wish they’d incorporate their state tax into the prices like we do with our GST, just confused the hell out of me!
– Cars are really cheap too.
– A high percentage of Californians are ridiculously good looking.

Monkeys at San Diego Zoo

– 20 minutes to the mexican border means there’s some insanely great Mexican food in SD, I could have Mexican morning, noon and night!  Food portions in all restaurants was huge, waiter & waitress service was the best I’ve experienced.
– 4 way stop signs at most intersections.  I must admit I didn’t think it would work, that it would be chaos.  Evidently it works itself out, people just take turns at going, crazy but it works, traffic flows fairly evenly.
– I wish we had squirrels in Sydney..

Love Squirrels!

– We had a great time in SD and Hawaii, can’t wait to go back!

Exploring Thurston Lava Tube in Hawai’i (Volcano, Big Island)

Kīlauea Caldera, Halema`uma`u crater

Eruption in 2003 swallowed the coast road

Green sea turtle at Punaluu Black Sand Beach

Kolea Beach crab

 

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