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Travel Diary // San Diego, Part 1

It’s hard to believe that our recent visit to San Diego happened over a month ago! We planned a 3-day trip to capitalize on Memorial Day weekend and jam-packed our schedule with activities, sightseeing, and tons of eating. I’m breaking my recap into two posts because I took way too many photos and have some fun stories to share.

Day 1 started with a 7am flight out of NYC, which got us into California by lunchtime. We quickly settled at the hotel, changed into California-appropriate attire {read: not black jeans} and hit the ground running with lunch in the Gaslamp Quarter, a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and sunset + dinner in La Jolla.

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Our first day started with possibly the most touristy activity of the whole trip — a visit to the San Diego Zoo. I had been told many times that it was the zoo to beat all other zoos and a must visit. Truth be told, my expectations might’ve been too high because it wasn’t quite as big as I expected and we were able to cover most of the grounds by foot in about 3 hours.

Although not as massive in scale as I’d expected, the animals were pretty amazing — both in breadth of species and the unlikely moments we were able to observe. Of course, you’re always at the whim of when the animals decide to be active and I did not think mid-afternoon would be a hot time for activity. Happily, animals from orangutans to rhinos to my favorites, giraffes and flamingos, were moving around during our visit.

We saw a ONE day old baby giraffe. He was already 6 feet tall. Insane. We caught two male rhinos who had been brought together from different places spooning {#brotherlylove}. We saw hippos having an underwater battle. We saw an orangutan teaching its baby how to swing through vines. And, of course, we saw THE panda. Actually two Giant Pandas, but who’s counting?

BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-21BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-4 BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-3Visit San Diego Zoo // Giant Panda by Bubbly Design Co. BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-2{ Totally random, but I loved that this plant looked like a giant pineapple! }

After all the animal fun and a quick change at the hotel, we made our way via Uber to La Jolla. We did not to rent a car during our trip largely because parking cost $47/night at our hotel. Since we were traveling with friends, we were also able to split the cost of cab rides with another couple, otherwise they would’ve added up.

The ride to La Jolla is about 3o minutes from downtown San Diego {we were staying in the Gaslamp Quarter}. This was another “must see” spot that multiple friends recommended. Our ultimate destination was George’s at the Cove for a late dinner, but we headed over early to catch sunset by the sea.

I think the pictures prove that La Jolla did not disappoint…

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One of the big La Jolla attractions is the rocky coastline, which is almost always dotted with seals and sea lions. They were quite a sight–and quite a smell! We had limited time before our dinner reservations so we opted not to get too close, but there are plenty of viewing spots along the coast. This helpful guide can help you plan your seal-watching visit, should you so desire.

BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-7 BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-28 BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-9 BubblyDesignCo-SanDiego-May2016-8{ dress, old Banana Republic // jean jacket // bag, old Kate Spade Saturday — RIP }

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I was only there for one night, but highly recommend a late afternoon/evening visit to La Jolla. Have a cocktail or meal at George’s Ocean Terrace and browse the shops along the main street { many were closed after 7pm, but they looked cute! }. But whatever you do, do not miss the sunset. It’s quite honestly my favorite part about California.

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