After a work conference (where I spoke) and an after-party on the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, Stéphane and I spent an extra day in San Diego to explore the city before we headed into the mountains and desert. I had never been to San Diego before (although I had driven through many years before on our way to Tijuana year after year). Overall, the city was very magical. Sun, beach, easy living, it seemed, with pretty good food. It felt lively.
Our first stop was to the world-famous San Diego Zoo with Mitchell. My favorite animals that day were the takin and the maned wolf, which were both awesome mammals. There was also the cheetah with the dog-friend, and we got to see the cheetah feed while the dog patiently waited outside. As soon as the cheetah was done, the dog rushed over to hang out again. It was so cute! These meerkats were pretty amazing too =)
After the zoo, we branched off, got lunch at Evolution, a very good vegan place, and then went back to Balboa park to walk around some more. I took a lot of photos as we strolled through the conservatory, gardens, patios, and California tower. It was beautiful, and I can totally imagine myself living nearby to explore it every weekend!
We spent the rest of the day around the city, eating, and then the next morning, on our way out of town, we stopped by the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, one of the many missions that the Spanish set up when they colonized Mexico/California. I remember learning about them in grade school, though I do not remember if they included how problematic it all was.