I'll describe our trip day by day, while highlighting important cities, lovely campgrounds, cool landmarks, great restaurants and of course fun things to do with kids. My boys are 8 and 12 and they are used to traveling long distances. Flying from Chicago to Seattle was very short, compared to the annual trip we make from Chicago to the Netherlands.
Of course I'll show you what it all looked like, because I am a relentless (hobby) photographer. I sometimes make my family crazy with my pics. Ha!
This part is about San Diego. How did we get there? What did we see on our way? Where did we stay? What did we rent? And how did we like all of it?
The drive from Las Vegas to San Diego, took us about 5 hours. We drove past a strange field (that we had also seen on the way to Las Vegas) with what appeared to be giant mirrors. I looked it up and it was a huge Solar Farm, which consists of more than 10,000 mirrors, each the size of a small house.
We booked a hotel close to the airport, because we knew we would be flying back in a few days. The view from the hotel was gorgeous, it wasn't to far from the city center and the restaurants surrounding the hotel were pretty good. We loved that there was a free shuttle to the airport.
That evening, we really enjoyed having dinner at Tom Ham's Lighthouse. (I do recommend, making a reservation).It was a short walk from the hotel, with a stunning view on San Diego. Make sure to ask for a table outside. The food is very fresh and just great. The waiters were very nice and attentive and when one of my boys threw their lemonade over the whole table, they didn't even blink. They quickly gathered everything that was on the table, changed the table cloth and it was as if it never happened.
The next morning we treated ourselves to room service. We had to get up pretty early for our boat tour: San Diego Whale and Dolphin Watching Tour, but wow, that was worth it. We saw a lot of sea lions, dolphins (very close to the boat), and a humpback whale. The humpback whale was breaching a lot. When I took pictures, I could see that there was a rope stuck to her fin. It seemed as if she was desperately trying to get rid of it, by hitting the surface with her fin. So, although it was a beautiful sight, it also made me feel helpless, because there was nothing we could do to help this giant nature miracle.
The tour took about 3.5 hours. What our boys loved, was that there was a naturalist from the San Diego Natural History Museum on board with us. She answered a lot of questions our boys had. The captain was very experienced and he told us a lot too. The view on the city was gorgeous, especially when went back into the harbor.
It was cool to see the National Cabrillo Monument from the boat, which has a lot of history to it. There were no outside food or drinks allowed, but the prices on board weren't really high and there were enough choices.
After our boat trip, we walked to an Italian restaurant called: 'Mona Lisa'. I would not recommend going there. The food was bad, the waiters were very slow and it was just very dated. The reviews online were pretty good 4 out of 5 stars, but we've been to Italy often and maybe our expectations were a bit too high.
The evening before, I had reserved two GoCars, which included a GoCar tour. We had a combination of the 'Then and Now Downtown / Oldtown-tour and the 'Essential Must See Downtown - Bilbao - Tour'. Normally you would just choose one tour out of the many options they have, but because of Comic-Con International, some streets were blocked (we didn't know this was happening, it did explain all the adults dressed up as comic figures, hahahaha).
It was a lot of fun, for all four of us, driving through San Diego in these small yellow 'cars'. The cars were equipped with audio tours. Unfortunately, the audio tours stopped working quite often and some of the things mentioned in the tour, weren't even there anymore (for example a coffee shop). Nevertheless, we had a great, super fun experience. We saw a lot of cool things and a lot people that saw us driving were waving at us, asking where we rented the cars and if it was worth it. And yes, even while they didn't always work well (and I found out there's no reverse the hard way, haha), it was so worth it. It couldn't hurt to do some updates to the audio though. It was a great way for me, with my rheumatoid arthritis, to explore this beautiful city.
That evening, we had dinner at the Boathouse restaurant. This restaurant was even closer to the hotel, but it didn't have the amazing view the other restaurant had, although the view at the harbor wasn't too bad either. The food was good, but not spectacular. Compared to Tom Ham's Lighthouse, it was a lot cheaper though, which was a big plus. The evening we went here, we were sitting next to an older couple. They were very kind and kept talking with us. Later on, when we found out it was their wedding anniversary and they had gotten married at this restaurant many years ago, we decided to treat them to dinner. My husband sneaked out to pay their bill. The look upon their faces was so worth it. They kept saying: 'This has never happened to us, thank you'. We just love making other people happy. Giving feels much better than receiving, that's for sure.
Unfortunately, this was the last evening of our super cool road trip from Seattle to San Diego. From all the road trips we have done before, this was my favorite one so far. It was a combination of stunning views, good weather, great company, beaches and swimming pools, culture, art, nature and cities. We will cherish all those moments, as a family, forever.
I love to collect moments, and make memories in great company!
Want to read more about our entire Road Trip?
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