Oct. 20-23: The Greater LA area and San Diego

On October 20th (day 35), Danielle and I left the BLM land outside of Flagstaff in the early morning and headed back back, to Cali. Pretty much from that point, the shitstorm began. Oct. 20 and 21 were a series of unfortunate events: long days of driving, missing turns, sweltering heat, gps errors, going in exits, not finding suitable places to sleep until late in the night, stomach pains, etc. Long story short, though the 21st was filled with many trials and tribulations, we were able to get what we wanted, the Temporary Vehicle Import Permit for crossing into Mexico.

On Oct. 22nd, after a long, stressful, and sleepless night, Danielle and I woke up in the Walmart parking lot in Beaumont, CA and got an oil change there. After the oil change, we headed to a nearby Starbucks, and got ourselves a hotel in Chula Vista (in the San Diego metropolitan area) for that night and the night after.

On the suggestion of the 'mechanic' at Walmart, we then headed to the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego. arrival at the monument was significant in two ways: firstly, it was the first time we'd seen the ocean in a very long time, and secondly, it was the last time we used our America the Beautiful pass. As an aside, we bought our pass in Olympic National Park for USD$80, and it ended up saving us USD$115 -- well worth it.

At the park we walked around at the beach, watched an educational film on the migration of the grey whale, and then drove down the street to the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. The cemetery is exclusively for verterns, and sits overlooking the sea as well as the city of San Diego. It is easily one of the most beautiful cemeteries I've ever seen.

After a while wandering and sitting in the cemetery, we drove back into the city to get dinner at Sundara. An inexpensive Indian place I'd found while doing research in Starbucks that morning. The meal was delicious and very worth the low price. While leaving the restaurant, we were almost T-boned by an SUV blowing a redlight, but luckily escaped unscathed. We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and went to bed.

On day 38, Oct. 23rd, Danielle and I started our day with the complimentary continental breakfast at our hotel in Chula Vista, and then headed back to San Diego in order to explore the highly web-recommended Balboa Park, which is home of the San Diego Zoo. While we didn't go into the zoo (it's crazy expensive), we did wander the various gardens as well as enjoy some by-donation strudel at the German cottage at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. Further, we checked out a free art gallery within Balboa, as well as the Museum of Photographic Art -- also in the park. 

We then left the park, and headed back to the hotel, where we did computer work, arguably most important of which being getting our Mexican auto insurance. Around dinner time, we crossed the interstate that our hotel was off of, and went to Staples in order to print our policy. After printing, we grabbed dinner at Souplantation which is a healthy salad/soup/bakery/pasta buffet that was super good, and super affordable. After absolutely stuffing ourselves, we headed back to our hotel where we had our last American sleep for the foreseeable future.

Follow along with our adventure in real time by clicking here.

Walmart Automotive Department waiting room aesthetic.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Our first dish at Sundara.

Sundara's Tandoori Chicken.

The curried chicken.

Our personal favourite dish, the killer cilantro and garlic naan.

Sundara's exterior.

The Museum of Photographic Art.

The lizards of Balboa Park.

Caught Danielle by surprise in the Botanical Building.

Flowers of the Botanical Building.

Danielle and the delicious by-donation (read: cheap) strudel.