#30before30 – California Dreaming

This weekend I am knocking a whole bunch of items off the #30before30 list, firstly, I travelled somewhere I have never been before and I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean. I headed out to San Diego, California on Thursday, not only have I never been to San Diego but I have also never been to California, I know, shocking! Most of my travels in the past have taken me South (to NY, Florida, Bahamas etc.) or East (to Europe). Now it’s time for Marisa to go West! It has been a while since I have been out of Montreal because of work but this trip is giving me an opportunity not only to complete some items on my #30before30 list but also to do some business but more on that later.

For now I wanted to share my San Diego and Pacific Ocean with you. One of the things that was high on my list for San Diego was to visit the Zoo. When I was in Grade 2 we had to do a project on an animal and I chose the Koala Bear. At the time the sources for my research included my Encyclopedia and some books from the library. As an extra, my mom suggested that I call the San Diego Zoo to see if they could send me some more information and they did, I received my first fax at my father’s office with all kinds of information on Koalas. At the time they were the only North American zoo with Koalas. Since that time I have always wanted to go and visit their zoo because it amazed me when I was so young that they would send me this information for free (I know, I’m dating myself, but since you all know I’m turning 30 anyway I figure it doesn’t matter).

The zoo was even more spectacular than I could imagine. We did a behind the scenes tour and got to feed some animals and speak to their trainers. Some of my favorites were the pandas, the koalas, the monkeys and the hippo! We pretty much got to see the whole place within a couple of hours because we had a guided tour with our guide Vik who has worked at the zoo for 29 years! The zoo is perfectly manicured, feels like you are in a lush jungle in parts and the exhibits are so well thought out, that in many cases you don’t have cages or netting around the animals because they have designed their habitats so intelligently.

After the zoo we went to Coronado Island, ironically at a place called the Hippopotamus. Lunch just hit the spot and we spent a little bit of time wandering around the island, which reminded me of a cross between Maine and Palm Beach. The town is laid back and quiet but with exquisitely manicured lawns and medians with enormous palm trees.

When we finished on Coronado Island we drove up to La Jolla so I could complete another #30before30 task, putting my feet in the Pacific Ocean. Driving up to La Jolla after a long day with the sun setting over the pacific was just beautiful. I could not get over how the beaches here do not look like any I have been to before. The beach goes on beyond what the eye can see, the water comes in so shallow and so far and the waves are perfect straight lines that seem to go on forever. Check out the pictures of my day exploring San Diego!