Tuesday, September 11, 2012

San Diego–Bonus Chapter

San Diego was the first stop on my four-city West Coast Trip. While it was my first time visiting the city, I only did enough research to narrow down my “to-do-list” to Coronado Beach (Voted number one by Dr. Beach in 2012) and Fish Tacos (the hype lives up). My friend and travel companion E. recommended the San Diego Zoo (one of the world’s best, didn’t you know?). I liked the fact that the Zoo was inside Balboa Park, another popular sight mentioned by various San Diego guides.

Outside of the main three attractions, I considered all the other stuff we saw along the way extra bonuses. This entry is all about those bonuses, and also a celebration of taking “side-trips”, “detours”, and “spontaneous adventures” before heading back to the main road and final destination.

Tribute to Classic Baseball Stadiums

Petco Baseball Stadium was one of these bonus side-trips. We were heading towards Coronado Ferry/Coronado Beach and decided to stop by the the stadium for some photos. Once we got there, we find out the stadium tour had just started so we ran halfway around the stadium to catch up with leader. Last year I took E. to AT&T Park in San Francisco (2011 blog writeup) and had a fun time. Could this be the start of a new travel tradition? (note to self, start a separate entry listing all the baseball stadiums/tours/etc).

Out of the many stadium photos that I took, this is the only one that features the western metal supply building.


The old building kept most of its original structure and columns on the inside. I loved walking inside it and running my hands along the brick/wood structures. Keeping this one old building to build a stadium around it… what an idea.

One word of caution for SF Giants fans and NY Mets fans (myself included) who love their stadiums: Petco stadium doesn’t try to look too grand or luxurious. The “canyon” feel of the stadium as well as its many tributes to classic stadiums (Wrigley, Old Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Fenway, etc) make it understated yet very special. The paintings of famous players found in the VIP section are unique and lovely and provide a decidedly different feel than classic ball game photos that are featured more prominently in other areas of the stadium. Another nice touch for the fans is the slanting of the stadium seats on the sides towards the home plate, without straining your head. Regular stadium seats that are on the side simply direct attention to what is in front of you whereas everyone is inclined to sit facing pitcher’s mount/ home plate.

The Harbor had a few boats


Architecture around Balboa Park



Wishing well and nearby fountain


Santa Barbara Station - The most postcard-perfect tree


More to come:

  • San Diego main entry (Beach, fish tacos, and giant pandas!)
  • San Francisco (Where we caught the mist over Golden Gate Bridge)
  • Portland (Where I spent way more time than is healthy at Powell’s and went to three gardens)
  • Seattle (Where I hiked Mt. Si, saw Radio Lab, and chilled out in Pike Place Market for an entire day)
  • Trip notes as recorded and organized in tiny memo pad, with more virtual links
  • and of course… tons of photos

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