We left the zoo in late afternoon, and we were going to try to hit some of the other museums in Balboa Park, we
only got a brief look, because we decided that our feet had had enough, and that something more leisurely would be appropriate. We had tickets for a harbor cruise, so we headed back downtown, grabbed a bit of food for dinner and hopped on the ship for a nice evening tour of San Diego Bay. It was quite nice, and we really enjoyed it. After that we were toast, so we went back to the hotel and crashed out for the night.
The next couple of days we spent checking out some of the different sights that San Diego offered. We went back to the Balboa Park area and went to the Air and Space Museum, Automotive Museum, Japanese Friendship Garden, Kids Science Museum, Model Train Museum, and the Botanical Gardens. We had such a nice time on the first harbor cruise, we went on a second one.
We went to the Maritime Museum, which is pretty awesome even if it doesn't sound like it would be. We rode on a Vietnam era Swift boat and toured the southern part of San Diego Bay, we toured the USS Dolphin, which had the longest career of any US Navy submarine at 38 years. It was a test sub and was used to its fullest. Also at the Maritime Museum there was a Replica 1757 Royal Navy ship that has been used in movies and still sails occasionally. There are so many cool things to talk about that were at the Maritime Museum including the oldest sailing ship that is still active the Star of India, and B-39 a Soviet Foxtrot Class attack submarine, which at one point in its career had followed a Canadian Frigate through the Strait of Juan de Fuca on its way to Vancouver without being noticed. As we crawled through the sub we realised how insane the living conditions were for those sailors while on board.
We also did some other sightseeing, we went to the "Gas Light" district, which is a bit misleading as I never saw a single gas light. We went to "Little Italy" and had lunch at some point. Really it all starts blending together and I honestly don't remember which days we did what, but that isn't as important...right? We really had a good time checking things out, and almost wish we would have had more time.
On our last day we decided to take the train from San Diego up to Oceanside. It's about an hour train ride on the
"Coaster" we planned it so we would be up in Oceanside so we could eat breakfast out on the end of the pier. We at breakfast at Ruby's, where all the wait staff was dressed in 50's era attire. After we ate, we went and spent the rest of the day at the beach. It was nice, we had good surf, big enough to have some fun, but not too big. We rented some beach chairs and an umbrella, and just chilled out. After we were thoroughly baked we went for pizza, it was pretty good, but our time in Oceanside was coming to an end. We headed back to the trains station and learn that our train has been delayed, which in the end was nice because it meant that the ride back down the coast was during sunset. We made it back safe and sound, and headed to bed.
In the morning we hopped on the light rail and rode it up to El Cajon where the transmission shop was. Talked to the service manager Paul, and got everything all taken care of. Drove back down to the hotel so we could load up our stuff. While I was situating everything Jen was checking out of the hotel. With everything set, I hop in to start it up. NO GO!! Waited for like 20 minutes for someone to give me a jump, Jen couldn't believe our luck. We got jumped and I drove back to El Cajon, that way we were no longer in a "touristy" area. Went to Autozone and had the battery and alternator tested. Bad Battery, so 15 minutes later I had swapped out the battery and we back on the road, hopefully without any more car troubles.
We made it back over the mountains and out of the imperial valley, but as we were making our way into Phoenix our phones started warning us of the impending Haboob or "very large dust storm". We just missed getting "pinched" between to storm cells, literally I could see the rain edge close in on us as we drove down the road, but we made it. Then we ended up in the dust storm, visibility went down to a few hundred feet which is always fun when driving on the freeway. But we made it to the hotel for the night, Jen didn't want to go out for dinner so we had pizza delivered.
The next day was a long one we drove from north Phoenix to Red River NM. We were going to stay the night in Albuquerque, but opted for the additional 4 hour drive. Once you leave Santa Fe, there are two choices that are about the same distance, the "High" and "Low" roads. The low road follows the Rio Grande as it winds through the valley floor. The high road bypasses all that nonsense, but it does mean crossing the gorge bridge again, something Jen wasn't looking forward too, but it was dark, and you could barely tell. It did get a bit sketchy when I decided that a couple county roads would be quicker than following the main road which went way too far north before turning back south again. It turned out fine, and we have been in much worse road conditions in the dark in the past. We made it back to Red River around midnight unscathed, albeit a bit lighter in the wallet.