San Diego: The Most Disappointing & The Best

A Moment Alone

During one of our first weekends, Sam went backpacking with his friend that we were visiting.  I took the chance to explore the city – Elaina style.  I went shopping.  There were so many boutiques and thrift shops in North Park, which is the district our Airbnb was in.  I stumbled upon a parking lot that was filled with vendors, as if it were a farmer’s market, but instead, it was filled with thrifted clothing.

Also, I decided to check out the Chinese New Year celebration in Balboa Park.  I did not realize that there were little cottages, like Epcot, that represented a bunch of nations.  I wish we had time to go back, when there wasn’t a festival, to explore each cottage.

In the center of the area, there was a stage with different types of performers.  There was a lot of food and shopping as well.  I tried some Bao that was delicious.  One of my favorite parts of this trip is looking into local events.  The best way to really understand local culture is to see how they celebrate or what their events are for.  I was pleasantly surprised by the Chinese New Year Festival.  

The next day, I decided to take a drive to Solano Beach to check out their farmer’s market.  It had a great selection and I purchased some homemade tamales.  In Solano Beach, there is a cute flower shop along the main road as well as several coffee shops.  Before leaving to drive home, I stopped at the ocean to enjoy the view and sunshine.  It felt like a stereotypical California beach.  I was happy I made the drive.

Balboa Park

Most people, when they think of a park, think of a playground.  The second thought that may come to mind is an area with a lawn surrounded by trees.  In the case of Balboa Park, I think the word park is misused.  Balboa Park is so much more than a lawn surrounded by trees.  Within the park, there are the International Cottages, mentioned above.  Also, a garden, museums, and the San Diego Zoo!

My family loves the zoo.  We grew up going to the Bronx zoo and if you have ever been, you know it is an experience unlike any others.  Within the zoo community, everyone raves about the San Diego Zoo.  Again, maybe my expectations were too high.  I was thoroughly disappointed.  Do you go to the zoo to see exotic birds? If you answered no, then don’t bother spending the $70.

For a rate that was so high, I expected it to be magical.  The signs were unclear.  We got lost several times and I am not directionally challenged.  Food was hard to find and not zoo food.  How many people go to a zoo to have a sit down lunch and order salmon?  The Bronx Zoo is clearly the best zoo in the world.

Of course, there were some positives.  We saw a massive komodo dragon up close.  The elephant & giraffe enclosures were really cool because you were able to see much more of them.  I saw a reindeer, which is apparently not a fantasy character.  The lions were closer and we actually heard them roar.  I did not realize this little kid was talking during the video.  So cute! On a side note, the lion enclosure was too small and made me sad.   

If we were to ever visit San Diego again, I’d be interested in going on one of their safari tours.  Perhaps, their unique factor is in fact, not in the zoo, but in the safari area.


Make your own opinion.  According to the internet, San Diego is the best zoo.  We both know they are lying.

Elaina Pearl
Elaina Pearl
I started Elaina Pearls as an outlet to share my voice. The topics I write about cover fashion, lifestyle, & travel. On every post, you will find a challenge to spark self-growth. I believe that each day there is a lesson to be learned and something to be grateful for.