We spent the past week in San Diego, visiting with Kaitlyn. It worked perfectly for her because Westjet flies direct from Calgary. San Diego is a booming city – very popular because of its mild year round temperature and beaches. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac lists it as one of the best climates. The condo that we rented was right in the GasLamp area – with a plethora of shops and excellent restaurants. Touring the area on foot was very easy, and the architecture was impressive.
The one thing we noticed was a large number of homeless people in San Diego. Almost every block had street person hauling all their person belongings with them. Statistics estimate that there are nearly 10,000 homeless people in San Diego. The demographic spectrum of homeless people is wide and varied. Alcohol abuse and mental health problems are common. Interviews with some of these people has shown that the temperate weather makes it easier to live on the street – if there is such as thing? Disturbingly, it is projected that 35% of the homeless population are war veterans. This high percentage is due to the fact that there are numerous military bases in relative proximity to San Diego. Very sad – these men and women join the military to serve and protect their country, and so many end up on the street. Enough of my soapbox discourse though.
San Diego is a great place for a family vacation – we visited a number of tourist spots. Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium were just a short 30 minute drive outside the city.
Of course – the highlight was the San Diego Zoo. This is a top class attraction, housing over 3700 animals on 100 acres. You can take a guided bus tour through the park, or the Skyfari is a gondola ride providing an aerial view of the exhibits. San Diego Zoo is one of only 4 US zoos that have pandas on display. We were extremely impressed with the Elephant Odyssey – which is a 2.5 acre habitat for the pachyderms. Unfortunately, the Australian Outback area was still under construction, and we didn’t see any koalas.
The zoo is active in conservation and species preservation. All of the exhibits were well maintained, and the animals seemed in healthy condition. Paramount zoo!