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January
Salt Lake City, UT for Sundance???

February
Chicago, IL
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

March
Houston, TX
Sonoma County, CA

April
Atlanta, GA
Savannah, GA
Santa Barbara, CA

May
UK
Ireland
Scotland
Switzerland
Portugal
Spain
Ibiza

Posted by bacard80 15:39 Comments (0)

San Diego - Wild Animal Park

San Diego Wild Animal Park

sunny 72 °F

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So it is officially two days into 2010 and it is another beautiful day in San Diego. However, people may not realize this, but the weather in San Diego can actually be quite brutal, especially during the winter season. A quick google search shows that the average temperature in San Diego in January is 57.4 F and we only have clear skies 1/3 of the month of January on average. Today? 72 F, and zero clouds. I guess we got lucky :) But it could have been 57 F!!! For anyone curious the average temperature in San Diego ranges from 57.4 F to 72.6 F. I love living here...

A few days ago my family came down to San Diego for a couple days. My cousins and their daughter Natalie. Now I don't normally do the touristy things in San Diego, but when the family comes into town you have to experience some of the great things San Diego has to offer. Seaworld, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Legoland, San Diego Wild Animal Park, USS Midway, etc. So with that we went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, located in Escondido, it is a place I had always heard about, but had never been too. I had always heard that it was similar to the world famous San Diego Zoo, however, gave you the unique opportunity to drive through the park and see animals in their "natural" element. Well I was right and wrong. One of the cool things about the the park is that you do in fact get to drive around and see animals in their "natural" element, however, it is in a tram ride like the ones you would find at Universal Studios. And it is only a 30 minute ride with about a 30-120 minute wait. I sat on the right side of the tram and unfortunately most of the ride is a counter-clockwise loop with 75% of the animals on the left hand side of the tram, so taking pictures was challenging. An interesting piece of information about the wild animal park is that it was actually designed to be a breeding facility to supply the San Diego Zoo as well as other zoo's across the world. However, it has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in San Diego. Overall, it was a pretty cool experience, but not quite what I expected. If anything it is a less touristy version of the San Diego Zoo, which I actually think is a lot more fun. I think if you a pay a premium you can get private tours of the Wild Animal Park and that would make it probably more worthwhile than the San Diego Zoo, but that is just my two cents.
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Posted by bacard80 14:33 Archived in USA Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

San Diego, CA

A brief history...

sunny 72 °F

So, San Diego. A little slice of heaven in Southern California. I often joke with my friends that I live in the greatest place in the world. I live in the greatest country in the world, in the greatest state of this country and in the best city of this state. Although, I am sure everyone else in the world would make the same case about their hometown. But, for those that have visited or lived in San Diego you have to admit...this is a pretty amazing place to live. I love the people, the weather, the lifestyle, the mix of beach, urban and city living. Mountains are two hours away. LA is only 2 hours away. Mexico is only minutes away and we have some of the best beaches in the world. However, there is something I always felt was missing in San Diego, and that was a sense of history. For some reason I have this fascination with history. I love visiting places rich in history and just visualizing myself during that time and in that place. Whether it be the Freedom Trail in Boston, the battlefield at Gettysburg, PA, or Kilmainham Prison in Dublin, Ireland, I always am taken away by the history of the places I visit. I love going to a bar in England and seeing on a plaque outside the bar that it was built in 1610. But when I walk through San Diego, everything feels post 1950. Where is the history of San Diego? Well it exists, but I think one would argue that it just doesn't get the exposure as many other cities or countries do. San Diego has had a relatively quiet place in history and so

So I decided to hit up Wikipedia and read about the history of San Diego. I was happy to find out that we had to have some history!

The area of San Diego has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years by the Kumeyaay Indians.[7] The first European to visit the region was Portuguese-born explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailing under the Spanish Flag, who sailed his flagship San Salvador from Navidad, New Spain. In 1542, Cabrillo claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire and named the site San Miguel.[8] In November of 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving on his flagship San Diego, Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and Point Loma and named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in Alta California was conducted by Fray Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.[9]
In 1769, Gaspar de Portolà established the Fort Presidio of San Diego overlooking Old Town. Around the same time, Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Franciscan friars under Father Junípero Serra. By 1797, the mission boasted the largest native population in Alta California, with over 1,400 Neophytes living in and around the mission proper.[10] It is the southern end in California of the historic mission trail El Camino Real. After Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, Mission San Diego de Alcalá's fortunes declined in the 1830s after the decree of secularization was enacted, as was the case with all of the missions under the control of Mexico. However, it remains an active Catholic church and is a National Historic Landmark.[11]
In 1847 San Diego was a destination of the 2,000-mile (3,200 km) march of the Mormon Battalion, members of whom established a brickyard and built the city's first courthouse at the corner of San Diego Avenue and Mason Street in Old Town.[12]
The Battle of San Pasqual, a battle of the Mexican-American War, was fought in the San Pasqual Valley which is now part of the city of San Diego. With the end of that war and the great influx of Americans during the gold rush of 1848, California was admitted to the United States in 1850. San Diego was designated the seat of the newly-established San Diego County and was incorporated as a city in 1850. The first city charter was adopted in 1889. The current city charter was adopted in 1931.[13]
The original town of San Diego grew up at the foot of Presidio Hill, in the area which is now Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The location was not ideal, being several miles away from navigable water. In the late 1860s Alonzo Horton promoted a move to "New Town", several miles south of the original settlement, in the area which became Downtown San Diego. People and businesses flocked to New Town because of its location on San Diego Bay convenient to shipping. New Town quickly eclipsed the original settlement, known to this day as Old Town, and became the economic and governmental heart of the city.[14]
In the years before World War I, the Industrial Workers of the World labor union conducted a free speech fight in San Diego, arousing a brutal response.[15]
San Diego hosted two World's Fairs, the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. Many of the Spanish/Baroque-style buildings in the city's Balboa Park were built for these expositions, particularly the one in 1915. Intended to be temporary structures, most remained in continuous use until they progressively fell into disrepair. Most were eventually rebuilt using castings of the original facades to faithfully retain the architectural style.[16]

Posted by bacard80 14:55 Archived in USA Tagged educational Comments (0)

Passport ready? Check!

So after having the opportunity to travel a significant amount over the last 3 years I have finally decided to start recording my adventures. It is a shame that I have not done this earlier, but no time is better than the present to start. As I approach 2010 I am already seeing my year begin to fill with some exciting trips and these trips have motivated me to really go all out in my travels in 2010. Through a combination of work and personal trips I am going to do my best to really experience the different places I go and really learn about them. Whether I will be in San Francisco or Tulsa or Zurich each place offers an incredible experience. Some may seem more glamourous than others, but each is unique and special in its own way. The people, the cuisine, the clothes, the geography, the culture is different wherever you go.

One thing I have always loved about the places I have visited is the history that surrounds different cities and countries. Each has a story to tell and that has always fascinated me. So wherever I am I will be researching and learning about the history of that place and tell a story that is unique to that place. Whether it be through a tour, a travel guide, Wikipedia or hopefully from the perspective of someone living there, I will do my best to learn and share a little bit about where I am.

Lets keep in mind that some of these places will be places for me to relax and vacation with friends, so don't be surprised if a lot (most) of my pictures are at the beach, a bar, or some where that looks just like San Diego. Nonetheless, I will be doing my best to experience each place I go, meet new people, try new foods and learn about the unique history and culture each place offers!

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Posted by bacard80 11:40 Comments (0)

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