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Old 02-25-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
Thriller

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Must go places in or around CA?
Hey everyone, not sure how many of you are left, but given our awesome history I thought I would ask.

At the moment I live in PB, San Diego, and will be here at least to June. After that I have to get some sort of engineering career going so I donŽt know where I will live. Maybe I will never see this paradise again? Who knows.

Things done:
Lived in La Jolla in January, so hopefully IŽve covered the close vicinity of that; Torrey Pines etc. Live in Pacific Beach now, so that covers stuff like trying to stand up on a surfing board.

Been in LA two times. First time I checked out walk of fame/Hollywood (I.E. now I know itŽs more or less just a dump). Second time Six Flags - pretty awesome.

Things I am going to do:
I will travel in March/April, staying a couple of days in Palm Springs, one or two days of travel to Death Valley and Grand Canyon and then some days in Vegas.

Other than that I have no plans really. So what should I see?

Tijuana is out of the question even though it is a 30 min drive.* Bit tempted to fly to Los Cabos over a weekend or so though.

*
Spoiler:
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Last edited by Thriller; 02-25-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:28 AM   #2
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
I'm from San Diego. Lived there over 30 years.

I'm sure I'll think of more - but here goes.

Carne Asada burrito from your area Roberto's - Damn I'm dying for one right now. It's a steak burrito with avocado/salsa mixture with cilantro - it has no beans, no cheese, no rice. All the taco shops make them there. I just say Roberto's because they are consistantly bueno.

Where you live in PB there is a Krishna Temple with a feast every week. Stop by and ask about the events, and come back for a feast event - those people are super cool. I believe it's either most Saturdays or Sundays on Grand and the public is welcome - you could walk it from where you are, but there is a parking Map if you check the links. They are heavy on the curry, but the vegi food is delish. You need to take your shoes off and sit on the floor - good looking young Krishna folk will bring great food around in buckets, and they want you to feast and enjoy - plan on bringing a small donation for good Karma. Great cultural experience, especially if you don't mind the flavor of India food.
http://www.krishnasd.com/services-ce...isitor-center/

Did you do the La Jolla cave and shell shop when you were there? Great shell prices, but go ahead and buy admission to the cave while you're there. It takes you right to the tide, you'll usually get brief periods of privacy if you hang around down there, because you can hear the next bunch of people coming down the long stairs long before they get there. We use to bring a small pipe.

Tourmaline Surf Park - Since you are right on top of it, make sure you trip up there. It's a secluded Surfer spot between PB and La Jolla. Don't Surf there, but if you do - it's completely Hard Core. There are huge rocks right in the surf and they are total suicide - But it's arguably the absolute best waves in the North American continent mainland (although there is some islands way offshore from you that have monster waves). Tourmaline is a black rock with little green crystals in it - it's the only place on earth where the stone exists.

Check the trolley routes. Park and Ride, man. The trolley is the best thing that ever happened to that city. Check out places off the stops on a map and check it. Places to go all over the city....

That's the best way to visit Tijuana Too. Take the trolley to the end... Slip in there middle of the day, don't take a mexican cab
(it's their little secret that you can walk across, then follow the stream of tourists down the streets to the tourist area with lots of stores - you'll walk past some shops and people selling on the sidewalk on a sheet or blanket on the ground... I always find something cool from someone who is increadibly poor, yet part of the market business. From there it's a 20 minute walk to the main stores area, and you'll notice when you get there - it's suddenly real busy like that first little Bazaar right on the border, only it's much bigger - tons of stores... the cab trip is more dangerous than the mile you will walk to get to the heart of it)
take a mental note as you get there so you can backtrack more easily (don't worry - if you stay with the crowds you will not be lost, and finding your way back is easy)
be back before dark, don't take wierd advise from the mexicans, they have a million scams. Just follow the other seasoned tourists. Don't participate in the nightlife or bars - stream through with the tourists, don't try to smuggle stuff back. I think it's a two bottle limit, no fireworks, no stilletto or switchblade knives. There are statistics of victims in that area - they are nearly 100% Military and Teenagers going there to party (Drinking age is 18 and Prostitution is legal/sanctioned in two hidden brothels found elsewhere-virtually owned and operated by the Health Dept.) Stay away from all that stuff - and the strip clubs in the tourist area - that is not sanctioned prostitution, although it appears so. Those places are dangerous ripoffs which will get you in all forms of trouble, or at least get your wallet taken. Most of those clubs feature women and they will ask you to buy them a drink - although your Corona is $1, their drink is $10, and that's just the start of your problems if you don't heed my warning about staying with the trinket buying folk. Tijuana is not a place to party. - Buy awesome cheap leather items for low low prices - and haggle low and walk away, you'll quickly get a sense of the nearly half off most asking prices when they say yes at the second or third vendor (just make sure the leather doesn't smell strong of urine) Buying large welded Iron decor, small trinkets, and all sorts of stuff is a hoot, you can even score those lesser controlled pharmaceuticals, like skin medicine and stuff from the large professional Drug stores - those places are legit and so are the drugs. I wouldn't buy any serious prescription drugs down there, but like the stuff that is over the counter there, and almost over the counter here is OK. Buy a big bottle of real vanilla down there - mostly what we have here is imitation, but across the border they have the good stuff, great for cookies and what not, and cheap. If you don't cook, send it to mom or whoever does. You can't get that deal here - not even close.

San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. The Zoo is Downtown and it's gigantic, the Wild Animal Park is not a Zoo - it's in the North County and it's hundreds of Acres of free roaming animals organized by the continent they are from. Go on a weekday and take the long hike around the back if you like quiet time away from tourism. You'll have vast wildlife plains all to youself - well, you and the animals. Enjoy.

If you go there, I know a little secret only the locals talk about. The monorail around the park is free and it's so cool it should be mandatory.... so the secret is this: The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park Board Members were having an important meeting - what was on the agenda you say? Naming the new monorail!
So they fussed and argued until one board member came up with the perfect name The WGASA Bush Line. WGASA stands for "Who Gives A Shit Anyway?" it's a true story that I know because I was in San Diego at the time and the story was well passed around, and confirmed - They won't tell you what WGASA means unless you confront them with my story. Enjoy.
http://www.snopes.com/business/names/wgasa.asp


The Gaslamp area downtown - and India Street - and El Indio Taco Shop.
The Gaslamp has fun Art, Pubs, Antiques, Pedicabs, Cuban Cigars rolled while you wait. Slightly North is India Street, home of some wonderful Italian restaurants - do the one that's like a big cafeteria where you slide your tray down the buffet line. The decor is like your sitting on an old Italian street, and the prices are great. El Indio Taco shop Is a little further north and it's a Taco Shop and Tortilla Factory, cool scene and the prices and Mexican food is great. The Gaslamp is right off the trolley, but the Italian food and El Indio is a little too far to walk - so plan your day's transportation in that area - it's a downtown-esque parking scene.

Cowles Mountain - Head east and visit my old neighborhood. I hiked up Cowles mountain nearly every day as a young teenager. It's that mountain/hill you can see to the East. It's 1700 feet above sea level, and right inside the City limits - exit Lake Murray Boulevard - take it to Navajo Rd (left) about a mile or two you'll come to the big parking and you'll be at the base trail. Easy switchbacks. if you park at the west side bas main entrance it's a quick hike up and the view is beyond description - just do it.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...n&FORM=HDRSC2#


Ocean Beach - The Black - The live music in the coffee shops - O.B. Peoples food market co-op. The Black is a head shop, check it out even if you aren't a stoner, it's a great big store with all kind of cool stuff. The stores around there are really cool too. Up the street is a two story coffee shop where unknown talent may impress you with their music. Down around the corner is this crazy candy store - this isn't like a mall candy store, it's maore like a small candy warehouse and you'll find all kinds of crazy stuff made from sugar, and those candies you remember as a Kid? They may have them. Ask about the old candy store while your in Ocean Beach - I hope it's still there.
UPDATE: Checked it out - the old store is not there, but it looks like this couple may be continuing the tradition. The shop I remember was there for several decades and is gone now.
http://oceanbeachsweets.com/

I just typed that from memory when I seen your post - I'll check back again after I think about it
Last edited by KO Gilligan; 02-25-2013 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:09 AM   #3
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Thank you! Awesome post.

I had missed the caves; google even tried to correct me to "cove" when I looked it up just now. Looks great.

Pretty much adding your whole post to my list!

As for tacos, I tried a Cheeseburger and Fries taco at Typhoon, just coud'nt resist - it came with an American flag! You guys crack me up.
Will make sure to find a nice Carne Asada burrito next time.
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Last edited by Thriller; 02-26-2013 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:50 AM   #4
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?


If you are an outdoors type, take a moment to learn about the parks and conservancy of San Diego wilderness. There is a visitor center that cost 5 million dollars to build which the locals are still probably scratching their head about. It just seems an unlikely investment, but I'm not complaining, I'm a huge supporter of the Mission Trails, and I grew up hiking around these areas.

Cowles Mountain is part of the park, but the visitor center is located on the far North Side from the mountain and across some main roads. So you'll use a different route getting there. Upstream from the visitor center is a very old dam, and a popular rock for rock climbers to train on called "Pink Rock". Although the dam is well marked with it's own parking lot, Pink rock is about halfway back to the visitor centor downstream/down the road. You look for the group of turnouts that are on both sides of the road, and down in the riverbed, you can see a pink boulder the size of a house. There are a few dozen different technical climbs on it and it is coated in climbers chalk.
Local climbers are not only some of the most athletic people you'll ever meet, but they also burn some really killer bud. I'm just saying - just like the surfers, it's a tradition that's generations old, so don't let it shock you.

Hiking the area trails and visiting the dam would probably be more interesting than looking for some climbing rock if you don't rock climb. If you do climb, this area is paradise.... watch out for rattlesnakes, especially in the summer because as they shed their old skin you can't hear the rattle. I've put in many thousands of hours on the trails and seen alot of rattlesnakes, but I've never actually even known somebody to be bit - and even then it won't kill you - but it's gonna hurt like hell, and swell up, and you'll need to get to a doctor. The rattlers don't want to bite anyone, and they try like hell to get away rather than bite, so don't worry. That being said, watch where you step, I've seen rattlers about seven feet long and nearly as big around as my leg.


http://www.mtrp.org/visitor_center.asp


From PB it's less than 70 miles into the mountains to check out the Palomar Observatory and one of the biggest telescopes on earth. CalTech operates the facility now and it's like 7 telescopes in total - It's an ideal location in So Cal because it's still close enough to the cities, and far away from the city lights, with a clear view of the universe.

They have a small visitor center where you can see lots of pics and check out a wooden replication of the telescope mirror on the floor so you can relate to the scope of the original project - the mirror was hand-buffed to spec, and the story is pretty amazing.
Check the weather, and the open status of the visitor center - they close it for inclement weather.

- Get gas before you go - it is a significant grade, and then some twisty mountainside roads, and the trip totals nearly 2 hours each way. There is snow up there for a good part of the year. Enjoy.

http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/

On the way out there you'll be passing through El Cajon. It's within 20 minutes to a half hour of your home in PB. This was an agricultural area for most of San Diego's history, and it's a massive box canyon as viewed from afar. You can see massive groves along your route on the sides of the canyon - this acreage of trees is mostly avacados, although many of the groves are relatively dormant and those particular trees nearly devoid of avacados. This has happened because the maintenace of the trees, and the segmenting of the properties has changed over the years. Without lots of water and fertilizer, they don't produce. As a local to that area, you would likely have or know somebody with the trees on the property, and lots and lots of free avocados.... yum!

In Downtown El Cajon is the Church Worship center/teaching center of a wealthy and enigmatic cult - the public is welcome. It's mostly a rather unremarkable bunch of bookshelves with some UFO displays. The business location itself is a paradox. Perhaps they survive through book sales at this central location. The place was always empty whenever I visited them.
The Unarius Academy of Science is a UFO cult that has been there since before many people even lived in El Cajon. They believe their origins are with past life experiences as actual aliens, scientists, and even religious leaders - They are really far out, and totally open about it (unlike Scientology), but if you rediscover yourself, please don't drink the Kool-Aid. Southern California has also had a very sad history of entire cult groups eliminating themselves.
Check out the website and all the links. What a head-trip.

http://unarius.org/index.php


Some Unarius Choir members performing on a stage along the Mother Goose Parade route in El Cajon, Ca
Last edited by KO Gilligan; 02-26-2013 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:58 AM   #5
Inanimate Carbon Rod

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Sequoia National Park is a 6 hour drive from you.

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Again, awesome ideas!

The observatory looks cool, have to check that one out. Will probably just rent a car, as mine seems to be adding new problems each day right now. I do have AAA but not sure I want to be stranded on a mountain.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:19 AM   #7
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
I have felt some time that I should do an update here, problem is I have too much to update. I've even lost track of what is interesting and what is not, because the "interesting" bar has been raised continuously for three months. I suppose, Gilligan, if you lived here for 30 years you have some idea of what I am talking about (unless, of course, you havent lived in more ordinary citys).

But it is not only the city, it is so much more. A weekend ago I was at a barbeque at my mentors (practically a free initiative of the chamber of commerce - incredible) house, sitting there in a jacuzzi outside an amazing house, in CA, where we discuss how he can help me with my engineering career. 3 months ago I had never been to the US - actually not outside Europe - and was mostly fed up with master studies and looking to hopefully get a semi-grey job and decent life I did not hate.

But since I feel I have to update with something, I know just the thing:
I actually battled a snake! It is not supposed to happen, but it did. I met a few people that have seen them, but not one have told me anything close to what happened to me:

We where out hiking around the potato cliff/Mount Woodson (got there too late, so we just walked around the lake). I had warned the other guys about rattlesnakes - dont stray, watch your feet, etc - but since they apparently still live in Sweden they kept saying there is no such thing as a dangerous snake. Whatever.

So we've been walking for an hour or so, and I walk slightly behind the other guys. Suddenly I see something shooting out from the side of the road, but didn't really understand what it was. As I look down, I see something circling around my feet, I realize it is an animal, and then suddenly.. the animal starts to make this high pitch "fizzing" noise. It took me another couple of milliseconds to realize I had a rattlesnake circling my feet. I freeze, and the last time I look down, I realize its mouth is open. I look up, moving my feet so, so slowly trying to get away from it.

As I manage to take a slow step away, realizing it is now at least behind me, just looking at the horizon and trying to think of something else, I am certain it is going to bite my calves. I even have time to think of the implications, how much it is going to hurt, fastest way to get to a hospital, I even thought about whether it would one day be a cool story to tell - bitten by a rattlesnake - or if it would be just a horrible experience.

But then I heared a noise at the other side of the road, looked back, and saw that it was gone. It felt like it was still on my feet though, and I was so high on adrenaline I had to stop for a while to make sure I was not bitten.

As I told the other guys to wait out, and what had just happened, one of the (forever Swedish) girls just looked at me and said "Was that the sound I heard? I thought you opened a can of soda or something."

(not the actual snake)

I am guessing they must have walked too close to a bush and scared it.
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Last edited by Thriller; 04-16-2013 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:34 AM   #8
Kit

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Good god!

And well done for staying calm!

I would have probably passed out in fright and let it eat me.

Seriously though, this is why I would never want to move to Australia or certain parts of American/Canada. Giant spiders, snakes, wolfs, insects trying to kill you all the time.

I couldn't cope!
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:42 AM   #9
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Great Story!

I love Hiking - Even did some of the hikes in Sequoia.

I've ran across maybe 50-100 rattlesnakes in my life, and they are not aggressive. Sometimes they are with their nest, or they shed and become blind and their rattles are quiet - so they may bite without being provoked, but it's uncommon.

In my opinion, once they come into the community, they are just like any other pest (only much more dangerous), and they need to be disposed of.
I'm glad you didn't behave like an ass and torture/kill the snake.

California King Snakes do a pretty nice job of keeping the population down.

Don't ever kill a King Snake in California - not only are they protected, they are the best wildlife blessing you can have on your property. They keep Varmints and Rattlers away, and although very reclusive, they are quite friendly.

It's a sad fact about our own domains that we need pesticides, and critter control, and a good reason why we should protect natural habitat and preserve it for future generations to be able to get out away from society and enjoy it. If we all participate in enjoying the outdoors, maybe our selfishness will actually save it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:37 PM   #10
Kit

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KO Gilligan View Post
California King Snakes do a pretty nice job of keeping the population down.

Don't ever kill a King Snake in California - not only are they protected, they are the best wildlife blessing you can have on your property. They keep Varmints and Rattlers away, and although very reclusive, they are quite friendly.
I had a quick look at the wiki. They look very small, almost like grass snake. How do they take on a rattle snake? - rattle snakes are pretty big from what I've seen.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:44 PM   #11
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
The Kingsnake is a "powerful constrictor" which uses it's skill and strength. They take the opportunity to eat any snake. They can even overcome many other constrictors. It is nearly immune to rattlesnake bites, and makes short work of wrapping around one. The Rattlesnake is a rather gimpy, and not-so-graceful snake by comparison. Rattlesnakes do not "constrict" their prey, and rely on the immediate effect of the venom on really small critters. They bite their prey and then just eat them.

It's not even a contest if they face-off. The Kingsnake will overcome the rattler in a few seconds... even a big one.

Large Kingsnakes are protected by the inhabitants of suburbia, and it's not uncommon to see them very large (well over a meter). While rattlesnakes are a nuisance, and not able to make it that big when trying to live amongst humans.

In the wild, the rattlesnake is probably a lot less likely to get hunted down by a Kingsnake. In fact Kingsnakes in the wild probably don't stumble into them very often, and they might pass each other by. A snake that is so badass that it eats snakes doesn't need to feed very often. Around the human population of the city the Kingsnake is an awesome critter getter, and there won't be any rattlesnakes to be found around where one lives.
.
Last edited by KO Gilligan; 04-19-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:25 PM   #12
Kit

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Lost a few hours last night after reading that, KO, looking at king snakes battling rattlers and at the more extreme end, king cobra.

Some places said sometimes king snakes and rattle snakes will be found living together, but then the statement before said when a rattle snake sees a king snake it completely changes its behaviour so it must know!

Have you ever been bit by any nasties, KO?

Also, what sort of spiders live in California? I've seen some vids of aussies getting rid of spiders in their house and I honestly could not deal with that on a weekly/monthly basis. Bloody terrifying!
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:17 PM   #13
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Yeah, please share spider information.
I am finding myself freezing and killing of spiders 10 feet away and with absolute caution, because I have no idea how to distinguish a black widow or similar.

I have found two smallish spiders in the bathroom. Woudnt like a black widow climbing around in my bed.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:40 AM   #14
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Black widows are not as deadly as most people think. You might still need medical attention, but it won't likely kill you unless you have an allergic reaction. A youngster needs to go to the hospital right away just in case. The real problem with all biting spiders is the venom causes a lesion that just doesn't heal. You may have a nasty oozing sore for months, or need a good dose of antibiotics with many types of spider bites. I guess the Black widow is just particularly toxic.

The male black widows don't bite and they are small and brown. Black widows are everywhere in San Diego. Black widows make scraggly nasty unorganized webs and sit in them as if it doesn't matter that everyone can see she's got an ugly home. Once you see a particulary crappy web under your house, even if she's not hanging out there is a certainty that the Black Widow is hiding under a board or something there.

BLACK WIDOW

Little grass spiders are everywhere. They are fast.

In the beach areas like PB there is a commonly found garden spider "Cross Orbweaver" that looks ferocious - they make large spiral webs and sit in the middle and they are about an inch to 1 1/2". I did building maintenance in La Jolla and when you knock down their web they may seem to crawl at you very quickly - creepy. Like most of the spiders you see in San Diego city limits, they are non-native from places like Europe. He's supposedly non-aggressive but I'll bet that bastard would give you a good bite.

They have tarantulas out in the wild, and you might see one hiking if you keep your eyes out.... cool

Have you gone to the top of Cowles Mountain yet, Thriller? It's so close... and a relatively short hike up. I'd be disappointed if you miss out on it. Bring a camera.
Last edited by KO Gilligan; 04-21-2013 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:37 AM   #15
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Oh, wow.. So the black widow is probably a lot more frequent than I thought. But at least it seems it wont kill me, so thats good news.

I should have some more free time coming up, so IŽll make sure to get to Cowles Mountain. Thanks for all the info!
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:40 PM   #16
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Kind of with 90%-ish certainty decided to stay/come back soon btw.
Got offered a pretty high end job and also applied for a few grad business courses at sdsu, so whatever thing or combination of things looks like the plan for the fall. San Diego is awesome.

Its just such a hassle with work visas here before you really commit and go for HB1. But I guess I understand why it is the way it is, probably a lot more people than me that don't want to go back.

My home country, Sweden, is nice during the summers, but its pretty useless for 8-9 months a year... for anything but snowboarding (you can do that in March-April; Jan-Feb even sucks the joy out of winter sports!). So I figured that in either case I wont miss much.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:48 AM   #17
Kit

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
You will miss the stunning women.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:37 PM   #18
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit View Post
You will miss the stunning women.
Somewhat true, but California girls look good too.

And what I have come to realize since I got here though, is that in Sweden... The girls do look awesome. In any given university area, youŽll have perfect 10s all over the place. But they all dress the same. Have the same makeup. Speak the same. Think the same. Likes the same things, dislikes the same things.

The girls I meet here, they are awesome. They all have a personality, a personal history, their own sense of style.

So I wouldn't really mind finding a woman here either. Not sure how exciting a Scandinavian new comer is in the long run on that market, but weŽll see.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:18 AM   #19
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Went to the potato chip with a whole bunch of german girls.

They have most of the pictures, because I only brought a smartphone.

The mount woodson trail is really nice, takes you about 2 hours going up and maybe 1-1.5 down.

For most people around me it was a bit of a challenge but only a few people had to sit down and rest on the way up so I think this hike is kind of perfect for most healthy people. Just bring water and you're fine.

We where really lucky with the weather though, only around 65-70f the whole day.

If you can, go on a week day like I did. It was really calm and very few people around, just you, your friends and nature. It is even free on week days.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #20
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
I am going to Sweden in 10 days, writing a couple of exams, might not be back until August.

So I have 5-6 days over to travel with a lot of places yet unseen.

Given the following options (seen neither), what would you guys choose?
- Las Vegas (2-3 days with only a couple of hundred bucks to spend as pocket money, might have time for grand canyon as well)
- Santa Barbra (have a couple of friends there right now, in their early 20s so party, party, party...)
- San Fransisco (mostly to just check it out)

I have found an awesome place in La Jolla to rent cars, so in any case I will probably be driving there in a green 2014 Mustang.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:11 PM   #21
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
It's a big boring drive to Vegas. Big trip up the mountain, big trip down the mountain - hours across the dry desert with radar traps and tourist scams-a-plenty. Seems like a waste of time and energy unless you have specific events or a place you want to go. You'll burn through your money in a matter of seconds in the city doing anything there. Last time I was thee, they didn't even have the cheap buffet deals like back in the day.

So here's an idea.

Check out Santa Barbara on the way to or from San Francisco, or anything on the coastal route is pretty cool (except L.A.). If there is ever a place where you visit one day and suddenly are committed to going back and spending a month, it's San Francisco.

It's got the tourist hot spots, and the great food, incredible music venues, the cultural experiences of the parks and waterfronts - I could honestly live in the Bay area, even though I'm a mountain man and I get claustrophobic in this high density city living. I've been a suburban dweller my whole life, and I always find the nearby nature escapes. It's just there is so much to see in San Francisco, and you will meet the wildest and friendliest people you've ever met, given a little time. Some of the red light and China town areas are pretty rough... those are the only places I'd worry about. I don't know what your idea of a good time is, so just be careful out there. That being said, it's not like I would hesitate a trip like that based upon a fear of the city scurge - you're not in a third world and the rest of the bay area is a hoot.

Buy the rental protection and lock your stuff in the trunk because there is really nowhere up in the San Francisco area that's not very, very high in car break-ins - I'm a corporate Safelite employee - trust me on this advise - they're gonna see that car rental emblem and you'll be an even bigger target anywhere you go.


Now... when you map this adventure, keep in mind that you want to stay out of the rush hours of the big cities. You'll think interstate 5 into San Diego is a quick drive compared to the chaos of San Francisco and Greater Los Angeles.

Finally, since I talked you out of Vegas in trade for the wild time in 'Frisco, you may still want to check out the gambling, buffet, and casino entertainment. Check out Indian Gaming in California. There are really cool casinos on indian reservations all over the state. (Indian Reservations are the exile lands we locked up the Native American on when we stole their home - they are finally getting some financial payback through casinos - for better or worse ) You could certainly include a mini-Vegas experience before you go.

(I hope you checked out a couple of the local bands and artists in San Diego - the coffee shops and bars in the entire state of California are rich in great entertainers, and it's a very personal experience)

I hope you take that quick trip up Cowles Mountain too. You're right there, and I know you've noticed that little mountain to the east. It's like 25 minutes out interstate 8 from Pacific Beach, and a leisure switchback hike that a lot of people do daily... just do it.

Head to the intersection of Navajo Rd, and Golfcrest Dr.

http://www.google.com/search?q=cowle...w=1536&bih=729
Last edited by KO Gilligan; 05-19-2013 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:02 PM   #22
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Again, thanks for the help.
I took a couple of friends with me and drove up to San Fransisco through Big Sur in this little thing:

Only in La Jolla...

We wanted to visit Alcatraz but didnt know it was booked so far in advance, so we had to skip that one. Traffic in San Fransisco was indeed horrible, and the city really is not meant for driving. So we took valet parking and mainly walked around actually, and that was really nice though. Of course, we hit the normal tourist spots:

If I would go to San Fransisco again I would probably buy a bike - seems to be a really nice city for biking and the rentals are a rip off.

And I probably will go back to SF, beautiful city and very "cozy". I still like San Diego better though, maybe not downtown so much but the places like pacific beach and la jolla, and all the epic nature close by. I still dont know if it is because everything is new to me here, but it really feels like the perfect place on earth.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
KO Gilligan

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Wow... look at you guys... all good looking and such
Last edited by KO Gilligan; 05-26-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:14 AM   #24
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Haha, thanks, as a swede in the US/CA I noticed you have a big advantage: we are used to wear clothes that are not a horrible fit (a lot of swedes run around in converse though - when they try to dress up!).

I had to go back to Sweden a couple of days earlier than expected so it has been a crazy week. I did have time to go to cowles mountain before I left though - really nice walk, would probably use it as my exercise routine if I lived close.

Already miss SD and everyone there way too much, cant wait to get back!
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #25
Kit

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
We need to swap lives like Quantum Leap, thriller.

I'll become a jet setter with a stunning girlfriend and you can roam the north of England moaning about the weather.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #26
Thriller

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Re: Must go places in or around CA?
Oh dont worry, she is not my girlfriend and at the moment I am spending more than I am making - I am right in the beginning of the Real Life-roller coaster and woudnt want it any other way at the moment. I cant even tell what country I live in a year from now, that in itself is exciting!

England is kind of nice though, I have traveled the mid and south part of England twice and I would really like to get back to places like St Ives.
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--------------------
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