America Through my eyes –San Diego
Telugu Original : Dr K.Geeta
English translation: Swathi Sripada
San Diego is the second-largest city in the state and at the end of the South of California. It is 120 miles from Los Angeles and about 470 miles from our hometown. It is a continuous journey of eight to nine hours from here, that too on the fastest freeways. Otherwise, it would have taken longer. San Diego is a beautiful and spacious city with its surrounding hills, stretches on either side of the seashore surging out from the sea.
It is a historical city. On the west coast of the United States began the first European settlements in this area in 1542. Since then the area has been occupied nearly four hundred years by Spain, Spanish is now the most spoken language of this region. the tribal races once existed here, when gradually became extinct, the language and culture of them also disappeared. Most of the people in the state of California used to speak Spanish. Though this area was a part of Mexico in 1821, again became part of the United States in 1850 due to the Mexican-American War. It is a great port city. Since Mexico is at a short distance from here, day trips to the country are conducted. up to 15 miles of the border area is a part of the city, everyday commutation between the two countries, export and import of things this border area appears busy. Since the days of World War I, the city has been a center of warships and air forces. It is the main naval base on the west coast.
We need at least three days to see everything in the surroundings, so we started on a long weekend. We started from our home as usual on a Friday night at nine and crossing hills and valleys, freeways with heavy traffic, arrived at our stay in Carlsbad, about thirty miles south of San Diego. Since we allotted the next day morning to see Lego Land in the same town, we stayed there that night. As we after the school of kids, to reach the lodging place early, we traveled without any stop on the way. By the time we arrived we were so hungry and walked to a restaurant in the same street. However, almost all hotels there close to nine in that area. The same board was hanged everywhere. We walked back, got into the car, took up the freeway again, and found a 24-hour restaurant. It was just serving only in the drive-through. children hurriedly opened the parcels and had their food. We felt bad and amused also to see that. From then on, we started to arrange our meals beforehand if it crosses at 9 o’clock.
We planned to visit four renowned things in San Diego. Lego Land, Sea World, Zoo and Safari famous in San Diego.
On the cool summer morning with pleasure, we entered Legoland. It is actually a theme park for children under 8. But the splendid monuments of the dwarf cities built with tiny Legos as art pieces in the park are worth a visit. Tickets are $ 72 per adult, $ 62 for kids. As soon as we entered in, without bother about very young kids’ section, we reached the attraction of Varu’s age. Varu first went to go-carting. While coming back, they gave a fake driving license taking five dollars. I can drive a car from tomorrow- Varu said proudly. Siri was not big enough to play yet. There is nothing for Komal to play. Our Varu was the only one running here and there.
But the small roller coasters here are not as big as they used to be, and I was excited to be with the kids. When I just close my eyes for them also the kids laughed. An hour’s worth of boat tour showed the replicas of all the great cities and places in the park. The park is unique in pretty art forms made of Legos. Their design requires a lot of time and skill. I loved this park so much. It was a very calm and amusing time without much running, snarling, scaring and turning away the head.
A car made of Legos so natural as if it is a real one. Boat tour showed not only the world wonders like the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower but the magnificent landmarks of Mount Rushmore of this area also. Not only that the New York City model built between the water is amazing. The designs of cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas are also outstanding. You can pay the ticket amount to see those art forms. More than seventy rides and attractions are there. The area reflecting the Egyptian temple and the caves appeared as if they are real.
For Kids, we bought tickets including the Sea Aquarium, so before leaving they quickly went and visited it in an hour. Especially, I can keep Siri in my lap and go for slow riding we have no difficulty at all. When we were eating pizza in the afternoon, we gave her a piece of hard rimmed bread. It was the first time to offer her a solid meal. As long as we had the food, she went on chewing the bread piece. We all laughed at watching her. Since we wanted to see the highlights of San Diego from the next day, we vacated the room early that morning. We reached a new hotel close to the Santiago Sea World from Lego land directly. The surrounding countryside is very picturesque as it is built on the hillside. Our stay was at the top of a hill above everything else. So wherever we want to go we have to descend a hill and ascend another one. When we set out for breakfast in the morning, we have the nice eucalyptus trees at the top with a nice warm breeze. The hotel’s free breakfasts offer is worth mentioning. Due to the large number of people the breakfast was served by the restaurant people. Some muffins, small rounded bagels, and orange juice. The children ate well on the first day. The same thing we had three days. Then kids started complaining. They are bored of eating muffins. The hotel is also very expensive.
On the second day, we planned to visit SeaWorld. We bought a combined ticket for three of Santiago’s most important features – SeaWorld, Zoo Park, and Zoo Safari Park, as we all wanted to see them all. $ 135 for adults and $ 105 for children. Those who want to see the Sea World can buy it separately. Southern Californians get season tickets differently. For travelers it was different. Visitors intended to visit both cities, Los Angeles and San Diego. they sell tickets for all parks together. Tickets can be purchased, but It’s hard to see one by one. But if you plan a city at a time, if two to three days are allotted, the city may be visited in no hurry.
This is a famous theme park that showcases the seaside aquariums. Due to many water sprinklings shows and rides, summer is the best time to visit this. It takes from morning to evening. The ride appearing like a lift, as soon as we enter in revolving slowly takes us around the height of ten toddy palm trees. There we can even sit in the lift on the seats. It is remarkable to see a hundred miles around from there. It appeared to me like a great miracle rather than a ride. Slowly rising from the ground, moving in the wind over the trees on the buildings Feast the spectacular view of the waves of the nearby sea that extends before the eyes. As soon as we went up, we felt that the entire world appeared as a little dwarf, and a toy house kneeling. Immediately coming down to the ground and getting involved in the same equality. If we go fast and return at the same speed, we may not have this experience. Going up and coming down takes more than half an hour, so this nice feel. it is the sky tower.
We covered all the shows first and finally went to the rides. There, in some places, we have to stand for hours in very long lines. At some rides, we can pay a bit more at the main gate and take the fast pass. There will be almost ten shows, up to ten rides and up to fifteen exhibits. But because of the lines, we can see some only. The Fast Pass for rides works well in heavy crowded days.
The shows are awesome. Shark fish, dolphins, sea lions, and seals are just obeying the training given to them by man and do what they are instructed to do. Since it was warm on the day, we went we used to occupy the front seats in the shows where they sprinkle water for amusement. On the last show, in the afternoon, when a whale fish came to the tank and sprinkled the water, the baby in my lap was so scared and started to cry loudly. They turned the shore of a bay of the sea as a great show. They modified the place for people to come in boats and perform the great feats. Remarkably, everything seems to be impossible for others.
The more you pay for the tickets, the more you get the chance of spending close to the water animals and feeding them. But for those who visit the park for the first time, the time may not be sufficient to see the things as a part of the original ticket. For meals, you can dine at the park’s limited restaurants with a dining ticket for two times. But most of them are not kept open after eight or nine at night. So those who want to stay until the parks close, they should have their dinner somewhere at seven in the night.
Each show is an exclusive wonder. The large blue water tubs of glittering blue sea that covered the entire premises and the aquatic animal roving in them as their own empire, the great trainers taking out food from their pockets every minute and making them perform the great feats mesmerize the spectators completely. At the premises where water is not seen dogs are there performing shows.
While watching the shows in the middle we thought of going to the ropeway but the line at the ropeway was too long and we felt difficult and came back to the rides.
Once the rides were completed, we had a chance of the ropeway when it was falling dark. In the rides, I was taken to the highest and most difficult part of the park. The three of them went first and said it was very simple and there was no fear at all. So I climbed it. But it takes us to many invisible turns and finally throws us down from a large waterfall. I closed my eyes tightly and went on yelling loudly. It’s all have been for five, ten minutes only, but I fainted. We stayed there until the park closed at night. Since it was summer, we also enjoyed watching a special five-minute firework show in the park.
The next day we went to see the famous San Diego Zoo. In fact, we have tickets for both the Zoo and Safari. But the zoo is in one place and the safari is elsewhere. So we have allotted for two days. We the elders feel what is in a zoo and safari? The same tigers and the same lionesses, but we should ask the kids. After watching their great fun, great enthusiasm, great vibe, and excitement no matter how many times we watched but feel enthralled. I too enjoyed becoming a young child with them. When they went on narrating the specialties of animals I heard as if nothing I knew about the animals. One should see our Varu, she went on talking about everything as if she is familiar with the details.
What I liked the best was, walking miles and miles waiting for our luck to find an animal somewhere was not required. We can walk to see the nearby animals and to go on a ropeway to see the far off ones. Moreover, the zoo is located on the top of the hill in the heart of the city. While we were going on a bus in the zoo, at a point we noticed vehicles going down the road. Moreover, from the gate as if we are entering into a thick forest, the magnificent enclosure of the forest filled with vines and plants feels cool while walking there. We watched there many worldwide animals like snow bears and rare pandas. Songs and magic shows take place in the middle of crowds there at some places. There are giant wheels for kids who watched everything. We underestimated the zoo and thought it would be completed in half a day. But until the closing of the zoo, we forgot the time, mesmerized. kids and I liked it so much. We become the partners of nature have roamed in vegetation, in vines, in birds, and animals.
However, as primitive human beings, aren’t we lived together with trees, hills, and animals? Probably: Somewhere that closeness awakened and delighted us. However, watching them behind the bars in their niches as in the jails we felt depressed. But if we think animals and cattle are caught in cages it is a mistake. In fact, it is conservation and research on endangered species. Projects are running there. I convinced myself that the good and the bad in every work is here also.
In the afternoon, we sat in two three-floored Treehouse restaurant and had our lunch. Though the bill was heavy, the meal at the American restaurant was delicious. The evening descended among the tall trees, the strange screams of the forest in them, the thick vines and the sprinkling of water drops. Finally, we went to a special dragon show that day. It is the epitome of the unique orientation of the Asian continent. Artists have made their mark with outstanding feats. Everyone watched it pausing our breath for an hour. if they lost control at any point it would have been a laughing stock. Their cakewalk performances have become indelible impressions on our minds. All around, they are performing their feats with indelible concentration.
Finally, there is a parade of artists performing everywhere. There will be photo sessions, signatures and a talk show with them. I loved it. It is admirable that the organizer’s well-arranged such program to give proper importance and recognition to the artists though they are not renowned.
Zoo means everyone gets tired and exhausted by the evening. But we came out excited by the concluding last shows. Imagine how great it would be as our Varu asked when we would come back again. I replied, “When San Diego o comes again.”
The next day safari. Though Satya murmured, what yesterday and today also zoo, “I have to see this,” said in the evening, there is no similarity between the zoo and this at all. It is located in a very hot region about 20 miles from the mainland. The operators compared it to the African safari so the heat testified it. Animals are confined to their places in the zoo. Here animals are freely roaming miles and miles. We grabbed a map near the gate and reached the pre-selected safari bus station. On the hour-long bus journey, no need for us to walk, we saw the animals, pausing here and there and their independent lifestyle.
We can see here the Congo fishing village replica in Nair obi, Africa.
sprinklers here and there sprinkle cold water make it even cooler. Wooden bridges, hemp linen chords …. Eventually the bathrooms were also seemed to be going into a treehouse somewhere in the wilderness. Children are thirsty because of the hot weather. We bought one of the cool drinks that can be filled at any number of times to pay another dollar.
The feeding program of the parrots, deer, etc. by the kids is very interesting and fun for them. They should pay 25 cents at the gate and buy grains or juice. Coaches take the children to the area where they are located. When the children go inside, the parrots rush out and perch on the shoulders of the children, and the deer come close and eat the grains from the palms eagerly. Varu played like a parrot among the other parrots happily. Perching on head and shoulders when the parrots ate the grains, I still remember the happiness she had on her face. Then she sat next to the deer and started talking. That is why we kept this event at the end as we guessed her to do this.
Balloon Ride is a great attraction at Safari Park. There is a chance to ride it at a lower cost. But, on the day we went, our misfortune, the wind was so heavy that they stopped the ride when we had our turn. We didn’t get a chance again by the evening.
We went out to see if we could walk back and forth. Then we spent another hour and a half in the hot sun near the little sprinklers, where the children could get wet. Varu went and completely drenched started playing. This is the game for most of the children.
We seated there because there was a cheetah run at four o clock. A Leopard was left at one end in a quarter of a mile in an enclosed area. It rushes and goes to the trainer who remains at this corner. We saw hundreds of people standing around for a long time eagerly to see this. It is wonderful to see a leopard in general! Then in Running state. Very good to see. Somewhat scary somewhere.
In the evening we saw the performances reflecting African rituals as dances and feats. Yesteryears Asian artists and present artists from the African continent show great sophistication. However, we came out of the park before it was dark, unlike yesterday. It seemed that half a day is enough to Safari but if we planned so we would have missed all the other performances in the afternoon.
Travel to San Diego is a great and unforgettable journey. The return day for us was July 4. We have to reach home at 8 a.m., driving home on the beach within 8 hours. From San Diego to San Fran- cisco, on the seashore, there was so much traffic. In the suburbs of Los Angeles, we stopped at a place to play in the sand for a while. We have to pay $ 15 for parking just for half an hour. Even then, it was too hard to get parking. But we all returned home happily.
Photos & Telugu Original:
A native of Nizamabad, writes poetry in English and Telugu, Novels , stories In Telugu. Translates from Telugu to English and English to Telugu.
Published 5 poetry volumes in Telugu, 5 story anthologies, 5 novels and 32 translations. Loves and lives in poetry.