• http://www.authormelanieanderson.com Melanie

    My dog freaked out when she heard your video. LOL I think she was wondering how I could hide dogs in my laptop. Let them out, Mommy!!!

  • leaseuhd

    The best part of watching the video of Coco and Chuck was watching my dogs perk up and listen to your dogs fighting – they kept turning their heads and trying to figure out where the dogs were hiding in my laptop.

  • http://www.spaces.msn.com/gilliangaladriel Gillian

    I was born in San Diego, and lived there on and off (at the navy base) for 9 years. As a kid. In the 80s. So my info may be outdated.

    However. As a kid, I used to lurve – Balboa Park – a huge (to my kiddie eyes) park with ampitheatres, artists sitting around painting, vendors with food, and eucalyptus galore. The San Diego Zoo – I’ve been spoiled for zoos ever since. Sea World. The Wild Animal Park. Seaport Village. Checking out the huge navy ships in port (I don’t know if the navy still has a presence down there). As for eating – I’m no help.

    Have a great time. I love San Diego, and would live there if it didn’t cost your right arm to own a house.

  • Anonymous

    I live in San Diego! It’s 74 degrees right now.

    Eats:
    Any of the Sushi Delis for good, cheap sushi. Better for rolls.
    Tadashi in La Jolla is a fabulous sushi place with excellent sushi. They have an all you can eat option for $25 each. Better for Nigiri style.
    There are some great Mexican places in Old Town.
    Hillcrest is filled with good restaurants as well.

    To Do:
    Definitely the zoo
    Balboa park is great for walking around, you can take the dogs, and they have a great dog park as well.
    La Jolla is fun for walking too.

  • Debi

    Here’s a good list of San Diego Tourist Attractions that might be useful. Have a great trip!

  • http://www.onyxlunacy.com onyx

    I’ve been to the zoo twice and I can say with certainty that Yes! the zoo has hippos. And Tigers. And once, I saw a monkey with one arm and one leg…no lie. He was trying to climb a ladder too… very sad.

    La jolla is also awesome. Theres a park with a small playground, as well as large rock formations and a cove near the ocean that is really pretty. There’s also a mexican bar thats a resautrant during the day that was pretty good.

    One thing about the zoo though, it’s really big! So be prepared to walk about a million miles. But theres a gondola ride that goes from one end of the zoo to the other which I would recomend, it was neat to see an aerial view of the exibits.

    P.S. See the pandas too!

  • Sarajones

    Yay! I live in SD and it is really great weather right now. About 60-65 during the day. We are going to get rain in a few days though.

    You have to go to Torrey Pines State Beach and go hiking, see the beach. You will love it. You also have to go to the Zoo. If you decide to go to the Wild Animal Park you can have a few drinks first at Orfilia Vineyards, it is a great place to get drunk and let Leta run wild in the grapevines.

    You have to eat at the Prado. You would also really like to eat at Cantina in PB. There is a dog beach in Ocean Beach.

    Pretty much what ever is cool in San Diego and if you want to see hippos, they’re everywhere!

  • http://www.sk-rt.com laura

    Museum of Contemporary Art and Cowles Mountain Trail are great. And I’ve heard kids dig Legoland.

  • http://theviewfrommysoapbox.com mrstrdavis

    This reminded me of when we got our Lizzie (now much larger than her brother Sam) and the Great Bone Wars. Now we call Sam El Bandito because the roles are reversed and he is now the one stealing bones and hiding them. Ahh sweet memories.

    Of course playing this video only gets both of my dogs whining and barking trying to find the invisible canine tormentor that eludes them.

    Have a blast in San Diego.

  • Jenn

    You must eat at The Eggery. Make sure to get something that involves their potatoes and hollandaise sauce.

  • http://thegreatmortgagerevolt.com Lin Ennis

    As a former Los Angelino (now living in Northern Arizona), I consider San Diego c-o-l-d. Not so much culturally or politically, but that darn ocean breeze can blow right through your Shit-Ass-Ho-Motherfucker tights! Of course, there won’t be snow. It might seem warm to you, especially if you stay in the sun, out of the wind, and near the bourbon.

    Your dogs will love it.

    Personally, I so love the Wild Animal Park (which includes both walking and tram options), that I never went to the famous zoo.

  • Spendthrift

    Zoo & all that, but take some time to walk around Hillcrest, go to Babette Schwartz for gifts that will shock your family. Eat at Kemo Sabe for that ‘ooh, ooh, look, I’m soooo cool’ feeling.

  • Lorien

    They do have hippopotamuseses at the San Diego zoo! I live in Oceanside too, on the Marine Corps Base. Y’all are more than welcome to come stay in our pitiful government issued quarters…there is lots of eye candy though, Heather.

    Seriously, sea world is great, but the Scripps aqaurium is better for littler kids. The tide pools are a must see. Best restaurant in San Diego is Blue Point, hands down. Best seafood I’ve had here. **drool**

  • http://blog.speedymarie.net Stephanie

    Yes, drive up to La Jolla, it is such a beautiful beach, with lots of wind carved sandstone cliffs, and there is a little cove where all the harbor seals beach themselves and just hang out. It is unreal, and a must-see (though they might look at Leta). http://www.lajollaseals.com/

  • http://lillyshome.blogspot.com/ Lilly

    Just put up a couple of photos of a SanDiego Zoo hippo at http://lillyshome.blogspot.com/
    The zoo is terrific! You might also check out Legoland in Carlsbad, about an hour north of San Diego. It’s a great place!

  • Anonymous

    There is quite a bit of walking at the zoo, so be prepared. We took a bus tour and it was great. I think you might be able to buy a bus pass that takes you from stop to stop and you can get out and walk around.

  • Anonymous

    No one can say “no” to twisted farm food :)

    HASH HOUSE A GO GO
    http://www.hashhouseagogo.com/

  • themotherboard

    They do have hippos! Very very cute hippos.
    Then, if Mexican food is your thing, Old Town Mexican Cafe is MUST (best damn food ever!) As is The Cosmopolitan in Old Town. There is another Mexican joint called the Rockin’ Baja Lobster and it has an amazing salsa bar! There is this great little double decker red bus deal, that for $25pp takes you all over San Diego, and you can get on and off as much as you like for like 3-4 DAYS… its a great way to see the entire city, then plan your attack on the city! You can pick that up in Old Town, and they have stops all over San Diego… all the major attractions anyway, and you can use it to go from site to site sans car! You MUST go to Balboa Park on Sunday (not Monday’s because its rather dead and boring on Mondays) because they have all sorts of concerts and food and stuff… its an amazingly great place! Then Seaport Village has not only great shopping, right on the water, but great food as well! I have eaten at an awesome restaurant on Catalina, the name escapes me now (it wasn’t the Coronado, but that is great eating as well), but it was right on the water, and the food was to DIE FOR! It was very posh! I hope you have fun! San Diego is my favorite place on earth. I want my ashes sprinkled there. Is that morbid?

  • http://www.pinkbunnyears.com Wine Dog

    There’s a place in Old Town where they make the tortillas right there in the window. Generally, the ladies will hand them out to cute small children, similar to the one you will be traveling with. You may have to ask them to not look at her. There’s a great coffeehouse called the “Living Room”.

    http://www.livingroomcafe.com/index1.html

    The SDSU location is the original and the funkiest. It works for post-pubescent punk in all of us. I think they’re wired so you can send hippograms from there.

  • TriptikGirl

    I really liked the San Juan Capistrano mission: beautiful grounds, excellent photo ops.

  • http://www.heartshapedhedges.blogspot.com heart shaped hedges

    We live in South Orange County, about an hour from San Diego….

    Dont forget Legoland…if your daughter is 36 inches or taller, she will have a blast, and bring a bathing suit, they have an amazing water play area.

    Dont know about hippos at the zoo…but the Wild Animal Park is also here, and you can see the animals close up in their natural habitat….and Sea World has a great kids area.

    Seaport Village is on the coast, near downtown, and there are cute shops, food, a carousel, fun to walk around near the water…you can rent bikes from hotels nearby.

    Enjoy your stay!

  • http://www.kinderpaws.com Michelle

    Hey Heather!
    Yay – come to San Diego!! Try the dog beach in Coronado or Del Mar, but avoid the dog beach at Ocean Beach – it’s not usually very clean and can have a rough crowd. There are dog parks galore – Nates Point at Balboa Park, a fenced park at the end of the 8 freeway near Sunset Cliffs, and there are several more inland if you want head to east county area.

    I am a local dog trainer, and would be happy to assist you with any doggie activities, or referrals to any dog thing you may need. http://www.kinderpaws.com – if you need anything at all.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Perhaps you’d like to have a celebrity tour! I drove through Salt Lake over the holidays and couldn’t help wondering if it would be creepy if we wanted to say Hi! I decided it would be, like the whole Mystery thing “HI, I’m your #1 fan!”

    Anyway, welcome, enjoy the sun, and know you have doggie friends here if you need them!!

  • http://www.amythemom.com Amy the Mom

    I’ve never been to San Diego, but please don’t ever take the comments off this post without warning. I’ll need to reference them for the restaurant suggestions alone. I should probably print them out now, just in case.

  • amanda

    Drive over the Coronado bridge and visit the Hotel Del Coronado!

  • Dave

    A couple of posters have already hinted at the weather, but please check it before you leave. Today’s (Saturday morning) forecast said snow level to 2500′ on Monday, which will probably close the passes on both the 5 and the 15.

  • http://www.tinypineapple.com/kate/ Kate

    The science museum (ostensibly for children)!!! I believe it’s in Balboa park…

    It’s possible that my to-be-erstwhile husband and I had more fun than any kid there…

    I have to admit that we also went to Sea World (for nostalgia’s sake (I’d been as a kid) and the penguins are to die for and the Leta might be entertained by the shows.

  • Kim L

    I followed my husband to San Diego a year ago when he had to go out there for work. One of his coworkers urged us to get a carne asada burrito in Ocean Beach next door to a head shop called The Black. It was heaven wrapped in a tortilla. In fact, it might be better to not go there because it will ruin all other burritos you may ever eat. Point Loma and La Jolla Cove are great spots for photography. And dessert at Extraordinary Desserts is indeed extraordinary. Leta would probably really like Scripps Aquarium, too. Have fun!

  • Kitten Froggington

    Go to the Mission district for breakfast one day and hit Nirvana (it’s family friendly too). They have the most fabulous granola waffles and the best huevos rancheros I have ever had in my life. It’s a great location for a stroll, and enough window shopping for beautiful trinkets to keep you thinking about it for years to come. Enjoy!

  • Candice

    You simply must eat at La Dolce Vita in La Jolla. Reasonable prices, a quaint secluded outdoor patio, and the goddamn best gnocchi on the planet. The server there always offers ‘homemade water’
    I love it there. I am jealous you are going during the off-season. My favorite thing to do while living there was to get a Starbucks and walk to the Children’s Pool in La Jolla on a cloudy day. I don’t know if the seals are around this time of year, but it is cool to see.
    Be sure to visit Coronado, Old Town, and Seaport Village.

  • Jody

    Stop in Santa Barbara while you’re at it. You will not be Disappointed!

  • http://drsuz.wordpress.com/ Dr. Suz

    I am SO going to film my Aussie going nuts listening to your Aussie go nuts while Chuck does what Chuck must do.

  • http://icantbelieveanyonewouldwanttoreadthis.blogspot.com/ TamiW

    Coco sure has “pitiful” down pat!

    San Diego is soo wonderful! If you go to Fishermans Warf there are a lot of fun shops and you can take a ferry ride. There are pedi-cabs that are fun, too!
    The Gas Lamp District is beee-utiful. The Horton Grand Hotel, in the Gas Lamp District, is a lovely place to stay. Rumors say it’s haunted! Each room has a diary that guests can write in. I’ve read several of them and I find them to be fascinating.
    As far as restaurants…have you ever seen a taco stand that is open 24 hours a day and almost always has a line going out the door??? “Juanita’s” on Pacific Coast Highway in Encinitas is such a place. Please read the reviews on this website: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/311708

    This place looks like a greasy spoon from the outside but the food is delicious!!

    I hope you enjoy your time in southern California. If you happen to eat at Juanita’s on the weekend…lunch is on me!

  • jmh

    san diego has regular sized hippos and pygmy hippos, which are fabulously. perfect size for a house pet, bring one back with you

  • Anonymous

    Come to Phoenix instead! Okay, we are missing the oceans…but you’ve got ME!

  • Christina

    Better than JUST an ordinary Hippo – the San Diego Zoo has PIGMY HIPPOS!!!! Big enough to please but small enough to fit in the trunk area of any SUV! What a perfect souviner to bring home!!!! A pigmy hippo! Who would have thought!

  • http://bigpikchur.blogspot.com HouseofJules

    If you & Jon get out for an ‘adult beverage’, you should go relax at Lahaina’s, which is literally in the sand on Pacific Beach. You can watch and applaud the sunset, enjoying a delicious Pacifico beer or 10, which could be why the entire place, uh, applauds the sunset.

  • Jen

    I got back from a vacation in San Diego two days ago, oddly enough. Having done most of the touristy things, here’s my rundown:

    1. The zoo – very cool, especially if your area doesn’t have a decent one within access. There are hippos. And there’s a cute baby panda that’s pretty much a must see.

    2. Wild Animal Park – hoards cooler than the zoo. We got amazing photos here, so you’ll be able to go wild (pun intended). THe animals graze and run together in a lot of the spaces, so it’s a lot more natural. Take the park tour, it’s the best way to get pictures.

    3. Sea World – This was close to my favorite. I got to touch a dolphin. And a bat ray. And if that wasn’t freakin’ cool, the Shamu show sure was. Leta might like this rather than the places with the furry untouchables.

    * We bought a park hopper pass for the three above and it was a heck of a lot cheaper AND included lots of perks you would normally have to pay for.

    Not sure how much you’re willing to do since you have the pups though, so it might be worth it to pick just one and go for a half of a day. In that case, I think the Wild Animal Park is most manageable. (Though their directional signs suck… we got lost a lot).

    4. Balboa Park – So neat. and yes, they have a dog park. It’s gorgeous on any day, with big, beautiful buildings, fountains, and absolutely lovely gardens. Plus, there are many museums there that are great. Every Tuesday, in a rotating schedule, some of the museums are free. There’s a photography museum and a science center that are quick run throughs and are pretty neat to see. We ate at Prado, a restaurant right in the park, and it was fabulous food with snappy service.

    5. Seaport Village – eh, it was ok. Pretty, with overpriced bad food. There are a lot of shops and nice places to walk the dogs though.

    6. Old Town – Cute and sort of touristy. But it really had a nice appeal. We got some funky clothes in a shop across the street. Right down the road at San Diego Liquors and Deli, you can get the BEST BLT you’ll ever eat. Seriously.

    7. USS Midway – Our nearly two year old loved this. I thought it was interesting and worth seeing, but not my favorite by far.

    8. Coronado – There’s a nice dog beach there, and houses that will make you drool in envy. Plus there’s the famous hotel. This is a nice place to watch the sunset.

    9. La Jolla – we stayed here and couldn’t have asked for a better vacation spot. The seals are way cool, though kind of lumpy and far away. Still, they’re sort of surreal. And ask around La Jolla for a hole in the wall mexican place that serves lobster burritos, (there’s only one). You won’t be sorry.

    That’s my rundown. I’m rather jealous. I’d like to go back. In fact, I’d like to live there if I wouldn’t have to sell my organs to afford it.

    Have fun! Looking forward to hearing what you did!

  • http://www.intuitivedesigns.net Naomi Niles

    Awww, Coco is so sweet, even if she annoys Chuck. Would you consider renting her out? I’d pay by the minute.

  • daisysmom

    Try the courtyard Mexican restaurant in Old Town. The margaritas (and, er the food) can’t be missed. Old Town is fun in itself!

  • Alissa

    There are a few of these throughout San Diego and they have a delicious breakfast (went to SD in May for 5 days and we ate there THREE of the 5 days!…..although I don’t think they have poptarts ;-)

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-mission-san-diego-2

  • Mary

    You have to get fish tacos from The Tin Fish, it’s right by Petco Park! YUM. Also take a drive over to Ocean Beach and Coronado Island just to look at all the houses and the views of the ocean. There is also a bike tour in La Jolla that is quite nice, not sure how it would work with 2 pups and a princess, but it’s worth the try if they do.

    Have a great time!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m usually just a comment reader, but I just had to say something when I saw that you and the family are headed to San Diego!!

    It’s been clear for the most part lately so I would definitely recommend heading to the following places to see some spectacular views of the city and the ocean:

    Sunset Cliffs (Ocean Beach)
    Mt. Soledad (La Jolla)
    Point Loma/Cabrillo

    Ditto on the Balboa Park/Zoo/Wild Animal Park comments, all are great for families. I would also suggest trying breakfast at either The Cottage or Harry’s in downtown La Jolla – both are delicious! And I think there’s a beach just for letting the pups run sans leash in Ocean Beach. Enjoy your trip!

  • Kari

    Ocean Beach is nice
    Have fun

  • http://dajamou.blogspot.com dajamama

    I just watched this on my laptop, and as soon as Chuck started barking, my dog got up and dashed over to the door, hackles up, to see what evil dog was outside. Past me, past the computer, past the speakers. It didn’t even register to him that he’d walked right by the source of the sound.

    I think I’ll watch it again and again and again.

    Playing with dogs is fun!

  • http://allolune.blogspot.com Elli

    If you’re looking for a great dinner relatively close to the zoo, I highly recommend:

    Bacione: Delicious Italian food in a great, laid back atmosphere with prices that can’t be beat. This place is family-owned and operated, and the staff makes you feel so welcome you can’t imagine why you’ve ever eaten anywhere else. The feeling is akin to, “Why didn’t I come home sooner?”

    Bombay: If you’re into Indian food in an elegant atmosphere, Bombay is phenomenal. The food ranks among the best Indian I’ve ever had, and the restaurant itself is beautiful. The service is unobtrusive but attentive, making it a very intimate, sweet place to savor an amazing dinner.

    Let us know where you go! Have a good trip.
    -Elli

  • Debra

    I love the Hash House a-Go-Go in Hillcrest for breakfast. The portions are the hughest you’ll ever see for breakfast – pancakes are literally the size of an entire plate. Took my boyfriend’s little newphew there when he came to visit and he was mesmerized.

  • Kathy

    I would recommend the wild animal park too!
    And if you are up for a little drive about an hour away, Balboa Island – between SD & LA – you take a ferry and there is a little carnival and the cutest little town (and every time we go we see sea otters in the ocean)….
    Have fun!

  • http://smooregasbord.wordpress.com Susan

    We were just in San Diego for a week back at the end of August. I posted several entries on my blog about our trip including restaurants where we ate and side trips (Temecula is awesome and I highly recommend going). We also visited the zoo where they do have hippos and there was even a baby. I’m so jealous, sounds like a fun trip! Safe travels.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely recommend pizza port in carlsbad if you are up that way, great pizza and microbrewery. pizzaport.com. and georges at the cove in la jolla, the upstairs part, where it is less expensive and you look out over the ocean, have a great trip

  • http://sanctimony.net helena

    not only do they have hippos, they have PYGMY HIPPOS, at the SD zoo…which are better than baby hippos because they stay tiny forever!!!

    also, avoid the gaslamp…it’s a tourist trap and is six kinds of gross. there are some radical restaurants in the east village area (north of the ballpark)…mission is great for breakfast, pokez is great for mexican. sushi deli in hillcrest is famous and pretty awesome (and better than the other sushi delis).