After devouring a delicious breakfast made by master chefs Kara and Dan, we took off for the world famous San Diego Zoo. The zoo was absolutely enormous and was extremely entertaining. The chimpanzees were really amazing to watch the way the interacted with each other. Something so clearly human-esque is happening inside they're brains. Other highlights include the tigers, Jaguar, the Swamp Monkeys vs. River Otters fight, Gorrillas at feeding time, the lazy/stoned Koalas, and countless other interesting creatures. We spent many hours there, before realizing we were both hungry and thirsty, and the only acceptable way to deal with that situation was to goto the Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, just north of SD.
For those of you not familiar with Stone, most notably the brewer of Arrogant Bastard Ale (slogan: 'You're not Worthy'), they make some of the most delicious beers on the planet. Although the tour was booked solid and we couldn't get on, we ate/drank in their excellent/gorgeous outdoor grounds of the World Cafe. It was a wholly super-satisfying experience. At around 4pm, we got in the car, pointed it towards San Francisco and charged full steam ahead.
For those of you who failed middle school geography, Los Angeles is in between San Diego and San Francisco. Also, there is essentially no way to avoid it. Also, it has the worst traffic of anyplace ever always. Except for apparently the Sunday before Labor Day at 6pm. Expecting a horror show and 4 hours of standstill on 25 lane highways, we cruised through LA, 90% of the time at 65+ MPH. We didn't speak a word of it till we were completely out, as it was totally unexpected and we were terrified to jinx it by reminding LA that it is supposed to have traffic in it. We cruised through the barren California countryside, which is much more like the empty swaths of land in the South/Texas/New Mexico than people often realize. You can go 30 miles in between exits in places. There simply aint nothing there for most of it.
We rolled into SF at 1230-1amish. I knew 3 different sets of people there, and they all managed to(extremely conveniently) live within 1.5 miles of each other. So I got to know the Bernal Heights/Mission/Noes Valley area very good. I dropped Beth off with our friends Luke & Michelle and proceeded to my friend Lindsay's place, yet another NU physicist of course, because we rock excessively hard. We stayed up for several hours talking about life and work and friends and moving and the west coast and everything else under the sun. Finally, exhausted, I collapsed on the air mattress and went to bed.