The San Diego Zoo wascertainly a highlight of our trip to San Diego last weekend. We spentthe lion’s share of Saturday at zoo. It was fascinating to see pandas,giraffes, lions, jaguars, leopards, meerkats, wallabies, and elephants,among other animals. The hummingbird and rain forest aviaries wereincredible and should be mandatory viewing.

Saturday night, we had dinner at Croce’s, a restaurant in San Diego. The food wasamazing. I had swordfish that may have been the best swordfishI’ve ever had. Sarah had a chicken dish that included some fabulousrisotto. While both our entrees were great, I’d suggest steering clearof the bruschetta, however. As with most American restaurants,bruschetta is more of an interpretative dish, with very mixed results. While we had a great meal at Croce’s for dinner, our lunch at The Vegetarian Zone (formerly Kung Food), was prettyawful. For some inexplicable reason, this restaurant keeps winningawards and is recommended in every book that we read about San Diego. The food was forgettable at best (in fact, both of our dishes gave usindigestion. I kept saying that the food had performed Kung Food onour digestive tracts.), and service was awful to boot. If you go toSan Diego, regardless of what Let’s Go, Frommers, or any other guide says,do not eat at the Vegetarian Zone.

On Sunday, we spent most of the day at Balboa Park This wasanother fun thing to do. We saw a variety of interesting andhistorical things. I recommend taking the free ranger-led tour thatleaves from the visitor’s center every Sunday at 1 PM PST. At 2 PMPST, there is a free organ concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The Pavilion features a huge outdoor band shell with an incredible organinside of it. There are definitely worse ways to spend a Sundayafternoon than basking in the sun and listening to the organ.

While we were in San Diego, we rented a Chrysler Sebringconvertible from Hertz. It was fun to cruise around with the topdown. We did discover, in reasonably short order, that the top willnot move while the car is in motion. We picked the car up at theairport and promptly put the top down. As we were cruising into thecity, we got stuck at a railroad crossing. We sat there for a fewminutes and while we were waiting for the train to pass, it started togently sprinkle. So, we started to put the top up (it was electric, solittle to no human effort is required), when the rail crossing gates cameup. The top was only about 1/3 up when we started to roll. Assoon as the car started to move, however, the top stopped coming up. So, we were driving around downtown San Diego for four blocks or so in aconvertible with the top 1/3 up in a nice rain. Fortunately, we got toa stop light and were able to finish putting the top up. The car wasokay, but it was meant for shorter people than myself. I had to slumpto see out the windshield, otherwise the cross-piece on top of thewindshield would be directly in my view. Other than that, however, itwas fun to have a convertible for a few days.