I’M BACK

I have returned from San Diego where I had an amazing time. This was my third time to the city and I was slightly afraid that I’d get that “been there done that” feeling but I was wrong. I had a fantastic time during my week there. I saw and experienced something new everyday while having a level of comfort and familiarity at the same time.

I booked a hotel that was in the downtown area of San Diego, near the Gaslamp Quarter which is the happening part of town (at least for tourists). This hotel is just one block over from the hotel I stayed at when I first visited the city way back in 2012. In my last post, I mentioned how I got upgraded to a suite so I’ll explain in detail what happened. The room they initially gave me was small but workable and cosy. I was ok with it, even if it overlooked a parking lot. When I turned on the air conditioning (which is needed) though, it made a huge racket. I’m not talking a low hum, it was a thunderous rattling noise. There was no way you could sleep with that on and without having the A/C on, the room got hot because the windows didn’t open!

I went downstairs to the front desk and explained the problem. The lady working the desk seemed genuinely concerned and said they’d have two options for me. First, they’d try to fix the A/C unit and if they couldn’t they’d move me to another room. She advised me that she’d get her maintenance dude to come up to look at it first but he was on his break. I told her it was no problem and that since it was early afternoon, I’d be out and about and then return to see what they decided on. I went back upstairs to get some stuff and when I stepped into my room the phone was ringing. I picked it up and it was the lady from the front desk. She had already talked to the maintenance guy and he said that it would probably take a long time to fix the A/C unit so they decided it was in my best interest to be upgraded to a suite for my entire stay! Someone was already on their way up to give me the keys to my new suite. Awesome! I purposely turned on the A/C again so the hotel employee coming up could hear how bad it was. I mean it didn’t matter anyways since I was already upgraded but I didn’t want to seem like a diva to this guy. I heard a knock on the door and when I opened it, the hotel employee had a strained look on his face. He said, “wow, that is really loud”. I took the keys from him and thanked him for upgrading me immediately.

I packed up what little I had already unpacked and went down three floors to my suite. What a difference it was. The suite was almost three times the size of my original room. I had a large living room area that had enough space for a couch, two sitting chairs, a desk and flat-screen LCD TV. The bathroom was double the size. Instead of a tiny bathroom with just a shower and toilet, I had a large one with a full bathtub. The bedroom was also more spacious, with another flat-screen LCD TV mounted on the bedroom wall. Instead of a view of a parking lot, the suite overlooked Broadway instead, the main thoroughfare outside the hotel, a much more interesting view. I was completely satisfied with having this as my home base for the whole week.

As for the many awesome things about the trip, it started with the weather. It was sunny but not too warm the entire time I was there. There was no overcast weather like that plagued my entire Hawaii trip. Just stepping outside the airport terminal, I felt the direct kiss of the sun right away, something that really didn’t happen when I was in Honolulu.

During the week, I made my way up to La Jolla which is north of downtown, which I’d never done before. It’s so beautiful up there with seemingly hundreds of picturesque beaches. I saw sea lions in La Jolla Cove and spent time at Pacific and Mission Beach.

One evening I decided to go to a San Diego Padres game. Being a midweek game and early in the season, it was easy to get tickets. Every other time I’d gone to San Diego, the baseball season had already ended and this was the first time I’d been there while games were on. As luck would have it, I was there during a four-game homestand. I saw the Padres play the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was my first MLB game since around 2000 when EA sent the whole Triple Play Baseball QA team down to Seattle to see the Mariners play.

I also booked a helicopter tour of San Diego for one afternoon. I’ve become quite fond of touring cities from the air. I think this was my third time seeing a city in a helicopter. Anyways, this particular tour visited the major landmarks of the city plus the northern parts near La Jolla, including the famous Torrey Pines golf course. My pilot also made sure to fly along the coast line, showing me many more beaches, including San Diego’s only clothing optional beach. We unfortunately did not get close enough to see any shriveled old wieners and/or boobs.

Those were the highlights of the trip and I had a fantastic time. I finally got the real tan that I was hoping I’d get in Hawaii. You might think I’d be wary of a fourth trip to San Diego but I actually can’t wait to come back again. There’s still so much I’d like to see about the city and surrounding area. Honestly, everyone should think about visiting San Diego if you never had the chance, what a great city!

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