Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Trip report - May 2012

So I guess it's time to tell the story of our latest trip to San Diego.

We managed to book the same great little boutique hotel we had the last two times - Tower 23. We didn't book early enough though, so we couldn't get the room we normally get, so we had to settle for a room just around the corner, overlooking the sky deck. The view was still decent, but being over the sky deck had its issues. For one, the sky deck allows smoking, so any time anyone smoked, we were downwind. Luckily, it didn't happen often. The other issue was noise. There were a lot of young people at the hotel who liked to sit in front of the fireplace on the deck and chat. Late. It was a bit annoying. Darlene also wasn't aware when she booked our room that it didn't have a tub. That didn't go over well. But the beds were still as comfortable as we remembered, the food in JRDN restaurant was still amazing (did you see the pic I posted on Facebook of the French Toast?) and of course it was great being right on the beach.

On our last visit, we went to Balboa Park to the zoo, but this time we intended to visit all of the museums at the park. They had a passport deal that cost $50 per person which was good for 7 days. That allowed us to take in a few museums per day so that we didn't walk our feet off. A lot of people are asking me if it's worth going to the museums. I thought about that for a while and came up with a good answer. If you've been to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, or any other world-class museums around the world, you are going to be disappointed in these museums. The Air & Space museum was OK. The Automotive museum was decent. The Photography museum was in the middle of switching from one exhibition to another, so it was not up to scratch. Neither was the Mingei International museum, for the same reason. The model railway museum was alright, but not everyone is into that. When you consider that the Smithsonian is free, I considered this site to be seriously lacking. The buildings were nice....

The weather was, in a word, spectacular. I am not into hot. It was not hot. It was balmy with an ever-present sea breeze. Most mornings started out with a bit of cloud or fog (but only by the ocean) which lifted by noon. Then nothing but sun. We went through a lot of sunscreen.

I put over 1000km on the rental car. Yeah. We went places. Plenty of outlet malls and regular malls. Got some great clothes and footwear. We ate great meals at places like The Cheesecake Factory. I noticed that eating out is now much cheaper in the US than in Canada. Their portions are gigantic too. A lunch sized anything is more than enough. Going through a grocery store is depressing, because the US has so much stuff we can't get here in Canada.

I got into a routine of waking up, donning some clothes, grabbing a free Island Coconut flavoured Keurig coffee at the front desk, and heading to the beach for a morning walk until Darlene got up. It was so nice to hear the sound of the surf for a whole week. On our last day, Darlene and I discussed where our next spring or fall vacation should be in 2013. We couldn't come up with anything better than San Diego. Still.

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