Thursday, May 30, 2013

San Diego - trip #4

So, we're back from our 4th trip to San Diego. We weren't even supposed to go there this time, but after looking at other destinations nowhere near the ocean, I asked Darlene, "Why would I want to pay that much and not even get the sound of the surf thrown in?"

So it was back to San Diego. Same place - Tower 23 in Pacific Beach (PB). Why wreck a good thing? I had to rent a car from the airport this time, which pretty much doubled the cost of renting the car for 6 days. I had no choice this time, as we were leaving on a Sunday and the local PB car rental office isn't open on Sundays. Getting the car was interesting. Even though I was in a rental office with live people, they had me arrange my car through a video conference terminal. That was a first for me. He tried to talk me up to a bigger car, but I resisted.

We got the room we asked for, which is facing the beach and far enough from the sky deck and restaurant to be quiet at bed time. If you took the time to look at the pics on Facebook, you can see that our view was spectacular. The sound of the surf is very loud, that's how close we were to the ocean. I was always the first to wake up in the morning, so I always went downstairs, grabbed a (free) coffee in the lobby, and headed to the beach-side walkway for a pleasant solo walk or sat by the ocean. At night, we always spent a significant amount of time taking in the surf and the surfers and the sunsets and..... [sigh]

Since we had already done the touristy things on previous visits (Zoo, Balboa park, Gaslight Quarter...), we had a lot of time to find a more leisurely pace this visit. A bit of shopping, a lot of great food, numerous trips up the coast, one as far as Newport Beach (where we stayed in 2005), with stops in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar and Encinitas. While in Oceanside, we saw the house from the movie Top Gun. It's all boarded up now. We also spotted a hotel right by the pier that we might try on a future visit. We also took another trip to Corononado Island to visit the big hotel, but this time, I took the long way around via Imperial Beach, which is like a mile from Mexico. That's the closest I've been to Mexico yet.

Darlene's favourite eateries were The Original Pancake House (we really need one of these in Calgary) and The Cheesecake Factory (ditto). My faves were The Cottage in La Jolla and Filippi's Pizza Grotto.

For the first time, we encountered real California traffic on the freeway. Most of the other visits to San Diego were fairly traffic-free. This time we had a grass fire related delay on I-5 in Camp Pendleton and experienced construction related traffic on I-805 in University City. It was very LA-ish.

Darlene says we won't be going back to San Diego for 5 years. The she modified that to 3 years. I think we'll be back in 2.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Kay said...

Trip number 4 to San Diego? Wow, how lucky! I know many people dream of getting the chance to visit San Diego. It's a top destination in the U.S.!