How not to visit San Diego!

Glass "windchimes" in the hotel lobby.

So what could be lovelier than a trip to San Diego in January? Quite a few things, as it turns out. California weather has been a little unusual this month and San Diego
was not spared. We drove south on Thursday through constant rain, which at times was torrential. Luckily, we got to the treacherous stretch of mountain highway known as the Grapevine when the snow had just begun and we only had to slow our speed. We arrived at our hotel in a light rain.

The hotel was the usual: over-priced everything because it’s all going on some businessman’s expense account. No free internet, which explains my almost total disappearing act, but at least the beds were comfortable.

Horton Plaza mall

So, yeah, the rain. It rained during our trip to this beautiful open air multi-level mall in the Gaslamp Quarter where we went to buy a swimsuit, which made only a brief appearance at the hotel sauna because … it rained. During the trolley ride, it rained—and hailed. From time to time, the sun would appear briefly to tease us, but it rained most of the first two days we were there.

We decided to just stay in and order pizza Friday night. Wow, look at this: Brooklyn pizza—“the best east coast pizza on the west coast.” How could we resist? And check out at this special: “our giant pizza and 2-liter soda for $24.99.” Do they deliver to our hotel? Why, yes, they do. Only they apparently had no idea where our hotel was because the driver went to two other hotels before he found ours! Was the pizza hot? No. Was the pizza New York style? Yes. Was the pizza big? Ridiculously so. We had a good laugh at the “ginormous” size, took a photo, and ate the tepid, but tasty pizza.

One ginormous pizza and one small boy.

Then, on Saturday, even though it was still cool, the rain stopped. Yay, the beach! After lunch, we set off for Coronado Island, beautiful drive, beautiful town, beautiful beach … but not for swimming that day. Sewage contamination warning signs were up. (A problem resulting from the storms, I presume.) No biggie, we headed for Ocean Beach.

We stopped at two beaches there. One is the only beach in SoCal where dogs are allowed to run free. Needless to say, it was packed with very happy dogs. The other beach we tried was by the pier. It looked terrifying. The waves were so high they were crashing over the pier and the surf swallowed up the beach … at what was supposed to be low-tide! I don’t know why I didn’t take photos of this, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations. At this point, we gave up on the beach plan and headed back to the hotel.

The view from our table.

With the good weather holding, we decided to splurge for a great seafood dinner and, at sunset, we went to the Fish Market at the harbor. We were seated at the best table in the enclosed patio right over the water. The food and wine were good and we topped it off with an excellent crème brulée. An altogether lovely evening.

The weather forecast for Sunday: sunny and warm. Unfortunately, we had to leave early in the morning. But the drive north was so much more pleasant than the trip south … and we saw views like this.

The San Gabriel mountains.

20 thoughts on “How not to visit San Diego!

  1. I love San Diego, rain or shine. The Gaslamp Quarter is my favorite thing to do. One of these days I want to splurge and stay in the famous Hotel del Coronado; a haunted room for good measure. (though, my enthusiasm waned a little after watching 1408.)

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    1. I’m too susceptible … to my own imagination, not to ghosts. I’d be changing rooms in the middle of the night.

      There’s one scene in 1408 that breaks my heart. I sobbed in the theater.

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        1. Yes. At the time, it reminded me so much of Emily and her father, and when she “disappeared” in his arms, it broke me. That was a very well acted and directed scene.

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  2. Oh, Linda! This post is a hoot! Now let me qualify that: I am not cruel and would never derive amusement from YOUR misery. But what popped into my head was “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

    I ‘d previously viewed your vacation pictures (without your running commentary) and conjured up my own story of the perfectly enjoyable get away. Now I have, “the rest of the story!” It just goes to show, that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but they may be deceptive without a written account. Hmmm, interesting implications for all of us as writers…

    This I know, never again will wish someone a “picture-perfect” vacation! Perhaps this would be a better Irish blessing, “May the sun shine on your hot tub, may the rain fall as powder…in Lake Tahoe and may your ginormous pizza arrive hot, hot, hot!”

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    1. Ha ha, yes, I guess if you only saw my photo album on Facebook, you would get a different picture. Actually, we did have a lot of fun, just not doing what we expected to do.

      I love your variation on the Irish blessing! 😀

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