Saturday, April 23, 2022

San Diego

I took my first PTO of the year and flew to San Diego this weekend. Last year I took five (5) days of PTO. Five days. There is a story behind why but this year my goal is four weeks. I have an unconventional work-life balance but the flexibility to travel is very important to me and I am committed to making that happen in 2022.

This trip started when my friend Henry asked if I wanted to go to San Diego. Yes, you are seeing a pattern. More about Henry later. I found a $92 RT ticket with Southwest and the planning began. I had COVID credits I needed to burn up and this was my virgin voyage with them. I was super impressed! Nice prices. Free cancellations. Free bags. Nice seats. Free snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. The staff was amazing. The flight attendants gave me this heart as a thank you for the goody bag I gave them (which I later learned was from a coffee stir stick). 

Heart from Southwest Flight Attendants

We started our adventure at the SJC airport lounge. There is something about imbibing in a bloody mary pre-flight that makes me smile.

Pre-Flight Bloody Marys

We landed in SAN and took the bus and trolley (aka light rail) to our Airbnb. I am on a year-long journey of using public transit only and that includes when I travel. 

We grabbed some lunch, took a nap (I love naps), and went on a food tour of Little Italy. We were the only two on the tour, which felt a little weird, but the food was great and the recommendations we received for the weekend were spot on. We landed at Kettner Exchange and it was one of the highlights of the weekend. The drinks were amazing and the people watching was worth the price of the overpriced drinks. 

Afterward, we went dancing at Camino Riviera, which was below the path of planes landing at SAN. I spent way too much time simply looking up and watching those planes. Yes I was a bit drunk, but I love planes. 

Friday we took the light rail and bus to La Jolla ($2.50 ticket). We walked along the beach and had a great lunch at George's at the Cove

Next, we went kayaking in the ocean. I've been kayaking several times and I will tell you my friends getting out beyond those waves in a two-person kayak was tough. I was in front and had saltwater in every orifice of my head. As with previous water activities, I was instructed over and over again about how I shouldn't take my phone. But the plastic bag I dug out of the garbage and the fanny pack I strapped to my body worked just fine. We ended the night having dinner and drinks in La Jolla, which is a fun beach town I would like to return to. 

We stayed at an Airbnb in downtown San Diego, in the East Village, and the location was perfect. Everything was within walking distance or easy access to the light rail. Saturday morning we walked to the ferry that took us to Coronado. We grabbed lunch and later a bus that took us to Chicano Park, located in the Barrio Logan neighborhood where a highway project pierced the heart in the 70's. The Chicano Park story is a sad one that is not a proud part of our progressive history (good info here) that I read about more and more. But the murals that came from that history are amazing. 

On the Bus
On the Ferry to Coronado
Murals in Chicano Park

Saturday night we went to a Flamenco dancing event that will remain one of our best travel stories because we paid a ridiculous amount to watch unattractive people dance in not enough clothing. The best part of the evening was the sangria and paella. 

San Diego has a beautiful downtown and very active nightlife. I will return.  

Inquiring minds want to know, who is this Henry guy? My friend Michelle introduced us and I'm happy to say...he makes me happy. I'm trying not to overthink it since he wasn't in my plan. But you may see more of Henry on this blog. 

I hope you are doing something to make you happy today! Rae Ann

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