Matt headed out to San Diego to schmooze with his coworkers on Friday morning, while I waited until after work to leave, as I’ve been conserving vacation time for The Honeymoon. I had an entertaining dinner with my parents, and then they dropped me at the airport around 8pm. I was not the slightest bit thrilled to see the huge security line and the body-scanning machines in use. But because I’m tricky, I managed to avoid both the scanner (and the pat-down, nothing short of a miracle) because I chose the right line and got stuck behind someone who irritated the TSA to no end. Their distraction was my win.
When I arrived, Matt texted that he’d be picking me up in an egg yolk. He wasn’t kidding:
Since it was already after midnight and he had to be at a conference in the morning, we headed right to the hotel to sleep.
The next morning, we got up and had breakfast with his coworkers, and then I dropped him off at the nearby University of San Diego. I decided to go over and see Balboa Park first, because though I’d been to San Diego a couple times before, I’ve never seen it.
I got there just as the run/walk for autism was dispersing; it took me a while to realize why there were so many people with numbers attached to them wandering around. By the time I found parking, not only had the crowds cleared, but so had the sky. It was sixty degrees, which for a Minnesotan is almost summer: I was in a sundress and flipflops, while all the locals had jackets on.
Balboa Park was gorgeous. I’m obsessed with anything Worlds-Fair-related, too.
The park is huge, too, so I drove around it as much as possible, then did my wandering.
In a part of the park that was meant to look like a rainforest, I encountered Demandey the Squirrel. I was worried he would chew my face off if I didn’t produce a snack for him.
I wanted to see more of the international village, but only the main house was open. The Ukrainians had it for the day, and were demonstration traditional handcrafts. I realized it was weird to look at the pysanky (Ukrainian eggs) and think, “eh, that’s old hat”, but I totally used to make them as a kid. Just ask my mom, she’ll be happy to show you her collection.
From Balboa Park, I headed toward Point Loma. On the way to Cabrillo National Monument, I noticed a sign for Shelter Island and decided to go check it out, since we had dinner reservations there later that night. I sat and watched a sailboat race for a bit, and wished Matt was there to see it too. He’d probably want to commandeer a boat himself, though.
On my way back, I got a text from April asking if I wanted to meet her for lunch. I did! We decided on Old Town Mexican Cafe, so I headed back that direction. I was pretty early, so I planned on wandering around Old Town and shopping to kill some time. Of course I’d forgotten how hard it is to find parking around there, so I spent most of that time driving around looking for a spot for the Yolk.
Lunch was excellent (I had vegetable mole enchiladas and a margarita), and it was great to get to see April again! I hadn’t seen her since our previous trip to Las Vegas. She had also supplied us with many many suggestions for later dinner and cocktail entertainment, which served us very well.
After lunch, I headed back toward Cabrillo National Monument. I’d forgotten that you have to drive through a naval base to get there, so that freaked me out a little. At the overlook, I met this little dude, who was missing half his tail.
The view from Cabrillo is excellent. I think you can see Mexico from there.
It was getting close to time for Matt to be done, so I headed back toward the university, listening to the Butler-Florida game on Sirius. The game reached the final minute of as I arrived, and I was very relieved to find a parking spot so I could freak out safely as they went to overtime. Matt arrived shortly thereafter, and we went to the hotel to watch Butler win, and so he could change out of his business clothes.
From there, we went to Coronado Island. As I constantly torture him with Don Henley songs (he hates the fuckin’ Eagles, man), of course we had to go see the original Hotel California. Plus there’s beach!
It was really windy and overcast on the beach, but we still saw multiple weddings going on. Also, some pretty impressive sand castles:
Because they had patio heaters, we were able to sit outside Babcock & Story and have cocktails and an appetizer. The people-watching at the Hotel Del Coronado was amazing, and there were a ton of people in Coast Guard uniforms with fancy ladies wandering around for some kind of ball that evening.
From there, we went over to see the Embarcadero, which I’d also never seen before. Because I’m super-classy, I changed out of my dress into jeans and a hoodie in the car. It was getting chilly outside, and things were shutting down, so we wandered and saw the ships, then headed back to the car.
We had some time to kill, so we drove back up to Balboa Park so Matt could see it. After circling around for a bit, we headed over to Shelter Island for dinner at Bali Hi.
We figured we’d maybe have some oldschool tiki drinks and alright food, but everything was way better than expected. They had excellent vegetarian options, and of course the tiki drinks were great. Also, I got to bring this well-known guy home with me:
After dinner, we headed to the Tractor Room, a bar April had recommended. It was fantastic; they made really inventive cocktails, and the bartenders were awesome. We hung out there for a few hours, and then it was time to go back to the hotel.
The next morning, we dropped the Yolk off and shuttled to the commuter terminal at the airport, or “the place all flights to LAX originate from”. We got to walk to our tiny plane on the tarmac, which is always exciting! The flight was really short, and we could see the coast of California the whole time.
We had a 2-hour layover in LA, so of course we had to return to our favorite “beach bar”, where we’d spent many hours being delayed on the way to Hawaii. This time, at least, Delta chose to be on time for once, so we were home with plenty of time to hang out on the couch that evening.