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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Return from San Diego

Well, I am back on the plane, returning from San Diego. It was way too short, but we packed as much time in together as we could. It was great having my family with me on this work subsidized mini-vacation. I was able to spend some quality time with them in between work commitments. The following is a summary of what we did.

Sunday morning I managed to get myself out of bed after a late arrival Saturday night. I went for a pleasant 5 mile run. It took me past the aircraft carrier Midway. Several miles into this run I got a strange sense of déjà vu. Everything looked very familiar and it took me a few minutes to realize I had run this route several years earlier on a business trip with a different company. It was complete coincidence that this happened as I picked out my route by looking out my hotel window and thinking it looked nice to run there. My previous time, I was directed to the place by people at the hotel.

Once back, we started off our Sunday together with brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado. This is an old and famous hotel, the scene of Marilyn Monroe movies and a sleep over place for every American president. The place is huge and spectacular. Everything is very ornate and the Crown Room where the brunch is held is magnificent. The buffet consists of everything from pancakes and eggs to Sushi, Raw Oysters, crab legs, prime rib, roasted ham and the list goes on. To top it off they had a desert station with a flowing chocolate fountain that you could pour over marshmallows, fruit, graham crackers and other items.

After that we headed out to Sea World and spent the day watching several shows and seeing the attractions. My children seemed to really like the shows, especially the parts where you were in danger of getting wet. Sea World is pretty much spread out and you need to do a fair amount of walking to see the different exhibits. We didn’t have time to finish it all since we wanted to go to Carbrillo National Monument to check out the tidal pools. We timed our arrival for the pools to be in the late afternoon, since that was when low tide occurred. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me, the park closes at 4:30pm, so we only had around 25 minutes to explore. My biggest disappointment of the trip was not getting to spend real quality time looking around. The other days were out, as the tide would be high making the tidal pools invisible. If only my flight out wasn’t cancelled on Friday. It’s a spectacular place.

Sunday night I went to a work related dinner and hung out with coworkers eating a drinking until around midnight. My wife took our kids out to dinner and were back in the hotel asleep by 9pm.

On Monday morning I woke up early enough to get in a 6.1 mile run despite eating a drinking a lot the night before. I would have gone longer, but then I would have been late for the convention I was supposed to be attending. My wife and kids went to the San Diego Zoo, while I was at work. They were gone all day, which gave me some free time in the afternoon after the convention ended for the day to hang out by the hotel pool with some coworkers. I even got in a 30 minute swim. At around 5:30pm, my family returned and I played with my kids in the pool. It was a little cool outside, but after first going into the Jacuzzi for a while, my kids warmed up enough to go in the pool.

Monday night I went out with my coworkers again to a restaurant where you cook your own steaks on an open grill. I didn’t actually cook mine as one of the coworkers took on that responsibility for everyone. I ate a big fat T-Bone steak and drank several beers. This knocked me out enough so that Tuesday morning I slept in instead of getting in a run.

The convention ended early enough on Tuesday for me to get in a struggling 4.5 mile run and then meet my family in Old Towne San Diego by late afternoon. We shopped for souvenirs and ate an early dinner in a decent Mexican restaurant. Afterwards, we dropped off our purchases at the hotel and then walked over to the seaport just outside our hotel. We bought a few more souvenirs and rode the carousel several times. We didn’t stay out too late as Wednesday would be our last day and we only had a few hours to see a couple of more places before we had to get back to the hotel to pack, wash up and leave for the airport.

I took my family to La Jolla Cove, the place that I written about previously where you can get in an excellent open water swim. I took my wetsuit with me just in case I was able to get in the water. It was very windy when we arrived and the surf was very rough and looked unpleasant. I couldn’t see any buoy markers, nor were there any other swimmers or lifeguard on the beach. I decided not to risk a swim and more importantly spend as my time with my children exploring the surrounding area. We walked through some caves and tidal pools and saw a Sea Lion perched on a rock. My son ran from the surf as the water chased his feet.

After La Jolla, we went back to Cabrillo National Monument to look at the lighthouse and other exhibits. The tide pools were not visible this day, but there was still much to see. My children did the Junior Ranger program, in a much expedited fashion, as we were running out of time. After they received their badges, we hurried back to the hotel, washed, changed clothes and began the long journey home.

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