Observations from San Diego

Here are a few more observations from the first couple of days of our trip to San Diego. First, and perhaps most importantly, in spite of being “challenging” at times, Caragh and I have tried to work together for the most part. It does not always work so well but we do try. Funny, one of the thigs that makes me be kinder in moments of stress is to see other couples cracking under the pressure of stress.

Another funny thing, when we on the bus from the airport to the car rental place a group of SFU swim team folks got on the bus with us. I spotted the coach and started chatting with him about swimming and endurance. Out of the blue, I say. “Do you know Fin Donnelly…he is quite an amazing swimmer.” The coach says, that is my brother. Fucking crazy small world. Fin was just elected as the Member of Parliament for my riding.

Another thing we observed while driving to the Bahia Resort, this place called the “3 Day Suit Broker”. At first we thought it was suit rental place but in fact it is a men’s suit retailer. I googled them and found out that they are this weird business model where they are open for three days a week, thus keeping their overhead low and therefore, prices low. The sign says wool suits for $100 or camel hair sports coats for $100. You know that in the interests of my investigative journalist self, I will be back there to check the place out. They are open Thursday, Friday and Saturday and apparently they have 5000 suits in stock! I’m sensing a new sports coat in my future…just sayin…

On the clothing theme…our first full day in San Diego and what do we do? Well we moved out of the Bahia and into the Hilton. More in a minute on that story. After we had moved we headed inland to this place called Julian to see cactuses and real desert stuff and to have a piece of their world famous apple pie. We travelled the Highway 67 and there is this bizarre landscape of massive boulders all up the mountains along the road. Just bizarre big boulders. Photos coming soon.

On the way to Julian we realized we did not have enough diapers and Nestle baby formula. So in Ramona we spot a Big K Mart and pull in. We end up shopping for baby stuff and I get a couple of cool shirts for $6 each. Decent quality, long sleeve shirts for $6. I figure I better buy them seeing as I did not bring any warm clothes and it gets quite cool in the night time here. Oops on my packing.

Too tired to continue, we turn around and drive back to the Hilton. On our way we realize that we are probably going to be hungry. Punch “Mexican food” into the GPS and we are at a little hole-in the wall place getting chile relenos, fish tacos and a veggie quesadilla. Deelish.

Back to the Hilton where we get the bell guy to help us pack our K Mart bags down to the room. We are so classy. And the thing is, EVERYBODY here at the Hilton L Jolla have been super friendly, super helpful and especially considerate. They warned us when we were checking in that there is a large party booked in for New Year’s Eve and it might be noisy. We sort of chuckled and said we not be bothered by the festivities.

So quickly, why did we move hotels? Well, the Bahia looks classy and has impeccably clean grounds. When you go inside the rooms though, they are so dated it is embarrassing. And then Caragh opened up a cupboard to put some baby stuff away and it was full of ants running in all directions. Ants are a deal breaker for my sweetheart. If it was an inexpensive place, I would have said, that’s what you get. But it was not cheap. When we booked the place we asked for a renovated room with water view. When we got to the Bahia, we got a room that was not renovated and had a view of the parking lot.

Back to the front desk, send Caragh in, we get a newer room with a nice view of the water. But still non-renovated. Pull the cover off the bed to let the girls romp around and you could see stains on the bed cover. Gross out factor huge. Like I said, if it was acheap place, well that is what you get. But it was not cheap and to us it was not good value.

So we checked out of the Bahia Resort and started driving. On a whim we pulled into the La Jolla Hilton and here we are. Nice clean room with two queen beds and a crib wheeled in for us. Need a microwave? We’ll send one down to you. Forgot your laptop in the car? We’ll get that for you. Need help with that classy K Mart luggage? Not a problem. Good old Conrad Hilton is making me feel right at home. And I like it.