Vacation Recap Part 1

View of Crystal Pier and San Diego beyond from Palisades Park in Pacific Beach

View of Crystal Pier and San Diego beyond from Palisades Park in Pacific Beach

I just love San Diego. It never gets old. The weather is nearly perfect year round. The food is fantastic. The sunsets are breathtaking. Traffic is better. People are nicer. I’ve vacationed there 5 times now and even lived there for a summer. Every time I’m there, I fall a little more in love. This time was no exception. This actually may have been one of the best trips to San Diego I’ve ever had. It was off to a rocky start Friday evening…

Because of 40 mph wind gusts (that tore off our front storm door Thursday night) our flight was delayed. We left around 5:20 for our 7:10 flight that was delayed until 8:05. By the time we got to the airport, our delay had us leaving at 8:45. With over two hours to kill at the airport, we got dinner, people watched and had a little fun moving from one gate to another. We finally boarded our plane around 9:15 and took off around 9:30. The wait stunk, but the flight was actually the smoothest we’ve ever had and it was nice and quiet on the plane since it was late and most people were reading or sleeping.

We got to San Diego’s airport a little after midnight California time, about 2:10am Chicago time. We were exhausted but still excited to be on vacation. We got our luggage and called the car rental place because we’d overheard someone saying they were taking a taxi to their hotel because the car rental places were all closed. We had a reservation for a car that was wildly inexpensive, but, sure enough, they were closed. We called our hotel to see if they had any suggestions for public transit or a shuttle. They told us they cancelled our reservation because our credit card was declined. Great! Once we explained to them that our credit cards were replaced a few weeks ago from the Target breach, and that we were in San Diego stranded at the airport, they were able to reinstate our reservation. Whew! They told us that public transit stops at midnight (What kind of city does that??) and that we’d need to take a cab. It was a $30 ride. No thank you! We saw shuttles for Hertz, and called them to get a quote on a rental car. The quote was twice as much as our reserved rental was, but it was still cheaper than taking a cab. So off we were on a Hertz shuttle.

When we got to Hertz, about 1 am California time, there were only two employees and 7 people waiting. It seems they’re the only place open 24 hours and there were a lot of flights delayed. Around 1:30 we got the “economy” car rental we had been quoted over the phone at the airport – a Toyota Tundra. My husband was ecstatic that he got to drive around a beastly pick up truck for the weekend. It was honestly hilarious. Could we have gotten anything more opposite of what we requested? At least they honored our quoted price.


We got to the hotel around 2am, 4 am Chicago time. Check in was a breeze and our room was just fine. I think I finally got to sleep around 3. I had been up for almost a full 24 hours and yet I woke up at 8am California time the next day. I hoped out of bed like I’d slept for 10 hours instead of 5 and went for a run on the Pacific Beach boardwalk. I could’ve cried when I saw the ocean waves! I did an easy 3 miles and then grabbed my husband for breakfast on the beach. While I was out running he picked up some cereal, milk, bananas, and bowls and spoons. We finished our cereal and I noticed that there was a massive, probably 100 person, yoga class going on in the park on the cliff above the beach. I wanted to join so badly, but I didn’t have a yoga mat, and my husband was anxious to move on with our day. Next time I’ll be there!

Board walk run. This was 1/2 block from our hotel! Gorgeous!

Post run beach breakfast

Post run beach breakfast

We made friends on the beach.

We made friends on the beach.

After a shower, it got cloudy and a little cool. So we decided to hit up Fashion Valley mall. Oh wait, my husband would kill me if I forgot this very important detail – before the mall, we went to In and Out Burger. So good and so fresh! Back to shopping. I had been saving money to go on a little shopping spree at the giant Forever 21 store they have there. My husband went off on his own and got to spend over two hours trying on over 50 items. Since I’ve lost several inches, everything fit! I had so much fun trying on this I would have never looked good in before. I ended up spending about $100 (not bad!) and got 4 shirts, a romper, and my favorite – a long sheer maxi skirt with shorts underneath. Picture of that will be on an upcoming vacation recap.

We decided to go out for a nice dinner that evening. Just down the street we noticed a cool 2 story brewery and restaurant and knew we wanted to check it out. The Pacific Beach Ale House was a major highlight for me. The ambiance was cozy on the roof top deck with glass fencing, twinkle lights, and outdoor heaters. Our server was really sweet and personable. The beer was just as good as some of my favorites from back home. And the food was delicious. If we would have been there for more than 3 days, I would have gone back for sure. After dinner we stopped by another bar that shall remain nameless because it wasn’t all that great. A couple round of a game we like, Blink, back at the hotel and we were ready to hit the hay.

Picture from Pacific Beach Ale House website.

More to come…



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