San Diego, Day 1

After only a few hours sleep, I woke up at 4AM this morning to finish packing, get a few minutes of play time in with the kitties and get myself to the airport. The car picked me up promptly at 5AM, and I was at the JetBlue terminal at JFK by 5:30. Fast forward a few hours of sleeping (well… napping), and watching the free 36 channels of DirectTV that JetBlue offers (most of which are different versions of ESPN or cable news channels) and here I am in sunny San Diego!

After meeting Michelle and her family in baggage claim, our first stop was In N Out! I can’t come to the West Coast and not get my In N Out fix. There’s something about the special sauce, toasted bun and hand-cut fries that are seriously addicting. Michelle is now a believer too.

After a pleasant, nearly traffic-free, 2-hour drive, Michelle and I made it into downtown San Diego and turned into the W Hotel. Similar to the other W’s I’ve visited, the decor style holds true: ultra modern, chic, minimalistic, yet inviting. And this one offers a special touch with a free Acura shuttle to anywhere within 5 miles of the hotel.  The room even has a chalk board, so we can leave ourselves notes!

Next stop, Coronado and the Del Coronado Hotel. If the W is from Venus, then the Del Coronado is from Mars. Where the W is sleek and modern, the Del offers that old world charm: classic chandeliers, dark wood paneling and tables with umbrellas overlooking the beach. 

We had a Paloma (like a margarita, but with a little 7Up) and some snacks off the brand new sun deck dinner menu. We ordered Guacamole, Taquitos and Chips and Salsa. Though fresh, with a hint of lime and spice, the guacamole was more like an avocado salad and came sans chips, which is why we also ordered the chips and salsa. At $6, the chips and salsa seemed pricey, but the chips are homemade, thick, crunchy, individually seasoned and worth every penny.  (Though, they should also come with the guacamole so you don’t have to buy the meager sides of salsa that come with them).  The Taquitos were like a Mexican version of a spring roll. They were crispy and fried golden-brown, stuffed with pulled chicken and spices with an orange habanera sauce on the side that was sweet with a very subtle spice.

Next, we took a short, sceninc walk through Coronado (short for a New Yorker any way) to the Ferry Station, and took the Ferry across the San Diego Bay and headed back downtown for some dinner. We discovered San Diego’s first micro-brewery, Karl Strauss, and had hand-crafted beer and a “light meal” (Seared Ahi Tuna, and Lemon Chicken), and then stumbled back to our hotel room and curled up under the covers. 

On the agenda tomorrow: Shamu, turtles, dolphins, penguins and more at Sea World!


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