Saturday, September 17, 2005

San Diego Vacation Part Dos...

OK So on to Wednesday. This time we got up at a decent hour and headed out to the USS Midway Museum. Basically, for those not in San Diego, they've taken the actual USS Midway Carrier and instead of scrapping it they parked it at a dock on Harbor Dr just south of Broadway and people get to go around it looking at all the places there is to see onboard.

Basically as you come on board they hand you what looks like a little radio only it's got a keypad like a phone and a digital display. To this you hookup headphones and as you tour the ship you punch in the number displayed somewhere near where you are to learn about that part of the ship and listen to interviews from sailors or pilots who served on the Midway.

So we basically hit the tour in order, avoiding the engine room as it's 3 flights down of steep stairs and Victoria just didn't want to take that trip and didn't want to wait the 30 minutes while I did. No biggie as you can see on the map, there's 38 different stops on the tour so missing one isn't gonna kill me. What gets me is just how small the enlisted sleeping quarters (berthing spaces) were. Then we look at the junior officers quarters and while they're still not much better than sleeping on an uncomfortable sofa in the smallest of rooms it seemed HUGE compared to the enlisted berthing spaces. The galley seemed small before (I'd been here before on tour with Rachel last year) but this time it just appeared more roomy. I sorta wished the Senior officers quarters were opened. I mean when you come to tour a ship what more do people want to see than the captains quarters, eh? OK so maybe I don't have all of you at the moment and that's fine. We're not all ship people. I happen to love ships and so I enjoyed this trip.

After the USS Midway we headed over to Seaport Village for some grub. OK I'll just say their deli is great and Margarita's sucks. I spent too much on the bad stuff and not enough on the good stuff is all. We went to one of the kitschy little San Diego stores and got a couple things like the little mini England flag I've been wanting. No not the UK union jack but the Saint George's cross flag. One quick stop to Ben & Jerry's for cones and then we set off towards the Omni Hotel to check in.

WOW what a place! OK I say that like I was oh so impressed with the place. The lobby was clean, the restaurant there (McCormick & Schmick's) is really pricy, the hallways afford you great views of the bay, PETCO Park, or downtown depending on where you are in the hotel. The rooms look really nice. The bathroom has Double wood sliding doors with vents instead of the usual open door thing most hotels give you. The bathroom is also HUGE compared to your average hotel room. There's the expected closet with iron and robes and extra clothes hangers.

There's the desk and chair only in that drawer isn't Gideon's bible. It's a pouch with an ethernet cable for connecting one's laptop into the desk and obtaining internet connection FREE OF CHARGE. The power outlet is also built into the desk so you don't have to get on your knees searching for one if you need to plug it in to charge the battery.

The counter with TV is in the middle of the room facing a VERY comfortable bed. The windows open like sliding glass doors, then there's a translucent curtain and then the thick curtains we all like for complete privacy. Our windows were a floor above the pool and faced that pool and thus also the convention center. Right outside the front door was a perfect view of PETCO Park. Room 734. Nice.

Now for the problems i had with the place. When I flushed the toilet the plumbing made all sorts of horrible noises one might expect out of the Pickwick Hotel. At some point in the evening channels 2-7 went REAL fuzzy to the point where it was not even worth trying to watch them. They came back by morning but that's key. Thank GOD the Padres weren't playing at night that day and thankfully the Dodgers-Rockies game was on ESPN 2 instead of ESPN. Then the little doors at the top of the counter that held things like the TV Guide, remote control and stuff well they were broke or at least they just came right off instead of swinging open and closed.

We got a minibar with snacks and drinks but we avoided it. $3.95 plus sales tax plus 30% restocking fee for a 12 oz. soda? I don't think so. They even offer to bring you breakfast in room, but $14 for basically a bagel and fruit with coffee seemed a bit pricy as well. To be expected from a hotel. You're there to sleep and do other things involving a bed, not eat and drink the hotel's food and drink.

Victoria went off to the Tori Amos concert while I stayed in the room and watched the Dodgers lose a 5-0 lead (WOO HOO). So we both had a good night.

Woke up the next morning and headed out to Hash House a Go-Go for breakfast. Located on 5th Avenue just north of Balboa Park and south of Hillcrest, they have the largest flapjacks I've ever seen and that isn't an obscene statement people. Of course the size of the pancakes are obscene. Basically they use 5 flapjacks worth of mix and make one large cake out of it. THICK and filled with whatever type of pancake you order. I got the Apple-Cinnamon. I ate maybe an 8th of it before calling it quit. If I'd known it was that large I wouldn't have ordered it. Well, the sausage was good and the hot chocolate was devine. Otherwise we weren't that impressed.

We headed home and relaxed until the evening when we headed out to see Triple Espresso. Is it a corny type of comedy? Sure it is but it's still funny. Slapstick, facial jokes, songs, botched and successful magic tricks of the cheesiest kinds, fan interaction, etc. We liked it. The guy that played Bobby Bean/Fernt Fernt is the guy I believe that plays the Vice Principal on Veronica Mars, Duane Daniels. He had a face made for comedy. The kind where he doesn't have to say anything. He just changes his facial expression and it's hilarious. At least worth the $17 a ticket we paid (WARNING: That's 1/2 are $34.75)

Thursday we got up early and headed out to Point Loma to check out the lighthouse, Cabrillo National Monument and tidepools. We thought it weird to have a large monument to a guy who basically erased tribal nations from the face of the earth, but then again we celebrate Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill for doing the same thing. Heck we even let HIM on ESPN every now and then only we give him a false identity to keep the unsuspecting from knowing he's still alive. Still, we went and we took pictures. At the very least we got to see a lizard eat a bumblebee.

That being the highlight of the morning we headed to a crowded Point Loma Seafoods to eat lunch. The fish was nice and fresh, the onion rings delightful and the Pepsi was good of course, but bell peppers do NOT belong in coleslaw! It tainted the flavor of anything that touched the coleslaw (namely the fish and rings) with bell pepper flavoring which I CAN'T STAND! OK I'm alright now.

When we first pulled up the lot was full. Well, there was a nice black Mercedes that some nice old lady had decided needed TWO parking spaces, while large vans and SUVs around her only required one. Just as I was about to pull up and snap a picture of her offense, she came out and moved her car. Not wanting to have it out with an old lady and look like a total jerk to those around me, I put the camera away and stepped into the store to order lunch.

Our plans originally called for lunch and then that missed trip to the Maritime Museum but our feet were sore and Victoria was dead tired. So we headed home so she could nap and so we would have energy for the Padres game later on.

Oh yeah so we headed downtown, parked at the 6th & K Parkade (my favorite downtown parking garage, by the way) and headed to our seats in Section 324, Row 3, Seats 14-15. Not bad seats. The main scoreboard was still mostly in view, the rest of the field was in view except the left field corner, and we sat and watched Ramon Hernandez blast a 1st inning shot only to have that be our only run. Peavy couldn't hold the lead and let the Nationals score twice each in the 5th and 6th. We left before they'd cap it off with another in the 9th. The first time I've seen the Padres lose this year and we've been to 8 games this year. 7-1 for 2005 with one more game to go on October 1st. So we drove home with a quick stop to Santana's for food and went to bed completely exhausted.

Today I'm heading to Hot Topic for some semi-permanent green hair dye. I'll get pictures up here as soon as I can. Around noon we'll be heading to Los Angeles. Stephanie and Josh are treating us to Lowry's for dinner and the Tori Amos concert tonight. Extremely generous of both of them to do this for us and we're very grateful. I think I might skip on pictures for this but ah...who am I kidding? I'm a camera whore.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

San Diego Vacation Part 1...

Headed out after work at 5pm Friday. Destination: Kings Restaurant in Carlsbad, CA. Sat with co-workers watching the Sox and Yanks battle it out. The guys were almost all from Boston. Got to know them all a bit better. Headed to the in-laws to pick up Victoria. We stayed there for a while and watched a really long Padres game. They won but wow it seemed to just go on and on and on.

Saturday morning we got up and cleaned house a bit. We headed out to DZ Akin's for lunch. I keep forgetting just how good their sandwiches are. Knish with Philly Style Steak and Eggs. Yum. Victoria hung out with Becky at the kitty shelter while I came home and did some chores. After I had finished I relaxed to a game of Age of Kings. Victoria and Becky came back around 6pm where Victoria cooked a WONDERFUL tamale casserole. We hung out, played Scattergories, and I went in to play a little Age of Kings while the two of them chit chatted. Becky left after a short time and Victoria went to bed. I stayed up playing Age of Kings until 5:45am! Obsessed? I don't know but I gotta cut that stuff out. When my wife goes to bed, I gotta follow her in. It's just natural. Anyways whatever. She don't care, I don't care. In fact Victoria mentioned that if there was one way to describe us both, it's simply one sound..."eh".

Sunday we just loafed all day at home. Victoria made some bacon-blue cheese filled burgers we'd bought at Trader Joe's. They're not all that great. I won't go into the whole reason why except they tasted horrible. Part of it could have been the heat being too high on the stove but the rest was all on the burger. Oh and surprise surprise. I spend the rest of the evening playing Age of Kings and went to bed around 2:30am. Not such a great idea.

Monday, we should have gotten up around 7am. We had to get bagels, do some laundry, and then head out to the Birch Aquarium. Instead I got up late due to staying up so late with that darned game. So we went out around 10am to get a 1/2 dozen bagels. Then we came back and spent too much time goofing off. It got to be about 2pm before we headed out to Birch Aquarium. Turns out we didn't really need all day. It's a lot smaller than I thought. Still cool and I got a few acceptable photos out of it. Realized I really need a Digital SLR. This thing's shutter speed it so freaking slow and camera shake like crazy. Anyways I'll update this with some photos when I have the time. We left around 4:30, got stuck in rush hour traffic and came home for Pick Up Stix and Pizza Hut. Weird? Not as much as you might think. This night I didn't stay up late but I still woke up late on Tuesday.

We wanted to get up at 8am to get to Point Loma Lighthouse. Instead we got up at 8:30 and laundry hadn't dried. I don't know why but our dryer takes like 2 hours to dry clothes. So we were ready to go around 11am. Way too late for Victoria. We would have to head out to Pt Loma and do our thing and get back in time to get ready for Dinner. Plus we'd miss the tidepools which Victoria was most excited about. We had already cancelled the zoo due to budget restraints and that was the part of the vacation she was looking forward to most.

So instead we sat down and planned out the rest of the vacation and the result was a great day. We decided on the zoo in 2 weeks. Then we headed out pronto to Coyote Grill in Carlsbad Village. AWESOME food! Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine. YUM YUM. Then we went over to Panniken to read. I had an italian soda with Vanilla and whipped cream and sat down to read 1215. We hung out there for a while and then walked over to Lou's records. I picked up another copy of the Dancehall Crashers The Old Record and then some 99 cent CD by some band called Atticus Fault. It's alright. Decent background music but that's about it.

We came home, got ready and headed to Bali Hai. OK this place has a great view of the bay, but otherwise it's like serving Carrow's food in George's at the Cove. the food quality just couldn't match the decor. $17.95 for pork loin that was dry, not enough orange hoisin sauce and the potatoes must have been red. I didn't care for them or the veges. Overall just not that great. Even the dessert was average at best. I'll give it 2 more times. Seafood sampler next time and Shrimp after that if the Seafood stinks. If it still tastes horrible I'll write it off.

So I come home, finish laundry, and head to bed at 12:31am. More later...