February 8, 2017
Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should be on the beach sipping on a margarita. That's where you'll find me as you're reading this. That's right, we left the states for fun in the sun in Mexico. Specifically, the Riviera Maya. So... in the meantime, I'll share about our visit to San Diego. We've made countless trips by car, but the drive takes longer and longer each time. When Spirit ran $70 RT fares it was a good excuse to try flying. Frank flies each year for his annual trip to Del Mar. It's always worked well for him. It seemed promising. As an added bonus, Spirit joined TSA PreCheck just in time for our trip. Their enrollment was flawless, which was appreciated since we had such a problem using our KTN on Frontier.

We flew out on the first morning flight and touched down in San Diego by 9:30 AM. It was the shortest flight I've ever been on, 44 minutes. The San Diego airport was smaller than I expected and very easy to navigate, I believe it was the fastest I've ever made it from gate to exit as well. It was only 30 degrees & dreary when we left home; we were at the tail end of a week long cold spell, the wintry weather had taken its toll so it felt like sweet relief to feel the warm sun once we stepped outside. It was tempting to sit and soak up the sun right there at the airport, but we had other plans. Important plans! Breakfast at Con Pane Bakery. We hailed a Lyft over to Liberty Station. We were noshing on sandwiches and a cinnamon roll in no time. The Italian on rosemary olive oil remains my favorite sandwich in all the land. The cinnamon roll was mighty delicious too, per usual. However, Frank also had them toss in a Gouda and Herb Scone. Good lord, it was the perfect savory treat. So moist, flaky and cheesy... just wonderful.

We walked over to Von's for odds and ends, and Starbucks. We sat in the courtyard because it was too lovely not to. Yes, there is a courtyard in the middle of Von's. I don't think I'd mind grocery shopping quite as much if ours were like this. Anyhow, with our errand out of the way, we Ubered to our hotel in hopes of checking in. I snagged a great deal at the Omni on Hotwire. The deal was made even sweeter when our request to check in early was granted, and they even upgraded us to premier view on the 17th floor overlooking the bay. Stunning, truly.

As tempting as it was to climb in bed and never leave, we couldn't resist the sunshine. We wandered the waterfront from the Convention Center to Seaport Village.

We grew thirsty so we stopped for cocktails. A margarita on the rocks for me, and a beer for him. Neither were particularly good, but the view was lovely. All the walking must have worked up a hunger, because we found ourselves in an Uber headed to El Indio. A fish taco and taquitos were the perfect snack. We strolled the neighborhood a bit before taking the trolley back to the hotel. Before heading up to the room we stopped at a nearby liquor store so we could have cocktails in our room while viewing the sunset. It did not disappoint.

After an early evening siesta, we sought out dinner options. We knew we wanted to try something new. We decided on Phil's BBQ because I've had it bookmarked on Yelp for years, it has 4.5 stars and over 10,000 reviews. Our Uber driving confirmed it was tasty, but admitted he preferred a place called Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado. We bookmarked it for a future visit. Walking into Phil's I was a little underwhelmed because there was no scent of smoked meat in the air. It's just one of those things I've come to expect. I reserved my judgement and was excited to try the ribs, link and onion rings folks have raved about for ages. We were given a buzzer and we anxiously awaited our order.

The ribs were very tender, grilled with a dry rub and sauce was served on the side per our request. Which was wise, it was a bit too tangy and tomato-based for my liking. They were good, but definitely not Texas good. Where's the smoke ring? I've come to realize I'm officially a barbecue snob. After dinner, we walked over to Target in hopes of finding Chargers gear on clearance, but no such luck. We caught a ride back to the Gaslamp and the nightlife was in full swing. We weren't feeling it. Instead, we opted for the best bar in the city. Which just so happened to be right in our room. Seating for two, amazing view, we choose the music and no wait for the restroom. We did not regret our decision.

We slept wonderfully with the window open. Don't ever underestimate the power of fresh air! I can't be the only one that hates being cooped up with recycled air in the winter and summer months, can I? Frank was up before me, he went to the gym to get a work out in. I showered, and managed to flood the bathroom floor while doing so. The only flaw with the room was the shower curtain was too small for the curved shower rod. Thankfully, they had us well stocked with absorbent towels.

On the way out for breakfast we stopped to see if late check out was possible. The hotel was fully booked due to the convention, but they did extend check out to 2pm. We were grateful. We grabbed a bite at Werewolf. Frank had to try the Pork Belly Benedict. They also had Chilaquiles on the menu so I was easily sold. Curiosity got the better of us and we added on an order of breakfast balls. We started with the balls which were mashed potatoes and bacon fried balls drizzled with gravy. They were pretty darn tasty. Our entrees were too. The pork belly was perfectly rendered and quite possible the most beautiful poached eggs were nestled on top. At bottom of each stack was a potato pancake to sop up the rich & silky goodness. The chilaquiles roja's flavors were well balanced, not too acidic or spicy. I only wished there was more tortillas to soak up the sauce. Overall, we were quite pleased, it was a nice find.

Next, we caught a Uber over to Coronado Island. It seemed like an ideal place to enjoy the perfect weather, sunny skies and 75 degrees! We wandered around the island and Frank introduced me to the Bloody Mary served at Hotel Coronado. Surprisingly, I've never tried one before. I honestly didn't think I'd like it, but I did. He asked for it extra spicy. It's funny, though, it reminded me more of soup than a cocktail. A gazpacho, if you will. I now understand why many are served with antipasto, sliders or a meatnormous amount of bacon. People watching was superb from the patio. People came from everywhere and anywhere.

Back at the hotel, we rested a bit and then, packed up our belongings and left our bags at the bell desk. We caught a ride to Liberty Station. We had a late lunch at Con Pane Bakery. Unfortunately, they were out of the rosemary olive oil bread. It's still better than most on sourdough, but it just wasn't the same. Luckily, we did snag a cinnamon roll, because someone failed to show for a pick up order. You win some, you lose some. We walked around the park and along the water until the sun began to set. Our last stop was the Cuban Cigar Factory. We often visit when in town, Frank enjoyed a stick (or two) and much to my delight they had Pliny the Elder in the cooler. Which we typically only find in San Francisco. It's a good way to pass the time!

The time had come to gather our bags and return to the airport. We were met with a large group of protesters, but it didn't slow us down. Security was quick and easy, and we arrived at our gate with ease. The flight home was timely. I must say flying is pretty darn convenient. It's not a fit for every trip, but we'll definitely take advantage of cheap fares in the future.


KathyinNY said...

I love your stories and the pictures to go with it. Some people get sick of seeing food pics but I love it. Your descriptions are so vivid and make me want to get on a plane and go to San Diego. You are very fortunate that you have an huge airport that you can take advantage of sweet airfares. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and shared it with us.
Right now it's like 28 and snowy/cold/breezy where I live. I am so looking forward to Spring/Summer.

Kellee said...

Brrr! Keep warm. Hopefully, spring arrives early! As always, thanks for reading and the kind comments.

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