Tuesday, June 23, 2009

San Diego, How Do I Love Thee?

As some of you may know, I went to San Diego with my husband last week for four whole days of being sans children in a gorgeous city, with absolutely nothing to do.

It was heaven.

Can I just tell you that I used to HATE being alone? No, I mean it, the last thing I would ever have wanted to do was spend four days all by myself, going places in a strange city on my own and having hours of uninterrupted quiet. But now? After 8 years of being a parent and not even getting to go to the bathroom alone--it's my new nirvana.

Since hubby was in San Diego for a convention, that meant that my days were all for me. I set it up so I didn't have to do much work, but I brought the laptop so I could Facebook and Twitter in bed in the hotel room about all my fabulous adventures. I also had my very first IM meeting with my editor without my 3-year-old screaming and pulling on me before, during and after. I could actually concentrate on thoughts in my head, and I even took naps. NAPS! But the coolest thing was that I got out of the hotel and explored San Diego solo, something that makes me extremely proud.

The first day I simply walked down the street from the hotel looking for a convenience store for some drinks and snacks, but I did make friends with a rather nice cabby who gave me a card and told me it would be about 30 bucks to get to La Jolla the next day, where I was planning to go. I took these pictures along the way:

Yes, those are palm trees! OK, you can commence making fun of me that I was so excited to see actual palm trees that were not planted in a pot that I took pictures of them. But you will probably make fun of me more for this one:

I took this one because the landscaping at the hotel next to ours was really pretty. Yes, I am lame. Whatever.

So then I went and had lunch at the hotel restaurant, only the second time I have ever sat in an establishment and eaten by myself. May I just add that the restaurant was called the Tickled Trout? Best. Restaurant. Name. Ever.

That night we went to Old Town, the oldest part of San Diego where the Mexicans originally settled. We had dinner at La Pinata, which was a little Mexican restaurant filled with, you guessed it--pinatas! We also got serenaded by a dude with a guitar and another dude gave me a rose and then promptly looked to my husband for payment. HA! now that's the way to make a sale! Here we are at dinner"

Believe it or not, I had only had one beer, despite the fact that I look totally smashed in this picture. It must be the glasses...

We walked around Old Town and bought souvenirs that night and also had drinks at the Tickled Trout when we got back. We met an awesome bartender named Pete and an old Mexican dude named Mariano DelGado who taught us how to make pineapple salad with chile pepper and salt. He claims it is awesome. I took his word for it.

Also, the bartender totally got rid of my husband's hiccups by having him eat a lemon with bitters on it. it seriously worked--IMMEDIATELY. I have never seen anything like it. That reminds me that I have to run out and get some bitters...

So the next day I decided that I wanted to do something special and pamper myself so I made an appointment with this upscale salon (well, upscale to me who likes to pay $12 or less for a haircut) called Dearinger, and had an incredible haircutting experience with my stylist, Mitsu who was the coolest Japanese guy with a bleached blond mohawk on the back of his head. I could barely understood a word that he said but he styled me up good, complete with head massage, aromatherapy and hot, moist towels...ahhhhhh. I really wanted to take a picture of him, but I felt a little weird, so I chickened out. But here is a picture of the salon:

After my haircut, I just walked the streets of La Jolla, towards the ocean, cause I figured it would lead me to the beach. Which it did. And there were actual surfers there! I had never seen real life surfers in person before, so I was pretty stoked (yes, we have already established that I am SUPER lame). Walking down to the beach, I took this picture because it made me feel like I was in a movie:

Doesn't that look like a scene from a movie? Yeah, I thought so too.

Once I was on the beach, of course I took pictures of the surfers cause they were, like, totally rad:

I walked on the beach for a while, then headed back to downtown La Jolla where I did some shopping, had coffee at a Starbucks and called for a cab. I felt so grown up and brave traveling around by myself.

That night we had dinner with clients at an awesome Italian restaurant on Pacific Beach called Cafe Bella Italia. The food was delish and the clients were awesome--straight from Banglor, India, the owner of the company is a woman and mom of two grown kids and SO smart and wordly. I was thoroughly impressed at the woman power sitting next to me.

The next day was my day to totally veg out and I did almost nothing. I watched a movie on my laptop, slept for THREE HOURS and goofed off on Facebook and Twitter. I couldn't remember the last time I had stayed in my pj's all day and laid around in bed. Awesome with a capital "A." Then that night we had dinner at Joe's Crab Shack, where I did not eat crabs because I don't like seafood, but the steak I had was pretty good. The Sea Turtle Brownie Sundae, however, was AMAZING.

The trip was about three or four days too short, though, and we had to leave early the next morning to come home. Here I am on the plane:

I look pretty happy for someone who was crammed into a window seat half the size of my ass with my knees up around my chin. American Airlines seating certainly leaves something to be desired and its starking contrast to the Jet Blue flight we had on the way in made it that much harder. But thankfully, we had a nice tail wind that brought us into Boston in about 5 hours, rather than over 6, like we had the first time. I got some work done, watched half of Twilight on my laptop and drank some really bad coffee and ate a HUGE chocolate chip cookie.

That's it. We got home safely, went and picked up my daughter, which was the absolutely highlight of the day since I had missed her a ton! We also picked up the dog, who I must admit, was a little more excited to see us than our daughter was, but you know how dogs are. And 3-year-olds.

All I have to say is, San Diego, I heart you. And I can't wait to go back. A big thank you to my husband, because the trip would not have been possible if it hadn't been for his convention. And because of said convention, I got to enjoy my newfound love of alone time.

But I must admit, I am pretty psyched for the next business trip because me and the kids might be going and it is somewhere I have never been...