The past couple weeks were crazy going from one coast to the other for weddings, but I had a splendid time in one of my favorite cities, San Diego! I had the chance to visit one of my friends in San Diego a year and a half ago and I was excited that he invited me to his wedding.
Me and my fiancé Beth ventured out from Indianapolis to San Diego on Friday night with a connection through Denver. Thanks to a previous mishap on a Southwest flight I had enough in vouchers to pay for one ticket and then the Southwest companion pass allowed Beth to fly for free with me! Not a bad deal, free flights! For those interested, the Southwest credit card is at 50k point right now which is a lot towards the 110k companion pass qualification, a decent guide about the Southwest Companion Pass at The Points Guy if you are interested. Now on to the actual trip!
We had no problems with the flights, which is always great and made it to San Diego. For our accommodations we settled on the DoubleTree Downtown San Diego which was just a mere 5-10 minute shuttle ride from the airport. Yes, there is a free shuttle between the airport and the DoubleTree. Many airline pilots and flight attendants stay at this location, so just note that. If you want to catch the shuttle, I would suggest calling the hotel once you land and then head across the pedestrian bridge to where all the taxis and rental car pickups are. From there just look for the a big white shuttle van with DoubleTree on it, they come about every 30 minutes. We also took the shuttle back to the airport when we departed and for that simply make a reservation at the front desk for a time.
A little bit about the hotel before I dive into our adventures. Overall, the DoubleTree fitted our needs with its ideal location next to Little Italy and within walking distance of most of downtown. Also for those people venturing off site its within a 15 – 20 minute drive of many beaches. The views were spectacular of downtown and the harbor but make sure to get the city view and not the highway view. We were also able to enjoy the pool and hot tub. The hot tub and pool were small, but still nice. Now for the issues… First the mattresses seemed really old. They weren’t uncomfortable but definitely weren’t the best. Second, the breakfast wasn’t anything to write home about… but it sufficed and I am glad I didn’t have to pay for it because of my Hilton gold status. Not worth to pay the breakfast–head out to Little Italy or some of the nearby restaurants.
With us being on east coast time, we were up relatively early but that let us enjoy even more of the day. Right outside of the DoubleTree we were able to catch the Little Italy Mercato which runs nearly every Saturday. It was pretty fun walking through the stalls which ranged from art to food to more food. Both Beth and I are kinda beach bums, so we caught an Uber and headed up to Mission Beach my favorite swimming beach near San Diego. Now the funny part was we actually met up with a bunch of my friends who were attending the wedding at the beach. We plopped down just a little bit north of Belmont Park and maybe 30 minutes later my friends setup literally 20 yards down the beach from us. So we surprised them and joined them. Did I mention it was freaking hot?! It was just tipping over 90 degrees and it was October… Anything over 90 in San Diego is absurd but I didn’t mind while being in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. But being in a suit is another story….
The wedding we were attending was over in Coronado so we had to make a pitstop at The Del (Hotel Del Coronado). My fiancé had never been and it is a must see stop for anyway visiting San Diego for the hotel and golden black sand. The ceremony for the wedding was held nearby at a beautiful church. From there it was onto the Grand Hyatt Manchester for the reception and wow it did not disappoint. An amazing property for an even more amazing wedding celebration. The views from the 32nd floor were ridiculous and seeing the sunset over the harbor was immaculate. I would highly recommend staying here if you get the chance. Afterwards we ventured out to the bar scene in Gaslamp and it was packed and still really hot. By now I was drenched in sweat from being in a suit all night. It was still a lot of fun hanging out with my friends.
The next day Beth and I decided to venture out to La Jolla Cove on a recommendation from my friends at the wedding. We had never been and I was excited to see the seals up close at the Children’s Pool. Still not sure why its called that… Seal Pool would be a better fit or maybe stinky pool? Seals do smell… It really is a great spot though for getting close to the seals and to walkout on the point to see the waves crash in. From there we started walking along the cliffs and made tons of stops on the way. We went for a dip in one of the alcoves to get cooled off. It was still hot… Really fun by the way and would recommend even if it does smell like Seal. There were a lot of snorkelers so there must have been a lot of fish nearby! I didn’t have the gear but would have been awesome to join. In La Jolla Cove we ran into another festival this one being the La Jolla Art Wine Festival but we were too dehydrated to really enjoy so we stopped at Aflonso’s to get a bite to eat.
We kept on walking towards La Jolla Beach which ended up being just over a 1.5 mile jaunt from where we started, Children’s Pool. Just keep following the road or path nearest to the water for the best views. A really great hike as you get so many vantage points of the cliffs and can jump in the water at a lot of spots. La Jolla Beach was nice as well, it seemed more family friendly than Mission Beach. The waves were smaller and there was a more gradual walk into the walk. I was kind of disappointment as I really like waves but it was still nice to layout.
Our final night in San Diego we went out for a nice dinner and caught the tail end of the 3rd festival of the weekend the Little Italy Festa! Most of it was closing up so we settled on going to Mimmo’s. Great wine, bread, and pasta! We managed to make it back to Mission Beach the next morning before our flight. It was overcast but the beach was still nice. For such a short weekend, I am impressed we got so much in! Visited three different beaches, saw seals, Little Italy, and a wedding!
At the airport me and Beth went our separate ways…. She was going to enjoy more beaches in Jacksonville… While I headed back to Indianapolis for work. Both our Southwest flights went out on time. I had a layover in Las Vegas and had enough time to enjoy the American Express Centurion Lounge, maybe a little too much… I ended up missing my A boarding group and ended boarding in the middle of C but still got an aisle seat on a full flight. Figures, but awesome!
Next up my post about Jacksonville where we packed in a lot in a short time… again.