Most years pre-COVID, Eric would get work approval to attend the PAG conference in San Diego and I would tag along. I typically worked while Eric was spending the day in sessions and this time my brother drove down from LA so I got to spend some quality time with him as well.
Flights and Car Rental
Our flight to Charlotte was delayed nearly two hours due to weather and I was nervous we were going to miss our tightening connection – especially considering we had both received complimentary upgrades on AA for the first time in years. Our flight was still showing on time (eep!) when we finally left RDU but popped up as delayed when we landed. Whew! There was going to be prosecco in my immediate future. The beef cheek was surprisingly good and we mostly relaxed during the five hour flight. Thankfully the flight back through O’Hare was uneventful (except for my sinus congestion and the lack of chocolate chip cookies for sale).
Because we landed in San Diego after 1am, all the Hertz rental counters were closed. Eric is Gold though so we didn’t fret too much until we saw the words “go to desk” next to his name. &*$#! There was one lane open for exiting so Eric walked over to speak with the attendant who told him to just “grab any Tesla.” So, I had to learn to drive an electric car at 1:30am after being awake for about 21 hours. The attendant tried to answer a bunch of my questions: How do I charge it? How do I turn the car off? How do I unlock/lock it? and we were on our way. It took me a day or so to get the hang of the gas pedal (once you take your foot off the gas the car just kinda stops – no coasting) and figuring out where the controls were on the giant screen but we made it work.
Where We Stayed
On this trip, we split our time between Hotel Circle and Mission Beach.
Holiday Inn Hotel Circle
Located within walking distance of the conference center, the Holiday Inn was a good option for us for the first half of the trip when Eric was at the conference most of the day. Parking was easy and the entrance ramp to I-8 was 2 minutes away. The included breakfast was sufficient (including some actually tasty cinnamon rolls) and Eric took advantage of the gym.
Staying at the beach in San Diego is always preferred! Rather surprisingly, Tower23 was less than the Holiday Inn for the second half of our trip, so we changed over on Sunday afternoon. Our garden room looked out over the upstairs patio area, accessible only to guests. We took advantage of the beach views on the last evening to use our free drink coupons. Overall, the room was comfortable and the hotel also had a Tesla charging station, a very nice bonus for us as the valets kept it topped up the whole time.
I loved being a quick walk to the boardwalk for exercise and people watching and when it got too crowded, I wandered over to the bay side which is always quieter.