The Traveling Kings are heading west to San Diego. We flew ExpressJet airlines nonstop. We absolutely loved the flight. The stewardess repeatedly offered us snacks and drinks the entire trip. It was almost as if we had our own private jet. After landing in San Diego, the small plane taxied right up to the terminal, we went down the stairs, and then walked across the tarmac to our luggage. It was the most efficient and enjoyable flight we have had in a long time.
This was Miles & Mallory’s first flight, and they had a great time. The stewardess found a new friend with Mallory, and they chatted together several times.
We found good air quality in San Diego. We had some concerns due to the past week of wildfires, but the shifting winds have cleaned everything up considerably. Never during the day did we even give a second thought to the fires and smoke.
We checked in quickly at the Omni Hotel. It is first class, and then some. It appears to have a great location, right on the outskirts of the Gaslamp District. As a matter of fact, the baseball field where the San Diego Padres play, Petco Park, is directly across the street from the hotel. From our room window, we can see the outfield of the stadium.
Our big plan for today was to take the Double Decker Bus Tour around the city. In order to do that, we had to take the Trolley to Old Town. There was a Trolley station just a block from the hotel so we quickly got some passes and boarded. (What San Diego considers a Trolley, I would consider a Train. Just to be clear, this is not a San Francisco Trolley we were riding.)
We made it to Old Town, site of the original home of the city. It is just a couple of miles north of downtown San Diego. While chatting with an elderly couple from Seattle at the Trolley Station, we find out that the best Mexican food in Old Town is a place called “Freds”. So, we headed straight to Freds upon arrival and had lunch. The service was less than spectacular, but the food was interesting. Stephanie got Calamari Tacos and I got a Mahi Burrito.
After lunch, we hopped on the Bus Tour around the city. The bus tour did not, unfortunately, have a real, live tour guide. We were subjected to an audiotape version of the tour, and to make matters worse, the speakers on the top deck were not that great.
The one saving grace of the tour was that we did drive past some interesting things, including the Zoo, and some different sections of town, such as Little Italy.
Trivia learned during the Double Decker Bus Tour: San Diego has the busiest one-runway airport in the country. A plane takes off or lands every 90 seconds. The airport is right next to downtown, and because of height restrictions on buildings near airports, there are no true skyscrapers in San Diego.
Old Town was quite a disappointment. It really came across as nothing more than a tourist trap. The most interesting thing in Old Town was the Whaley House, which has the reputation of being the most haunted house in the country. (How do you dispute that?) There used to be a gallows in the backyard, so sounds plausible to me.
We capped off our evening with a dip in the outdoor pool. It is “supposedly” heated to 85 degrees, but it felt pretty chilly to us. Stephanie and I opted for the hot tub, which was probably closer to 385 degrees.
The weather was not San Diego-perfect today. We actually had a few sprinkles, and never saw the sun. Hopefully, we will get some sunshine as the week goes on.
We gave the kids each an early Christmas present before this trip. They each got a digital camera. They really enjoyed taking pictures all day long. I will try to let them pick their favorite picture that they each took, and include it in each day’s entry.