Flashbacks to Bruce Hall ensued: small little rooms where you got to eat, sleep, cook and study, in close proximity to many others; fellow "in-mates" getting home at 5am and stomping through the hallway (the difference obviously being that their 5am home coming was from work - not the pub); and seemingly people have no laundry etiquette in any joint living facility anywhere in the world. It was like going home :-)
The next weekend, we drove through the chaotic traffic of LA to get to San Diego. I loved this city! We stayed in a lovely hotel in the heart of the gas lamp district, about 4 streets away from "the" main street. After getting in late, we had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant that understood that one plate of food doesn't need to feed a family of four for a week. Tristan bought me a lovely long stemmed rose from a street vendor and we got to listen to the sounds of the city as people hit the town, as we nursed some lovely food.
As an observation, there are very few unattractive people in San Diego. Tristan's roving eyes confirmed my suspicions. There are at least 4 hot girls to every guy, no one wears flats or jeans, and everyone is always smiling. This is most definitely a city you can have a lot of fun in. Despite feeling like a lump surrounded by so much beauty, I couldn't help but enjoy being around so many happy, energetic people who were looking to have a good time.
We had an early night and headed to SeaWorld the next morning. It was great! We saw dolphins and whales shows, aerobatic displays, and so many animals I lost count. Tristan took some amazing photos at the show (check out FB). The crowds weren't too bad, so we leisurely wondered from show to show to see the sights and delights of the world under the sea.There were a few rides that Tristan went on with friends while I sat in the stands mumbling about how in the animal world the male seahorse had to sit on the bench while the girls got to go and play. However, when I saw how wet he got after the white water rapids, I didn't mind sitting and watching so much.
That evening we went to the Top Gun Bar. Tristan was like a kid at Christmas as we walked there. From the movie, you think you know what to expect...well, the movie didn't have it quiet right... It's actually a BBQ restaurant - the type you would never eat at. It was dark and dingy and had people's left over "clothing" on the fans. The walls and benching were all plastered with photos, number plates, stickers you don't want your kids to ever read, and hats from every navy ship that had ever docked in the bay (San Diego is a big Navy city). It was quaint in a peculiar type of way, just not what I expected. We sat at the bar while Tristan ordered a beer and bought a t-shirt, but to be honest, I couldn't get out of there fast enough! But for Tristan, the memorabilia, including Mavrick's flight helmet, the piano Goose played Great Balls of Fire on and the many photos from the filming of the movie made the place unforgettable. One for the boys I think - ladies only go if you have hand sanitizer in your bag or plan to drink so much that it won't matter.
The next day, in the spirit of the naval history of the city, we went aboard the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier from WWII. I think it is safe to say that both Tristan and I would have been too tall for the US Navy back in the day. While roaming the (I really want to say "boat") ship, we ducked and weaved our way around, doing our best to not knock our heads. On the flight deck, Tristan's favourite plane of all time the SkyHawk A3 was on display. Unfortunately, he had left the memory card for the camera in the computer, so he couldn't get any good photos. But I think the opportunity to touch such a machine made up for it. While we could have spent hours wondering the decks of the "smallish" carrier, I had to cut the trip short, as I was flying out that afternoon.
There were no tearful goodbyes, as Tristan would be home in a week, but I couldn't help but feel a bit melancholy to return back to our house in Denver alone.
San Diego is a great city - I think that all family and friends that come to visit should make a side trip there. It's family friendly city with Seaworld and the Zoo, even the carrier would be great to show to the kids. It's easy to walk everywhere, and people are lovely. However, it's also a city that you could have a great time with a group of mates, all out to have a good time.
Definitely on my to-go-back-to list.