I unplugged from Friday until Monday afternoon, and it was magnificent. Here are some pictures from my adventure!
1: We stayed at the Hilton Embassy Suites Bay Downtown in San Diego. It was stupidly expensive, but it was me walking distance from the U.S.S. Midway, which was what we needed. It was also right near everything else we wanted to do.
Did I mention it was stupidly expensive?
2: The Hilton Embassy Suites was one of the best hotel experiences my husband and I have ever had. We had one complaint. We had to VERY CAREFULLY ease our truck into the valet parking lot and Siri wasn’t quite clear on where valet parking was at. I understood where it was due to having checked the maps prior to leaving, so we found it with only minor incident.
That was literally our only actual complaint about this hotel.
It’s a first.
P.S.: We were not charged oversized parking for our massive truck, and they went out of the way to make our truck accessible; they noticed I was using a cane and made sure we could get to the vehicle if I needed it.
(Yeah, that was nice. Little shit like that makes it clear when a hotel is a step above the rest.)
Okay, onto the picture portion of this adventure.
The weather in Gilroy/Casa de Fruta was unusual. There was rain. We even got wet. I love this clouds. See that Fresh Cherries sign? After that chain of signs is one of my favorite road stands.
The Tyrant (my husband) did not let me stop at ANY roadside stands this trip. In either direction.
He will pay for this.
The area around Casa de Fruta is among my favorite. This is near the San Luis Reservoir. The water level was so much better than last year. It was delightful to see.
I didn’t take any good pictures of the reservoir this trip. I was too interested in the clouds and the hills, so I was taking pictures of those instead.
Central Valley consistently makes me happy. There are farms, orchards, hills, mountains, and pretty clouds with pretty blue skies.
This picture is a lot of the reason I just love California.
The above picture was taken on route through the i-5 pass through the mountains. While it looks like we’re going down, in reality, we’re just warming up to go up and over that lovely big mountain in front of us.
Pyramid lake! I don’t know what the lake is actually called, but there is a pyramid, and I always love landscape watching around the pyramid, so this is always a favorite when we head up trough the Tejon pass area.
People between Los Angeles and San Diego can’t fucking drive, and we stopped bothering to count the number of hazards, accepting that this area is ripe with people who are a: driving without licenses and no practical driving experience b: idiots. I’ll leave you to decide which.
Let’s just say both of our trips along this route were ridiculous in terms of number of accidents and people who cannot drive worth a shit.
Our first glimpse of the Midway. Boo to the construction tower, but we were so excited we could see her from our window.
The hotel provided full bottles of soap, shampoo, and conditioner. The stuff is also ridiculously nice.
True story: makes excellent bubble bath. Husband saw me filling a plastic cup with a mix of all three, and he was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
To which I replied, in a most solemn voice: Indulging in a lava bath.
San Diego does not mandate hotels control their water temperatures.
My bath was made of lava.
My back loved it.
I already miss the tub and the water temperature.
We went down for breakfast. My husband even got out of bed early for breakfast. This breakfast was worth getting up for. When most restaurants say breakfast, you usually get yogurt and sad bagels. (There was good yogurt and great bagels, but when I can have good eggs and bacon and home fries and sausage and fruit and pancakes, why would I get bagels?)
And while the syrup was table syrup, it was that guilty (I felt no guilt) pleasure that made the soul happy.
My soul was pampered at breakfast every morning. So much pampering.
Also, it’s a vertical hotel with very little walking to get to the rooms. My husband was delighted by this, as was I.
Our room was on the 9th floor.
We had a balcony. The suite had an actual bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchenette area, and a sitting room with separate dining area. With an actual dining table. Which we even had dinner at one night.
It would actually make a great little one person apartment, not gonna lie. I mean, it didn’t have a freezer, stove, or oven, but it had a microwave and fridge and sink and counter space?
My husband made me walk a mile to get to a trolley stop.
Spoiler alert: there was a trolley stop RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR HOTEL.
Let’s just say I gave him shit over that. Then he reminded me my fat ass needed the exercise. (Yes, he is allowed and encouraged to issue these reminders. My counter is ‘there’s just more ass for you to love’ and he can’t say I’m wrong. But it is a good way to get me moving.)
I walked 3.5 miles. It’s the first time I’ve walked more than a mile in a day since I’d injured my feet.
This mural is on two standing walls left over from a deconstruction project. The eyes are the electric meters. This is one of my favorite things ever. I LOVE THIS. This is part of Barrio Logan for those curious where it’s at, and if you take the Old Towne Trolley Tours, you can see it.
Side note: my husband knows I am obsessed with trains, trolleys, trolley cars, and street cars. Whenever we go to San Francisco, he points out EVERY SINGLE street car to me, because he knows I just can’t help myself and I get excited. He will turn me around if it’s a street car in a color I have never seen before.
Bridge bridge bridge bridge bridge the trolley takes a BRIDGE and it’s a 2 mile big bridge and the sides of the trolley are OPEN so we’re at highway speed and the trolley driver is NOT SHY about zooooooming across the bridge.
No lie, I’m pretty every single adult on the trolley had a ridiculous amount of fun on the bridge. We were way over the bridge rail so our view was AMAZING.
Also, it was at this point in the ride, while the driver was gunning the engine, he said, “If you’re afraid of heights, well, sorry about that, you can’t escape now” and it was hilarious.
(He absolutely did warn people before the last stop we were about to go over the bridge.)
Cruise ships returned this week to San Diego!
I saw one of the MAJOR cruise ships in the harbor and it was a serious wtf. I don’t know what this specific ship is, but it’s blue and pretty and looks cruise shippish, so that’s why it’s under the cruise ship portion. (But 3-7 days ago, the first cruise ships returned to San Diego to take on passengers for the first time since COVID started. Let’s just say the port folks were super excited to see the cruise ships back.)
Bridge bridge bridge bridge bridge!!!
I do really like boats. The San Diego Convention Center is in the background. But really, I just like the boats.
This house sold for 19 million dollars. I told my husband I would buy it if I had 19 million dollars. He did not argue with me. It was moved from its original foundation and shipped across the San Diego bay to Coronado.
I love everything about this house and want to own it. Except I don’t think I want to live in Coronado…
This building is super cool, in that the wood was sent from San Francisco area by water to here. Don’t ask me anything else about the building. It is pretty but it’s also an entire forest of trees. O.O
Balboa Park is on my to-do list. The trolley drove us through it, but now I want to go there for a few days. Just to see this park and the so and Museum of Us. I think I preferred when it was called the Museum of Man.
I don’t remember what this building is but it is cool and I like it.
I want this house.
My spouse rewarded me for riding the trolley with delicious food at Claim Jumper. I particularly appreciate that the waiter did not try to shame me when I asked for my pretty beverage to be light on the alcohol. And they did a fantastic job of being light on the alcohol.
She is the ship that was used on Master and Commander and in Pirates of the Caribbean. She was closed for renovations, which she direly needs, but I was so thrilled they are taking care of her. She’s so pretty. I love her.
So, at this stage, I was whining at my husband because I wanted to go on a speedboat tour ride. I love boats, I love the water, and I basically lost my damned mind because of the bridge and the water, etc.
He was like no I hate speedboats no tours for you.
(Hint: he’s a liar.)
I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat! ON A BOAT.
Midway! Midway! Midway! With a beautiful sailing ship in the foreground. I am so pleased with this picture.
I am also pleased with this picture.
I love you, U.S.S. Midway.
I love you from this side, too, U.S.S. Midway.
Not a bridge, but look how much fun they’re having!
Hi, San Diego!
At this stage, my naval history loving spouse is having a complete meltdown because the tour boat took us as close to the naval base as they’re allowed to take us. The lady giving the tour plies sailors with alcohol to give her information, which she then uses on the tour because she’s amazing.
Only three of these beauties were made, and damn, is she pretty. I love her.
A nicer shot of the U.S.S. Hasley (DGG-97). See that yellow buoy? That is the “stay the fuck away from us” buoy, along with the little water fences they have set up.
But look how pretty U.S.S. Hasley is!! SO PRETTY.
She’s currently in dock for restoration/repairs, as you can tell from the scaffolding. I don’t know when she’s scheduled to sail again. She’s right near the navy drydock, though, which was SUPER cool to see up close.
Because she could, the tour guide had our captain take us right up to the U.S.S. Midway for a close-up view of her.
Husband was, for a rare change, as excited as I was.
The golden anchor means she is a ship people want to serve on and has high requests for, and is a prized ship of the navy, essentially. They have to score high on a lot of internal reviews, including commentary from those who are on board the ship.
Fun fact: the Hasley’s golden anchor was earned because of the food, and the crew had a high drive to stay on her because the chef was that good. (Yeah, the tour guide got one of the Hasley’s crew cornered in a bar and got intel on the golden anchor and why the Hasley was awarded it.)
The retention award (golden anchor) is really interesting. The Midway was awarded the golden anchor after excellence in ’86 and ’87, which was shortly before her decommissioning and conversion to a museum ship, which happened on April 11, 1992.
Midway is very probably the absolute top of class in terms of museum ships. She was commissioned and put into service on September 10, 1945, one week following the conclusion of World War II, named after the Battle of Midway. She boasts several records, including being the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century.
Seriously, go visit her. She’s a beauty, and she’s been shown a great deal of love by her museum.
Moving on, else I’ll be here all day gushing over the Midway.
This is the Star of India. My liar husband lured me to the port to go tour her. We get to the ticket booth, and he asks about the boat tours, and the lady is like yeah, she sails at 2:45.
It is 2:44 at that time, and she takes our money, calls the Pilot (the ship that we took the tour on) and said there were two more people scuttling through the museum for the ride.
My husband is sneaky. He really wanted to ride the last functioning SWIFT boat from the Vietnam conflict, but she’d already set sail for her final tour for the day. He DID get to see her, so he was happy with that.
Anyway, the Star of India is the naval museum’s prized ship. She is stunning, and if you get a chance to go to San Diego, please go visit her. She’s beautiful, and I love her.
At this stage, we visit the museum and the Star of India, and husband went into the U.S.S. Dolphin while I sat on a bench and felt sorry for myself.
We limped back to the hotel, where we went to the hotel’s evening reception. I limp to the bartender and ask if I could have a cosmo for one hand and a bloody mary for the other; I’d never had a bloody mary before.
The dude did not joke around on my drinks, and sent me off with a cosmo in one hand and a bloody mary in the other.
He was a skilled bartender, and it was a good bloody mary, but tbh, I only drank about a quarter of each drink. I was too tired to drink.
but not going to lie, if you took the bloody mary and gave me a big plate of veggies, I’d dip veggies in that drink all night long happily.
I wasn’t as fan of having to actually DRINK it, but it goes real good with those olives and celery.
Did I mention how much I loved the breakfast at this place??
… At this point, I’m a bundle of pain and agony, and I’m limping along like a champ because I WAS GETTING ON BOARD THAT SHIP.
I bought a shiny. It was made by Midway volunteers for a scholarship charity.
I bought another shiny because I deserve pretty things, and this had all of my favorite stone colors.
The rest of my pictures haven’t uploaded from my phone yet so that’s okay. But you got to see my pretty bracelets. (Well the ocean agate can be worn as a necklace, too.)
I had fun. Now I am tired.
I did no work.
This is good.
I hope you all had even a quarter of the amount of fun I had this weekend. O.O Even a quarter would be pretty amazeballs.