Trip Report: San Diego, California

San Diego 

We found the Doubletree (at hotel circle) which I arranged through the JetBlue getaways. I didn’t do too much research because I’ve stayed at doubletrees before and been pretty pleased. We walked in to find that this one has a pool and Jacuzzi. The pool is heated and the Jacuzzi was a nice relaxing way to wash away the day of driving.

As a Hilton honors member we got free cookies and waters at check in. They have a nice business center where we could print our zoo tickets and boarding passes.

The room was nice with 2 queen beds and a sleeper sofa. It also featured a really nice balcony over looking the pool (our room was on the 6th floor).

There were a few issues with the room. There was a whistling noise in the hallway maybe from the air conditioning and our TV had to be replaced because it wasn’t performing properly. They did a good job fixing the TV and we got another free cookie for the trouble. I was told that they had fixed the whistling but they didn’t. I mentioned it again after we got back on the last night and while they said they were sending someone up to fix it but no luck. Our only choice was shutting off the air conditioning (or use earplugs, which is what I did).

When I was checking out of the hotel the next day I made sure to let the front desk know about my unhappiness with the noise from the ac. I was hoping they would at least comp the $18/night parking fee (which is ridiculous anyway) and was also hopeful they might comp the 4 of us breakfast at the hotel. Well, my hopes were answered. The $65 breakfast tab was covered as was the $36 dollar parking fee.

They were very apologetic and helpful with situation. The thing that bothered me most was that they just didn’t get it fixed.

Oscars Mexican

A block from the beach. This place was fantastic. I got the fish cerviche (they have fish or shrimp or a mix), the 99cent!! Happy hour battered shrimp taco, the surf and turf taco (steak and shrimp) and then a mystery taco (probably fish) which I didn’t order (or pay for) but ended up on my plate.

All 6 of us were completely satisfied with our meals. No complaints.

Phil’s BBQ 

Baby ribs. Half chicken. Onion rings. Cole slaw. And the veggies.

Another great food experience here, everything we got was super moist and falls off the bone. The staff was attentive and friendly and the food came very quick.

The Blind Burro

Last night in San Diego we came here. Another Mexican place. After checking some reviews we got some chips and guacamole and salsa. The chips are fresh and come out warm. Guacamole is very fresh as well.

After asking the waiter for his favorites and again checking foursquare (and my buddy checking yelp) we ordered the pezole (a soup with chicken and little (potato balls?). A really cool presentation with the nicely displayed soup and ten on the side; avocado, Mexican oregano, lime, onion and something else I couldn’t identify. The soup was really good. I split this with my buddy and if I had ordered it for myself it would have been a full meal (at just $9).

Next we got the BBQ yellowtail collar which had tons of positive reviews on both. This is apparently right around the neck of the fish. It’s supposedly a difficult part of the fish to cook but according to the waiter the cooks spent time learning how to do it in Mexico. After confirmation from the water we learned that the executive and assistant chef both spent several months training in Mexico on traditional Mexican cuisine techniques. It certainly shined through in the food.

This was some of the best fish I’ve ever had. And I eat a ton!!!! of fish. It’s kind of blackened, it’s sweet but spicy. Incredibly, incredibly moist. 3 of us at the table got it and we were all floored

We also ordered the steak torta. The waiter highly recommended any of the steak dishes. It was good. But as I said to my buddy, the yellowtail completely overshadowed the steak. “I can’t even remember what it tasted like” (just that it was good)

San Diego Zoo

Ride the bus on the top and on the right side. Take the bus when u first get in to get a good basis for the rest of the day. The panda is freaking hilarious. He’s just plopped down, spread eagle on his back, chomping on bamboo. The park is huge and you’ll wear yourself out for sure walking through the whole place. Use the tram to get around as well. It is good to take you from the entrance of the park to the furthermost most point.

One interesting thing about the restaurants we went through during the trips was that the majority of them were somewhat self service. Where you would walk up the counter, place an order and then a waiter or waitress would bring it to your table. We found this a bit odd but it actually worked out well. Service seemed to be faster actually and orders seemed to come out with less problems or things missing.

Return from San Diego to LAX

We had left ourselves 3.5 hours to make the (according to Google maps) 1hr and 50minute drive from San Diego to lax. Everyone warned us (as I’ve been warned in the past) about the terrible traffic around LA.

We arrived in about 2hrs and 15minutes even with a road closure on the 405, which could have spelled disaster.

Car drop off at hertz was standard (the hertz shuttle back to the airport dropped us off at the wrong terminal so we had to walk a bit to get back to the JetBlue entrance)

Getting through security was a breeze with the JetBlue “even more speed” which I spoke about earlier. Got on flight with no problems, comfy first road Bulkhead for me and my friend and an uneventful flight back home.

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