After much too long of a vacation from vacations due to the pandemic, we finally put all of the ducks together in a straight line and got ourselves out to San Diego for a few days of “rest” and vacation.

Vacation day one starts with getting to the airport. The kids decided it would be swell to stay up all night doing laundry before leaving to board our 9am flight, and so there wasn’t much good sleep. Both Berta and I wandered bleary-eyed to the family room where we found Riley using his computer, having thrown a load of landry in the washer. Why his laundry makes sounds like the machine is killing small animals, I can’t tell you. Anyway, this sets the stage for our first sleepy day of travel.

The airport wasn’t terrible. We did have to go through the regular security line because Berta, unlike the rest of us, did not have TSA pre-check, even though they’d given it to us in the past. I think they just want their $100 from her like everyone else. Nonetheless, it wasn’t too long a wait, and we arrived early enough to have more than an hour to prowl around the airport. I managed to find a coffee place deeper in the terminal, and so our team didn’t have to wait in line with all of the other weary travelers.

The flight was pretty uneventful. I sat in the row behind the fam, since the rows were three seats on either side of the aisle. Dude next to me wore a cowboy hat onto the plane with some Trump-positive t-shirt. We did not converse. He tried to sleep with his head on the tray table, and Riley crushed his head when he put the seat back. Should have seen that coming. Anyway, I watched Black Widow and Raya and the Last Dragon. They were acceptable plane entertainment.

At SAN, our baggage was quick to come off the plane. We hired a Lyft (Uber totally failed to connect us with a driver) and rolled 10 minutes to our hotel, the SpringHill Suites, Bayside. Our rooms were (expectedly) not ready, so we left our bags and headed out to lunch.

We walked a couple of blocks to a small place called Hidden Craft. They had burgers, tacos, and other handheld foods, but their signature property was the wall of beer taps. Each tap had a card reader above it. When you set your card in the reader, the tap would activate, and your bill would tally by the ounce of beer poured. It was a fun and quick way to try a bunch of local brews. I rated them all (three of them) on Untappd, but I didn’t pick good ones, since only one of them rated above a 3 for me. Alas, I’m picky with beer. My burger was good - brie and bacon with fried onions - and the tacos the girls had seemed tasty, too.

After lunch, we returned to the hotel from a notice that our room was ready. Well, it was just one of them. We waited for a long time for the second room to be ready, during which we had time for a nap and to explore the fifth floor of the hotel, where they have the pool and restaurant. Ultimatley, I went to the front desk to complain about the delay on the second room. Some guest used late chackout and they were having trouble turning over rooms quickly. Even after they said they’d send room keys up in 10 minutes, we waited an additional half hour. I finally had enough (and everyone else was cranky from waiting, too) and we got copies of the keys on our way out to Seaport Village.

Seaport Village is a decent sized area of shops and restaurants seated on the bay. There were street performeres here and there. We walked quite a bit, watching the sail boats, and stopped in a couple of the shops. I bought some hot sauce, trying to redeem ourselves from the not hot sauce we tried to impress the scouts with last month.

When we were done with Seaport, we walked a bit farther South and sat at a concrete picnic table. We watched the sailboats go up and down the bay, with the crazy bridge to Coronado in the near distance.

From there, we headed back North toward the hotel looking for dinner, passing the aircraft carrier Midway. It would be neat to check that out closer. There were a few restaurants on the way, but everything seemed either too busy or too fancy for our current state of dress (remembering that we’d basically rolled onto and off of a plane that morning). We finally arrived at Brigantine, which is a restaurant on the bay, and put in our name for over an hour wait. We decided to spend that wait at the hotel, just to get off of our feet for a bit. Of course, they called us early, and we made a mad dash to get back to not lose our seating.

The space was neat, with a view of the bay, near a table with a fire feature built in. The music was kind of a peppy electronica version of Lo-Fi, which we were all grooving to. Abby ordered oysters (a new thing for her, being vegetarian), Riley ordered fish and chips, Berta had a mahi sandwich, and I ordered crab-stuffed jumbo prawns wrapped in bacon with a jalapeƱo sauce. The margaritas were really tasty and fresh. The others shared a slice of cheesecake with berries. Afterward, we walked back to the hotel and collapsed after a long day.