Thursday, April 5, 2012

San Diego Recap - Part 2

Wednesday morning, I woke up early to a beautifully sunny day and a new Cruise ship was outside my window. It's amazing at how big those suckers can be!!

I was at the trolley station by 7:45 for the 8am trip in towards the Old Town Depot. After the second stop, there was actually a transit authority check where they check to make sure that you purchased a ride on the trolley. This was the first and only time I ever saw anyone checking and of course they caught someone who hadn't paid.

I made it to Old Town and then waited for the #8 bus to go to Mission Beach for my whale watching expedition of the day!! I needed to be there by 9:15 to check in and was about a half hour early. I gave them my Groupon for the trip and wandered around the water for a bit. More people began showing up and it wasn't until about 9:45 that we boarded the boat for our 3 hour cruise.

The Privateer

My new love!

Previous sightings for the week

Some weird stork-like bird

When we were just leaving the dock, there was a floating dock that some sea lions were sunning on. Apparently this is where the fishing boats load up with their bait. Not a bad place to hang out for a free meal! There is even some kind of cool bird in the bottom left corner. 
Do you know what it is?

And then the dolphins came! We saw 2 types, the Common Dolphin and the Bottle Nosed Dolphin.

And then the real fun started b/c we came across 2 juvenile Fin Whales!!

Thar she blows!!

Anyone think of Moby Dick with this one?

The change in water color is the whale going under the boat.

They got pretty close. We were just floating in one spot and they were swimming around us and feeding. The law states that boats can't come within 100 yards of whale but they can approach you. I guess they are very inquizitive creatures b/c they were checking out the boat for about a half hour. We finally had to call it quits and head back to land.

These guys didn't get far...

Pelican love!


Winner Winner Fish Dinner!!

Adult Pelican

After my fun on the water, I went back to the conference and watched John and the Boss give their talks. Then, I met up with an old friend of a friend for drinks at an Irish pub called The Field where they had Strongbow cider on tap and Happy Hour prices of $5/ 20oz. pint!! Sadly, I only had 2. But I also snagged the Fish & Chips special for dinner. 

Afterwards, I met up with John and his 'Oak Ridge Boys'. No these are not the singers but guys that are friends with Mel at Oak Ridge. We went about the Gaslamp District drinking and landed at a gelato place!

My first gelato! Dark Chocolate/ Strawberry!!

I called it a night about 11:30 and walked back to the room and crashed.

Thursday, I woke up and got ready but my talk wasn't until the afternoon, so I walked along the water to Seaport Village and bought some souvenirs from the Sea Shell Shop. I stopped at the Greek place and got a Spanikopita platter for lunch.

When the time came, I was dressed in my best and took a taxi to the Convention Center. I gave my talk and was outta there! I came back to the room and changed into some travel clothes and then took the hotel shuttle to the airport. This would be the beginning of a long trip home!!

I was through security by 5pm and got some dinner and a cup of tea. My flight wasn't until 7:15, so I hung around and read some more of 'Mockingjay' the Hunger Games book #3. The time came and we boarded the plane. Everything was going as planned until we rolled away from the gate. The pilot came on telling us there was an 'Air Traffic Jam' and we would have an hour wait. I was fine with this b/c I had enough wiggle room with my connection in Seattle.

We finally took off and were in the air for about 1.5 hours when the pilot came on again that there was something wrong with the pressurization of the plane and we would be making a landing in LA to check it out. I've never been to LA but this wasn't exactly what I had in mind. We landed and ended up changing planes. After everything was transferred, we took off and there was a smooth flight to Seattle.

We got into Seattlle only about 4 hours later than scheduled, so they put me up in a hotel about 5 miles away from the airport. Their shuttle stopped at 1am, so I took a $25 taxi ride there to spend 5 hours sleeping. I got free breakfast out of it though. My next flight didn't fly out of Seattle to Spokane til noon, but I could start waiting on standby starting at 7am. I tried for the 10 and 11am flights with no luck and then went to my gate to wait.

It turns out that my new seat was in First Class!! I've never been in First Class before but it wasn't as fun since this was only an hour flight. :( I read a little bit and then took a nap. We got into Spokane and my bag was waiting for me. I finally pulled into my driveway at 4pm!

I was so glad to be home!!

Have you ever had a disaster flight pan out? What happened? I don't think I'm going to fly with that airline again, but I didn't pay for it in the first place.

Next up, fly to Columbus, OH on Tuesday, April 10 for a second interview!! I'm only going to be there for about 24 hours though, so I can't really fit in a whole lot of fun stuff!!

Suggestions on places to eat in Columbus?


  1. That looks awesome, especially all the wildlife you saw!

    I haven't had any airport craziness because I have only been in an airport like twice ever (and I'm 22... I don't get out much). This summer, though, I am flying to visit relatives in Ontario, CA, and I am so scared of airport nightmares!

  2. ohh whale watching, we did that in alaska, but I didn't know it could be done in san diego. yet another reason to move to california :)

    I get stuck on planes a lot since i travel so much...i just roll with it now