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Published: June 24th 2014
Dawn got an email special offer on the Grand Hyatt in San Diego so we decided to make that our summer vacation.
The deal was through Travelocity so I booked the air, hotel, and car on that site.
We got a non-stop flight on United from Houston and with the two hour time difference we were able to take-off in Houston at 11am and land in San Diego at noon so that gave us half a day to get in some sight-seeing.
The Grand Hyatt is beautiful. It is right on the bay next to Seaport Village which is a nice touristy shopping and dining development. We had a nice view from our room of the bay, the pool, and the city.
We still hadn’t had lunch so we walked right across the street to Seasons 52 and had a great lunch. We strongly suggest the mahi mahi tacos. We spent about $15 each for lunch including two small desserts.
After lunch we walked around Seaport Village. There are a lot of little shops and places for casual dining right on the shore.
At about 6pm that day we drove out to Point Loma to
see the Cabrillo National Monument because it provides the best overall view of the city. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way that it closes at 5pm every day.
So with what daylight time we had left we drove over the San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge to see the Hotel del Coronado. It is a historic hotel built in 1888. You’ve probably seen pictures of it or seen it in a movie. It is very large and beautiful and has one of the best beaches and is worth the trip even if all you do is walk around and enjoy the scenery as we did. Parking can be difficult so you may want to do what we did and drive down Orange Avenue past the hotel about half of a mile and park in a free public beach parking lot and then walk down to the hotel along the beach. It’s a very nice walk.
The next day we planned on going to the San Diego Zoo. But before that I wanted to go to Richard Walker’s Pancake House because their ad on the hotel tv channel was very successful in making me believe that they were the best
breakfast place in town. We were not disappointed. It is just a short walk from the hotel at Market Street and Front Street and even though there is usually a line it is well worth the wait.
Just a short drive from the hotel, the Zoo is in Balboa Park which is one of the best city parks in the country and the Zoo itself is considered the best anywhere. We drove to Inspiration point to park and catch a free shuttle to the Prado and made the short walk to the zoo from there. Along the way we stopped at the botanical gardens and the lily pond.
We purchased the One-Day Pass for $46 for each of us. I had been there before when I was in college but Dawn and her kids had not. It is a must see unless, of course, zoos bore you to death. My favorite part 35 years ago and my favorite part this time was the flamingos.
We spent a few hours there and then headed back to the hotel for a little siesta before dinner. Dinner was at the Greek Islands Cafe in Seaport Village. You get lots of
good authentic Greek food for a small price there.
That night we went to a movie at a theater that was also walking distance from the hotel in the Horton Plaza.
The next morning started again with Richard Walker’s Pancake House. This time we had to get their signature Oven-Baked Apple Pancake. OMG! It just might be worth the trip just for that.
My brother, Mike, and his wife, Marguerite were driving down from Laguna Niguel to see us that morning but before they arrived we had to take another shot at Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument. We had success this time. It is well worth the short drive to take in the views of the entire San Diego area from there.
Just as we were leaving there Mike and Marguerite got into downtown San Diego so we planned to meet them at the aircraft carrier USS Midway and take the tour there. It is docked permanently there in downtown San Diego. Parking is difficult. It was full at the Midway so we had to drive down to the lot next door and wait for a metered spot to open up.
was commissioned just after World War II and de-commissioned in 1992. It was the largest ship in the world until 1955 and was the first that was too large to go through the Panama Canal. Tickets were $20. It was all of our first time on an aircraft carrier and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
After that we headed to La Jolla for some sight-seeing and a late lunch. La Jolla is a very exclusive northern suburb north of San Diego known for its wealthy residents and expensive real estate on the Pacific Ocean. Once again parking was difficult to find and we ended up in a small garage for $10.
We had lunch at George’s which is one of many restaurants that offers great outdoor dining with equally great views of the ocean. The food was good but the mahi mahi tacos were not as good as Seasons 52. It cost us about $20 each for lunch without dessert.
Since we didn’t have dessert there we had to stop by Haagen-Dazs for a little treat.
After that we headed back to the hotel while Mike and Marguerite headed back to Laguna Niguel which is about
a 90 minute drive north towards Los Angeles.
The pool at the Grand Hyatt is big and beautiful with two Jacuzzis and three fire pits and a game area for the kids as well as a stage for bands to play not to mention cabanas for rent and food service.
That wrapped up our final evening in San Diego.
For our final breakfast the next morning we went back to Richard Walker’s for another oven-baked apple pancake along with some hash browns, bacon, and eggs. All the food is exceptional.
With our last few hours I had to go to Mission San Diego de Alcala. My grandmother was a member there and had taken me there once when I was in college. It is a national historic landmark being founded in 1769 as the first Franciscan mission in California by friar Junipero Serra. It is near the intersection of interstates 8 and 15 and is still a functioning Catholic parish. Sunday masses are very crowded with worshipers and tourists. It has beautiful grounds and a gift shop that helps support the facility.
That was it for our San Diego vacation. As we headed to the
airport we felt it was one of our best.
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