Monday, October 1, 2018

Out And Back to San Diego

It was a whirlwind of a weekend. I took a personal day from work on Friday, left early for the airport, and landed in San Diego around 3:30pm California time. I tried out Uber for the first time, with success, and was settled into my wife's hotel room well before her conference let out. All the while, I was soaking in all the sights. This midwestern boy doesn't see the ocean or palm trees very often!

Alright, ready for a picture heavy post of a fun 40 hours in San Diego? Here we go!

For dinner, we went to Balboa Park for Food Truck Friday, which was so tasty. The park contains a couple of museums, a botanical garden and beautiful architecture.
 The picture above shows some of the architecture I mentioned. Also shown, on the left, is our Uber ride to the park . . . a Tesla.  So fancy!
 The longest line at any one of the ten food trucks belonged to the wood-fired pizza truck. Yes, it's a fire truck they converted to hold a legit pizza oven. These San Diegoans are serious about their food trucks!
 I don't have a memory for the names of buildings, but the second banner is a photo of a player I will always recognize. Ted Williams!  Yessir, Teddy Ballgame played two years in San Diego!
This is probably my best picture of the weekend.  Sometimes I'm in the right spot at just the right time.

Saturday was simply fantastic. I went for a 3-mile walk along the beach. I then followed that up with an hour of stand-up-paddleboarding around Mission Bay.
It's hard to take a picture of oneself while paddleboarding, so you a picture of a lady and her dog out on a paddleboard near De Anza Cove.

Below are the dragon boat races that I had to avoid while cruising the bay.
 The best thing about the bay was seeing such large fish and scaring up some resting manta rays!

Next up was lunch. I was starving.  So I called for another Uber and look what was playing in the headrest of the driver's seat:
Yeah, that's the Cub game! I got to watch all of the ninth-inning before we arrived at my destination. We won't mention the outcome of the game.
AleSmith Brewery is one of the best bars I've ever stepped foot in. There weren't any brewery tours, but there was everything else including a food truck to purchase a jalapeno cheeseburger. Mmmmm... They must have known I was coming! I took my burger upstairs to watch the airshow going on at the Marine Corps Miramar Airport.
 In the foreground that's my lunch on the window sill. In the distance is the smoke from a recent show performer. I guess this is the base/airport they filmed the movie Top Gun at back in the day. Pretty cool!
 Above is a picture of an Osprey. You'll have to excuse the poor photography as I was taking pictures with a burger in one hand and my smartphone in the other.
I swiped this one from the interwebs.
Here's a better photo of the Osprey, which was the closest aircraft to reach me at my location. It flew right over the bar!

Here's a couple of photos of the bar and brewery.

San Diego is so very dog-friendly. I love it!
The best parts of the brewery/bar?
 The Tony Gwynn Museum and the .394 Pale Ale made in Gwynn's honor! Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the museum, but I did see many of Gwynn's little league and high school trophies and most of his Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards. His key to the city of San Diego was there, as well as his autographed baseball collection of the 3,000 Hit Club, many of which were inscribed to him. How cool!

I spent a good 45 minutes in the museum and enjoyed every second of it. I knew a lot about Tony Gwynn going in, but the one thing that stuck with me was he drafted into the NBA and MLB on the same day. Wow!

Next up was Clairemont Sportscards! The three owners were there and they were the best of hosts. They offered me a bottle of water and were happy to look for cards that might fit into my collections.
 I'm still working on my Hall of Fame binder and I was able to pick up some nice Cubs cards at noninflated Illinois prices. yeah!
 Zimmer isn't in The Hall, obviously, but I couldn't pass up this 1961 card of his.
 There weren't any dime boxes, but plenty of other boxes and of it was super organized. I found three more Negro League players and a Buck O'Neil for a different collection of mine.
 My best get of the day was this Warren Spahn. 
I'm very happy to finally add a vintage card of his to the binder!

Next up, PETCO Park!
View from our seats.
I only need six more ballparks now. Woo-Hoo!

What impressed me the most about the ballpark was how much pride the Padres organization has in its history.
 There were items all around the park celebrating the Padre greats and their history.
 Inside their Hall of Fame room they had an All-Time Leaders board. Why don't more teams do something like this?
 Dave Winfield and Trevor Hoffman!  I somehow missed the Tony Gwynn statue, but I did accidentally find my way to the top of the Western Metal Supply building. It was the first time I ever got turned around in an MLB ballpark. 

I'm also impressed with how closely tied the organization is to our military.
 The wall, below, listed all the Major League Baseball Players to serve in the military.
Very, very awesome.

We sat in the upper deck and were given vouchers for hot dogs and sodas as part of a family section. I missed out on going to Baked Bear as Josh D. suggested in the comments of my previous post. That, alone, is probably my only regret about the whole trip.

As we walked into the ballpark I did score an awesome Ken Caminiti bobblehead for my collection though!
His head bobbles and his whole body sways to and fro! For every MLB ballpark I've been to I have a bobblehead to commemorate the trip. This one fits the bill quite nicely.

The Padres lost 5-4 to the Diamondbacks. Wil Myers didn't play and neither did Paul Goldschmidt. Oh well. We left after the 7th inning stretch to head back to the hotel so we could rest up for a busy Sunday of travel.

It was a fun time in San Diego overall and one I wouldn't mind duplicating again someday. Hopefully for a longer duration next time!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Looks like a great trip! I'll have to check out AleSmith next time I'm down there.. Same with Petco. I went to a game there once, but didn't really do much exploring. Glad you enjoyed yourself! Great pickups too. And I'm not really a bobblehead guy, but that Caminiti is super cool.

  2. You got a lot done in a short period. Get some rest now.

  3. Sounds like you had a great time.

  4. Looks like a fun vacation! I can only dream of finding a card shop that sells Cubs at uninflated prices.

  5. "I missed out on going to Baked Bear as Josh D. suggested in the comments of my previous post. That, alone, is probably my only regret about the whole trip."

    That leaves more for the rest of us! :-)

    Awesome trip post! Glad you got to do so much in your short time there.

  6. So much cool stuff in this post: the fountain/sunset, Petco, the Osprey, firetruck food truck, and of course that Caminiti bobble.

  7. Those career leader numbers for the Pads are a bit underwhelming...

  8. Wow, you got a lot in a couple of days! You may need a vacation from the vacation!

  9. That's awesome! I've always wanted to visit San Diego.

  10. I'm always envious of people who can take these kind of whirlwind vacations! I could never keep up with that pace, but it does look like you had fun though. Some really great cards too :)