Friday, March 18, 2011

San Diego!

Forrest and I were blessed to be able to travel to San Diego over spring break. I guess I really should thank Forrest for my trip, because he earned it for us both! Last summer, Forrest did research for UAB and we found out in the fall that his research was selected to be presented at the dental research conference in San Deigo over spring break!! I was (and still am) so proud of him!!!

Presenting his research at the Scholar's Symposium at UAB right before we left
We arrived in San Diego late Saturday night after a surprisingly pleasant check in experience. Since we left in late afternoon, there were no lines anywhere, plus, we carried on our luggage, so it was very smooth sailing.

We tried "Chicago Dogs" during our layover at O'Hare
We stayed at the Sheraton right on the harbor and we didn't know how lovely of a view we had until we got up on Sunday morning! We were looking right out onto the marina and could sit on our balcony and watch the boats pass us by! How pleasant! We got up and went Mass first thing Sunday morning at Our Lady of the Rosary.

We picked it because it was closet to our hotel, but it turned out to be in a great location: LITTLE ITALY! I didn't even know there was a Little Italy in San Diego! We walked around Amici park before going to Mass in the ornately decorated church.

Amici Park

Table statues in the park! Adorable!
We were sad that we missed the Mass in Italian! After Church we walked down to the heart of little Italy and picked up a breakfast panini.

We had a tour planned for 1 so we couldn't stay long! We went back to the marina to join our Speed Boat Adventure Tour of the harbor. I had found the tour on Groupon.com, which if you haven't joined, you really need to! We booked almost everything we did through Groupon and got AMAZING deals!! For the tour, we boarded these tiny little speed boats and followed a guide. He communicated to us via walkie talkie as he told us about the sights surrounding the harbor. It was FREEZING in the wind but it was SO beautiful!! I got to drive first, and unfortunately, there were LOTS of HUGE boats out on the water making incredible waves that kept splashing us. We were bounding all over the place, and we even got air born a time or too! It was pretty scary but very fun! First stop was the sea lions!! How cute! Then we cruised around the harbor, checking out the Navy base and the bridge crossing the harbor before heading to the ship docks. We saw an air craft carrier, several subs, the Star of India (the oldest operational ship) and the boat they used in the Master and Commander movie! It was SUCH a cool experience!

All aboard our boat!

San Diego


HUGE aircraft carrier. We got to drive under it!

Oldest operational ship

Boat from the Master and Commander movie

Un-yellow Submarine

Lovely! We really liked seeing the sailboats!
After the soaking we received on the boat tour, we decided we needed to swing back by the hotel to shower and change before heading back to Little Italy. We were starving so we stopped at a little restaurant for happy hour, which consisted of wine, bread and olive oil, and a cheese plate complete with sliced Parmesan, Gorganzola, goat cheese, pear slices, walnuts and tomatoes. It was the PERFECT afternoon pick me up!!

Happy in little Italy. Can you blame me?
Next, we wandered down to the Gaslamp District, a famous touristy area of the city.

It was very neat, but it was basically all restaurants. While in the neighborhood, we strolled over to Petco Park, home of the Padres.

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Forrest and Tony Gwynn
We were able to basically get in the stadium because of the way it was built. Neat! We also enjoyed the fact that it had a mini baseball diamond outside of it that children could play on. We saw a cute family with a little boy and a golden retriever playing and running the bases. Adorable! The whole city was very pet and family friendly, and VERY clean! After a VERY long walk around the town, we went back to the Gaslamp District for dinner at George's on 5th. It was in a beautiful old building that used to house Wyatt Earp's saloon!

How beautiful!
I had a steak, which I thought was just so-so, but Forrest had a delicious pork chop!!

The restaurant had a great atmosphere, and even had caricatures of famous people that had eaten there on the walls!

Who all can you pick out??
Maybe they will paint me one day! :) After such a long day, we were ready to get back to the hotel, watch some tv, and rest up for day 2!!!

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