Travel, United States

36 hours in San Diego, CA

I spent a week in Oakland/Pleasanton/Dublin/San Francisco for work.  I love going there to see the team and catch up.  But after a week in London and a week in Northern California, I needed at least one day to do something for me.  No, that something wasn’t sleeping in, or even really sleeping at all.  That something was 24 hours of girl time, done as what can only be described as, the “right way” – in San Diego.

I used to make fun of girls that did girl things.  I always liked the no-nonsense, drama-free things guys would do together.  In other words, it took me a long time to find a group of girls that were no-BS, low-drama and easy enough to talk to about anything, without being judged.  I met some of these girls while living in San Diego and as such, go back as often as I can to see them.

Saturday – day

My body is used to napping at this point – it seriously has no idea what time it is.  I’ve tried to convince myself that when it’s 10pm and dark outside, regardless of time zone, I should go to sleep.  Instead, my incessant use of the iPad to play Angry Birds is a bit ridiculous.  SO… I was up at 7:30am and at breakfast with my best friend by 8am.  Now… one can tell one is getting old when one looks around the breakfast place and sees everyone with the same colored hair – silver.  Yes.  Not one hungover group in sight (probably because they were just stumbling home).  Here are two attractive ladies, out for a nice morning BREAKFAST (because I consider 8am too early to be “brunching”), looking around and going OMG… this will be US one day.  Sadly, I think we made it there 50 years too early.

By 9:15am, we were at the Catamaran Spa and relaxing in the Relaxation Lounge.  Two things: If you are going to be there half the day, bring snacks.  A bowl of whole pieces of fruit becomes less appealing, not just because it’s work to unpeel an orange or a banana, but because apples are loud and the place is supposed to be quiet.  I was very disappointed when there wasn’t a jar full of dried fruits and nuts, or something to that effect – I expressed such displeasure a few times to my best friend, only because I was hangry (if you don’t know what that is, look it up.  Not only that, but I wanted to use the word “hangry” in a sentence.)

First up at 10am – massages.  I booked us Swedish ones, mainly out of selfishness.  I spend 10 hours a day staring at computer screens and another 6 hours sleeping on a rather comfortable mattress, but one that probably provides no support whatsoever (see “napping” – might have something to do with it).  Thus, my neck and back are in a constant state of pain.  To add to the pain, I decided that further torture might solve the previous torture.  Now, I have had a lot of female masseuses work on me and I’ve never once sized them up before I go into the room.  In this case, I sort of did. A very quiet, very pleasant older lady, who is very thin (bear with me on this one), was my masseuse.  She asked if there were any areas to work on and I indicated what needed the most attention.  I also said to use medium – to – hard pressure, thinking it would be about right for her.  I am still paying for my assumption.  Not only was she freakishly strong but I suspect there was some aggression she was trying to get out (knots in my upper back excluded).  By the time I left there, I felt defeated but relaxed.  I promised to never size up another masseuse again – or stay away from the quiet ones at the very least.

Next up – my manicure.  There’s really nothing to tell there, other than by this point, the rain was coming down sideways outside, but the window box landscape they created was so peaceful, you could just as easily assume it was a warm San Diego shower and not a torrential downpour with palm tree leaves strewn everywhere (cue weatherman, giving a live report, on-location).

When I was done, I went into the dry sauna and started to doze off until…. well…

You hear horror stories of men talking about other men walking around in the buff in the locker room.  I don’t think women share them as often but what men see… maybe a pregnant-looking belly, maybe they just look “aged” in places that one shouldn’t age in,  is FAR DIFFERENT and it’s almost horrifying from what we see.  Enough said.  My time in the sauna was over and it was back to the relaxation room until my best friend was done.

Now, the last time we went to this particular spa, we went into the outdoor whirlpool and somehow, some way landed on someone’s wedding video (the whirlpool looks out to the bay, which coincidentally, is also behind the lawn where they do weddings).  This time, we look outside and no, no one was getting married, but that’s because a small hurricane was happening.  We took one look at each other, shrugged our shoulders and did a mad dash for the whirlpool.  It can only be described as awesomely fun… for 15 minutes.

After lunch, there was no time for napping – I headed straight back to my room and got ready for the evening.

Saturday Night

Saturday night… sigh.  I really don’t know how people do this every weekend – get ready, go to a club, dance all night, drink all night, go home and do it again.  At almost 34, I was “getting this out of my system” for one night.  At almost 34, I’ve also learned there is a classy way to partake in the same club activities everyone else does.

It started with me hiring a driver.  You can’t “catch a cab” in Pacific Beach – you can certainly call for one but then you have to compete for one on the way home – one that probably smells like vomit and is probably sticky. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break AND March Madness, there were too many “youngin’s” downtown for me to want to navigate my way through.  So a girlfriend of mine and I hop in the sedan and head downtown.  We’re all dressed up, at the entrance to Voyeur and thinking that this was gonna be easy –  we were put on a VIP list and therefore, we don’t have to deal with the riff raff.  Wrong.

First of all, the guy that said he put us on this list was met with two questions by security: 1) Who?  2) What list?  Awesome.  But because it was before 10:30, we were allowed right in.  We get a drink and we look around.  The music is amazing and the club even more so but in an instant, looking around carefully, the only question I could muster up to ask was, “Did I behave like this in college?”  This was followed by me gazing in the direction of a man and a woman (okay maybe all of 21 years old) doing unspeakable things that made me think, “What if her parents knew?”  Yes… this made me realize I might be over this scene.  So instead of staying amongst the quickly-filling up space, I did what anyone in my situation would do (note sarcasm) – I asked to be assigned a table.  Yes, I know what prices come with this.  But I’m also smart enough to know that when you’re wearing Gucci shoes, you don’t want to be trampled on (cue brief bout of snobbery).  That, and I didn’t want to smell like a fraternity house when I left.  After that… the night became unreal.

I’m not sure if the bouncers felt sorry for me or thought I was someone really important but they give us the best table in the place (in my opinion) – right next to the DJ booth.  The deejays there are under part of a management company that also manages Skrillex and Deadmau5 so for anyone whoknows house music, knows these guys have to be good – and they were.  By 11:30pm, two more girlfriends joined and when the first DJ’s set was over, I called it – he joined us at our table.  Next thing you know, we had a nice group of security men looking after us, even willing to escort us to the bathroom, to make sure no one bothered us. By 12:30am, they brought us a MAGNUM of Veuve.  By 1:15am, we said goodbye.  By 3:30am, I was in bed and by 7am, I was up and packing to head home. No, I still have no clue who the deejay really was.**

**Note: After much research, it was Anthony Ross, resident DJ and one of the most well-known Deejays in San Diego, along with the fact that he used to date San Diego’s “it girl”.

(Pics below)

Our group
DJ Anthony Ross
Our group WITH the Anthony
Me and DJ Anthony Ross

Sunday – Not-so-Funday

Three-and-a-half hours of sleep later and I’m amazed I can walk.  I hop a flight on Virgin America to get to DC, by way of San Francisco.  If you have never flown Virgin – try it.  The plane looks like something out of a Vegas nightclub – music included.  It’s an experience.  However, the flight attendants are not.  Usually, if you have something in your lap, or on your seat (like my prized handbag I DON’T want on the floor, or crammed next to everyone else’s stuff), they ignore it and walk away.  To avoid being arrested (but after enough protesting), I handed it over to them, minus my cell phone and iPad.  When the plane was landing, I was then told (by a very insistent attendant) to stow away the items now because nothing can be in my lap.  Wow.

The second flight of FIVE hours, seemed more like 10.  It’s hard (on little sleep) to sit still for that long, or hold “it” for that long, especially when you are sitting in a window seat, with two burly men sitting next to you.  (Note to self: No more window seats on long flight, only aisles.  I’m not a kid anymore and don’t need to look out the window every five seconds to see something “cool” – there’s nothing “cool” to see at 35,000 ft.).  By the time I got home at 11:30pm, I swore up and down – no more connecting flights, no more window seats and no more sitting in rows that didn’t have under seat storage.

Still, and despite my heavy sarcasm, it was everything I wanted to accomplish in 36 hours – well minus me feeling like a zombie.  But more to the point of this incredibly long story – it’s okay to take one whole day and night where you plan out what perfection looks like for you and actually do it.  I’m glad I did because it’s now down in my book as one of my favorite stories with some of my favorite people.

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