Let’s face it… this is the important bit. While a buffet is offered, you are always able to order à la carte. Though the buffet looked amazing, I opted for a Reuben. Though there was quite a lot of corned beef, it was still easy to eat (easier than those from some restaurants that get seriously carried away with sandwich construction).
My coworkers opted for the prime-rib French Dip, and they couldn’t stop raving about it. The creamed horseradish was particularly tasty, apparently!
If you are even in the area, you should make it a point to give it a shot – I know I’ll be coming back!
For our return, we took another circuitous route, though not as bad as our arrival to San Diego. The things we do for segments! Though our first two flights were without incident, our final flight was delayed by almost an hour because the thrust reversal indicator light wouldn’t turn off. Consequently, we had to return to the gate and get maintenance on-board to reset it.
Though we were all frustrated by this, the flight attendants were stellar as always. They took excellent care of us and even put up with the misogynists sitting in front of us discussing how they couldn’t joke with their female coworkers about being called “daddy”. (Seriously, the flight attendants aren’t paid nearly enough for this…)
I took this time to skim the Sky magazine and came across an article on the new blankets from Westin. Interesting stuff!
One last note… while most of you might be more familiar with Uber, I encourage you all to take a look at Lyft. Though it doesn’t have quite as large a foot print as Uber, it has quite a few distinct advantages… in addition to a huge promotion ($5 off 20 rides, which I was all over this visit), the app allows you to tip your driver. I’ve also found Lyft drivers to be much friendlier than Uber drivers, and always ready with suggestions for things to explore when traveling! Give it a go!
For Thanksgiving, instead of opting to spend time with family (boo), we decided to spend some time together with animals (yay)! SeaWorld offers all you can eat tickets, where you can eat at one of the five restaurants every hour, so we opted for that to reduce the stress of trying to find a restaurant that would be open on Thanksgiving.
After a day at the zoo, we realized we had yet to make our way to the beach. To rectify that, we opted for one of the more well known coastal areas of San Diego: La Jolla cove.
The guy above is crowding the sea lion. Not only is it against the law in San Diego, it is dangerous for both the man and the animal. As more people crowd the animal, the animal becomes more and more agitated and backs away (who can blame it?). This in turn prompts the humans to advance to get better pictures, and the cycle continues until either the animal leaves or the human gets bit. Don’t be like this guy. Respect the animal!
After a day of sea-watching, we were craving some authentic Mexican food. Being this close to the border, we did some quick Googling and settled on El Indio.
Featured on Guy Fieri’s show, Diners, Dive-Ins, and Dives, El Indio has amazing food for ridiculously low prices. Hard to say not to that!
Knowing that the San Diego Zoo is an experience, my girlfriend and I devoted many hours to exploring what the zoo had to offer. We were lucky enough to visit while they were running a discount on their Beer Map. Instead of paying $10 for each pint, I got four 12 oz “tastings” for $20! Not bad, right?
No visit to the zoo is complete without finding koalas… nope! We caught these divas while they were being fed. They had zero interest in the public… Just their lunch!
Balboa Park… wow, where to start! Well, in addition to being a park, it is a collection of museums as well as the home of the San Diego Zoo! Across a walkway, are two gardens: cacti and roses. Further to the north, adjacent to the zoo is the Spanish Village – a collection of stalls for many artists to display their wares as well as show how they go about creating their works!
The architecture really blew me away – I love the return to the original Spanish influence to the area. Because of how late we slept in (being awake for 24 hours really takes it out of you), we weren’t able to explore too much our first day, but we picked up tickets to see the zoo as well as museums.
Thankfully, the rose and cacti gardens have no closing times, so we were able to take our time exploring them.
Turf Supper Club
For dinner, we discovered the Turf Supper Club thanks to Google Maps (seriously, Google… thank you). Unlike traditional steakhouses, the Turf Supper Club is a “cook your own steak” experience. You select your cuts and you cook it just how you would like it. If I lived in the area, I know I would be a regular here.
To rack up some segments and miles to make sure I hit status, I planned a nice round-about route to explore San Diego! By planning for a nice long layover in Dallas-Fort Worth, I managed to take advantage of the Centurion Lounge there. Thanks to Delta’s recent upgrade rule changes, we flew first class on all four flights!
The icing on the cake? We got to experience the new blankets provided by Westin. Though they aren’t as heavenly as the bedding at Westin properties, it is many levels above the red blankets we know and… …love? Keep climbing, Delta!
Centurion Lounge, DFW
The Centurion Lounge is an airport oasis for American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders. Though it is located in Terminal D, you can access it from any terminal thanks to the Skylink that joins all Terminals.
In addition to gourmet food, there is a complimentary 15-minute spa massage available, which is heavenly between long flights! There are also shower suites and a lot of seating. Though Delta operates out of Terminal E, the SkyLink lets you get to Terminal D quickly.
Hyatt Mission Bay
I opted to use one of my Hyatt Suite certificates from my Diamond status to upgrade from a standard room to a king-size suite. This hotel features water slides, waterfront dining, a full spa, and spectacular views. Also offered are kayak and jet ski rentals as well as sport fishing and whale tour excursions – ideal for those who need to be on the water!