Other than the inside of the convention center, I did not get to see a ton of San Diego, but from what I did see, I know I want to go back. That is one of the fun things about work travel. I get a free taste of a place, then we can decide on our own if we want to spend vacation time and money to return. I have had a lot of great work travel experiences. At the moment, I am dying to bring the hubs to Charleston, SC and to San Diego based on work trips to those places.
Anyway, landing at the airport and going outside to meet my colleagues for a taxi to the hotel introduced me to the warm, sunny, palm tree laden city that is San Diego.
Our hotel, the Marriott Marina, was a mere 10 minute taxi ride, and by all means it was massive and beautiful. I had a harbor view room, and I spent quite a bit of time at first just gazing out the window. I would NOT recommend this hotel for personal travel. It is huge, but not at all equipped to handle the number of guests. Friday morning the hotel Starbucks had 45 people in line with one person working the register and one making drinks. Absurd. The wait for the elevators was at least 15 minutes each way, and I couldn’t find the stairs. The room service food was meh, mass produced, and disappointing, and the internet, which wasn’t wireless (!) was $13/day. There was also no bathrobe or mini bar. I enjoy the little personal touches that smaller, boutique hotels offer. Did I mention that this room cost over $250/ night? I also like the prices of smaller hotels, even if I am being reimbursed eventually.
By the time we arrived, I was starving and also in need of an hour to myself. So I went to the Starbuck’s at the hotel and purchased a salad and juice to have in my room while checking emails.
Note to self, a fork is always helpful when eating a salad. Since I was on the 16th floor and the building’s elevators were sloooowwww, combined with the fact that a 5,000 person conference was going on, I decided to make do with what I had, and I used a cucumber as a utensil, kind of scooping up bits of lettuce. It actually worked out quite well. However, the salad was meh, so beginning a weekend of mostly meh food.
I’ve already told you about the Totally Truffles class. The rest of the weekend was spent in our booth for the most part, talking up our books, meeting people, and in general having a pretty good time. One thing that I definitely miss about an old job that I had is that interaction with customers, so it was definitely welcome.
One night, we had a cocktail party at the Omni Hotel on the Palm Terrace. Only in San Diego can you eat and drink outside in November and be completely comfortable. The spread was cocktail party style, and though I didn’t get to eat much, everything I did have was very good.
The spread included roasted veggies along with crudités with red pepper hummus and several other dips. There was also a meat and cheese platter with a stinky, delicious gorgonzola. Servers passed yummy treats like cucumbers stuffed with mango lobster salad and three cheese puffs. I love eating cocktail party style!
Other good meals of the weekend included shrimp tacos at my colleague’s amazing discovery, Tin Fish, and margaritas and fish tacos at the Pier Cafe, along San Diego’s beautiful waterfront. The harbor area was so cute, a little village of shops, restaurants, and cafes. I didn’t go out with the late night crowd as I knew I would already be dead the next morning, but they went to a dueling piano bar, and apparently the bars in the Gaslamp District were hoppin’.
I am so so behind on blogging, reading blogs, Tweeting, commenting, pretty much everything in the blog world, not to mention being behind on my in office work from being out Thursday and Friday and spending last Wednesday prepping for the conference. I literally feel like I am blogging from scratch, completely out of practice and out of the loop. Hopefully this week will be spent catching up on all of those things, plus some sleep and exercise!
Be back later with a new recipe!