Sunday, March 17, 2024

Girls' trip to San Diego

I had some timeshare points needing to be used this year, and The Inn at the Park in San Diego looked like a practical way to spend them. I have three good friends at the Tucson RV park where we spend the winter. Everyone thought four days away sounded like a good idea. I asked at the start of planning who would be willing to share a bed, and who would be okay with a sleeper sofa. Since we're all older, everyone said no to both options! So I reserved a suite for our "together" events and a studio for the extra beds. That worked out very well.

We're all retired. Shelley was a nurse, Pam a marketing professional, JoAnne a small business owner, and me an IT person. We brought our skills of coordination to the planning. All in all, it was easy.

We laughed a lot of the time on the six-hour drive. Almost ran out of gas because we forgot to check the fuel gauge, so we ended up paying $6.97 a gallon in an out-of-the-way place in the middle of the desert. We had three drivers so no one got too tired. 

We found the Inn at the Park with no difficulty. We parked for free in front of the hotel for three days, using Uber to get around the city on our explorations. We got through the timeshare presentation in about 15 minutes. We ate Mexican, Thai and American comfort food, plus the bounty of snacks we'd brought along. 

On our first sightseeing day we took a Hop-on, Hop-off trolley around San Diego. Got off first at Little Italy to enjoy the Wednesday farmers' market there. Thought about getting off at the USS Midway museum along the waterfront, but decided against it because we were getting a little hungry. Crossed the Coronado Bridge.

Got off the trolley at the Coronado Hotel across the long and beautiful Coronado Bridge and had a leisurely lunch.

We walked over two miles for the day. Nice and slow, for the two of us who used canes.

On our second day we explored two museums in Balboa Park. The first was Museum of Us. Pretty interesting place! Here's how the webpage describes it: "Located in Balboa Park, on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay people, the Museum of Us presents exhibitions and programs that address a vast range of histories and cultures, fostering conversation, self-reflection, and interpersonal connections."  

The Mayan exhibit was curated by museum experts and Mayan scholars, with sections on colonialism and its impact on the Mayan culture. The history I learned as a kid has been transformed into the reality of European exploration. That is a good thing.

For over a decade, millions of people from all over the world have been anonymously sharing their secrets with Frank Warren, founder of the community art project, PostSecret. Each postcard submission is a unique work of art handmade by people who needed to share and release their secret into the world. I loved this exhibit.

In a side room, a young girl was writing a secret of her own to contribute to the collection.

A third exhibit was about immigration at the US southern border. A map of Arizona showed where bodies had been recovered, and the toe tags for those bodies hung from the map.

A side museum across the street discussed and displayed stories of cannibalism, which allows observers to consider whether they would be able to participate in such an activity if the circumstances were dire. 

We finished off the day with a Gaslamp District crime walking tour. On this second day of exploration, we walked another two miles. There was a time when it would have seemed like a short distance, but as we get older it's more of an effort, influenced by individual aches and pains.

On our drive home, nearly six hours in intermittent rain, I thought about the value of friendships. Growing up as a military brat, I moved a lot and never had the opportunity to be part of a "group of girls". That's what this trip felt like. We have new things to remember and laugh about. Always a good thing!


Linda Reeder said...

And also, it seems, important learning to ponder. Thanks for the trip review.

Anonymous said...

I’m delighted for all of you.

DJan said...

It sounds like it was fun, all right. I love your descriptions; you have a way of bringing the reader right into the places with you. :-)

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

You are a thoughtful traveler and you generously share with your readers. I appreciate that! Thank you.

Smok Ace said...

Thank you for the enthusiasm and energy you bring to your writing.