Rob's Experience at The '09
We drove down from San Jose to San Diego. It was surprisingly easy.
Only a slight hang up in LA but that broke and away we went. At one
point I was going 75 in the left lane and had to move over because I
was interfering with traffic. We generally drove 75mph.
We stayed in a real fancy hotel - Manchester Grand Hyatt. The lobby was
magnificant. Our room looked down on the pool
and out to the bay
including the Balboa bridge. We had a good view of the fireworks on the
fourth of July. We could also see the city.
The convention center was pretty average -
big and long. We went over
and got our badges. I visited the RA
(representative assembly) a couple
times. It's the largest convention in the country - larger then the
Democratic or Republican conventions.
While Deb was going to meetings I did various
The first night we were on our own for dinner. Deb and I hiked down to
the "gas lamp
district". That is quite an area, lots of food and drink places. We
ended up in Field's Irish Pub. We had a sampler of Irish dishes that
was quite good. We hit the Ralph's supermarket on the way back for some
beer and snacks.
One nice thing was the trolley. There was a stop right across from the
My first trip was out to see my brother Chuck
in Santee. A friend
picked me up at the Santee station and took me to the bar where he is
occasional bartender. I met his replacement
and we went to his house. I
can't believe I didn't take any pictures of his place. He rents a room
in a small house owned by a little old lady. The land lady was out of
town. Quite a nice place. He has his exercise stuff in the garage and a
pool is available. Pretty nice. A few days later he had a party - which
The trolley ride out was about an hour through some rough
areas. Interesting. No pictures unfortunately.
Tonight we went to a baseball game at Petco
park to see
the Padres play the Astros. We sat in farrrrrr right field in the "all
you can eat" section. The game was pretty lopsided, I think the Astros
won 7-1. It was difficult getting the food and juggling it while
eating. The beer was $8.50 a pop. The wind kicked up and we about
froze. However, it was fun anyway.
Friday I went to tour the Midway aircraft carrier. I planned on a two
hout tour but ended up staying for four plus hours. It was facinating.
The top deck had a collection of airplanes used on aircraft carriers
over the years. I waited in line and took a tour of the tower. Very
At deck level there is an Admiral quarters and a captain
quarters. They both had their own chefs and dining rooms. The first
Gulf war was directed from this carrier. Unfortunately no pictures by
Below deck, in the plane storage area there were a few
more interesting items. Below that deck were several decks where the
crew slept, ate and many worked. They said the engine rooms were 120
degrees, guys had to work there everyday. Also the laundry looked like
a miserable place to work. Not to mention the galleys. Bunks were two
high with no privacy. Even the lower level officers were cramped. The
one guy below deck with a nice office and living quarters was the
Executive Officer. We were told the CPO (Petty Officers) were really
important and given great respect.
We had dinner at Harbor Village which was right behind the
hotel. It's a collection of shops and restaurants. We had sea food at a
very nice place. The dessert was fantastic.
Saturday was the fouth of July. I bought a sandwich at Ralph's and took
bus 7 out to Balboa Park. We used to go there when we lived in Orange
County. I'd forgotten how nice it is. A beautiful collection of
buildings and grounds. Mostly museums. I went to the main art museum.
There was great photography exhibition of portraits of recent people,
mostly politicians. Facinating. The rest of the museum was
We ate in the hotel. Deb had some scary large shrimp.
Back to the room and fireworks
with Helen and Kathy.
Sunday while walking around I saw a dozen or more military helicopters
I took the trolley out to Old Town. It's a
collection of old buildings.
Pretty much of the same era - San Diego in the
early 1800's. It was
dusty and not that interesting. I like the way San Jose has a
collection of historic buildings from various eras at their Historic
This evening we took the trolley back out to Old Town for dinner. There are a bunch of restaurants and
places which are not part
of the park but feel like they are because they are adjacent. We had a
really nice Mexican dinner. I left my hat and when I went back fifteen
minutes later it was gone. I'm pissed. Movie
Monday I bought another of those delicious Ralph's supermarket
sandwiches and hiked over to take the two hour harbor tour. The first
half was going south where we saw a bunch of
naval ships in various
states of construction, repair or loading.
Going north is a bit boring.
The only thing of much interest was a navy boat training dolphins, they
had the dolphin do a flip for us.
Brother Chuck drove into town to go to dinner
with us. We went to some
fancy Persian place in the Gas Lamp district. Very nice. We had a good
time talking. Chuck was lucky, the expensive parking lot had closed so
nobody to take his money. I gave him back a bunch of his family
On Tuesday we drove home. No incidents. On the way out we saw a back up
of about 10 miles because of paving but it was done when we returned.