Sunday, June 24, 2012

A day in San Diego before the ISTE conference

As I write this I'm sitting in the window of my hotel room looking at the San Diego city lights and across the bay toward Coronado. The pool below is glowing blue, and the Dole receiving dock lights are shimmering on the water. It's the end of an eventful day of being a tourist around San Diego.

This morning I wandered down to the Gas Lamp quarter in search of breakfast, pancakes, and sun screen. Deciding to forgo a taxi ride to Sea World, and still unsure if I wanted to go, I bought a full-day transit pass and caught the trolley. After changing trolleys downtown, the end of the line was at Old Town San Diego, which seemed as good a destination as any for now. After less than an hour, though, I had decided that I wanted to see Sea World, so I hopped on a bus in that direction.

My first impression of Sea World was that I'd probably be waiting in a lot of lines. There was a line to buy the ticket (a "fun pass" is good for the rest of the year, and it's the same price as a single-day admission), there was a line to get through the security search and into the gate, there were lines to take photos with the people dressed as characters, and there were long lines for the rides. I went on the tower ride first to have a look at the whole park, and see the surrounding area, but didn't go on any other rides today. I did, however, get to see the major shows as well as all of the exhibits. Shamu and the other Orcas are much bigger in real life than I had expected. The sea lions were funny, and the dolphins were amazing, although the dolphin show seemed to be more about human acrobats than animals. In the exhibits, I got to hold a star fish and a horseshoe crab, and pet a turtle. All in all a great experience.

Another trip on public transportation back to the hotel, and I need to get in touch with my family about something that I had forgotten to do for an event that was happening back home, and track down my boss here to get my ticket for the baseball game. After talking to my wife but leaving for my boss, I was going to sit down for some supper when DG found me and invited me to join her and our boss.

The Padres game was a good, I had never been to a professional baseball game before. The stands seemed quite empty, but apparently there were over 30,000 people there. I ducked out for two innings to Skype with my wife and daughters, but I guess I didn't miss anything too exciting. I guess that's why I don't watch baseball on TV.

After the game we took another little walk along the marina to enjoy the view of the bay and the multi-million dollar yacht  parked there. It's clear that I'm not in that socioeconomic class, since I had to look up how to spell the word "yacht".

It's been a great day, and I feel like I've seen a lot of San Diego, but it's hard to be away from home. I miss my wife and I miss my kids already. I love how they give my hugs on Skype, but I'd rather be home with them. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is with them.

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