Epic Road Trip with Mom- Day 4 and 5: San Diego

Mom and I made it to San Diego shortly after dark.  We’d been staying mostly at Motel 6; the one in San Diego was notably strange.  The room was small, with only one queen bed and none of the other rooms were any larger.  Like most Motel 6 rooms, the decor was sparse but in this case, everything was sleek and modern with a European flair- blocks of solid orange, brown and white rounded with retro edges.  It was unexpected and a bit amusing.  Our window overlooked the hotel’s parking lot on the corner which was hugged by a row of tall palm trees and backed by a picturesque geometric collage of buildings.  The view was ordinary for a city scene but I found it unusually attractive.

Our first day in San Diego was gorgeous.  The  sun was blazing like we hoped it would be.  We spent six hours wandering the endless trails of the San Diego Zoo.  Of course, it was very nice even amongst the occasional crowds of children and the extensive map that proved to be ambiguous enough to cause some backtracking.  I was quite happy to return to the hotel exhausted with two burning red epaulettes sitting awkwardly on top of my pasty white arms.

The following day we spent again in Balboa Park but at the Spanish Village Art Center, a collection of working artist studios managed by the city.  There was definitely a good energy to the place though it was quiet.  A handful of people milled about while a lone guitarist played soft Spanish tunes.  It was also mid week so I hoped that had something to do with it.  I spoke to a couple of the artists and apparently they have an amazing space and thus a great opportunity to be successful but the restrictions they have regarding promotion isn’t making it happen.  It’s disappointing but they aren’t discouraged.  They are still creating and doing well enough to continue.  Some of them have been there for years.  It’s too bad that most people, even those who live there, don’t know this little treasure exists.

We took our time wandering around the park before we left.  The main purpose for driving this far was to visit one of Mom’s old high school friends in Oceanside.  I’ll leave out the specifics of that particular evening to protect all parties involved but I can say we had a good time in what was a naturally awkward but rewarding once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It’s truly amazing that after so many years, the friends we make in high school can still have such an influence.  I suppose it’s not surprising as you are together during a really uncomfortable stage in life.

I would definitely have liked to stay in the city a bit longer to experience some of the local culture as opposed to the touristy, though still pleasant, parts of the city we did see.  As a general rule of travel, I tend to avoid overtly touristy sites or at least not limit my stay to just these things.  However, we were limited by time and Mom is not particularly interested in wandering aimlessly about town to talk to strangers.


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