Gimme Shelter

I regret nothing.

I swear the band in this bar is a combined 160 years old.

It’s two guys with terribly fake rocker hair, but they are actually doing a pretty good cover set of classic rock tunes. But there’s no way these guys aren’t collecting Social Security. And their groupies are having hot flashes. but whatever floats your boat I guess.

We landed yesterday. The flight was pretty good, it was delayed and we taxied on the runway forever, but we caught up to schedule in the air. We’ve learned our lesson from earlier flights, and we ordered double food and drinks from the stewardess on the first visit. Supplies tend to run out, and it’s just better to get everything the first time. Fortunately this is a short flight in general. We actually spent more time in the airport waiting than we did in the air, but in this process the critical variable was stress, not time, so this all worked out correctly. The views were great on the trip down. We got a few pictures and were in San Diego in no time.

I’m actually surprised at how small San Diego center is, as our hotel was literally next to the airport, but on an isolated island at the same time. We caught an Uber over to the hotel and checked in. We are on Shelter Island, at the far end in the Kona Kai resort. Apparently this place has been here since the 50’s or something. It was more of a shack then, but it’s a major resort and marina now.

Back at the bar: some dude just bought a joint from another guy at the bar. Right in the open. I didn’t see his Marijuana medical card. What, does he think this is Seattle? The band is playing Santana now.

We were a bit drunk,  tired, hungry, and had some Xanax to burn out as well. Thank god it was happy hour. We were dragging coming out of the room but made it down the beach. It was not too hot out, but sunny. We sat on the deck overlooking the marina. Shelter island is between the San Diego shore and Coranado, it’s right at the ocean entrance of the bay, and makes a fantastic protection for boats. our resort is at the end, and has a marina that stretches across the inside shore within the protection of the island. the America’s Cup racing boat Stars and Stripes is here, right by the bar. That was cool. In general, we like being in a marina. That feels like the right kind of home. It’s one of the things I like about Cabo as well.

1010127We looked at the menu and pretty much ordered one of everything on the happy hour list. We were almost embarrassed at what we ordered until it arrived, then we ate everything in sight. This was actually our first full meal for the day, and it was good. Kobe sliders, Ruben Sliders, Lobster, some salad, everything fresh. Two drinks later and we were starting to feel how tired we were. On most trips we try to get out the first day and see some stuff. Not today. we walked around a bit and just went back to the room.

We stayed up for a bit but passed out early. It wasn’t worth it to fight.

In the morning Yulia was up, not super early, but before I could rise. She took a big walk and headed off to a Yoga class at the health center. Eventually I got up and found that she had texted me. There was a free event at the expo center in downtown. It was a health and fitness expo.  Keeping my self healthy by lifting weights is my second favorite hobby after trying to kill myself with alcohol, so this sounded fun. We didn’t have a car yet, so I did a bit of math. My original plan was to motor about town via Uber, but with our location on the island this was probably going to cost too much, so I went back to the airport and got us a rental for the week. It was actually a good deal. We needed to rent a car to drive up to Anaheim later, and the cost of the one way rental was mitigated by getting a full week.

I’m sitting at an actual bar, good luck getting a drink here. I need to start selling pot to get some attention.

Once we were all up and ready, we headed downtown. It was only about 25 minutes to get to the convention center. We parked below and went up to see what they had. It was actually a huge event, with equipment sales on one side, a big classroom floor in the middle, and food/supplements on the other side. We weren’t buying barbells or taking classes, so we focused on the food area. It was actually pretty amazing. There were all kinds of health products, vegan/non-dairy stuff, and things like that. We tried a lot of samples, most of which were great. I liked the fresh date samples, local yogurt and cottage cheese (personally, I don’t have dairy problems). I should have skipped the cranberry/egg-white power drink. I can still taste that stuff. Not. Good.

We filled up a bag then left to walk around downtown, in the Gaslamp district. It’s a nice area. Great architecture, some cool restaurants and shops. Yulia was here before during a competition and it’s apparently amazing at night. We just shopped around and headed back. On the way we found a pretty cool outdoor mall. The girls hit Victoria’s Secret there, there was a sale on. Walking around I noticed that behind the cheap perfume of the place was a smell. It took a bit, but I knew it well. Mold. I walked around to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, but it was there. This place had a bad case of mold going on. We paid and got out, then I noticed the rest of the mall.

Most of this was dead and empty.

This wasn’t a small place. But it looked like it peak a decade ago. Doors were closed, paint was chipped, and it was obviously on the way down. I was really surprised as this was right in the city center near the Expo center. not sure why, but this was dying to say the least. We just headed out and went back to the parking garage. We were done with downtown at this point and headed back. There was other stuff we wanted to do downtown (I’m dying to do some ship tours) but we wanted to get back and go for dinner.

At the hotel, they had a new room for us. Our room was at the far end of everything, and Yulia managed to talk them into an upgrade. The new room was at the center of the resort,so we packed up and moved our things over. Much better.


We cleaned up and decided to go up the La Jolla for dinner. It was a 30 minute drive, but we wound through some really nice neighborhoods on the way. You can see the division between the middle class and upper class neighborhoods. There’s some real money around here. It’s nice to see the beautiful architecture, but a bummer to see the squeeze on folks in the middle. Lot of that going around lately.


We drove around for a while and found a nice place to eat with a roof deck. It had a view of the bay below. Swimmers were out with the Sea Lions. The seals kept diving off the rocks to chase fish back and forth, and waves crashed over everything. The weather was still really overcast. Things just never cleared up. The food was great and we were glad to enjoy a nice dinner together. Both Yulia and Sasha had reservations for Sunday at the spa to get a massage and other female spa stuff. I plan to look at boats. Sasha wanted to put this off until then because she said she just wasn’t ready to relax yet.

As damaged as this sounds, I understand it. If you are pretty high strung, you can’t just turn on a dime to relax. We are all really high strung. It takes time to decompress. You get a thick skin to handle stress, and this end sup being a resistance to de-stress as well. I’m glad she recognizes this, as I ignore it too often myself. Our dinner was a good de-stress itself. We enjoyed the view and food and drove back.

And that brings me back to the hotel bar. The geriatric band has just wrapped up and us getting back into their wheelchairs. They weren’t half bad, but the other half led something to be desired. It’s actually pretty cool to watch guys like this get up and perform. Probably beats shuffleboard.

They just rang last call. Time to get out of here. Breakfast tomorrow back at La Jolla I think. Wonder what the seals want.