This past weekend we headed down to San Diego for a good friend’s wedding and it was a great little mini break – plus the weather was in the 80′s and 90′s. Here are some photos from our trip.
This was my first time staying in downtown San Diego and at the last minute we decided to book the US Grant. It’s a very grand old building and when we drove it it reminded me of the Fairmont in San Francisco.
The interior was equally grand.
We quickly settled in and checked into our room which was a Landmark Suite. The suite was a nice size (it reminded me of a small suite I was in years ago at Le Bristol) but probably not big enough for a third person to crash in if needed.
There were some charming little details – I thought the art above the bed was very cool!
I had requested the highest floor possible and even though we were fairly high (8 out of 10 levels) already, there was another man grumbling at the desk when were checking in who was a little grouchy about not being on the 9th floor. He was apparently a regular and used to always getting upgraded. “Something must be going on,” he said.
The next morning we all found out what that something was – Michelle Obama was staying at the hotel and had taken over the top few floors. She left that morning and like a typical gawker I had to rush outside to try and see her motorcade! The cars all whizzed by super fast but I was able to get this picture of the highway patrol waiting for her motorcade to come out.
The rooms and hotel itself were very nice…but the best part of the US Grant was definitely the food. For me to really love a hotel for food, it has to not only be good but also reasonably priced (relative to other room service prices). US Grant definitely met both criteria. Every morning we’d head down to The Grant Grill for breakfast, which was absolutely amazing!
Our favorite place to take breakfast was in this little nook, very private and quiet.
Every meal started off with a plate of these little muffins complimentary – one was raspberry and the other rhubarb.
Our standard breakfast order each morning was orange juice, a plate of fruit, a sweet item, and a savory. Here the sweet item was waffles with cherry apricot compote, and an amazing Eggs Benedict that we ordered every morning. It came on cheddar biscuits and hash browns that had truffle oil drizzled on them. Fantastic!
Another delicious item: banana bread french toast.
We also tried room service one day and called down for help. I mentioned to the man who answered that I loved grilled cheese, and he recommended a special grilled cheese sandwich they had on the bar menu, with ham and fresh tomato. Like all the other food we had at the hotel, it was delicious.
Even though we could have probably eaten at the hotel every meal, we of course wanted to go out and try a bunch of places. We had a few favorites that we discovered – the first was a delicious Afghan restaurant in downtown called Chopahn, I would highly recommend it.
Our first morning in San Diego I also got to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers, the adorable and super stylish Kelly from Alterations Needed. I always love meeting other bloggers and Kelly was definitely no exception! She gave us so many great recommendations for downtown where our hotel was – unfortunately we were short on time and couldn’t see them all.
The one venue we were able to check out based on Kelly’s recommendation was Vin de Syrah - a very cool bar/pub that had an awesome “Alice in Wonderland” theme going on. To get to the bar we had to walk downstairs, where for a while we were unable to find the door, we thought it was through one of these graffiti’d doors.
We struggled for a while looking at all the walls, until we finally spotted the handle hidden in a mossy grass wall.
It looks obvious here with the flash and everything, but it was night okay? Or maybe we’re just daft.
Once inside of course there had been a camera outside broadcasting us trying to get in the entire time to the patrons inside. The decor was very charming – huge oversized chairs, cards on the ceiling, and more. You can see a little glimpse here.
It was very fun and I’d recommend this place highly for a drink.
On our last full day in San Diego we drove up to Point Loma – a hilly drive which featured gorgeous views of the ocean. It reminded me of Big Sur. My husband wanted to go and visit the Fort Rosecrans military cemetery there. It was my first time and I thought it was beautiful, the green grass overlooking the ocean.
Some time ago, my husband served as a Navy SEAL officer and while he was deployed overseas, two of his friends and teammates were killed. He wanted to visit both of their graves and so I walked with him to them. All around their individual markers, there were items and mementos from all the other people who had recently visited. There was bent grass, small stones and insignia, and even a Laffy Taffy left around their marker sites.
I thought for a while about whether or not to include this part of our trip on this site. I know that most of the time I write about very light, ordinary things. And even though this was a special thing, to visit Rosecrans, the feelings that I and in particular my husband left with – sadness, admiration, happiness, anger, thoughtfulness and more – were all of what we eventually feel and experience in every day, week, year. It was a significant memory but not necessarily one that was only rooted in sadness. So, I hope you don’t mind that I included this here. As we were driving away my husband was a little quiet and then said, “It’s like visiting old friends.”
That night was our last one in San Diego and I was happy to spend it with one of my long time friends, who was getting married. She is one of the most independent, strong and capable women I know so it was wonderful seeing her celebrate her new life. Her wedding was also overlooking the ocean so we took some time outside and enjoyed the view over the water.
Thank you for reading about our trip, and thank you to San Diego for all the wonderful memories.