Over two months ago I booked my flight, car rental and hotel package to San Diego through Orbitz. Then I didn’t do much planning at all for it. The week prior I printed out directions to several skate parks and some other sites to see. I knew of a few friends to look up, and planned to go to the San Diego Slappy Sunday. I didn’t have much of an itinerary for my 5-day trip. And it was great.
Other than paying double for the car rental, I’d say it was an affordable vacation. Driving around was super easy. With my mapquest directions and my iphone I got around easily. For this blog entry I’m going to do something different. Instead of writing a 2,000 plus word entry on my vacation, I’m going to bullet point the highlights of the trip, and put the focus on the 30 or so photos I took.
–I met my friend Colin for lunch in Oceanbeach. It was good to catch up and he looks super healthy from surfing every morning.
–Briefly warmed up skating at the nearby Robb Field skate park.
–Went to San Diego Slappy Sunday. The overcast and slight rain that day kept the usual big crowd away. Skated with about 7 people that were nice and good. Skated for about a good two hours before it started to pour.
–Had dinner with my friend Charles and his wife Jennifer. We figured out that it has been since 1993 0r 1994 since we last saw each other. The conversation was easy, fun, and it was a good time.
–Went to Memorial skatepark first. This is a large park with a few bowls, and a street course. The locals were really good, flip in flip out type of good. One guy there told me there were two YMCA’s with parks, and Enchinitas was the famous one. I had directions to the other one, but was quickly able to look up the correct YMCA on my cell phone.
–Drove up to the Encinitas YMCA that is about 20 miles north of San Diego. The park is a crazy ramp style place, including a twelve foot vert ramp. On this monstrosity of a ramp, I saw a 7 year old, and a small 7 year old, drop in and skate it. I tried the mini-ramp, but the stuff was kind of big for me. I settled on being happy with ollieing a big cone off a bank ramp on the street course.
–My friend Charles came over to watch the presidential debate. I ended not paying much attention at all to the debate, instead I talked with my friend. Afterwards we went to a good pizza pub.
–Drove about 80 miles north to the Etnies skate park in Lake Forest. This was a good alternative to driving to Las Angeles. The drive was easy and scenic. The park was ten bucks and I’m actually glad they enforced the pads. I never saw a park like it, just big cement. I’m glad after awhile I could roll in on a bank ramp, roll over two bump style objects that were six foot tall each and then carve around on a big wall. That was progress since big ramp skating intimidates me. It was the middle of the day, but I saw about 4 skaters that were really good. I always find it interesting at parks that you are a participant and a spectator at the same time. In this case, I was by far the worst skater in the park! On the drive back I tried to be fancy to find another skate park in Ocean Beach. My iphone lead me to a shopping center, it was the only time my iphone was wrong on the trip.
–Arrived at La Jolla beach at like 4:30. The area is beautiful. Hanged out on the beach and viewed an amazing sunset. With shorts and a sweatshirt, it got a little cold. For my next trip I’ll pack more jeans.
–Walked to a sushi place near my hotel. I ordered simply, just a spicy tuna roll, an eal roll, and salmon sushi. It was the best sushi I had I think.
–Went to a few bars. I had a decent time, but one frat type bar had that Ultimate Fighting (UFC) on all the televisions and I didn’t like that. So as far as nightlife goes, I might be more of an NYC dude.
-Had breakfast at my hotel. I stayed at the Best Western Island Palms and Marina resort. It’s scenic and a lot of boats. The pool and restaurant overlooked the bay, and was cool. Next time, I might try out a different area, but it was good for driving and getting around.
-In the afternoon went to Coronado Skate Park. This is a manmade Island, and there is a crazy high bridge that goes across to it. I got there at one or two, but wanted to eat. I was told there was a taco bell nearby. So I drove there and got a little turned around and confused. People drove really aggressive on that island. It’s part of the military base, but this was the only time during my trip that I felt agitated on the road. After eating the delicious taco bell, I went back to the park. This was another pay park, and they required a helmet. The park was okay, but I liked one of the bowls. From the bottom the top was almost eye level in the shallow end, and the deep end was not that much bigger. The first drop in was intimidating but easy too. I took some time on that session. By the end I was able to keep my speed for a few minutes. I did not try to touch the coping, but simply cruised around. Previously on bowl or transition skating I’d lose my speed by the third kick turn. So this was a big improvement for me.
–My friend Charles picked me up, and we went to his house to watch some old footage. The footage was from 1995 to 1997, and had a lot of Toledo skaters I knew in it. The level of skating was impressive, and it was cool to see the film. They went on a San Francisco trip and an NYC trip. During that time I was taking a break from skating, but it was cool to see footage of people I knew, and they got really good. After that Charles, his wife Jennifer, and I went to a nearby restaurant that was super good, and they had a lounge piano singer, that is always fun. I’m glad this trip enabled me to reconnect with a friend.
–Getting back at my hotel I had a little time before the pool closed. So I got to swim, it would be bad luck to go to California without swimming!
–Got to the airport okay, and took the long flight back. One loses three hours going east, so it takes up the whole day.
San Diego was a lot of fun and I’ll go back to California. Every meal I had there was good, even the two times I ate at Taco Bell. I think in dryer climates I breath a little better, and after a little rain the first day the sun was out most of the time. The level of skating was high because I think no one needs to take a winter off. I think in NYC the skate parks are a little newer and more designed for the street skater. Lastly I enjoyed being able to drive, but that is a huge expense compared to transit in NYC.
Skatecations, I’m going to try to do one every year. Las Vegas and San Diego have been skated by me!