We've been home a week now and I finally (kinda) have time to write a review. I am so thankful for all the reviews I have read, I wanted to give back a little.DH & I are from Columbia, SC. On 4/10/12, we started our vacation off wrong by oversleeping! I think neither of us could sleep the night before like it was Christmas Eve. We had a flight out of Charlotte at 7:50 am. We had plans for someone to pick us up & drive us to Charlotte at 4 am. We still left around 4:30 am, a little rushed but we made our flight fine. We had a 45 minute layover in Dallas, then our last leg to San Diego. From the airport, we just grabbed a taxi that took us to our hotel, Andaz by Hyatt, right in the gaslamp quarter. We loved the hotel. Cleanliness & location is most important to us. Andaz was this plus more. The hotel let us check in early (around noon vs 3 pm check-in time). We dropped off our luggage then walked about 2 blocks to Enterprise car rental, where we were to pick up a vehicle and drive the San Diego 59 mile scenic drive. The drive took about 4 hours with stops and was a lot of fun. I had printed directions & if you pay real close attention, there are signs with pelicans that mark the route. We made several short stops for photo ops & eventually a long stop at Seaside Village, where I purchased a Christmas Ornament with "San Diego" on it (a tradition in all cities we visit). The man in the store recommended a place for dinner for us right there in Seaside Village called Harbor House. It had a nice view & the food hit the spot. After dinner, we started a hunt for a piece of luggage & our soda of choice (diet mountain dew) to take on the cruise with us. Of course we could have brought them from home but it would have costed $200 for the luggage plus it would have been overweight. We figured a cheap piece of luggage & the sodas at Wal-mart, no problem. Well, it was a problem. Diet Mountain Dew is almost impossible to find in San Diego. We settled for some Diet 7-up. Then we stopped in Target for the luggage and found individual bottled diet mountain dew. We cleaned their shelves, every one of them. A small thing, but one of those little things that matter to us. So, we had a huge piece of luggage filled with Diet Mountain Dew & Diet 7-up. We dropped the luggage at our hotel, returned our rental at Hard Rock Hotel (where they offer 24 hour return service), bought Hard Rock T-shirts for our boys (ages 16 & 20), another tradition, then walked back to our hotel. Time for bed, it's been a long day!
4/11/12- Today, we walked to Little Italy, where we had a coffee in front of Starbucks. Then, we walked to Horton Plaza & did a little shopping. This was a very neat 3/4 story open air mall. We had lunch at their food court on the rooftop. It started to drizzle so we walked through Gaslamp Quarter back to our hotel, where we relaxed until time to get ready for dinner. Before dinner, we had a cocktail at our hotels wine bar, then headed to Hard Rock for a drink, then a drink at a bar I can't remember the name of, then a drink at Croces. See a pattern? The live music started up just before time for our dinner reservations I had made months ago at The Merk, inside The Keating Hotel, just a block up from our hotel. First, we sat at the wrong restaurant. I thought it was odd the hostess didn't have my reservation but sat us anyway. I knew we were in the wrong place when I saw the menu, but after we had ordered drinks. We apologized and our waitress pointed us in the directions of our restaurant. All of the businesses are close together and it is hard to tell where you are. So we went one door down to The Merk, confirmed it was indeed the Merk, ordered drinks and looked at the menu. This does not look like the menu I saw months ago when making reservations. My DH inquired about that and the waitress told us they had just changed to a bistro about 2 weeks ago. We were in the mood for good italian so we apologized again and our waitress suggested an Italian restaurant right across the street. 3 Times a charm. It was very good, especially the lobster ravioli. Top notch restaurant. Too bad I can't remember the name of it. It started with a "M" and is across from "The Merk". We had plans to go to the Shout House Dueling Piano Bar after dinner. Needless to say, we both had too much to drink already so we called it a night.
4/12/12- We headed to Horton Plaza, where we would catch The Old Town Trolley to Balboa Park/San Diego Zoo. It was chilly but sunny. 60-70 degrees is chilly for us from SC. We were a little early so we grabbed coffee from Panera Bread. The trolley was right on time & it was really neat & fun to get to see & hear about the city. We got off at the Balboa Park/Zoo stop. If we would have stayed on, the ride would be about 2 hours for the entire tour. We would see the other half of the tour when we leave the zoo. We had to walk a good ways to the zoo. They dropped us off at Balboa Park & we couldn't figure out where the zoo was. Finally asked someone. The zoo was very crowded & we had to get in line for tickets even though I had already purchased & printed the tickets online. The layout of the zoo was confusing & again, crowded so it was a tiring but fun day at the zoo. After the zoo, we headed back to our trolley stop at Balboa Park. We had to wait a few minutes for the next trolley & since it was near the last stop of the day, the next 2 trolleys were full but they seem to know this will happen so they had another one on the way already. We got to see the rest of the city tour. We had to get off at one stop to validate our tickets, then hop right back on. We were dropped back off at Horton Plaza. We walked back to Andaz Hotel and got ready for dinner. We had dinner reservations at Katsuya next door to our hotel. It was a hip & chic place with good japanese food but not hibachi. After dinner, we went to Shout House, which was really cool. It was very lively and they were playing great music. Then we went to the rooftop of our own hotel for a night cap. We had a view of Petco Stadium lights from there.