Romance Writers of America Conferences are always a good time to explore a city. I was in for a surprise staying at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina on West Harbor Drive as far as the location goes. I had seen the condo high rises going up maybe six years ago and also noticed new housing in Little Italy. San Diego has always been a great place to dance, dine, go to the theatre or take a walk along the marina, but in the last five years downtown has become gentrified and perhaps The Finest City to live.
From the Marriott Marquis you can walk north on the marina to Seaport Village for shopping, restaurants and a carousel then the USS Midway area.
Across the street, over the train tracks into Gaslamp, shopping and dining are fabulous. (However, I did notice homeless spinning a yarn as they panhandled. It also smelled like urine walking the streets. But moms pushing strollers and men walking dogs didn’t seem to mind.) The food and service were excellent at The Food Shop at 465 5th Avenue which serves Vietnamese, sandwiches and pho in a tiny warm space. The organic tofu with rice noodles was savory and filling. Across the street and kitty-corner is The Burger Lounge which offers awesome food and service. As I ate the quinoa burger an exotic brunette in her forties asked me if my food was good. I told her it was orgasmic. She was delighted. (The fresh pickles in the Thousand Island dressing made it pop. Pickles. Orgasmic. Sorry, I just realized. Grin.) She passed by again after using the restroom and wished me happy dining. I’m pretty sure she told the waitress, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
The only downside was the Marriott. Men were on scaffolding outside my window for two days putting up a Comic-Con ad. So much for the view. The city jail is on Front Street and the police sirens echo off the buildings every night. And I could hear the elevator on the other side of my bed too. I would recommend another hotel more north. The pool and location were the best part.
As I left with Oh Sherry by Journey blasting on the radio, the chatty, chocolate eating, wine drinking women of romance gave way to the hum of Warner Brother’s big rig trucks maneuvering in the doc with a manly crew dressed in black waiting to get to work.