We took a four star crapshoot with Hotwire and ended up with a gorgeous hotel in the Gaslamp district (near the convention center and in the middle of all sorts of high end eating, drinking and shopping in San Diego. We are staying at the Hotel Solamar (part of the Kimpton Chain--with one of their most recognized hotels being the Drake in San Francisco). It is fun and quirky with the rooms (as seen above) bold and well appointed (the bathrobes in the rooms are either zebra stripe or leopard skin terry cloth), to inventive spaces with great, dramatic lighting and furnishings. We got in around 4 and walked to the pool--to see the various cabanas around the outside pool along with a firepit and tiki inspired bar. We strolled over to the convention center (a really beautiful and accessible building) inspired by the public trolleys and ease of doing everything. We got a glimpse of the Bay and immediately all felt hungry, imagine! As it is our 27th wedding anniversary, we decided to go to Mr. Tiki's Mai Tai Lounge, which we learned about on the web and read raves about. The food was good, drinks tasty but the ramped up kitch we were hoping for (San Diego is home to one of the celebrated US tiki fests annually)--wasn't there. They did have cute glass puffer fish as light fixtures that were a good idea for the January 2300 degrees at the Corning Museum of Glass (Tiki Fire and Ice). And the surf and skate videos were a draw for the younger set. There were Mother/Daughter groups gulping down flaming volcanos (enormous drinks) and sliding to the floor in laughter. Made me feel right old (27 yrs of marriage isnt just anything!). A. wanted to join the volcano consumers... It was inspiration to pursue the tiki thing more.
Its late. Need to put my head down. Tomorrow, Sea World!