Category: San Diego

An Exhilarating Return To San Diego

March 4th, 2014 — 9:42pm

When you’ve lived through the winter that we’ve had here in NYC, any break from it is a welcome one. Last week, I had the pleasure of escaping to the warmer environs of San Diego for a work-related conference.

The view from my room at The Westin San Diego

The view from my room at The Westin San Diego

It had been 19 years since my last visit to SD. That trip was on the tail end of my relationship with Sparky when I told him it was over. Needless to say, I was eager to re-experience this great city and it didn’t disappoint.

In addition to beautiful weather, friendly locals and uncrowded streets, San Diego offered something else I hadn’t experienced in a while – unexpected romance.

On my one free night in town, I decided to venture out on my own to the Gaslamp Quarter, SD’s buzzy bar and restaurant district. I strolled for several minutes before settling on Greystone Steakhouse. What drew me in? A welcoming hostess…and the sight of three men flying solo at the bar. Of course, they were all poring over their SmartPhones, so my expectations were low. At the very least, though, I figured it was a far better ratio than what’s typical in NYC.

No sooner had I ordered a glass of wine than M, the adorable guy to my left, looked over and asked me with a smile if I was a local. I soon learned that M was a recent transplant to San Diego, having grown up in Iowa and graduated from West Point.

We clicked immediately, sharing stories about career (M has his own consulting business), travel and the allure of picking up and relocating somewhere completely different.

Even though I’m blinking, I think you can see how much I was having :)

Even though I’m blinking, I think you can see how much I was having :)

After closing down Greystone, we headed over to SD’s version of Little Italy for drinks at Craft and Commerce—one of the best bars I’ve been to in ages. Staff are invited to create and submit cocktails for menu inclusion. I sampled one with grenadine that was a fond throwback to my Shirley Temple days as a child.

M and I talked and smooched until dawn. A few days later, he sweetly followed up with a text message wishing me a safe flight back home.

Meeting him, and my entire trip to San Diego, were much needed reminders that you never know when something great is right around the corner. And that it’s time to have a little more of that adventurous traveler mindset here at home too.

| San Diego, travel

Opening The Vault: Part Thirty Four

May 2nd, 2009 — 6:52pm

Like the song says, breaking up is hard to do — and it’s even harder when you’re still in love with your significant other. My feelings for CA-based beau Mark (a.k.a Sparky) remained as I prepared to tell him it was over between us.

Tired of trying to forge a relationship from 3,000 miles apart — and of the near-constant arguing precipitated by it — I knew the time had come to call it quits. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1995…

June 8th, 1995
San Diego, CA

Dear Diary,

Thankfully, the growth that was removed from Mark’s stomach turned out to be benign. He was still in discomfort, though, so he nixed the whirlwind excursion we’d planned and suggested we go to San Diego instead.

I was silent for the duration of the approximately 2-hour ride. All I kept thinking was — how am I going to tell him?

A road trip to San Diego illuminated how far apart Mark and I had grown

Of course, leave it to Mark to get romantic as I’m thinking that our days together were numbered. As Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” came on the radio, Mark turned down the volume and said —

“You know, it seems like every time we get comfortable with each other, you leave. There’s always this void when you go.”

“Really?” I snapped. “I find that very hard to believe.”

Unfortunately, when I’m mean, I’m the worst.

When we got to our hotel, Mark kept asking me what was wrong. I needed a little more time to figure out what to say, so I laid down next to him and told him as much.

He started to kiss me and eventually, I ended up on top of him. His arms were encircling my waist as he kissed the nape of my neck. Looking up at the ceiling, I fought in vain to hold back tears.
I love you so much, Sparky, I thought to myself, but it’s no good anymore.

* * *

Later, Sparky pressed me again to tell him what was on my mind. I knew I couldn’t hold back the truth any longer.
Though I had rehearsed this scene time and time again, I floundered for words. I struggled to explain how I’d arrived at my painful decision.

“So, you’re saying you’re ready to move on,” he finally interjected, saying what I couldn’t bring myself to.

“I don’t know,” I said, my voice trailing off. But we both knew that yes was what I really meant.

Mark stood up and said he was going for a walk. I was more than a little anxious that he seemed so calm. As it turned out, I had reason to be worried — a torrent of animosity was about to be unleashed.

* * *
Though I’d found the courage to tell Mark we were through, my timing couldn’t have been worse — I wasn’t due to leave California for another four days.

| breakup scenes, Bryan Adams, long-distance relationships, road trips, San Diego

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