Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Vacation Part 1: Old Town and Paddle Boarding

8/19 - We woke up feeling rested and accomplished. Now it was time to reward ourselves! We decided to go have lunch with Ethan's cousin, Becky, whom I've never met, in Old Town. Ethan ran down to CVS to get breakfast (for some reason our very nice hotel did not serve a complimentary continental breakfast...dumb) and came back with a box of Froot Loops and milk. Perfect!

We ate and got ready then headed to Old Town. (We bought two 3-day passes for the MTS for only $14 each. We figured $28 to get around San Diego for three days was pretty cheap. They were good for both buses and trolleys. Highly recommended. -E) This Old Town was unlike any I had seen and was seriously old. They had managed to preserve and rebuild the town to look as it did when it was founded (I don't know when) by some Spanish people. It was really cool except it was about 1000 degrees in the little shade available. We went in every store or museum that had air conditioning. After a while Ethan decided he wanted to check out the old mission park where the town was officially founded. Unfortunately it was up on a hill. I wasn't too pleased about it. We went anyway and it was really pretty and you could see out into the harbor. There was also a very nice breeze that I took full advantage of.

We walked back down and headed back toward old town to meet Becky for lunch. We met her at a Mexican place called The Alamo. We rarely ever eat "authentic" Mexican food so we didn't really know what to order. It was funny, but we ended up getting taquitos and a regular taco somehow.

The food was great and it was great to finally chat with Becky. She told us about all the great things to do in SD and that the zoo and Seaworld were both worth the money. We were sold. We had to get going even though we probably could have stayed and talked all day. We had tentatively made reservations for stand up paddle boarding (referred to as SUP) not far from Old Town, but we had to take the bus there.

We had called ahead and the guy said he should have two paddle boards for us provided the people who rented them brought them back when they were supposed to. If you rent them in the morning you can bring them back when you want basically and pay for however long you were out. The people he rented them to said they would be back at 3, but there was a chance that they might keep them longer. I guess they decided to keep them longer because when we got there (at 4 pm) he had no boards for us. Poop! I had really wanted to try this out and was super bummed.

The area that we were in, Mission Bay, was riddled with rental places though so we stopped and checked a few out. We stopped in one and the guy there didn't have SUPs but he directed us to a place that did out on this "pier" that was really a peninsula of land. We headed out there and were in luck. They had plenty of boards and rented them out til 7. Hooray! We changed and put our stuff in a locker. Like I said before, Mission Bay is a large bay that's very well protected so it was a great place to try out SUPing. We paddled around and even tried sitting and paddling. We found that pushing our boards together and paddling on our own side was easy so we did that too. We paddled over to a bridge not far away and realized when we got there that there weren't many other SUPers over there. We quickly found out why. There were a ton of boats and water skiers making waves, which is not conducive to SUPing. We decided to head back after taking some pictures and then there were a bunch of boats where we came from going fast and pulling skiers, tubes and wake boarders. We found out that the 5mph speed restriction ended at 5pm. Annoying. Despite the waves we made it back without falling.

We got back on the bus, which took us back to Old Town where we got on the trolley back to downtown. We decided to get pizza to take back to the room. It was delicious. We also got a bunch of candy for dessert, which was also delicious. It was a great first day of vacation and we like SUPing!

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