Luxury Travel to San Diego: The US Grant (Virtuoso) & Sightseeing
No wonder Ron Burgundy liked this town so much.
We’ve fallen in love with San Diego, from the moment we arrived in the vibrant Gaslight Quarter last night. The town had a young crowd, energetic atmosphere, and dance club on every corner. It’s like Athens on steroids, which is awesome, minus a few loonies walking around the area, at which dad proclaimed, “Some of these people are crazy as a bedbug.”
Our hotel, the US Grant, a stunning Virtuoso property that’s part of the Starwood Group’s Luxury Collection, is 100 years old and breathtaking. It’s accommodated 16 presidents over its lifte time and was actually a highlight on our trolley tour this morning.
We woke up from the comfortable beds and had breakfast at the Grant Grill, which was spectacular. Since our Seabourn cruise last summer, we rate food in comparison to the dining onboard the ship – breakfast at the Grant Grill was Seabourn good. It’s a high honor. I had Citrus Brioche French Toast and, when my waiter brought it out to me, it was so pretty and precisely prepared that he announced, “I always feel like I should sing ‘Happy Birthday’ when I bring this out.” I told him he was a week early – my 22nd birthday is next week, and what a way to celebrate so far (for those of you who don’t know me, I’m the type of person who celebrates for at least a month surrounding my birthdate).
It was a great start to the day, after which we decided to hop on the trolley tour so that we could see as much of the city possible in our limited time. While waiting on the trolley, we met a lovely British-turned-Canadian couple who were also exploring the town before embarking on the Royal Caribbean cruise leaving this afternoon. They expressed their guilt over leaving their lab in the kennel and informed us that we will have the best time exploring through the Canadian Rockies. This comforts me – I’ve never been on a trip like this (I don’t do cold weather well) that is mostly nature sightseeing (I also don’t do nature well), but I’m anticipating some really breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies, and they only confirmed that anticipation.
The Trolley Tour was great – we had an excellent guide who really enjoyed his job. It’s evident when you’re passionate about what you’re doing; it just shines through every action and makes those around you feel comfortable and content in your hands. That’s how we felt with our guide, Jon, who took us to Coronado, a beautiful seaside town that instantly captured our hearts.
Each house was uniquely decorated and landscaped – from Spanish-style villas to traditional seaside cottages with lemon trees in the front yard. It was such a whimsical place, as is all of San Diego, from what I’ve seen. The patriotism here is unparalleled – little signs that read, “Home of a Naval Aviator” adorned most of the lawns, and we were able to catch a glimpse of Navy SEALs running in formation along the beach. The wave of patriotism experienced while on the island was especially heightened because of Osama’s recent death – when we stopped by one of the famous Irish Pubs often frequented by those in this rank, there was a giant sign hanging that read, “Mission Accomplished.”
From here, we toured Balboa Park, Little Italy, Banker’s Hill, and much more. Nothing quite compared to the charm of Coronado, which was a collective favorite from my family’s perspective, but we still thoroughly enjoyed our to-go tour of San Diego…until we had to change trolleys and wound up with a guide who had a slightly-high pitched voice. At this point, we just decided to make another video. I’ll work on the quality and content of these travel videos one day, but for now, enjoy the moments of my family being annoyed:
Now, onward to the cruise ship!