San Diego Business Trip (Last updated on 2005/10/029)

I have never been to any west coast city since I came to the U.S. in 1996. I have seen the coast few times as I travel back and forth between Japan and the U.S.

I got an assignment from my boss and I needed to go to San Diego, CA. The good (?) thing was there have been some trouble on scheduling and I could not do my assigned task until Wednesday. I was with my Japanese counterpart, and we very much had to find a way to get the most out of it.

2005/10/02 Going to San Diego

I woke up around 6:00am in the morning. Today is Sunday and I prefer going to walk in the morning but I am on a mission so I have to go to the airport. I drove to the airport where I parked at Economy parking. Not like the last time, this was not the time of spring break, I found a spot easily.

I used E-check in but the place was quite busy, but still faster than being in line. Somehow, I did not get my seat assigned for this flight and had to pick it up at the counter. They gave me one at aisle so I could not enjoy the flight watching outside. UA0392 took off on time in a cloudy sky, it was a bit shaky but okay to deal with. The plane landed at Denver safe.

UA0392 IND->DEN at Indiana Airport.

Denver International Airport

This is my first time at this airport. It's pretty neat place and has some unique fast food place. I have never tried this Steak Escape so I had vegetable sub. It was okay but cheesy and oily a bit. I skipped fries and pops but had water instead. I had to wait for about one hour here.

Steak Escape

Rocky Mountains can be seen from the airport. Pretty neat.

With some delay, the plane finally got here. (UA1183)

The airplane was replaced with other kind due to a problem, and people had to wait for the replacement to arrive. I guess this plane must be somewhat questionable too, it stalled engine on the first try. So, we had 20 minutes delay at the gate and another 15 minutes onboard. The B757 has a harder cushioning than B737, but I think it was comfortable too. On the way to the I saw a part of Grand Canyon, Salton Sea. I need to check them out someday.

After flying right by the buildings, the plane landed at San Diego International Airport. I am there! The view from the window pretty much telling me there are many military bases and sunny, hot climate. I caught up with my coworker at the baggage claim, and stepped outside. It's pretty nice place and somewhat warm. I can agree people like California so much. I took coworker to the shuttle bus stop, and went to Hertz Rent-A-Car. I tried to get a Camry, but there was not any, so I get a Camry Solara instead. After a while, I think I need to get a convertible. It was only 2:00pm, so it's too early to be at hotel, so why not help ourselves to the beach?

Ocean Beach

I don't know how many years since the last time I saw an ocean, I very much stopped my car when I saw the Pacific Ocean. It was simply beautiful.

I finally get to see an ocean! Fishing pier (free to enter) People live in a place like this must be really rich! I am in San Diego!
Sail boats under glare Palm trees, clear sky, and California flag. A street nearby beach

Check out a panoramic view of the beach!

After spending time at a beach, we decided to head north to the hotel. One thing I felt is people at California drives a lot more accurate than people like, um, Kansas, Indiana or Kentucky... The road was narrower and the car drive is bigger so I had to drive with care.

We got to the hotel around 7:00pm, had a dinner at a local Mexican food place where the hotel clerk told us authentic. It was cheap, quick and good. I am still not having enough fun so I and my coworker headed to the beach again to see the sunset.

Oceanside Beach

Cloudy and dark after sunset.

It's cloudy and was too late, the surrounding was dark and I only see some boats in the far way. We just got back and I went to sleep. I am sure my coworker arrived from Japan today must have had hard time sleeping, hahaha.

2005/10/03 Visiting the client

I woke up around 5:30am, went out for jogging in the morning although I don't know the place. I was at the client's place at 10:00am. We were expecting shipment from our customer's place, but seems not coming. I waited until 2:00pm and decided to head back to the hotel. We cannot do anything here.

Since we missed the sunset yesterday, we decided to try again. This time, we went to north a bit, but was very hard for us to find a beach with access from highway. Some places are like Navy base, other has a pretty solid looking gates and I will need a permission to get in. I finally get to one of the beach but my camera was missing a memory card! Oh, man. I needed to just watch as the sun goes down, it was kinda fast and quiet. I had dinner at a restaurant by a mariner. Headed back to the hotel. Wrote report to the company what was going on.

2005/10/04 Going to San Diego downtown

I woke up at 5:30am again, went for a morning jog after 6:30am. It was a bit easier than yesterday and had good time. I visited the client again, and once more, we find out that the shipment won't arrive today. Well, what can we do? Just heading to the downtown!

I drove west on 78, to the I-5 south, I kept driving but missed a lane and ended up driving on I-805. I drove to I-8 and headed west again to catch up with I-5. I drove a bit more and I was finally at downtown on San Diego.

San Diego Downtown

Check out an panoramic view of San Diego!

It's very nice and I smell ocean. I can just keep walking because I feel good. At the same time, I started to realize it would be a nightmare if the climate does not change much all year around. Anyways, we headed to the Midway.

USS Midway Museum

The bridge of CVN-41 (Midway)

It was $15 to enter but this is my first chance getting onboard an aircraft carrier. It was built during the WWII so I can understand how old this is, and at the same time, I am amazed to find out how massive the ship is! No wonder people call this a city at a sea.

Here are some pictures I took... Click for larger image.

The Midway A-4C Skyhawk T-2C Buckeye SNJ Texan II
SH-3 Sea King SH-2F Seasprite S-3B Viking RA-5C Vigillanty
I am on the upper deck HH-46 Sea Knight F/A-18 Hornet F-14 Tomcat
F-4S Phantom II F-4N Phantom II C-1A Trader A-7B Corsair II
A-6 Intruder UH-1B Huey

Maritime Museum of San Diego

I just walked by because I have seen some sail boats floating around. I did not know they were a part of museum.

Star of India, built in 1863 HMS Surprise, was used in a movie "Master and Commander" Soviet era submarine B-39. I wonder why San Diego gets a ship like this???

  CVN-76 Ronald Regan at homeport.

2005/10/05 Finally getting my task done

Sorry, I cannot tell you what I did. It is confidential. It started around 10:00am, and finished at 10:00pm. I took customers to a Mexican restaurant nearby, and also the company bought us Chinese food. My brain was dead because I felt like after midnight when we are all done, I could not drive a car at 45mph... Tired.

2005/10/06 Going back to Indiana

We are heading to the airport today, we checked out the hotel around 8:00am and start driving to San Diego direction. The road to the airport was rather busier than the past, and even had a complete stop as I was driving. We arrived at the airport around 10:30am, just few minutes before the boarding starts, using e-check in for the fast process but got to the gate 10 minutes before the departure. UA0392 bound for Chicago took off on time. It was one of Airbus (A320?) and they had LCD monitor all over the place. There was a movie "Fantastic 4" playing but I was not in the mood watching it.

A view of San Diego downtown as the plane heads to Chicago... (Click picture to get a larger image)

We flew over Salina, KS and Des Moines, IA, enroute...

Chicago O'Hare International Airport

The landing to the O'Hare was complicated as usual. The plane approached from the west, flying south of the airport, headed east all the way to the Michigan Lake, then turn around, landing. Took a while to arrive to the gate.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport

There must be many delays around here, I have heard of Chicago airport is one of the worst on time departure and arrival in the nation. Even I was eating food I got from McDonald's at a bench, there was three people visiting the next counter which just closed. I had a bit of bad feeling but my transfer took 2 hours so it should have been enough time, right?

Airport terminal in the evening...

The plane, UA7629, took off about 30 minutes late. I did not know that the time required to fly between Chicago and Indianapolis was only 35 minutes, with a short ride in ERJ-170. The grade of the seating is called "Economy Plus" and it was a bit roomier. I think the airplane was quite new, too. I came back to Indiana around 8:20pm, and was waiting to pick up my baggage, but I only received one out of two. I put my keys in the other bag so I could not get back home. (I had a spare key for my car, though.) I took my coworker to a hotel and I also checked myself in another room because the apartment maintenance can only unlock the door but cannot provide spare key.

The baggage was arrived by next morning, thank god.






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