San Diego Business Trip (Last updated on 2008/08/11)

2008/5/20 Going to San Diego, CA

To the airport

Woke up at 5:30am. I was quite sleepy still, but considering the time when I went to bed last night, I think I am in a good shape. Not much time to stretch my body or take shower, I just decided to finish packing and head to the airport. I hope I won't be smelling bad. I left home around 6:00am, and arrived at the airport parking at 6:40am, the traffic was not that bad but I have seen a couple of police cruisers so I could not do anything obviously bad. The sky was cloudy but not too dark to drive (It is dark when I have to get on the plane leaving Detroit around 6:30am). I checked in baggage and passed the security half sleep. Arrived at the gate at 7:00am.

AA851 DTW-ORD 8:25am-8:40am

The boarding was so smooth that we were ready to go by 8:10am. The plane departed on time and cruised on the taxiway. The fun part ended there because we had to hold for 15 minutes before being on the runway. The plane shuts the engines down to save fuel in a mean time. The actual takeoff time was 8:45am. The plane took off to the north, then turned to west. The weather was partly cloudy in Detroit but got very cloudy as approached to Chicago. On the way there, I got to see the surroundings of my apartment, GM proving ground at Milford, and Kensington Park where I usually run. I do not think it was too early to fly, but the juice served was frozen in a cup. The guy piloting the plane was not good, I think. He overshot the heading change many times and made abrupt engine setting changes. Must be one of people getting trained or something... The plane approached to Chicago O'Hare airport from the west. The plane put the full flap down and needed a very high thrust for the final. The landing was a bit hard, of course...The arrival time was on time so it was okay.

AA851 at Detroit Airport Frozen orange juice served...

AA779 ORD-SAN 10:20am-12:35pm

After getting off the plane, I walked around a bit to get myself a bottle of water. I checked the plane at the gate and looks like it had bird strikes on the cockpit. Peeled paints and other stuff... The boarding started as usual, and took off very quick. There was even a plane ahead of us but it had to pass up the position for ours. When the plane took off, I think I saw where my dad used to live, so I took a picture of it (Later I sent it to him for confirmation). The plane flew toward San Diego. I get to see Salina, KS from the window in my side, so I guessed that I could have seen Wichita in a distance but I did not feel like standing up and check. There was two folks next to me and did not want to bother them. Soon I fell asleep for a while... (Yes, I was tired) When I woke up, I think I am in somewhere in the middle of Utah or Arizona...As a part of long flight, the plane also flew over Phoenix, AZ, near the international airport. Later I get to see a proving ground at West of Phoenix, near Salton Lake, and I also saw an airport marked with U.S. Navy... The plane arrived at San Diego airport at 12:30pm, and picked up baggage at 1:00pm.

AA779, looks very much beaten near windshield The area where my dad used to live
Salina, KS Phoenix International Airport

Clouds so low and I can see a hill is above the cloud line...

Since I am waiting for a couple of coworkers, I walked around and find a food court. I ate at Submarina. The combo meal was a bit pricy, like $10.

Pick up my coworkers and heading to sightseeing

Meet with one of my coworkers at the airport, hop a ride on a shuttle bus to Hertz rental car center. I had to request for a Toyota car but they did not have a full size sedan (like a Camry) so I just grabbed Sienna which was available... Drove away from the airport and relaxed along the walk path at the port until 3:10pm when the airplane carrying the another coworker is on board was supposed to land.

The plane arrived on time but the baggage has not come out for a while so I was going around and around the terminals for 20 minutes, then finally gave up and parked. I finally picked up my coworker at 3:40pm, could not make it to the Midway Museum before 4:00pm so we just took picture and headed to the del Coronado to check out a nice looking hotel. We arrived there at 4:30pm,  walked around and enjoyed the beach under cloudy sky, and left there at 5:15pm.

After that, we went to Balboa Park which was already closed for the day but some exhibitions are still available. I took them to San Diego Aerospace Museum, where SR-71 and YF2Y-1 are placed. One of the coworkers had a Japanese tour book and he wanted to check out the Gas Lamp Quarter. So I drove to the downtown area and parked at 6:00pm, I was not familiar with the location but found a parking place nearby, and walk around for a while.

  Hard Rock Cafe in Downtown San Diego, CA

Rock Bottom  
Old looking Irish Pub Yup, there is a Hooters

A building which was on Japanese tour book Pacific Theaters (sounds like a joke...)


Petco Park, I think it's going to be a game tonight.

While we were walking back to the car, found a exotic car dealer so we all walked in and checked what's inside. They had a Porshe replica, DMC Delorean, Ford GT40 and more. Each car has it own price tag, and some of them are almost $70,000!

Ford GT-40 Smart Coupe Triumph

Porsche Delorean Ford Truck


Done with walking, so we left the place around 7:00pm and headed to old town area of San Diego. Walked around to check out the buildings, then parked at another place to eat dinner at Cafe Coyote, which is a quite big place, had many different room configurations. Stayed there until 9:00pm.

  My dinner...

Going to the hotel

Left old town area around 9:00pm, drove north on the I-5 and got off at Palmor Airport Rd, driving in dark was not so good, especially I have not been to the road. Arrived at Hotel around 10:00pm, checked in, discussed what to do for tomorrow, then dismissed. Went to bed around 11:00pm. Since my body clock is in EDT, three hours difference made me think like it's 2:00am already... 

2008/5/21 Visiting a customer

A day at customer's location

Woke up at 6:00am, stretched my body and went out for a short jog. Outside was chilly, but cloudy. Had breakfast around 7:00am, took shower and headed out to meet the customer. Spent whole morning working on the issues. I had lunch at Submarino's again but with coworkers this time. I spent afternoon also working on the issues. I had to be working on equipment so I was very much standing all day long. Left the customer location at 5:00pm and headed to the hotel.

Going to beach, dinner

We had meeting with other offices until 6:30pm, then headed to the beach to watch the sunset. I found a parking lot near Ocean Side so we just walked toward the pier we can see from there after that. The air was salty, breezy, and cool. Arrived at the pier. I got a nice view but the air maybe too hazy to see the sun going down to the horizon. While waiting for the sunset with my coworkers, we watched some folks surfing, sitting on the beach nearby fire pit. At 7:45pm, the sunset time has come, and we did not get to see it all the way because of the hazy air. Since we still have a meeting with coworkers so we needed to get a dinner. We walked back to the car, drove to a nearby Japanese restaurant but too busy, so I switched to Applebee's. I had a shrimp salad, and we did a meeting there instead of hotel room. Drove back to the hotel around 10:30pm, went to bed around 11:30pm. 

Coaster at a railroad crossing

Birds flying to the nest? Evening at Oceanside Beach At the pier with the Sun on the back Sun almost setting...

2008/5/23 Things are looking not good...

Going to customer's location for the second day

Woke up at 6:00am, stretched and went out to run for a while, after eating breakfast and taking shower, we went to visit the customer. Made some changes on the plan and worked whole day. Stepped out for lunch and we had noodles at Chinese restaurant.

Extending the stay

We decided to stay for another day. I changed my flight but due to the holidays, I could not get a normal seat so I upgraded to the first class. I only paid $300 for the extra charge, I think it was not too bad, and the company will pay for the ticket anyways. Took care of issues and went to bed around 1:00am.

2008/5/22 Visiting customer, going to a ballgame

Taking one of the coworkers to the airport

Woke up at 6:00am, picked up my coworker and took him to the airport. I thought about asking him to use a taxi but I worried that he might get lost. He does not live in the U.S. and I am not sure. Left at 6:45am and arrived at airport by 7:20am, came back to the hotel at 8:20am. I need to take a shower but I want to sleep more than the shower.

Going to customer's location for the third day

Checked out the hotel, and went to visit customer at 9:00am, and stayed until 5:00pm. Went to lunch at a Japanese restaurant, I had a spicy chicken plate, which was not Japanese hot, I guess it was Korean hot due to the owner of the restaurant. Left the customer's location and headed out to the south, since we already made reservation at another location closer to San Diego. Drove on the CA-78 to I-15, get to hotel in rainy day at Rancho Bernardo, checked in the room. Phew.

Going to a ball game

After getting a short break, we went to downtown San Diego. I was not sure where I should park so I just used one right by the ball stadium. Although we parked our car, we had one last meeting so I stayed in the car talking on the phone. Watched the game but only from 7:40pm. The seats we were sitting was under the cover of upper section so I did not have to take cover while the rain is held. In fact, the rain halted the game between 8:30pm and 8:50pm. The game was over at 10:30pm which San Diego Padres lose, I had to pick up my company cell phone which was MIA at the stadium. I come back to the hotel around 11:40pm, briefly discussed with my coworker about tomorrow's schedule. Updated my site a bit then went to bed after 1:00am. I can finally come home tomorrow... 

Padres playing against White Sox Rain just started (people running back to take cover...)
They had to cover the field for a while

Click the picture for bigger view.

2008/5/23 Coming back to Detroit, MI

Taking coworker to airport

San Diego in the morning.

Woke up at 5:45am, packed up and left the hotel at 6:30am, took my coworker to the airport. I drove on CA-163 to the downtown, we had some time so I took him to the port of San Diego because we could see a rainbow in the sky. When we got there it was almost gone. Took him to the terminal 1. Dropped him off and bid farewell. I might meet him again here in San Diego (very) soon... 

Arriving at the airport

After dropping my coworker off, I have several packages to be shipped before heading back to the airport again for my flight. so I ran a check on navigation unit, drove to a Kinko's nearby, which opens 24 hours a day, prepared packages, stayed on line for a while to check emails. When the shipping is complete, I can go.

Kinko's and Sienna I used.

I fill up the tank before going to the rental car return center. Rained a bit on the way. Dropped off the car, and got a shuttle bus to the airport terminal. The bus had to stop several times so I ended on the shuttle for a long time.  

AA1010 11:55am-4:55pm SAN-DFW

Checked in my bags and walked passed the security. I was at the gate by 10:00am. The plane to Dallas just about to leave was full and all the passengers on standby, I am sure people missed this flight will be also standby on the flights for mine. Unfortunately, the plane was delayed. AA350, which is bound for Chicago, originally I schedule to fly, was leaving on time. How ironic my life is... Since I skipped breakfast, I was getting hungry, I know they will be serving a meal so there is no reason for me to buy and eat at this moment. The boarding started at? then the plane took off to west. I get to see the San Diego, before heading to East to go to Dallas. The plane was cruising alright, and arrived at the gate at 5:00pm

AA1010 at the gate

Departing San Diego airport I get to see more...


Reaching to the Pacific Ocean Lunch is served
White Sand Testing area in the far

AA2312 5:35pm-9:10pm DFW-DTW

This is another changed flight, I was going to fly on AA5206 which was going from Chicago to Detroit. The previous flight was a bit late so I had to run to the next gate. I arrived and got on board at 5:15pm. Looking at the outside, hoping that my bags will come with me. The bags came around 5:20pm so I have no worries now. The plane departed on time and took off to the south, before started to head north bound for Detroit. I had dinner and soon realized there is a big chunk of cloud which may cause turbulence, so I finished up dinner very quick. The plane approached to the airport from the south, arrived at the gate 9:00pm, still a bit of light left in the sky.

AA2312 at the gate

Departing DFW Dinner (I think I had this before...)


A big chunk of clouds, I think I should finish eating I get to see a funny shadow since the sun is on the portside

Arrived at DTW, as sun is going down

Heading home.

Left the airport around 9:30pm, the people are driving slow somewhat so it took a while to get home but everything was okay. Coming home around 10:15pm, unpacked and relaxed. I cannot quite adjust for the time zone change yet, so I was up until 1:00am before going to bed.


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