California Girl?

Well, y’all, I’ve made it! My first ever “big girl” business trip is well underway at this point. Despite overcoming mild obstacles (such as a delayed flight and a dilemma with the front desk upon arrival), I’m currently enjoying the calm sound of crashing waves on the balcony of my suite-style hotel room here at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in San Diego.

This morning came rather early, and by 8 am I was already sitting in traffic on my way to the airport. Once I finished checking my baggage, clearing through security, and (finally) purchasing a good ol’ cup of joe, I wandered over to the gate only to find that my flight was delayed. Clearly, this led me to the nearest bookstore to kill some time, and after flipping through several magazines, I headed back to sit and wait a while. After all, there is NO better place for people watching than airports, am I right? About a half hour past schedule, my plane decided to roll in just as I was attempting to avoid some serious panicking for making someone wait on my account in San Diego. I ended up getting a window seat on the plane, which is always nice, and thankfully we arrived safe and sound a mere 5 minutes past schedule. After  gathering my luggage, I located the man holding a sign with my name on it–how cool!  The drive to my hotel was fairly fast and incredibly smooth, taking only twenty minutes including traffic. Practically a miracle for a girl coming from Houston, where traffic can add an extra hour to your travel time!

My driver and I had the chance to chat a bit about the area along the way, and he informed me that, in his humble opinion, the only downside to living in San Diego is the hefty price of real estate. While I definitely agree with him, this place really is pretty breathtaking. I’ve never been one to fawn over the West coast (I’ve always been more of an East coast girl), but seeing all of these homes settled among rolling hills and only seconds away from a gorgeous beach certainly brings a certain appeal to the area.

My check-in to the actual hotel was a bit rocky, but once the details were ironed out, I was able toenjoy my hotel room before heading down to explore the few shops surrounding it. Cliches definitely hold true here in California: everything has a very laid-back, very beachy vibe. I must admit, I felt and looked a bit out of place wearing my white jeans and tunic as I watched everyone prance around me in nothing more than a swim suit top and board shorts. Nevertheless, I had fun wandering the stores and walking down the main strip! I returned to my room just in time to freshen up before a dinner meet-and-greet with the rest of the media tour group in the lobby around 7. Heading down there I was a little nervous and a lot anxious, but I ended up having a great time! We were taken to this local sushi joint, Roppongi, and as someone who is a liiiittllle disgusted by the thought of sushi, I was immediately smacking myself for not bringing backup food on this trip for situations like this.

Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised, especially with the impressive selection! While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to a non-seafood diner; however, they did offer a considerable selection of beef, chicken, and vegetarian entrees.To start off the evening right, the group as a whole (a heaping total of 5 journalists) decided on sharing 3 main “tapas” for an appetizer. For the main course, I opted for the safer-sounding Mongolian Shrimp instead of diving in too deep with the sushi, and I think I chose wisely because it was pretty delicious! A concoction consisting of grilled Tiger shrimp, pineapple fried rice, mango salsa, Mongolian sauce and a sweet chili left me finishing my plate without hesitation.

When the time came for our waiter to collect our polished-off plates and pass the dessert menu around, I chose to ignore my puffed out stomach, and, of course, ordered a small serving of coconut gelato. Satisfyingly sweet and creamy, it was the perfect way to end a busy day of traveling! Whew, I feel like I barely scratched the surface; there is so much more to write about, particularly in regards to my fellow journalists and PR representatives here. Unfortunately, the two hour time delay is slowly taking its toll on me–I’m dozing off and it’s only 11 pm!  Tomorrow begins bright and early with a 7 am (yikes!) energizing yoga session on the beach, so I’m off to get some much-needed rest! Check back tomorrow evening for more updates!

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