Hey look, a travel post!
Prior to the COVID pandemic, Bill and I loved to travel and made sure that we did so as often as possible. Now that we’re both fully vaccinated, we decided that we were ready to try flying again.
My parents had booked a camping trip in San Diego, staying at a campground that we used to frequent as a family when I was growing up, so we decided to plan a trip to California to spend a few days with them. I hadn’t seen my parents since pre-pandemic, and we had all promised each other that once we were all vaccinated that we would find a way to get together.
Even vaccinated and masked, I admit I wasn’t wild about our first experience with flying. I didn’t realize that TSA will make people lower their masks when going through security, so I was a little surprised and not super thrilled to have to do that, but I didn’t really have a choice so I went with it. The airport terminal at SeaTac Airport was under construction and half closed, so there were a lot of people and it was really crowded. We did our best to find a secluded corner away from everyone else so that we could eat a quick snack and sip some water.
We pretty much exclusively fly Alaska Airlines, and they’ve been really good about health protocols. On the plane itself, we got seats in Premium Class and Alaska is still blocking off middle seats in that section. Bill and I had the row to ourselves which made me feel a lot more comfortable than I ordinarily would have, and I just watched Grey’s Anatomy on my iPad and read a book and didn’t look at anyone else around me.
I still don’t love the idea of a larger hotel, so we opted to book a condo on Airbnb instead. The condo we booked was one street over from Mission Beach, and I liked being able to smell the salt air and hear the waves when we opened the windows. The place itself was really cute and nice. We had two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a nice bathroom. It was only fifteen minutes away from Campland on the Bay, where my parents were staying, so it was an easy drive to go visit them each day.
At my parents’ campsite, we were able to sit around a campfire in the evenings, and they had a great view of Mission Bay. At night, we were able to watch a fireworks display from across the bay at Sea World. A few things have been updated, but for the most part Campland is exactly the same as I remember it from when I was little. They’ve updated a couple of areas to be nice dog parks, which is really cool for campers like my parents who bring pets along.
On Friday, my parents took us to their favorite spot on Coronado Island, the Coronado Dog Beach. It runs along Ocean Blvd all the way up to the border with the US Naval Station, and offers great views of Point Loma and the Hotel del Coronado. And, we got to see a lot of really cool and adorable dogs! That trip was definitely one of the highlights of our weekend.
On Saturday my sister and brother-in-law drove down from their house in Beaumont to spend the afternoon with us. The weather was decidedly chilly and windy, so we retreated into my parents’ camping trailer and spent the afternoon blissfully playing cards and laughing ourselves silly. My sister brought Cards Against Humanity and insisted we play it. I was not sure at all how that would be received by my conservative parents, who are in their seventies, but they were very good sports and really got into the game.
Even though we had a condo with a full kitchen, somehow we never actually got around to stocking said kitchen with any food. Instead, when I got up in the mornings I would make a pot of coffee and sip it while I watched glimpses of the waves and surfers from our living room window, and when we got hungry Bill and I would walk down Mission Blvd to Sara’s Mexican Food, a little walk-up stand that sold tacos, burritos, and other Mexican fare. We instantly developed an addiction to their Chorizo breakfast burritos, which were big enough that we could split them and still have a hearty breakfast and that made for great sightseeing fuel.
Our trip home yesterday wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I expected it to be, but I was definitely more anxious because we weren’t able to get seats in Premium Class and I knew that meant we’d be sharing our row with a third occupant. Because Bill is so tall, I always end up having to sit in the middle, and I don’t love being squashed in between him and a random stranger under normal circumstances but I expected to dislike it even more now that I’ve been social distancing from strangers for the last year. I had to repeatedly give myself a pep talk and remind myself that I’m vaccinated against COVID, that I was going to be double-masked (for crowded places I wear a disposable mask under my cloth one for some added protection), and that people fly every day and that they haven’t seen any trends or spikes in COVID cases in people that have flown recently. When we got into the terminal at San Diego International, it was super crowded and I didn’t like it at all, but then we remembered another wing that we’d walked toward when we’d headed to baggage claim when we’d first arrived the previous Thursday. We walked over there, and sure enough it was totally deserted (AND I found a little store that sold healthy snacks and had almond milk so that I could mix up my Shakeology shake, which made me very happy). We were able to sit all by ourselves, with no one anywhere around, and we waited until we absolutely had to leave before we gathered up our things and walked back to the gate where our flight was departing from. Our seatmate turned out to be a teenager who put his head down on the tray table and napped for the majority of the flight, so being in close quarters wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Overall, flying was a little uncomfortable but I was very grateful for the chance to visit with my family again, and our weekend in San Diego was a pleasant one!