1-IMG_2829

These shacks at the end of Crystal Pier on Mission Beach were among the highlights of my visit to Southern California last week. You can actually stay in one of the larger cottages right on the pier, which is something I’ve never seen.

San Diego, the second stop on our month-long tour of the West Coast, was quite the experience. I had a chance to reconnect with long-lost relatives and to meet up with the folks at Hertz, who introduced a few interesting new concepts for rental cars.

Our plans were ambitious. We wanted to connect with friends and visit some of the big attractions, like the USS Midway. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for everything.

Among the missed opportunities was an open invitation to visit with CSA Travel Insurance, which is based in San Diego. I get a fair number of travel insurance questions as a consumer advocate, and I think the meeting would have been helpful. I’ve asked for a rain check.

The one meeting I’m glad I skipped — we were still in Vegas — was the annual GBTA convention. I don’t like large events (I hate crowds), and many of the attendees, like other travel industry insiders, often find my advocacy an annoying roadblock to achieving higher profits. I understand that.

Besides, the press was reportedly banned from some of the best parts of the event, such as Hillary Clinton’s keynote speech.

So mostly, we stayed at our vacation rental in Mission Beach and I caught up on work while Kari and the kids documented their adventure for our family travel blog. We had a little breaking news, which made things interesting, but apart from that, it wasn’t the week to take San Diego by storm.

Our next stop is Mendocino County, home of California’s famous Redwoods.