I spent the last week in San Diego with thirteen of my coworkers for our annual team meetup.
San Diego is lovely! The weather was warm, well for me, but not too warm. So shorts and a hoodie worked fine. It was always pretty breezy.
The group of us were comprised of two of our North American support teams. Here’s my team:
We worked on some great projects together and had some good conversations about our work. But outside of that, we did the even-more-important team building and bonding just by hanging out, eating together, and visiting some of San Diego’s sights.
We watched the Texas Rangers whollop the San Diego Padres 11-0. The stadium was so empty for an early afternoon game on a Tuesday!
It was during that baseball game that I learned the hard way that the California sun sure packs a punch, even when the sky is mostly overcast!
For this meetup, we each had our own hotel room, and two of them were suites so we had room to have breakfast together, and hang at night for games and some drinks.
The Hotel was the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown/Bayside which is a new complex beside the airport and waterfront. There were train track right behind it, and all incoming flights went low right beside the hotel as they came into land, yet the noise wasn’t bothersome at all. In fact, I’d say this was the best noise proofed hotel I’ve ever been in.
It had a pool and hot tub too! I swam and soaked after the baseball game, but that hot tub was like hell fire on my sunburn 😝
We played a lot of Quiplash on the TV in one of the suites. It is a game everyone could participate in via a cell phone. This resulted in a hilarious new set of nicknames, memes, jokes, and tears of laughter.
The zoo was much smaller than I thought, but it was well designed to maximum the space, and still have so much lush greenery. There is even a high tram car system that we rode to see the zoo from the air.
There were polar bears there from Alaska. I felt a little bad for them, because they were so skinny and their coat was so thin, surely for the warmer temperatures, but they did have some ice and lots of water to swim in.
Surrounding the zoo are a dozen museums. I visited the San Diego Air & Space museum.
We have a few beer enthusiasts on the team, so we toured the Ballast brewery and had lunch there a couple times to sample their beers.
On our last full day, three of us went to the Maritime Museum of San Diego that was just a couple blocks from the hotel.
There are two submarines in the museum, and we toured both. The Russian B-39 submarine was the most fascinating. It is a diesel-electric sub that was armed with torpedoes (and one nuclear torpedo).
The outside looks like a painted rust heap so it was neat to tour it before it disintegrates. It was slated to be sunk as an artificial reef, but it had enough fans to keep it in place for now. The most interesting fact I read inside of it, was that beer was permitted for its Russian operators, but other alcohols were strictly banned. However, when it was turned over to the museum, they found over 300 stashed and hidden empty vodka bottles all on this little submarine!
This sub also came frightening close to launching a nuclear warhead into the USA during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The inside of the sub is set up to re-enact that day and the series of events that let up the near-bombing. The Star of India is the world’s oldest sailing vessel, and likely the gem of the collection. It dates back to 1863!! It has had a long life touring the world, moving immigrants from Great Britian to New Zealand, and even for awhile as an Alaskan salmon fishing vessel! It has never had engines and is still sailed briefly every couple of years (with a tugboat safety line) to keep its designation as the oldest sailing vessel in the world.
There are said to be several ghosts on this ship, but none made themselves known to me.