“Free day” in San Diego offers surprise around every corner, giggly Mich. doctor


I declared today “free day.”

What a great day.

How could anyone who lives here ever want to work?

I have walked around San Diego, popped into restaurants and pubs, talked to strangers, talked A LOT with the people in the service industry (that’s how you find out everything) but also had fun with…. the doctors!

One extremely giggly doctor riding up in the elevator with me just now declared that she’s a “cheapskate internal medicine doctor from Grand Rapids, Mich.” I chuckled. I told her the head of the chamber of commerce in Grand Rapids, Rick Baker, came from the Quad-Cities (to which she said: “What’s Quad-Cities?” I’ve heard that at least seven times already today)

After she proclaimed her cheapskated-ness, I admitted I’m not a doctor, I just play one online. But seriously, I said I am from the (WHERE’S THAT!) and am just a lowly reporter. I could not ever bring myself to pay $2,200 to stay one week in the official convention hotel on a work trip.

“I’d never pay it because I’m a cheap Midwesterner!” the giggly doctor proclaimed.

New friends on every corner

I met this very nice man and his lovely poodle.


I met a girl from Texas whose company I enjoyed all afternoon. She told me all about downtown San Diego.

Every who lives here loves it 100 percent. It’s stunning. It’s over the top. It’s beautiful. It’s clean. It’s safe. It’s fun. It’s happy.

It’s awesome.

Well, gotta be up by 5 and to the convention center by 7 a.m. for my first workshop of the day: “What’s Hot in STDs?”

You won’t want to miss it.

Hotels.com deal on my San Diego digs for doctors conference this week a sizzler


It’s hardly a secret that San Diego is one of the most beautiful, safest, and cleanest cities in our entire nation. But apparently, I forgot about that!

The second I landed at midnight last night (I am three for three for landing at midnight on all my flights this year, part of the so-called “Rainbow Tour” as I’ve dubbed it), I was impressed. Even from the air, San Diego has a special twinkle. Once inside the airport, I could not believe how far and above it ranks over the many other U.S. airports I have been to recently. Clean, user-friendly, the whole nine yards.

When I walked out the front doors after getting my bag, I had a most awesome chuckle. About 20 Prius Taxis (Prii?), all about the same year as mine, were lined up. But, I was waiting for the free shuttle to the Ramada Gaslamp District (former historic St. James Hotel).

OK, now. Listen up, bargain travelers! I got 7 nights at this hotel for UNDER $800 tax included. The rate on the room door? More than $300 per night.

The rooms are very small. The even have window air conditioner units. The hotel is more than 100 years old.

But the location is second to none. It is right in the middle of everything. I’m only a five-block walk to the convention center, where the American College of Physicians’ Internal Medicine Meeting is being held (that’s what I’m here for).

Plus, the room has a coffee pot. An ironing board. An iron. A safe. I have a pretty nice view out my window (once you stand on your tip toes and look over the window air conditioner).

The hotel has one of those old, old elevators with doors and gates. I want to say McCabe’s in downtown Rock Island had one of those long, long ago? Someplace in downtown Rock Island did. I remember. And it has been that long since I have been in an elevator like that (at least since the 1970s).

Rooftop access is from the 10th floor of my hotel. The rooftop is a lovely patio that overlooks all downtown San Diego. It is stunning.

And the hotel is attached to a diner with all kinds of great food and drink. Super-duper convenient and not too pricey. The lobby looks into the restaurant through beveled glass. It’s kind of cool.


Well, as always, I forgot to pack two things: A razor, and a belt. So, I’ll be walking to the mall as soon as it opens at 10, and then headed to the convention center to pick up my press pass and decide “what next.”

Thank you for following my blog! I am sure to have all kinds of interesting stories coming out of San Diego, both in terms of breaking medical research being presented at the conference and my own personal tales. Stay tuned! And…”Let’s hear it for the Rain-bow Tour! It seems to be a wonderful success! We weren’t quite sure…we had a few doubts….”