SwingDiego 2012 Update #9

San Diego weather is GEEE-ORGY-USSSS so lotsa people came in early for the beaches, multiple pools and hot-tubs on the grounds nestled in amongst lavish rose bushes and perennials, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park (our friends saw a hilarious play there Thursday evening and say the female lead is me and Shoshi Kushnir combined (not sure Shoshi thinks that’s a compliment,) Lego Land, golf (the 27-hole championship Riverwalk Golf Club is on the grounds,) or wine tours. Friday morning we bumped into Alexis Pero and her mom (Alexis brought her mother AND her aunt in from Chicago to celebrate Mothers Day at SwingDiego! Isn’t that great?) – we instantly fell in love with Alexis’ enthusiastic mom with her great big laugh.  She said what fun they had on the wine tour. “Did you get drunk?” we asked. “Oh no of course not. But we did get a little WET! HAHAHAHA.”

We like the hotel cause, well … Okay maybe we just like the weather. The hotel is okaaay. Sort of. The staff is okay sometimes. The place is understaffed so you don’t always get a response, or a polite response, or anything but a busy signal at the front desk. Security is a little on the psychotic side but that’s maybe understandable – two years ago they told us there’d been a series of incidents close enough to the resort (which backs up to a big mall – oooh we lerv this mall! – clothes, makeup, food) close enough to worry them so they’re trying to be careful to protect hotel guests. The hotel grounds are beautiful. We love our room with its two sinks (I get both – GB gets a 2″ strip of counter along the wall,) its Creepy-Staring-Girl (GB walked into the room and immediately hung a towel over her face,), tons of mirrors, and private balcony overlooking the pool. But we’ve always stayed in the Palm Tower and have heard the Regency Tower is not only a bit of a walk from the ballroom but the rooms are smallish, dingy-ish and motel-ish. There are also “bungalows” (we’d call them “garden apartments”) which we’ve been told are beautiful. These can be a walk from the ballroom but hey, you’re strolling down fragrant paths adorned with flowers big as elephants, in San Diego sunshine, so really what’s not to like about a little walk? Our friends say these bungalows are awesome if you don’t like people because you don’t have to see any all weekend.

I’ve written about the breakfast buffet before – it’s pretty bad. Okay it’s really bad. Overpriced and under-fooded. You get to eat outside on the terrace, though, which is beautiful. And of course you don’t have to do the buffet – you can order from the menu if you prefer, and the food is fine. There’s also a sit-down restaurant behind the main pool – fancy, but more expensive. We went Saturday night and they had a live lounge band and couples dancing on a small marble floor! Old couples. Really old. So old I’m not sure they were still alive. There’s also a smaller sports-bar-kind-of-place for burgers, also a steak-house famous in the area. And the mall I mentioned – “Fashion Mall” – has a food court and other restaurants. So there are plenty of options besides the breakfast buffet.  And if you’re hungry during the competitions Parker and Earl provide a hot food bar right there in the ballroom so if you’re about to pass out from hunger you can crawl back there and revive yourself with a plateful of hot Chinese food. There’s a Whole Foods two miles away to which the hotel provides a free shuttle. So lots of food options.

Speaking of food, Patrick Dickerson has a brilliant system which he told me about at Capital (when I was complaining about the lack of food options there) and I’ve been meaning to mention it since. It is genius. Here’s what he does: He gets to the event, checks in, throws his luggage into his room, goes to the nearest Target and buys a $20 rice-maker and a Styrofoam ice chest. Then he goes to Whole Foods (cause he’s a health nut but you could go to any grocery store) and buys some chicken breasts, pieces of salmon, bag of rice, some fresh vegetables, maybe some oatmeal. Takes it back to the room, stores it all in the ice chest packed in ice from the hotel ice-machine. For dinner he throws some rice, a chicken breast and a vegetable in the rice-maker, gets in the shower and when he gets out his dinner is all done, machine turns itself off automatically when done. For breakfasts he has oatmeal and some fruit. He keeps the receipt for the rice-maker and when he checks out of the room leaves the machine with the receipt inside for housekeeping to either take home or return to Target for a refund. Healthy eating all weekend, clean, convenient, and inexpensive! I love it! By the way, Patrick has recently lost about 582 pounds – such an accomplishment! Almost nothing harder than losing weight. As we all know too well. Congratulations to Patrick!

Live music Friday (Danny Maika) and Sunday (Leify Greene) both nights at 2am … cool idea as long as it’s kept short, danceable, and is actual music as opposed to talking about your next gig, your evolution as a musician and your pet’s mother’s favorite maiden name.

Awesome lighting all weekend! The backdrop at SwingDiego can’t be beat – a work of art in itself in addition to providing a classy, elegant, moody, atmosphere for the room and a gorgeous background for videos and photography.  Fiery red with silhouettes of dancers as if they’re dancing against the horizon in front of a setting sun.  All the lighting all weekend was terrific. And wait till you hear about lighting for the Champion Jack and Jill final! OMG SUCH a cool idea AUGHGHGHGH!!!

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