Well, as the gal has already said, Horton Plaza is the centre for luxury retail therapy in San Diego. Head there, to Nordstrom.
Just to show how desirable it is, even the outside of the carpark has a mural of little guys, one standing on the other, climbing up, up, to get in. (Question, talking of standing on one another, who had to carry the Old Man Of The Sea? Answer is Sinbad the Sailor..)
Back to reality. At Nordstrom, it took all of three minutes to pick out two great tops, the same time again to pay and then, Nordstrom style, the sales woman came round to my side, the customer side, of the desk, to hand back my credit card.
At Hotel Indigo San Diego the special greeting was from two enthusiastic young guys standing side by side, Chris Jones, the hotel boss, and his marketing colleague, Pat McTigue. They had stayed back specially from their Christmas break, pretty good, methinks…
What is it like arriving here at this light, bright, space-rich hotel, I asked? Try it, they said. You walk in, across a hardwood floor, to one of three tub-like desks decorated in a wave pattern (the Pacific is only about 200 yards away).
You are greeted, and when your credit card is being returned the agent comes round to your side of the desk, Nordstrom style. Luxury of manners.
The welcomes continue. Bedrooms have hospitality trays holding water, and ideas for picnics-to-go, perhaps to watch the Padres’ baseball game at Petco Park stadium, 50 yards away. This is, after all, California. You know that because of the poppy design on your duvet, the Torrey Pine on the wall above the desk, the wave pattern on the rug…
You know you are in a new-look sustainability-aware place too if you head for the rooftop terrace, which looks over the aforementioned stadium.
The terrace’s deck is Moisture Shield, made of recycled wood offcuts and Arkansas plastic bags, and the two firepits are filled with smoothed-edge glass chips from broken windscreens, from probably all 50 States.
The gal, on business or not, likes thoughtfulness, of the locale, the environment and customer needs. Head down to the main floor lounge-restaurant, Table 509 (the hotel is at 509 Ninth Avenue) and whole-wall windows open up to let in the clean fresh and temperate air that is a San Diego feature, year-round.
The menu allows you to design your sandwich, choice of bread, protein, vegetable and spread. You can design your entrée main course, protein, vegetable, sauce, starch… or if you merely want a bottle of juice or a local micro-beer you can have that too.
Make a note, by the way, to head here on a Tuesday. That night, Happy Hour offers a Karl Strauss for $5 – but if you double that and hand over a ten, a burger is thrown in too.
Yes, thoughtfulness must be the mantra of the coming year. As I left, those guys-who-stayed back offered a bon voyage gift. This included running ideas for all the stopping points along my forthcoming cruise, and also a pack of GoToob bottles sized for air travel carry-on (three ounces) – yes, there are other carry-on bottles, but these are ergonomic, washable and the colour-coding helped humangear.com. I like them; thank you Indigo.