May 14, 2022,San Diego- It took 45 minutes to locate FOUND Hotel. The address is 505 West Grape Street, which is easy enough for those who recognize that the east-west surface streets in Little Italy are often bisected by Interstate 5, and its entrance/exit ramps, which feed large volumes of traffic onto Grape and Hawthorne Streets in particular. Add to that, the train and trolley tracks, with which I am at least a bit familiar, and locating a small hostel becomes an adventure in perseverance.
The other “fun” part was that Google Maps has the old phone number for FOUND, which loops ad nauseam and does nothing to connect. Hostelworld has the new number, which I called, and connected with Gabrielle, the office manager, instantly. Thus, 45 minutes did not turn into an hour. I am set for the next two days.
The day’s drive from Blythe to San Diego featured three traffic-tying accidents along California Highway 15, between Murrieta and Mira Mesa. Once past those, my air conditioner stopped complaining and worked just fine. (In traffic tie-ups, I have learned to turn off the A/C and open the windows, which works just fine in anything less than the blast furnace of a Sonoran Desert summer.) A return to an old favourite, Gramma’s Country Kitchen, in Banning, brought a fine Frisco Burger and Cole slaw. I also enjoyed pleasantries with Donna and Karen, who have greeted me at the counter, on various visits over the past eleven years. Donna is “Gramma”, running the establishment with her husband, who stays mostly in the office.
Going up and over the hill through Hemet and Menifee, then inching along, through the above-mentioned accidents, I still got to the hostel before 5. This evening, after grabbing a couple of slices at Mr. Moto Pizza, and a few words of greeting to two of my hostel mates, it was time for a visit to the Harbor. Here are scenes of sunset, in “America’s Favorite City”.
I walked back up to Little Italy, on the way back to FOUND Hotel, and came upon a lively crowd, enjoying the presentations of a DJ. Here is the fountain, around which little girls ran and shrieked with delight and different young people tried their hands-and feet, at somersaults.
Harbourside and Downtown were walls of sound this evening, thanks to the mid-Spring music fest. I am destined, it seems to happen upon such revelry, no matter where I go. Yes, life has its moments, but it’s generally sweet.