I was sitting on the Amtrak train watching the snowy deserts of west Texas pass by when I decided to call home. I spoke with my mom, and she kept asking the question of where I’m going to stay while in San Diego. I hadn’t yet figured it out. I hadn’t really nailed down any plans with my cousins about where I’m staying while visiting San Diego. After getting off the phone with my mom, I remembered something very useful.
I’ve had eight trips to Japan since April 2015, and I stayed at the same hotel each time. Because of that, I’m Hilton Honors Diamond, and I’ve accumulated a substantial sum of points.
After a quick use of the Hilton app when I had cell signal on Amtrak, I was able to book a room for my trip to San Diego. The cheapest I was able to find was the Hilton on Harbor Island, across from San Diego International Airport.
I booked a room (double bed and marina-side view) with a rate that used both money and points so that I didn’t burn either too much. Otherwise it would have emptied my wallet and point bank quite quickly.
After I visited the U.S.S. Midway, I drove over to the Hilton to check in.
When you’re HHonors Diamond, you can get such exclusive perks as receiving two complimentary bottles of water!
They actually upgraded me to a higher floor and to a queen bed because they had availability. That’s also a Diamond perk (complimentary upgrades).
After settling in a little bit, I took a much needed shower after not having showered for the past two days because of train travel. Don’t worry, I brought deodorant and cologne! I just didn’t have a travel size Febreeze this time.
Showered. Napped. Then I went to go meet up with my aunt and cousin. It was a struggle driving to their house because it was raining cats and dogs.
The next day, I decided to go for a walk and explore the length of Harbor Island. Before that, I grabbed breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel. Another Diamond perk is that some properties give you complimentary breakfast, and in this case, a continental breakfast. After breakfast, I headed out the door. The front of this Hilton has easy access to the shoreline sidewalk down the length of the island.
I made it all the way to the end and got a cool view of the downtown skyline. Nearby, I could see the planes on approach for landing at the airport. Ugh. Planes, sea, downtown–oh my! Awesome!
While out on my leisurely stroll (no beach, but still a long walk), I noticed that many people go for walks or out for a run down the length of Harbor Island. I saw a handful of people dotted along the shore going fishing, too.
Harbor Island doesn’t have a whole lot other than several hotels, the shoreline path, a few restaurants and bars, and several establishments for recreational aquatic activities since the other side of the island is a marina. I honestly thought about paddle boarding, but it was too cold.
The scenic views are totally worth staying on the island or at least visiting. If I were more of a water recreational hobbyist, I’d totally make use of the ample opportunities on the island. Since the airport is practically next door, some may be concerned with the noise of airplanes landing and taking off. I wasn’t bothered by it because I love the smell of jet fuel and the roars of jet engines in the morning. And evening. And night.
I’m glad I booked a hotel at the last minute, and it happened to be a property at a great location. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to enjoy otherwise!