San Diego trip notes

Here are some things which, if you grew up in Kentucky and didn’t travel much as a kid, you may not know:

1. San Diego has hills.
2. San Diego is very very close to Mexico.
3. The Alamo car rental place in San Diego has a large sign that says something like


4. If you tell a car rental person that you’re traveling by yourself, so a compact car is fine because you’re just going to putt putt around a little, you will instead receive the largest vehicle on the lot. For example, I received a Pontiac Montana, which is either an SUV, a minvan, or possibly both. The Pontiac Montana received its name because you could fit a large chunk of Montana in it. If I were going to be in town for longer, we could have an SEO party bus consisting of me, my 6500 square foot vehicle, and all the SEOs who live within a 10 mile radius of San Diego. We could just drive around playing loud music and shouting at people “I see what you’re doing in your <noframes> tag, buddy! Straighten up and fly right!”

Let’s see, what else. The people have been very nice so far. Oh, here’s one I learned just before I flew down:

5. If you think that “La Jolla” would be pronounced “La Jolla” then you, gentle reader, are an doofus who should have taken Spanish in high school instead of French. It’s pronounced “La Hoya.” Here it is in a sentence: “The Georgetown Hoyas played basketball near La Jolla.”

and maybe:

6. Traveling makes me a bit weirder than I already am. Which is probably above-average quirky.

(I’m still opting for sleep instead of approving comments from new folks.)

45 Responses to San Diego trip notes (Leave a comment)

  1. Hey Matt –

    Hope you’re enjoying your time in San Diego! I used to live there as a kid, yeah it has a lot of hills, but it’s incredibly beautiful and warm as well. Anyhoo, have a good time on the rest of your trip.

  2. Matt,

    DVD Jon lives here in San Diego now.

    Jon Lech Johansen has moved here from Norway and may be San Diego’s
    biggest (geek) thing.

    He’s posted pictures of Balboa Park on his blog at:

  3. had a fabulous holiday in California a few years back and drove from The Grand Canyon to Oceanside, just up from San Diego, and I discovered

    if you don’t like long straight scary roads, don’t do this – Hotel California came to mind..

    if you don’t like heights – there’s some very scary mountains to cross – this is where they must film all those scary car chases

    and the sign warning agains picking up hitch hikers – near the state penitentiary is a tad alarming.

    Oceanside is a brilliant place to stay.

  4. Matt Said:

    QUOTE: We could just drive around playing loud music and shouting at people β€œI see what you’re doing in your tag, buddy! Straighten up and fly right!”QUOTE

    Only if we can drive around and listen to country. Maybe something like ” My Broken Heart Wont Heal Because Google Wont Rank Me # ! : )

    Come On Matt you know the words to that song right…LOL. Dont forget to visit the will make you feel like a kid again.

  5. Welcome to my hometown!

  6. know i’m concinved it’s still the right decision not to leave the computer. there’s too many weird things out there.
    i thought spanish whas some kind of programming language used for writing viruses and active spammails.

  7. A bit weird? Have you tried traveling to parts of the world that aren’t so “American”? πŸ™‚ Try staying normal with all those experiences,. πŸ˜‰

  8. As a guy from SD, this is entertaining…It’s not really that bad to go to Mexico…they try to scare you like you’ll be running into some desperados or something…. Just have some Mexican insurance for $15 per day, some pocket money for possible bribes (rare) and you are good-to-go. Avenida Revolucion or better 30 minutes south to Papas and Beer in Rosarito or Puerto Nuevo for some Baja-style crab.

    btw, if you like sushi in La Jolla, I recommend Japengo at the Aventine next to the Hyatt. Also Cozumel next to UTC is decent for Mexican.`

  9. if you grew up in Canada, you should know most of those things.

    We once drove through Cali to Tijuana and learned a good lesson on #3. We didn’t last a day there.

  10. mexico isn’t that bad if you just blend in and don’t draw attention to yourself.

    Go to the cantina, have a few “tragos” and get some cheap souvieners.

    you know, switchblades, fireworks, butterfly tattoos, your name on a grain of rice etc…

    if you speak any spanish, the flea markets are a really fun place to go, if you don’t speak spanish or aren’t a really good haggler, you will get ripped off…. just don’t piss somebody off, alot of people there carry knives.

    If i could work in mexico, I would… I prefer the other coast though, it’s beautiful.. especially with all the indian ruins.

  11. I once said “La Jolla” during an important sales speech. Even though I was laughed at I still got the sale.

  12. “mexico isn’t that bad if you just blend in and don’t draw attention to yourself.”

    Try blending in with a head covered with blond hair,… πŸ˜‰

  13. Matt,

    So when will you visit us in SΓ£o Paulo, Brazil? You guys have an office here too now. And even a fancy R & D center. You should feel at home there. πŸ˜‰

  14. 2 off topics here:

    1.) I think search engine relevance is getting better. I’m number 3 in all the engines for my main term (internet slang)… so at least they’re consistent…(and by definition if everybody is consistent at the same thing… then they’re all accurate too right?)

    2.) the captchas are getting redundant. I’ve had KTFW like 2900 times already. Get some new ones πŸ™‚

  15. Being a California native, now in the north but I grew up in the south, many people have problems with our city/street names because they are either Spanish or Native American.. try pronouncing these real names:

    La Cienega
    Port Hueneme
    Weed — ok that one is easy to pronounce, but just plain wierd as a city name

  16. Well, probably safe to say that if you can’t pronounce La Jolla, Tiajunana (aka TJ) is out of the question…so follow the advice of the friendly Alamo sign.

    Ditto on SoCal -> NorCal.

  17. Spanish 101 Matt, double L’s are pronounced as a y. You’re welcome.

  18. Marc:

    What could top the Zyzyx exit about halfway between LA and Vegas?

  19. The first year I lived in Brazil I had a hard time with names like Araraquara, Piracicaba and the worsed one of them all Itaquaquecetuba. (ee-ta-kwa-ke-ce-tu-ba (more or less) )


  20. Welcome to San Diego Matt πŸ™‚

  21. Looks like using greater than, less than symbols filter out whatever content you place within them.

    My previous post:

    (Insert Most Appropriate Anchorman Quote Here)

    If you’ve seen the movie, you know…

  22. Having lived in in San Diego for 18 years now, I can say that you’d me missing out on a wonderful opportunity to visit a whole other country if you believe the horror stories about travelling in Mexico. I take my wife and 3-year old daughter camping on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninnsula all the time, and have never had a bad experience (and no, I’m not Mexican or Latino, and know just enough Spanish to get by).

    Give the world respect and a smile and it will give you respect and smile back, regardless of the country your in.

    Disclaimer: Granted, parts of Tijuana (TJ) resemble a cesspool. But TJ’s a border town, and is not representative of Mexico, or even Baja California, as a whole.

  23. Matt,

    I have not been back to San Diego since 1992. I have a very dear friend there who invited me to stay for a few days. She toured me all over the city…but the most amazing part was the waterfront.

    I vowed to myself that this would be somewhere that I would live one day…well…I am in Tahoe…so at least I am headed in the right direction.

    Do take some time to visit Del Mar if you get a chance. As I said…I have it in the back of my mind to spend many years there at some point in time (perhaps retirement), but as for me…I don’t know that there is a nicer city in the country (I know that many will argue with me).

    life after bankruptcy

  24. Oh, Matt – please pick me up a couple large bottles of Kahlua in TJ…oh, and some good shoes, too. I’ll pay ya back soon…thanks.

  25. Besides the typical tourist destinations (Seaport Village, San Diego Zoo, etc.), there are some good restaurants in Old Town San Diego worth checking out. I, being a baseball fan, would see if Petco Field gives tours. Have fun!

  26. When you get Joe’s Kahlua, please grab some vanilla as well.

  27. That is funny. The only time I went to San Diego, I also rented a compact and ended up with a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 with leather interior. It has spoiled me for compact rentals.

  28. It’s great to see the less serious side of you. I hope more posts in the future are like this. Nice change of pace from the anti-SEO, link-busters thing that often happens here. Sometimes I think I’m watching Google’s version of “Cops”.

  29. Is it true that San Diego was/is the murder capital of the World?

  30. If I needed any more proof that I’m a complete rube, trying saying the Spanish word for orange three times fast:


    Now I’m getting dizzy.. πŸ™‚

  31. Those two things beneath your ankles come in very handy for not polluting the environment.

    An SUV for one person is nether big, nor clever.

  32. Is it true that San Diego was/is the murder capital of the World?

    I thought that was Gary Inidiana?

    I read a startling statistic somwhere that said 1/300 people in new york will be shot at in their lifetime.

    In detroit it was 1/50

  33. I’m from La Jolla, Matt. How was your stay? Did you dine in the Village?

  34. Hey Matt,
    My business in located in Santee, about 10 miles east of San Diego.
    Drop in and show me how to increase my google ranking. =o)
    I will pay for your time of course!! =o)

  35. Everyone knows how to pronounce La Jolla. Jamie Summers lived in La Jolla. Just what kind of a geek are you, anyway?

  36. Matt, I hope you enjoyed SD. As a native, I have been down to Mexico many, many times (TJ, Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo).

    Driving “through” TJ down to the coast and heading South you will see some really amazing beaches including many well known surf spots. Driving through the city, however, is a challenge. I don’t recommend it to any tourist. Spend $8 to park, grab a cab for $8 and let them take you on the most “enjoyable” ride you’ll ever have. LOL

    Things one MUST visit while in San Diego:

    SD Zoo
    SD Wild Animal Park
    Balboa Park
    Sea World (bring a ton of money)
    Scripps Institute
    Prospect in La Jolla
    Gas Lamp District (excellent nightlife)
    Pacific Beach (good bars)
    Any beach from La Jolla to Del Mar.

  37. Pacific Beach is my favourite place in San Diego. I lived in York Ct. just a block from the Beach. What a wonderful Life.

    @Ryan, I think Johannesburg in South Africa is the Murder Capital

  38. Jump’n in on your fun.

    Can anyone tell me what car companies rent out of San Diego to go to Rosarito for a week. I keep hearing “no”, “no”, “no”. What’s this a Capital One commercial?

    Suggestions anyone?

  39. ROFL, yes that’s true –> DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

    4-6 ROFL

    7. Sand Diego (and California of course) has a lot of friendly people.
    In September we visited San Diego and CA and at one gas station my zip-code wasn’t accepted to pay by credit card (OK, it was a German zip-code). Out of gas and also ‘out-of-an-US-gas-stations-friendly-zip’. So what? A very friendly US-citizen from San Diego took his credit card and San-Diego-Zip combination and said ‘you’re guest and you are welcome’ and I did not have to pay. But don’t expect Germans to do the same during your stay here, they are (unfortunately) not as friendly as Americans πŸ˜‰

    Schoene Gruesse aus Deutschland

  40. Alf,

    Dollar rents cars to Mex, you will just have to carry insurance for the trip. They are located in Pacific Hwy and Laurel. You practically land on the place.

  41. I’ve never been in San Diego, but I’ve spend my holidays in Poland ones, it’s realy beautiful country, go there if you were in Europe Noclegi Poland

  42. never been to the US. but i would highly recommend spain.. i went there last summer and it was LOVELY! their beach is nice, and their mini-town is great for walking in all day.

  43. Have you ever come to Thailand? Great place

  44. Taking your car to Mexico is really not a good idea. Mine was stolen 2 hours after passing the border πŸ™ I’d better read your advice in advance…