D2L FUSION12 – Guide for First-Timers

Are you a first-time D2L FUSION attendee? Hang onto your hats. It’s always a blast. But that’s not what this about.

More importantly, are you a first-time visitor to Sun Diego? That was not a typo. Just to get you in the mood, click the play button below.

I lived there for about a year when I was on a bit of a walkabout between high school and college. I’ve visited many times since and it is absolutely one of my favorite cities. San Diego probably has the most stable climate of any place I’ve ever lived or visited (okay, in the U.S., that is). Not too hot, not too cold. Want snow? Don’t go there. Want 100 degrees? Don’t go there. According to Wikipedia, San Diego gets an average 41 days per year where some precipitation falls, compared to 110 days for the rest of the United States. Sun Diego gets 267 sunny days per year on average (after the morning fog burns off), compared to 213 elsewhere. In any given year, you can expect 2 or 3 days when the temperature gets above 90 °F (32 °C), which is 36 days below the U.S. average. You can expect zero days below 32 °F (0 °C) in San Diego, while the national average is 88 days per year. Most importantly for FUSION on July 16-20, average high temperatures in July  are 76 °F (24 °C).  One week out from the start of the conference and the forecasted temps are for a high of 70 and a low of 65, with a 10% chance of rain.

The conference hotel is located right by the San Diego harbor, very close to an area known as the Embarcadero. Here’s a few things you might want to check out while you’re there.

For those of you who will be transportation-challenged (no wheels):

  1. Petco Park – Padres vs. Astros – Monday night social event for FUSION12! (.3 mile) I’m a huge Padres fan, but I’ve never watched a game from the Western Metal Supply Building in left field. That’s where you’ll find me on Monday night.
  2. Harbor Cruise – (1.4 miles) Tuesday night social event with a Sunset Cruise and dinner!
  3. Tin Fish Restaurant – (.4 mile) Very close to Petco Park and Omni Hotel. Best fish tacos ever!!Tin Fish - tacos
  4. Gaslamp Quarter – (.5 mile to the start – many blocks wide and long) Get insulted at Dick’s Last Resort, or check out House of Blues. I plan to spend some time at The Tilted Kilt just outside the right field entrance to Petco Park (map) – if you go there, you’ll know why it’s my favorite.
  5. Ferry to Coronado and see the Hotel Del. This is also one of the cleanest and most picturesque of the beaches in the area. Take the 15-minute ferry ride from landing behind  the Convention Ctr (.2 mile from hotel to ferry landing) and then in Coronado take the trolley (or a cab) from the ferry landing to the beach and hotel all the way cross town. If you have wheels it’s only 4-5 miles over the Coronado Bridge and then explore on your own.Hotel Del
  6. USS Midway Aircraft Carrier – (1.3 miles) Remember the Tar Heels vs. Spartans basketball game? This is the place. Take a tour and you have a good chance of having a docent who actually served his country on the Midway.
  7. Martime Museum and Star of India sailboat – (2 miles) I’m not a big museum guy, but this could be right up your alley.
  8. Tool box skyline – You’ll see this from the harbor cruise, or just by walking around. Flat head screwdriver, Phillips, hex-shaped Allen wrenches, maybe a chisel, maybe some Vice Grips.
  9. Kansas City Barbeque – (1 mile) This was the setting for sleazy bar scene in the movie Top Gun. Odd place, but fun. Top Gun barbeque
  10. Seaport Village and the Embarcadero – (.4 mile to 1 mile) Still there on Friday, 7/20? If so, the Peking Acrobats perform at 7:30 ($$$) at Marina Park South (Note, the hotel is located very close to the Embarcadero Marina South Park and there is also a North Park very close by (.8 mile). There’s usually interesting things happening there, and several homeless people to dodge. Seaport Village is less sketchy.)

For those with transportation – or willing to just jump in a cab, cost be damned:

  1. San Diego Zoo (3 miles) Yep, still one of the best zoos anywhere.San Diego Zoo koala
  2. Del Mar Race Track – (21 miles) Opening day is Wednesday, July 18. Races start at 2 PM. Attn: Kyle Mackie! The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest starts 11:30 AM.
  3. San Diego Wild Animal Park (37 miles) Now called the Zoo Safari Park, but I’m staying old school.
  4. La Jolla Beaches– (14 miles) For the rich and famous.
  5. Slater’s 50/50 Burgers by Design – (5 miles) I’ve never been there, but the 50% ground bacon, 50% ground beef burger has captured my attention.
  6. Black’s Beach  – (18 miles) Only for the very adventurous. If you have to ask what that means, don’t go to Black’s Beach!
  7. Balboa Park (2.5 miles) The 2012 Shakespeare Festival runs at Old Globe Theater on Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri nights at 8PM with three choices: Richard III, As You Like It, Inherit the Wind (okay, that’s not by WS).
  8. Mission Beach – (8 miles) This is a very active beach. Lots of people and lots of things going on. Great people watching, too.Stone Brewery
  9. Tijuana – (16 miles) If you have a huge life insurance policy and a death wish, this is a great place to visit. Otherwise, stay away. (Not really joking about this)
  10. Stone Brewery Tour (Escondido – 37 miles) For the beer aficionados, this would be worth the trip. The home of Arrogant Bastard Ale and Ruination IPA.

That should keep you busy. Don’t forget to attend a few sessions at FUSION. Especially mine.

For my last piece of FUSION advice, take your pick from your favorite Sergeant from Hill Street Blues (yes, that was NYC, I know):

  • a) Hey, let’s be careful out there! or
  • b) Let’s do it to them before they do it to us!

NOTE: since no one leaves blog comments any more, I’ve resorted to reposting stuff from other places:

One Response

  1. Better fish tacos at the South Beach over in Ocean Beach! Good burgers at the Burger Lounge in Little Italy or Hodads in Ocean Beach (rated in the top 10 in the US)

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