Happy Memories Are the Greatest Gift, Part 2: Hospitality and Community



Wedding Dance

Our first dance in 1982

We have tried to get away for at least one night to celebrate our anniversary each year, and that usually means we are staying close to home.  If you are married to a farmer who needs to be close to his work,   it’s  a good idea to live within driving distance of a great vacation area.    San Diego has been a wonderful place for our short getaways, even though it’s  less than an hour’s drive from our ranch.

This year we decided to go to the Hilton Bayfront.   A friend had  recommended it several times and we wanted a newer San Diego hotel with views of the bay.   We reserved a corner room online  and mentioned in the comment box  that we would be celebrating our 30th anniversary.   We knew  Hilton offers great hospitality but we were still  surprised and delighted by the excitement with which we were greeted at the front desk!   When I asked about internet, the manager told me it would be extended free of charge in honor of our anniversary!   Then he added complimentary buffet coupons for both of the mornings of our stay.   The big smiles and hearty best wishes earned the front desk staff  big points with us!  Even the man who brought our luggage went out of his way to make sure we had vouchers for free water, and checked to see that we had robes in our own sizes in the closet.    Our happy memories were already being made, and we had only just checked in!

Hilton Bayfront

San Diego Hilton Bayfront with near Coronado Bay Bridge

We decided to look around the hotel,  check out the fitness center and pool,  find the various shops and restaurants.  When we returned to our room we found a tray with complimentary champagne,  chocolate dipped strawberries and truffles!  The front desk staff had even made us a “Happy Anniversary” card!   It felt like we were staying with close friends!   We enjoyed the Oceansea lounge on Friday evening and the breakfast buffet at Vela in the morning including my husband’s favorite jumbo prawns.

Hilton pool



Chambpagne, strawberries and shrimp at the Hilton Bayfront

Champagne, strawberries, truffles and shrimp at the Hilton Bayfront


On Saturday morning we drove  to the Little Italy Mercato.  This is not an ordinary farmers’ market, but a community gathering with food,  live music, artisan products, gorgeous displays of fresh produce and flowers, jewelry, clothing, culinary gadgets,  pet accessories,  and you-name-it. We were glad to see our cousin, Jacob Schaner at his family’s produce stand and enjoyed some fresh squeezed orange-lime juice.

Little Italy Farmers Market

Beautiful view at the Little Italy Mercado


products from Little Italy Mercado

Some of the unique artisan products at the market

San Diego is a wonderful city with beautiful hotels, delightful restaurants and exciting tourist attractions.   Each time we spend a few days away from the ranch,  we have new adventures and establish new memories.    Although we are not free to travel far from home very often,  there are plenty of wonderful places to visit when we have a day or two off.   Next:  Our new favorite restaurants.

to be continued





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