Don’t you just hate the final night of your vacations?
One one hand, you just don’t want to let go of the great time you are having.
On the other hand, you know you have to get back to reality.
So there you are, trying to extend what little time you have left, feeling guilty that you should be preparing for your return home.
That’s where we found ourselves on our final Saturday night in San Diego.
Doc and I had just partied our way through the John Cougar Mellencamp concert at the Convention Center and were wandering our way through the Gaslamp Quarter amazed at the crowds on the street.
Except for the lack of beads being thrown, you would have thought is was "Mardi Gras" or something.
I had heard that the Gaslamp Quarter was hopping on weekend nights but I never expected this level of excitement.
“It was prime-time for people watching.”
Even though it was 11:00 PM and waaaay past our bedtime (Baby Boomers right?) we decided to keep the night going by finding a place to sit, maybe grab another adult beverage and take measure of the multitude of merrymakers meandering through the milieu.
We were lucky enough to stumble into a cool little Mexican joint called "Los Panchos de Charly."
It wasn't completely crowded so we picked a table outside on their small patio.
Within minutes we had chips and salsa in front of us and a few minutes later we had a couple of ice cold beers as well.
Ah yes, primed and ready for some classic “people watching.”
We sat against the outside wall which was the back of the inside bar.
There was probably a dozen or more guys (not one single girl) sitting at this bar staring out at the street scene which meant they were looking right at (or through) us.
That part was kind of creepy.
They all looked liked contestants for the next edition of “American Idol.”
I should have taken a picture and titled it: “All dressed up and no place to go.”
Our table though afforded us a front row view of the street action and it was well worth the price of admission.
It was definitely entertaining to watch the human angst and anxiety as the potential patrons shuffled their “stuff” trying to impress the guys behind the velvet ropes and the members of the opposite sex.
It was a classic night scene straight out of an 80’s "Bee Gees" song.
I could hear strains of “Staying Alive” in my head as we watched young guys, sprouting their first harvest of facial hair, roll up to the curb in Lamborghini's and tight pants
These were followed by stretch limos unloading flocks of giggling and stumbling little black dresses.
Although, the main action was by the clubs, the best part of this human tragedy was unfolding right in front of us.
Small gaggles of geeky single guys were shuffling on the sidewalk, making excuses to each other why they couldn't cross the street to get into the club.
Young girls, showing way too much flesh, were leaning on each other in drunken support, waiting for their prince charming to whisk them away.
Hosers and posers walked by, pointing at the club crowd, as they hurried around the corner to find a place to shoot back a couple more shots of tequila courage.
And then there was the always entertaining drunk chick arguing with the door man at our restaurant because “all she needs to do is use the bathroom.”
Ah, it was so surreal that it brought me back to my youth.
Some things never change.
OK, maybe just the music.
I guess we didn't realize how hungry we were.
It was good…………mmmmm.
OK, it was very good.
Combined with the free entertainment and the cold cervezas I would have to say that our dining experience at Los Panchos de Charly was definitely worth 2 thumbs up.
As we sipped our last beers of the weekend, the waitress informed us that we would have to move inside because they couldn't have any alcohol outside after midnight.
That seemed like a strange law but we opted to finish them and head back into the crowds in search of our hotel.
I had to wonder where all of those young men had snuck off to.
Maybe they were across the street in one of the clubs already.
Maybe they knew how to play the game so, to myself, I wished them luck.
It was another great weekend in San Diego.
My hats off to the folks at AARP for throwing a great event for us Baby Boomers, to Johnny Cougar for putting on a fantastic concert, to the Sofia Hotel for making us feel at home and to all of the great restaurants and bars that made the weekend special.
San Diego…….we’ll be back.