Dreading the trip to the mall (it turned out fine)

One of the malls in San Diego is University Towne Center. It has always been my least favorite mall because the traffic around it is horrendous. I hadn’t been there in years even prior to the pandemic. A few years ago, I had read that the whole mall was under construction and they added a major parking garage (there was a small parking structure in addition to lots of surface parking before) which made me want to go there even less. In addition, they started charging for parking. Last week when I was looking to get a MacBook Air, I didn’t want to have it shipped as it would have arrived when we weren’t home and the other close Apple Store didn’t have it, so I decided to brave the mall and goto UTC. I read that the first two hours of parking were free, so that was good.

I drove to UTC using a sightly less traveled route and was kind of lost as I approached it as there is still a lot of construction for the trolley extension. Traffic was light (it was a weekday around lunchtime), so it wasn’t bad getting there. I turned into the parking garage and was overwhelmed at its size; the entrance was very wide open and spanned two stories. I got my ticket and followed some signs to Nordstrom since I really had no idea where the Apple Store was located. As I proceeded, I saw signs that indicated how many empty spaces down each section. In the past I’ve thought that they were kind of made up. Once I started going down an aisle, I realized that the numbers were completely accurate; overhead down the center of each aisle was a small sign that had a red or green indicator on each side showing me which spot was occupied. This made finding a space super easy. I parked, recorded the section I was in on my ticket as I had no idea where I was going, followed the painted walkways to the stores, and then went up 2 flights of stairs.

The digital map said to use at your own discretion, so I pulled out my phone and looked for the Apple Store. I had managed to park relatively close, so it was a short walk. I stood in line outside for less than a minute, showed my barcode, had my temperature checked (yeah, I know this is a waste) and then was told to wait on one of the black dots near the window inside the store. Someone brought out my computer, checked my ID and I was on my way.

Getting back to my car was easy and exiting the garage was another painless activity. When I got to the gate to leave, I tried to stuff the ticket in the machine, but it wouldn’t go and the gate opened. I think it read the barcode and opened without me having to put it in. This particular exit was on a street that had less traffic, so I was on my way. I think my total time from leaving my house to returning was less than hour with about 25 minutes of that being driving time.

The experience was so pleasant, I might consider going back to the mall in the future!

One Reply to “Dreading the trip to the mall (it turned out fine)”

  1. Nice!!!! I went to UCSD and UTC was one of my places to go. But that was two decades ago. So it was run down. I should go back and check it out.

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