Thursday, March 18, 2010

San Diego

It’s been many years since either of us has been to San Diego. Don spent about half of his 26 years in the Navy stationed here, so we visited some of his old haunts, including Point Loma. This peninsula marks the opening for ships to enter San Diego Bay, with the Pacific Ocean to the west. It’s a beautiful military base, next to a very upscale neighborhood. Even the casual eating facilities on base are pretty nice, on a bluff overlooking San Diego Bay.

Pt Loma

We spent the weekend at Fiddler’s Cove on the Silver Strand of Coronado Island, just south of the Naval Amphibious Base. Coronado is actually a peninsula, and is connected to North Island by what used to be a shallow channel, filled in by the Navy prior to WWII. Access is via SR-75 along the Silver Strand, or over a 200-ft high bridge, tall enough for Navy ships to pass underneath. Don had the privilege of driving the motorhome over the bridge; I closed my eyes. When we left it was my turn to drive, and I went south to fill with diesel, thereby avoiding the bridge! Our motorhome was parked only a few feet from the water’s edge of the bay.

Fiddler Cove

Sailing classes are given in this cove on weekends, so we had a ring-side seat to watch the beginners learn to sail.

Sailboat

We visited the famous Hotel Del Coronado (locals call it “The Del”) and wandered around the grounds…

The Del 3 The Del 20 The Del 10

…and parts of the inside.

The Del 11 The Del Chandelier The Del main staircase and elevator

The hotel was built in 1887 and is one of the nation’s largest wooden buildings. Elisha Babcock and Hampton Story built it, but later sold out to sugar magnate John Spreckels. It’s said to be home for at least one ghost, but she didn’t show herself to us. If you’re interested in learning more about the hotel, Google Hotel Del Coronado and explore the several sites on it.

Our dinner at Brigantine Seafood, across the street from The Del, was delicious. We had our favorites: scallops for me and clams for Don. Next time, I think I’ll try the fish tacos.

Brigantine

San Diego is a beautiful city, but even more so after the heavy rains of the past few months. I’m always amazed at how beautiful iceplant is when it blooms. This photo doesn’t quite do justice to the brilliance of this plant, which has several varieties and grows fast, with the freeways and many gardens in the area lined with it.

Iceplant

Our visit to Old Town wouldn’t have been complete without a Mexican lunch at El Fandango. The restaurant is known for its seafood and authentic recipes dating back to the period 1846-1856.

El Fandango

Here are a few more photos of colorful Old Town.

Old Town 1Old Town 2 Old Town 3 Old Town 4

Among all the antiquities in this State Historic Park, we found a clever mount for a very modern device, a satellite dish on a windmill.

Old Town sat dish

For the first time in months, we finally got the kayaks wet! Here are some pics from our paddling session in Mission Bay.

Kayak Mission Bay 1

The cormorants and pelicans were afraid we would disturb their sunny rock perch. We didn’t.Cormorants pelicans

We admired this really serious kayaker going very fast in deep waters. He didn’t even wave hello.

Kayaker

These sleeping seals didn’t seem to mind us getting up close and personal…

Seals

…until a cormorant flew over and disturbed them. The big guy on the right jumped in the water and dove under my kayak. For a while I thought he was chasing me, and Don got a good laugh out of it!

Seal 2

At the end of the paddle, Don had the task of putting the boats back on the car racks.

Kayak end

And we were off to have some local tacos near the beach.

Kayak car

Our enjoyment as tourists had to pause for a little housekeeping, including shining the wheels of the motorhome (and the rest of it, as well). Dennis, please don’t compare this to yours, but ours are shinier than any others here!

Shiny wheel

2 comments:

  1. you were in our HOOD, sorry you didn't call us for a visit. We love going biking around Mission Bay. Glad you had fun.

    ReplyDelete

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