Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 23rd - Mount Soledad

It was Wednesday morning the day before I had to fly out.  We went to Ocean Beach for breakfast.  A little restaurant called Margarita's serves some great breakfast dishes.  I had my usual Texas Benedict.  Eggs benedict made with regular bacon, a chipotle hollandaise, and fresh avocado.  Laurie had Huevos enchiladas, made with eggs on top of cheese enchiladas/  Incredible as usual.

From there, we drove up Interstate 5 to La Jolla.  Specifically, Mount Soledad.  The mountain is a state park except for the very top of it which is now owned by a local non-profit group.  At the top is a white cross.  It has always been a veteran's memorial.  In the early 2000s they added stone walls which are adorned with plaques to commemorate servicemen.  There is no particular qualification, other than having served.  We found one for a man who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Notable plaques are Gen. Patton, Glenn Miller, Audie Murphey, And a group of twelve, one tells the story that a couple had 11 sons and they all served in the military.  There is a plaque for each of the 11.  It's beautiful up there.  It was windy and a bit chilly from the high ocean breeze.  We looked around and sat, and just took it all in.

When we left, we drove down to Chula Vista.  This would be our last chance as a couple to see Francine and France.  They have a fifth wheel parked by the Chula Vista Marina at the RV park.  At the end of H street, and just off the beach of San Diego Harbor.

We had dinner at their site, and then walked to the beach for a beautiful sunset.  Once again, I had a view of the hills of Tijuana, but this time it was because we were so close as opposed to just being on top of a mountain.  To our north we could see downtown San Diego and the Coronado Bridge.

It was a great day and we had a great time.

Looking east 

Our volunteer tour guide.  She answered all our questions

Looking North


Highway 52

Pretty visitor

The park at San Diego bay

Synergy statue

North towards downtown San Diego

Tijuana at night

Saturday, March 26, 2016

March 17th - St. Patrick's Day

It was a date!  It was a gathering!  It was an excuse to eat Corned Beef and drink Irish car bombs.

Our son, Alexander was in town, and we arranged to go sightseeing with Francine and France and included some time with Alex.

There had been an Irish festival in Balboa Park, but it was the previous weekend.  Still, the couple from Colorado hadn't been there, so we met them there outside the famous Air & Space museum. We took a tram to the plaza and walked around a little.  From there, we called a Uber for a ride downtown. Our driver, Michelle, was stunning.  Tall, in a great dress, and very polite as well as having a french accent and quite obviously a male.

GEOCACHING ; While waiting for the UBER, we picked up a quick find right there in the parking lot. "Balboa Park and Cache", GCQJMH

Once downtown, we walked down the street to The Field.  A local Irish Pub.  One of he oldest in San Diego with furnishings and such brought over from Ireland itself.

The Field

There was a 40 minute wait, so we walked a couple of doors down to The Blarney Stone Pub for a quick pint of Guinness.  By then the table was ready and we were seated.  Yes, the place was very crowded as you can imagine any place connected with Ireland on St. Patrick's Day would be.  We immediately ordered Irish Car Bombs from our nice Dubliner, Garrett.  For a meal, Laurie and I decided to split the mixed plate.  It was plenty of food for two.  It featured Shepard's pie, Guinness beef stew, corned beef and cabbage, and rasher and cheese.  For appetizers we had sausage rolls and Irish potato skins.  

When we were done, we walked down the street to a place called The Neighborhood.  There, we had great service from Jealous who had more tattoos than I did. We sampled some craft beers as our awesome dinner settled.  Then we caught another Uber back to our cars.

We drove up to Mira Mesa and visited the Green Flash brewery for a very informative tour.  We had samples and enjoyed the company of friends and family.

Green Flash Brewery

Finally, we said goodbye and left for home.  Just about the best St. Patrick's Day ever.

San Diego Air& Space Museum

Friends and Family

There was no way I could get to an area for a better shot, but  I loved how the Coronado Bridge just runs off into the fog

Plaza Del Mundo

Canyon area with walking trails.  Laurel street bridge in distance.

Balboa Park, at 1.875 sq. miles is larger than NYC's Central Park of  1.137 sq. miles.  The San Diego zoo uses 99 acres within the park.

Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego

The Barney Stone Pub 

Down the street, the back of Petco Park, home of the SD Padres, showing the historic Western Metal Supply Company building which was the foundational corner of the ballpark.
The moon says hello
The Neighborhood


Green Flash main brewery Check out the old Chevy panel truck

Our Tour guide, Mike

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 16th - Sunset Cliffs

You come to San Diego and you are doing the whole sightseeing thing.  Of course, you want to experience the SoCal beaches.  I've done little of north county beaches, because I usually don't live up there.  However, the coastline from La Jolla down to the end of Point Loma has some of the greatest beaches in the world.  Every beach has it's own look and personality.  Our favorite beach is Ocean Beach.   Not only for the wide beautiful sand and sun, but the the pier offers fishing, a great view of both sea and land, and a beautiful backdrop for the sunsets.  On the south end, there are tide pools during low tide.  On top of that is a community which combines a 50s and 60s style living with today's culture.

The day before St. Patrick's Day, we were out traveling, and decided to catch the sunset a bit further south where Ocean Beach becomes Point Loma at Sunset Cliffs.  A natural cliff created by wave erosion and a stone foundation, there are a few parking areas, and on any nice evening, the cliff fills with people and photographers catching the sun sinking past the horizon.

It was beautiful and amazing.  I confess, I have only ever been here a couple of times.  A flock of pigeons nest on the actual side of the cliff away from anyone's ability to bother them.

We had a great sunset and experience.

The Community of Sunset Cliffs at Point Loma

Sol says goodnight

A crowd watches