Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Little History...San Diego WEEK 3

San Diego Metro KOA
Chula Vista, CA
January 25, 2019

Gaslamp Quarter
What we enjoy as the Gaslamp Quarter today is a result of the efforts of a few men who decided that San Diego should be a waterfront city.  The father of "New Town", Alonzo Horton, bought several hundred acres of waterfront property in 1867 and the rest is history.  The original center of San Diego is located in what is know as Old Town.  
The Gaslamp Arched Sign was designed in 1986 and installed in 1990. The original cost of the sign was $150,000 and total weight is six tons.

In contrast to the much older original "Old Town", the city installed about 50 Gas Lamp Street lights in the "new modern part of town".

By the1880s, New Town was booming.  Wyatt Earp was one of many who came to take advantage of the city's growth.  He operated three gambling halls, organized gambling excursions to Mexico, and prospected gold and silver.  

Gambling and brothels just seem to go hand in hand and the red-light district thrived in "New Town" until around 1912.  Because of the Panama-California Exposition, the city was cleaned up and officers raided numerous houses of ill-repute.  The women were arrested and shipped out of town by train. 

In 1980, the Gaslamp Quarter was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  There are close to 100 historical buildings in the 16.5 blocks that make up San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.

The old and the new...

Ronnie reads one of the plaques. 
The historic buildings are named and numbered. Plaques with facts about the buildings sure make for an interesting walk and history lesson !

Sunday was our day of choice for exploring the Gaslamp Quarter mainly because brunch is a special treat.  The sidewalks are busy and full of laughter and voices from the many open cafes and restaurants.  We had all researched "the best brunch" and agreed on Garage Kitchen. 

 "The" Benny (smiled ham, roasted tomato, poached egg saffron hollandaise on a cheddar & chive biscuit ) with rosemary potatoes and fruit was so yummy.  

Rainy Days
The next four days were cool, rainy days. 

Not to worry and no complaints as the rain is greatly needed. We enjoyed a movie in one of those cinemas with the recliners,  perused Barnes and Noble one day,  enjoyed a Mexican lunch another day and one day had a fun pajama stay at home day.  And yes, I am the Yahtzee champ !  

The end of the week Joe and I headed a few miles north to LaJolla.  Its another one of those places that is at the top of the list...just a nice walk along the cliffs.  Our first stop was to enjoy the seals and brown pelicans at the Children's Pool Beach. 
The concrete wall was completed in 1931 to protect child swimmers from the waves.  From the initial survey and design to the final wall took 10 years.  The seawall stands at a whopping 16 feet tall at its highest point.  There is an ongoing effort to have the pool placed on the National Register of Historic is still one of the most popular beaches by locals and tourists.  

 These days, the small beach is closed to public access during harbor seal pupping season...Dec. 15 through May 15.

Just look at those sweet faces !
 A seagull flew in with lunch (a Garibaldi...thank you Lisa) while we were oohing and aahing over the seals.  Quite funny to watch and so not willing to share !
Brown pelicans are amazing birds and so much fun to photograph.

 The walk along the cliff is jaw dropping gorgeous.

This is a great spot to explore tide pools and we were there at just the right time.  The most interesting find for the day was a snail that mimics an "eye of a whale" to ward off prey.  

It has short, fat antenna (barely visible at the bottom center of the photo below) and moves at a slow steady pace.  The skin grows on the outside of the shell.  The white in the center is the shell.  Pretty amazing !  

There was a snowy egret visiting the pools too.  

I will close with a few more favorite pictures...



Thursday, January 24, 2019

Some Hiking...San Diego WEEK 2 (Part 2)

San Diego Metro KOA
Chula Vista, CA
January 15, 2019

The later part of week 2, we enjoyed a couple of our favorite hikes.

Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area
About 30 minutes away near the little town of Jumal is Hollenbeck Canyon.  
The former cattle ranch was designated a wildlife area in 2001.  
Unlike the last few years when we enjoyed the area for free, there is a $4.00 fee per person to enter.


As the pictures show, one of my favorite things about this hike are the trees...giant beautiful trees.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Torrey Pines SNR is located within the San Diego city limits.

This 1,500 acres of land gives us an idea of what Southern California must have looked like to the Spanish explorers. 
It is amazingly beautiful and remains one of my favorite spots to visit.  FYI...the entry price has increased...during High Season it is $15 Mon.-Thurs. and $20 Fri.-Sun. per car.  

Torrey Pines is home to our nation's rarest pine tree which is native only here and on Santa Rosa Island.
It was sad to see so many distressed tree.

 Unfortunately, extended drought conditions have weakened the trees making them unable to fight back against bark beetles that have infested and killed many trees.  

Cone shaped traps bated with battle pheromones have been placed in the park to catch and monitor the beetles.

Torrey Pines SNR is always at the top of the list when in San Diego...

The last time we were in San Diego was Jan 2017.  

We had the pleasure of meeting one of the many volunteers in the park that year.   We turned the corner this year and there was Ann in the same spot as 2017.  

Ronnie points out a group/pod of dolphins...

 So until next time...