Sunday, January 30, 2022

Wrapping Up San Diego

San Diego Metro KOA

Chula Vista, CA

January 30, 2022

Ocean Beach

Our morning in Ocean Beach didn't turn out exactly as planned.  

OB Municipal Pier was officially christened in 1966 as the San Diego Fishing Pier.

We enjoyed a walk on the OB Pier.  I have read that this pier is one of the most visited landmarks in San Diego.  It extends 1,971 ft into the ocean and is said to be the longest concrete fishing pier on the west coast.  Herring is the most common fish caught from the pier and you can catch as many as you can carry...there is no limit !  The pier is a "T" shape.  The "T" is undergoing construction so our walk ended at the cafe.  The views from the pier seem endless.  This photo captures Mission Beach all the way to La Jolla (I think) and maybe even beyond.    

 We watched a pod of about eight dolphins swimming...

and enjoyed the efforts from the surfers. 

By this time, we had hoped the sun would have warmed the day more and that a low tide would invite a beach walk.    Neither of those happened.  

We did however take a stroll down Newport Avenue.  Newport Ave. is a three-block shopping district lined with the tallest, skinniest palm trees ever.   Coffee shops, vintage shops, ice cream parlors,  microbreweries and restaurants all add to the casual feel and small-town charm in this historic beach community. 

The store fronts, like this coffee shop porch, add lots of colorful and artsy vibe.  


Murals are painted everywhere.  The effort began in 1999 as a way to beautify OB and instill a sense of pride.  The artists have captured the essence of a seaside town with themes that range from surfing to cars, and flag-waving Americans.  

A self-guided walking tour of the murals can be downloaded 

Lunch at OB is always a treat.  Hodads - The World's Greatest Burger is right there on Newport Ave and they do smell yummy, but my choice remains South Beach Bar and Grill.  It has been a favorite since we spent a morning with Lisa and Hans back in 2017 and had lunch there.  For me it is all about the oysters.  First, fresh oysters (The quac, salsa and seasoned chips Joe gets are pretty dang good too!)...

followed by fried oyster tacos.

And I ate every morsel of this mouth watering yummy concoction ! 

Chula Vista Marina

I love taking photos at a marina.  It's like a special neighborhood for small boats to huge yachts all docked together just waiting.  So, we jumped at the chance to join Ronnie and Carol for lunch at the Galley at the Marina which overlooks the bay. 

After lunch, we decided to take a stroll to the nearby park. 

I have photographed lots of coots throughout the years, but in all those pictures, I never saw them out of the water.  They are noisy and very comical.  I was so wishing I had my camera and big photos don't zoom in so good.  I always assumed these medium-sized water birds were ducks. I was surprised to learn they are not.  On land, they look more chicken like with a plump body and rounded head, a short tiny tail, and large feet.  Those feet sure caught my eye.

Coots walk instead of waddling and are often clumsy, awkward fliers.  Maybe one reason they mostly stay in the water is that they require a long running takeoff to get airborne.

It was one of those beautiful changing sky days.  Looking at the photo below, one would not guess it was mid-day.  My phone documented this picture at 2:05 pm...

this photo at 2:15 pm

and this photo at 2:18 pm.

The metal sculpture, titled The Fisherman, was added to the park in 2006 as part of the Port of San Diego Tidelands Collection. 

Gorgeous windswept trees...

and views of the Bay Bridge and Coronado Island sure give this park a captivating charm in addition to being a place to play.  

I have always enjoyed the ocean and beach.  Growing up my family spent many vacations in Florida along the Atlantic coast and Joe and I and our family enjoyed many vacations along the Gulf.  When deciding to travel full-time back in 2012, I knew the Pacific Coast was a "must go there" destination.  There is something mighty and majestic about the ocean that is certainly a draw for this small-town Georgia gal.

San Diego is definitely a fun get away and a nice change of scenery for us.  But, one thing we did learn about ourselves is that we do miss home...the sticks and stucco home that is.  In real time, we left San Diego a few days early (actually to avoid some very windy travel days that were forecast).  We both agree (well, today that is) that really long trips are no longer in our future.  Home is safe, quiet, comfy, and roomy yet cozy .  And there is always something to do...somewhere behind that mountain of huge tumbleweeds is the gate to the front yard and there is another mountain even bigger in the back corner by the fence.

And every backyard needs violas this time of year.  If you leave, you plant them again.    

We still plan to travel in the MH as that is the only way we can enjoy travels with the pups.  But out goals have changed.   Vacations to explore our home state of Arizona are in the works...there really is a lot to see and do and we have only scratched the surface. 

I am excited as I write this post because Ronnie and Carol will be visiting Tucson the first two weeks in February.  I can't wait to share some favorite places and see new to us places with them.  So, stay tuned !  Until then, I'll close with a few photos from SD.

The puppies had their treats and we did too !

I had pineapple and coconut cheesecake.



Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Coronado Island and Lunch

San Diego Metro KOA

Chula Vista, CA

January 25, 2022 

Did you know that Coronado Island is not completely surrounded by water like most islands?  It is referred to as a tied island.  A tied island is connected to the mainland by a tombolo.  So, what is a tombolo you might wonder (I sure didn't know!) is a bar of sand joining an island to the mainland.   There are three ways to get to Coronado Island...Silver Strand which is the tombolo that connects Coronado to the mainland, the Coronado Bridge over the San Diego Bay or the ferry.  We took the bridge today.  It is a little intimidating with 2.1 miles of four lane traffic with a a nice curve and short concrete walls on the outsides and down the middle.  Joe never gets to see these views.  

We had plans to meet Jeff and Fran for lunch at the bay.  It was one of those beautiful, perfect San Diego days so we decided to go early and walk.  Orange Avenue offers a nice stretch of sidewalk from the Hotel Del to Bayside with lots of variety and interest along the way.  We also ventured down a few side streets...just because !

I do have a "thing" for gates and doors.

The Christ Episcopal Church built in 1894 was surrounded by camellias.

Camellias remind me of Georgia.  They have always been a favorite.


Coronado is a Spanish word that translates to crowned in English.

"The Crown City"  is a nickname often used by locals when referring to the island.  I had not noticed all the crowns.   Pictures of crowns on signs and crowns in store windows were everywhere. 

And speaking of locals, Charlie Chaplin and Dick Van Dyke, are among the rich and famous who have called Coronado Island home.  Today, we learned from Jeff that L. Frank Baum, who spent many winters in a rented home on Coronado, wrote The Wizard of Oz on the island in the winter of 1900. 

Coronado Island has a lot of beautiful green space (parks) and easily accessible sandy beach/ocean space, but almost 30,000 people live on the island and thousands of tourists visit there every year. It is most impressive that even with all the structures and folks that fill up the remaining space, there is no clutter.     

So neat and orderly...

  So vital...

So inviting...

So strong...

So used...

So cool...

So beautiful...

After all our meandering and at the end of Orange Street, we reached our destination...The Landing.  
We had never been to this part of is a beautiful park with benches, green grass, and walks.  It also has some history.  The bronze plaque on the rock in the above photo reads, "Birthplace of Naval Aviation" (designated in 1961).  In 1917, Congress appropriated the island to support the WW I effort and two airfields occupied its sandy flats.  According to google, many milestones originated here including the first sea flight in the United States in 1911.  

Bayside is home to restaurants, shops, and wonderful views.  It is also where the ferry docks when transporting folks to and from the mainland...

thus the name The Landing.  Fran and Jeff rode bikes today and used the ferry to get to the the island.  Our lunch spot, thanks to these two locals we have the pleasure of calling friends, chose Costa Azul Mexican...perfect ! 

The restaurant, the ferry dock, and the San Diego skyline

Good friends, the view from the patio, our server Jerry, the
yummy food and yep, one of those frozen concoctions all made for a most enjoyable meal and fun time.  Thank you again Fran and Jeff !!!!

That makes Monday a wrap.  I had mentioned in the last post Ocean Beach would be the next post.  It is still on hold.  
Until next time,