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!)...it 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 Coronado...it 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,



Friday, January 21, 2022

Sunset Cliffs and Low Tide

San Diego Metro KOA

Chula Vista, CA

January 21, 2022

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a 68 acre San Diego park dedicated in 1983.  It is a unique coastal environment that features expansive ocean views...

Photo taken at the top of the cliff wall looking out

...dramatic cliff formations...

Photo also taken at the top of cliff wall looking down

...native coastal sage scrub habitat...

...and a "captivating intertidal area" which I refer to as tide pools.

As the name implies, the sunset is the biggest draw to these striking cliff walls and breathtaking views.  I took this photo of a sunset at Sunset Cliffs back in March, 2013...the first time we ever went to Sunset Cliffs and way before we decided we don't like driving at night.  It was my first time...EVER...on the Pacific Coast and what a WOW moment in our travels it was for me !  Somethings you just never forget! 

Since 2013, we have visited Sunset Cliffs several times.  Not for the sunset, but for the tide pools.  The landscape here is so different than La Jolla beach.  I love them both !  

In addition to peaceful sunsets, another big activity at the cliffs is surfing.  No wettie or stick (that's surfer talk for wetsuit and surfboard) for me, but it is fun to sit and watch.  

Getting to the ocean is quite precarious.  First the steps, that seem endless as they switchback at several small landings, have to be carefully maneuvered so as not to get bonged in the head. The surfers must be accustomed to folks like me because they are always polite and turn outward at the landing to let me by.  All the while, I'm thinking "I do have to climb back up these stairs".  

Once at the bottom, there is a small rock wall with three man-made steps that remind me of the Moki steps we have used on a few hikes like Corona Arch in Moab. The next hurdle is rocks...smooth, round, big and small rocks with lots of crevices.  They are not particularly slippery, but careful footing is needed.  

And then, let the fun begin !

No starfish again.  I was lucky enough in January 2016 to see three starfish in one day... two Knobby Stars (one orange and the other brown) and a Bat Star.  The photo below is the Bat Star I saw that day.  

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is less than 20 miles from the KOA. Leaving Point Loma to return home is a nice ride...then again, I'm not driving.

Up next, Ocean Beach.  Until then,