Saturday, February 3, 2024

Wrapping Up San Diego

San Diego Metro KOA

Chula Vista,  CA

February 3, 2024

Friday (Jan. 26)

The Hotel del Coronado has been on my radar for some time.  We joined Carol and Ronnie for a morning on the island to take it all in.  The hotel has quite the history dating back to 1885 when two entrepreneurs bought the entire peninsular we call Coronado Island today with the idea of building a magnificent hotel that would be the talk of the western world.  This destination resort first opened it's doors in 1888.  It was indeed magnificent with electricity, telephones, private bathrooms, elevators and a state of the art fire alarm system.  It was outfitted in fine china, linen from Europe, and luxury furnishings from the east.  The Del, as locals call it today, offered a variety of activities...swimming, boating, archery croquet, golf, bicycling and fine dining with special rooms set aside for indulgences such as reading, writing, chess, cards, music and yep...smoking.  

Today, the The Del is one of the last wooden Victorian beach resorts in the world.  It is also the second largest such structure in the United States. It is recognized as the first commercial building to have electricity.  Thomas Edison, himself,  came to the hotel shortly before it opened to oversee the installation of electric lighting.  And in 1904, Edison returned to debut the world's first lighted Christmas tree which stood on the hotel's lawn.  

Nearly a dozen US presidents have visited The Del along with a long list of well-known folks...both from the past and present.  

The Hotel del Coronado was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

The beach the hotel sits on is a white sandy beach and makes for a very nice walk.  Even though it is owned by the hotel, it is open to the can even rent chairs, loungers, and umbrellas and have lunch served on the beach as a non-guest.  We just walked.  Every time we have walked on the beach, the waves have been amazing...

We stood at the jetty for a few minutes to enjoy the sound of the waves crashing into the rocks and to take photos.

Waiting was half the fun...
(Thank you for the photo Carol.)


along with the feel of the cool spray on my face and the taste of saltwater on my lips... 

and a new bird sighting for us...a Black Turnstone.

We all laughed out loud as we watched the California Gulls having their mid morning snack.  

If finding the perfect clam wasn't hard enough opening the darn thing sure is... flew up pretty high and dropped it half a dozen times or so...

working so hard to crack it open.

Finally...yum, yum!

We also saw a flock or two of Royal Terns.  They are a social species and found in large, noisy groups.

I read that a flock of Royal Terns is known as a "highness," well befitting its regal name.

They also make us laugh out loud...

Saturday (Jan. 27)
Saturday was hiking day.  The four of us chose a new to us hike...Annie's Canyon.  It was almost a bust as when we got to the trailhead...a nicely dirt, gravelly, wide trail...and looked down the very, very steep hill we all said nope.  We would have to climb back up that very, very steep hill on the return. Carol saved the day when she spotted a paved bike trail and off we went. I'm not sure how far it was from here to the trail, but all total, we logged in a healthy 4.2 miles.  There was a decent on the bikeway, but not as steep or slippery. 

Annie's Canyon is a short trail...once you get there...thru a slot canyon.  There are ladders and steps to climb at the end of the trail to an overlook.  It was a Saturday...not a good day to do this very popular hike.  Everybody and their moms, dads, grannies, grandpas, and children were there and they expected to take the four legged members of the family as well even though the signage said "No Dogs".  Little dogs, middle size dogs an big dogs were all there to join in the fun.  So, we made it to the ladder, with a very long line of folks making their way up and we was not easy as we were all squeezed into a very narrow space...turned around and went out the way we came in.  Would I go again?  Yes... but not on a weekend and hoping for less folks.  

The short trail to the canyon is well marked and easy.

The beginning...

The up shot...

The squeeze...

Annie's Canyon is nestled within the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Preserve.  I read that it was once vandalized by transients and plagued with illicit drug use.  I saw photos of those beautiful canyon walls covered in paint and graffiti.  Local residents had the area cleaned up and designated a trail there.  The canyon was named after Annie, a 30 year resident of Solana Beach who was a very active conservancy supporter.  

Sunday (Jan. 28)

The four of us enjoy market days in San Diego so we were off bright and early and headed to one of San Diego's oldest neighborhoods...Hillcrest...Sunday morning. 
Even though this urban setting is home to cafes and bakeries, galleries, and museums and exploring this area sounds yummy and fun, we have yet to meander here except on market day.  

Every Sunday (9:00-2:00) booths and tents line the street...about 175 of them...artisans, growers, and yummy things prepared on site to nibble on or drink while you peruse. 

Our bags were curly lettuce, green curly lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, sourdough bread, berries, cauliflower, broccoli, flowers and a blueberry lime scone that I wish I had gotten half a dozen of.  

The market is cheerful and colorful with live entertainment and (even though Little Italy is a cool place to be too) we all agree, Hillcrest is our favorite San Diego market.  

Monday (Jan.29)

Monday dawned a gorgeous day.  We had plans with Jeff and Fran for lunch on The Island, but an email from Jeff arrived early that morning.  Fran's brother had a fall a was hospitalized.  We were sorry we didn't get one last visit with them, and wish Bobby a speedy recovery.  Until we meet again friends...

Our last day...a gorgeous day...what to do? I know !  A beach walk and pizza and the Bledsoe's were all in !  Mission Beach and Luigi's make for a nice walk and fun lunch.  


Green at the boardwalk on Mission Beach

Beach stuff always gets my attention...

We were not sure where the surfer was...

So that is a wrap on our San Diego get away.  It was such a fun trip.  We all enjoyed ourselves.  

We left SD on Wednesday and enjoyed our first Arizona sunset for the year that night in Dateland. 

And we were up for a pretty sunrise this morning.  Adventures are fun, coming home is wonderful, and life is good !

Until next time, 



  1. We had the privilege of spending a couple special days at The Del. I'd recommend it for a very special occasion.
    Watched a crow dropping a Macadamia Nut on the street, a lot of hilarious work for no reward. That nut will end up in one of Fran's cakes.
    Plovers are a favorite, their little legs move so fast it looks like they might be floating.
    Search 'sand canyons' on my blog to see what 'Annie's Canyon' was originally like. Without the ladders, it was a difficult exit out of the chimney at the end :)

    1. Hi Jeff…I did check out your “sand canyons” posts and realize I that is one great place to hike. I’m so happy Annie’s Canyon is cleaned up for everyone to enjoy. I can only imagine how luxurious the rooms at The Del must be…it is beautiful and I love the history. We enjoy watching the birds…all of them…perseverance and patience come to mind. And what great entertainment they are!

  2. What a great trip! The architecture at the Del is very cool, it would be interesting to walk around and look at that alone. Those gulls certain are ingenious, I wonder what they will figure out to do in another century or so.

    1. Good morning Jim….i was happy to see The Del up close and walk thru the lobby. I didn’t realize they offer so many services to non-guests…I’m thinking next visit to SD I might want a spa day there! Nature is amazing…

  3. You guys did have a wonderful time in San Diego in spite of the rain! That Royal Tern photo made me laugh out loud too! Welcome home!

    1. Good morning Janna…thank you! It was a nice get away. The floods even added a bit of excitement we don’t normally have. And we are so, so happy to be settled back in at our little oasis…

  4. Oh, I miss San Diego! Our first introduction to the city was a business stay at the Del! It was pure, old-school luxury. Dave tried not to think about what would happen if a fire broke out in the huge completely wood structure. While he did his "business thing", I spent time on the beach watching the beautiful green waves and the low flying fighter planes from the nearby Naval Air Base. As usual, your photography transports us.....especially that you managed to capture Annie's Canyon sans people!

    1. Good morning Sue…The Del would definitely make for wonderful memories that last a life time. I was captivated just walking they the lobby with all the memorabilia (photos of celebs and the hotel from years gone by) and all the details in the architecture and furnishings. The beach is my big draw to SD…which makes it a great place to visit. Having friends (Carol & Ronnie and Jeff & Fran) are the icing on the cake.

  5. The Del is such a gem, glad you were able to spend some time enjoying her, and that you shared it with me! Your waves and sprays pics are wonderful - I can feel the mist from here :-) Lovely colors and textures at the market. Glad you got lots of friend-time in this beautiful city.

    1. Hi Jodee…thank you! It’s way fun photographing waves and a real challenge to capture the roll, splashes, and colors they make. SD markets are the best ever!

  6. What wonderful adventures you had! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. Love all the pictures, information and stories. Love you both!!

    1. Good morning Jill! It was a nice getaway and we are so happy to be home. We love you too!