Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On the Road Again

San Diego Skyline

We left San Diego with some regret in our hearts.  When visiting here, we are always tempted to sell everything and move.  Then we remember there are other places like Italy, Japan, Russia, Alaska.....just calling our names.  Today we have a long day’s journey into day after tomorrow.  I think!  We left San Diego at 11:30 am on Wed Jan 31 and will arrive in Auckland, NZ on Friday Feb 2.  Those of you who have crossed the International Dateline understand.  It’s difficult for me to keep this straight.  Although it is Wednesday here, it is already Thursday in Auckland where our reservation requires advanced notice for airport pick up on Friday.  Added to the travel ordeal is our 11 hour layover in LAX.  Rather than sitting in congested wait areas and listening to intercom announcements for 11 hours, we bit the bullet and bought a day pass for the AA Admiral Lounge.  I highly recommend spending extended airport time with the 1%.  Waiters circle constantly asking if they could serve you.  All food and drink is gratis.  There are showers, a beautiful bar area.  And, you could hear a pin drop.  We’ll check back in here tomorrow from the souther hemisphere.  Or is that day after tomorrow?
AA Admiral Lounge 

Old Town

Olde Town Selfie

UIKEYINPUTDOWNARROW Old Town San Diego founded in 1769 was California’s first settlement with only a mission and a fort. Some of the original buildings remain.  But for the most part it’s a tourist destination with some history but mostly ticky tacky shops and medium grade restaurants.  The best part are the huge and varied cacti.   We tried the tacos and found our IB Street tacos to still be the best beyond compare.  

Tonight was the best sunset yet.  A few more pictures are at flickr.

Monday, January 29, 2018

USS Midway

USS Midway Flight Deck

 We spent the day down at the San Diego Navy Pier where the cruise ships dock, the ferry runs to Coronado Island, the harbor cruises depart and the really, really, really big USS Midway is docked.  On board the Midway one is free to roam through out the hanger and the flight deck as well as quarters below deck.  There are dozens of docents around to answer questions. They were interesting to talk to and reminded me of my Uncle Carlton and Aunt Juanita, docents at the Marine Museum. San Diego is where the Top Gun Navy pilots train.  One docent told us that a sequel to the Top Gun movie again starring Tom Cruise is being filmed.  The docents are convinced that Tom will retire after that sequel and come to the Midway to be a docent.

The control area of the ship requires a tour, which we took with a docent who described how the ship operates.  What a complicated and necessarily coordinated set of actions required to run an aircraft
carrier.  They could take off and land an aircraft every 45 seconds.  I was surprised at the variety of aircraft, too.  The Midway served during the Korean and Vietnam actions and was retired in 1992.

ART sculpture on Imperial Beach

The best tacos in the world
See more picture of the USS Midway at flickr

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Balboa Park

Selfie, Balboa Park

We spent this 80 degree day at Balboa Park.  We couldn’t stop smiling!  Balboa Park is an urban masterpiece of museums, theaters, open space, restaurants, and the San Diego Zoo.  
1200 acres practically in the center of San Diego have been set aside for residents and visitors to mingle.  Buskers performed here and there; Girl Scouts were selling cookies; non-profits were promoting good will; a drumming group was practicing; everyone was just chillin’ California style. These were only a few of the very civic, inclusive activities that abounded.  We visited the San Diego Museum of Art and focused on a a show of modern Latin American art from one man’s collection. Art was followed up with a charcuterie platter in a lovely open air restaurant.
You may see photos of the day at flickr.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Well, You Say It’s Your Birthday


Sunset, Imperial Beach

One of our favorite things about Imperial Beach are the sunsets.  Every night is a different show of color.  We are still waiting for the green flash, though.  I particularly wonder at the silver light on the water. 

Tonight Phil and Kathy invited us to dinner at their home.  San Diego is very hilly, and their home sits high above Olde Town where they have an expansive view of the harbor and downtown.  It was Phil’s birthday and included a group of their friends who had not previously met one another.  We were an interesting group of 3 scientists, an engineer, 2 artists, a psychiatrist, a school superintendent and a 14 year old.  Kathy prepared 2 fabulous paella, one meat and one seafood.  She also made ice cream.  I now know my next birthday present request.  We tried to analyze the psyche of the country in this Trump era.  No conclusions or remedies were found.  So then we just had more wine.

San Diego Bay

Friday, January 26, 2018

San Diego Meet Up

Coronado Hotel, Coronado Island
We started our day with a drive through Coronado Island, over the Coronado Bridge and into San Diego.  Coronado Island is not an island.  It is connected to Imperial Beach with an isthmus.  It is a pleasing way to get to San Diego.  And the view of the bridge from the island as well as the drive over it is breath taking.  Our final destination was the Fashion Valley Mall and the Apple store.  We needed a device we thought could play our iPad movies on the tv.  Lunch was had there at a place called Stacks where one uses an iPad to choose the basic entree. An image of that entree appears, then one “drags” images of extras onto that choice.  For example, if one chooses a burger, one can then drag pictures of cheese, lettuce, etc onto that burger.  We needed to call the waiter over 3 times for instruction.  The resulting food was very good, though.  Plus, all the waiters had washboard abdomens.

Tonight we had dinner with Phil and Kathy at Au Revoir, a San Diego French bistro.  Food was great, company wonderful, French waiter delightful.  We shared stories of family, recent travels and local politics.

PS The Apple device would not work to display anything provided by Comcast.
&*^%*^%@$%#% Comcast.

View of the Pacific from Condo. It’s like being on a ship.

Imperial Beach Condo 
Coronado Bridge

Thursday, January 25, 2018

First, Imperial Beach

As we take off for two months in New Zealand and Australia it is 20* in Wareham. We are looking forward to a stop in sunny San Diego for a breather and time Kathy, Phil and Lola.  It will be good to wriggle our toes in the Pacific, shake off the ice of New England and drink Margaritas with the family before the arduous 36 hour trip. 

We arrived in San Diego at midnight our time but 9 pm here.  For a brief time we though we would spend midnight in Philly.  The Boston flight had mechanical trouble delaying our departure by an hour and a half.  When we landed in Philly we had 15 minutes to get off the plane, change terminals, and board our flight.  Thank god I can still run.  And, credit to the airlines, our luggage made it too.  We are in the same condo of 2 years ago in Imperial Beach, a cool community about 15 miles south of San Diego and about 1 mile from Mexico.  It’s comfortable and fun returning to this little funky community.  It’s a blend of Mexican Americans (who are the friendliest people), surfers, a few (few?) old hippies, some rich folks, and vacationer sorts like us. No building along the beach is higher than 4 stories.  And, there is amply open space and access to the beach.  
Imperial Beach.  Midnight moon over the Pacific

This morning we awoke to a chill in the air.  It’s predicted to be in the low 60’s for 2 days.  We aren’t complaining.  The sound of the Pacific surf, the sight of early morning surfers and the thought of lunch time tacos were enough to shake off any chill.  Today has been spent shopping for some staples and recuperating from our 12 hours of travel.  Oh, and eating street tacos. 
View from Condo looking toward San Diego

View from Condo looking toward Mexico

Tijuana from the front of the condo.