In San Diego today
We woke as we sailed into San Diego this morning. I couldn’t resist peeping out, then rushing back to get my camera to capture that lovely sky, but soon went back inside when I realised we had the company of a couple of small boats alongside. I didn’t want to get caught déshabillé !
Our travels around the world have introduced us to some wonderful friends here and there, two of whom were waiting for us when we got off the ship this morning. What a great way to spend the day – conversation, laughter, great food, blue sky….life is good.
Our first stop was just across from our ship. Unconditional Surrender is a bit of a landmark and very cute, especially set against the backdrop of the USS Midway.
Adjacent to that is this great collection of bronzes, in tribute to Bob Hope. The characters are so well depicted and have so much personality. Love it!
Again, the USS Midway provides a fitting backdrop.
I especially liked the young woman doing a pencil sketch of the comedian though actually, each figure had considerable charm.
Our next stop was over the Coronado Harbour bridge, past the huge Naval base and to the Hotel Del Coronado, usually known as The Del.
A grand place, this, with plenty of history within its (wooden) walls. Some Like it Hot was filmed here, so there are pictures of Marilyn and other timeless images here and there.
I could easily have spent the day here, looking around and admiring the beautiful details which make somewhere like this so special.
Clever, smart decoration details like these umbrellas, hung in cases behind the cloakroom desk (or whatever). There were several similar cases here and there – something to remember for when I have an exhibition wall to fill!
The star of the show, so to speak, was the Crown Room. All wood, the ceiling was something to behold, so enormous was it! Terry told us of her high School Reunion which had been held here and it was easy to imagine all kinds of lavish events taking place beneath those wooden rafters.
The Crown motif was here and there throughout the room, most clearly in the chandeliers.
Outside were some smart gardens, peaceful places to sit and enjoy a cocktail or two, for sure.
But just through another door lies the beach; a broad, sandy expanse, beautifully maintained (of course) though a little chilly on this January day.
The Sandcastle Man was here, sitting beside his latest creations.
And on this Martin Luther King day, there was a special construction in honour of the man.
Apt words for these days, don’t you think?
Anyway, Terry and Tim had reservations for lunch in nearby La Jolla, so our next stop was a table with magnificent views, high above the ocean and overlooking the rocky coastline. As soon as Terry suggested we might see whales out there, I knew that I’d be on the lookout. In fact, I had to stop myself peering out over there into the blue and focus instead on the great conversation going on around me.
But just a minute! I grabbed everyone’s attention to the water spout just over my hero’s shoulder.
Sure enough, a pod of whales – we thought about four or five – made their way past us, on their way to Mexico (just like us). Well, either that or Terry paid some people with big snorkels to put on a show for our benefit
Lunch was grand, so good that we needed to walk it off by taking a stroll down there by the cove where the seals were basking in the sunshine.
For the second time today I had to steel myself and be brave in the presence of huge birds nearby. (This morning, whilst enjoying breakfast on deck, someone lost a slice of bacon to a passing seagull!)
Here, the seals were providing great entertainment both in and out of the water.
The coastline is prettier than it smells, believe me.
Yes, we know who’s to blame, too!
Kind of annoying when you put on your best pose, only to find the camera has focused on the bracken in front of you, though!
We stood for quite some time, watching this rock and wondering if any of those argumentative seals would push one of the others off – but though they crawled over one another and seemed to be quite aggressive, all of them stayed dry. I think new arrivals would get short shrift though.
No, you look nothing like the Little Mermaid – though you are probably around the same size!
Of course, people will do whatever they can to get as close as possible to these creatures, occasionally risking life and limb in these rough and rocky places. The lifeguards made announcements and called out to those foolhardy souls.
From here, we had a great view of our lunch spot, right up there under those umbrellas. Wow.
We also had a great view of some pretty stupid people too.
As we walked along the pathway back to the car, we spotted this curious green lifeguard box. Clearly a piece of art, we had no idea of the significance until coming back and googling.
The Lifeguard Box is a tribute to lifeguards everywhere and seemed to be in a most appropriate place!
Our last view of La Jolla was of the “Children’s beach” where the seals had almost completely taken over – well, it’s clear who’s in charge here!
After a really memorable day with Terry and Tim, it was time to return to the ship. We drove through the San Diego beachside towns, getting a clear understanding of why this university is so popular! Who wouldn’t want to spend a few years in such a lovely place? (Answer: those who’d rather study at University Party Central Santa Barbara )
Saying goodbye to our friends by the dock entrance, we counted our blessings yet again. Such a lovely day filled with fun and laughter – and yet another pair of friends who’d stowaway in our closet given half the chance!