Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From Apple Pie to the Zoo and everything in between!

It's been a week since I've posted and we have been busy every day so this time you'll get a lengthy slideshow and some random thoughts while exploring all that the San Diego area has to offer.
In between all of our sightseeing, we compared iPad apps with Dan and Mickey and did some Facetime and Skyping with our grandkids, kids and Mom and Dad.  Technology is an amazing thing!!
One of the apps Dan shared is called "1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die" in addition to some amazing photography, it was fun to see many places we've actually visited.  One of the places listed is the San Diego Zoo -- what a fabulous zoo!  We spent the day checking things out. It is a pretty traditional zoo, but they have some very unique animals - the oryx and okapi, for instance!  Two new words for "Words with Friends!"  Next time we'll do the Wild Animal Park, which is more like the Minnesota Zoo.
San Diego has a fascinating early history - we toured Old Town, the site of the first settlement, and the Gaslamp district, which was notorious for entertaining sailors back in the day.  This was kind of a story telling walk - I've included pictures of many of the buildings, the architecture is so cool!  Check out the Yuma Building.  The story goes that it was a thriving brothel, and was the target of the first raid when the city decided to get tough on that industry. This is what the Frommer's guide has to say, "The striking edifice was built in 1888 and was one of the first brick buildings downtown. The brothel at the Yuma was the first to be closed during the infamous 1912 cleanup of the area. In the end, 138 women (and no men) were arrested. They were given a choice: Join the Door of Hope charity and reform or take a one-way train ride to Los Angeles. One hundred thirty-six went to L.A. (many were back within days), one woman was pronounced insane, and the last became San Diego's first telephone operator."
On a beautiful Saturday morning, the hills east of Poway provided some geocaching and the route to the little town of Julian - where we had the most delicious pie!! The Twin Peaks trails took us through some great ($$$$) neighborhoods in the Poway hills and gave us enough of a workout to justify all the great food we have been eating. 
We also took this opportunity to reconnect with Lowell's cousin Jimmy, who has been out here in the Escondido for 40 years!  We had dinner with Jimmy and his wife Linda, it was so much fun to catch up and reminisce!!   We really do need to stay in touch.
Sunday (3/4) was our last day in San Diego - and the weather couldn't have been better!!  A trip to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Lomas provided spectacular views of the city. Dan and Mickey said it was one of the clearest days they had seen from that viewpoint.  We did a bit of tide pool exploring and had a picnic on the beach to complete the day.
When we arrived, Mickey showed of a list of Things to Do  - this is the list and what we did in our 12 days here:

San Diego - walking tours of different areas, each with it's own history and architecture 
Old Town - original settlement
Gaslamp Quarter - late 1800’s to early 1900’s
Balboa Park - late 1800’s to present
The Embarcadero - the waterfront
Hotel Del Coronado and Coronado Island
Drive the coast, see all the beach towns, stop in La Jolla 
Birch Aquarium
Hiking through Torrey Pines State Park and along the coast
Cabrillo National Monument - Point Loma, 
Explore the tide pools on Point Loma
Mount Soledad
Torrey Pines Gliderport -  watch hanggliders &  paragliders jump off the cliffs and fly over the ocean
Seaport Village - shops & restaurants, good souvenir shopping
Leo Carrillo Ranch - a 1930’s ranch get-a-way for a Hollywood actor
Visiting vineyards with wine tasting
San Diego Zoo 
San Diego de Alcala - 1st Mission of California
The Midway (tour a decommissioned aircraft carrier in the harbor) 
These are the things we DIDN'T do (this time!)
Maritime Museum (tour 7 ships)
Sea World
Wild Animal Park
Whale watching
Harbor tour

Yesterday (Monday 3/5) we drove from San Diego to Casa Grande with a quick stop at Pete and Ed's place in Yuma for a salmon salad lunch (they were our hosts on the Kenai in Alaska last summer).  We arrived and got settled into our little park model here is Casa Grande.  This little spot is a 12' x 40' mobile, with a little living room, kitchen, bath, one bedroom and a nice little deck.  It will be comfy for a couple of weeks!

Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine and enjoy a loooong slide show this time!
(if you are looking at this on an iPad, you won't see the slideshow, sorry!  I need to find a different website to post to get the slideshow and just haven't gotten that figured out yet! Sorry)

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