Monday, March 12, 2012

Warning: Vacation Photos!

I told myself I wasn't going to do this, but in the end I just couldn't resist!  And it's a grey, blustery day here in Chicago, so some pictures of beautiful southern California are a nice pick-me-up!

This is the second year we've taken a short vacation in San Diego.  Last year we went because we wanted to use up some frequent flyer miles before they expired. We didn't really have a firm idea of where we wanted to go but we knew that it must be warm and sunny, and that we should be able to get there with a nonstop flight.  That narrowed our choices down to Tucson and San Diego.  Being a Pisces, I chose the ocean!  Needless to say, we loved it, so we returned this year!

Hubby has a talent for discovering great hotels, and once our plane tickets were squared away, he found a great deal at Tower 23 on the north side of San Diego. We were really pleased that we got the same room we had last year:  a "Surf Pad" on the third floor, with a balcony overlooking the ocean.

Looking north from the balcony.  Tuesday was the only cloudy day.

Sunset, viewed from the balcony.

Tower 23 as seen from the beach.

We arrived late on Sunday night, so our first outing was on Monday.  It was so warm and sunny, I actually felt a little hot!  Luckily, I was wearing my new red Continental blouse!  We decided to drive into the mountains, about an hour northeast of San Diego, to Temecula's wine country.  We chose a winery for lunch, and were really pleased with our choice:  Wilson Creek Winery.  We had a fantastic meal and an Almond Champagne that we liked so much we had 6 bottles sent home!

Wilson Creek has beautiful gardens in addition to the vineyards.

First outing for the new blouse!

There was also a little creek, with a picnic area next to it.

On Tuesday we had planned to drive to Irvine to visit some old friends, so we left early enough in the morning that we could spend a few hours at Torrey Pines State Preserve.  I had wanted to visit last year but ran out of time, so I'm really glad we made it this year.  The vegetation is so amazing - quite interesting for a Midwestern girl!  I love the mix of pines, scrub, palm trees and cactus, all set among sandstone cliffs overlooking the ocean.

It reminded me a lot of Cappadocia in Turkey.

Everything is sort of windswept.


I think this was called tree poppy.

I still get surprised by seeing cactus just growing out of the ground!



On Wednesday we did a little exploring on Coronado Island and Point Loma, after a fantastic lunch at Craft and Commerce.  Coronado was a little more tourist-oriented than I like, but it was interesting because the beach was quite different from where we were staying, just ten miles north.  The sand at the edge of the water was glistening with gold - it really looked like someone had dumped a load of gold glitter and mixed it with the sand!  Do any of you Californians know anything about this?  I've never seen anything like it.



I really liked Point Loma, and was surprised that it was so hilly.  We went to the old lighthouse, which is neat because the rooms are set up as they were in the late 1800s.  The original Fresnel lens is also on display - just beautiful.

Whales go by the point, but we didn't see any.

The old lighthouse.

My art shot of the old lighthouse.

The new lighthouse, way down the hill.

The Fresnel lens.

We only had about half a day on Thursday before we had to return our rental car, so we walked along the beach for a few hours, soaking in the last of the salty air and sunshine before returning to the soot and noise of the city.  Then we spent an hour or two wandering around Old Town San Diego, which has been turned into a historical village.  I'd been there before (years ago) but it was still fun to look at it again. Unfortunately, none of my pictures are especially interesting!

As you can see, we kept ourselves busy the whole time, so not a whole lot of knitting got done!  I managed about 20 rows on Winnie.  I'm planning on a knitting update tomorrow.

18 comments:

  1. Looks like fun! I believe the sand at Coronado Beach has mica in it which gives it that sheen. It's the same mineral that they add to some powder makeups to give you a "glow". Haha!

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    1. Oh, thanks! I should have figured that out: we used to use mica powder on our glass beads to give them that sheen. It's so lovely on the beach!

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  2. What a gorgeous trip. My parents are leaving for San Diego tomorrow. another coincidence!

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    1. hehehe - I'm probably old enough to be your parent too!

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  3. I am so envious! :)
    I haven't been to San Diego in years and it does look like you had a lovely time!

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    1. When I go there I don't want to come back to Chicago!

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  4. pretty! I'm going to San Diego in April...can't wait!!!

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    1. Oooooh - check out Craft & Commerce if you have time!

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  5. Beautiful photos, especially the sunset!

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I took a video of it too, but it came out all grainy :-(

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  6. Yay ... so glad you blogged about your little getaway and posted those fab photos! I imagine you feel pretty refreshed from such a lovely holiday.

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    1. I felt refreshed while there, but then we both came back to a ton of work, so not so much this week!

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  7. I'm so glad you had a good time in San Diego and that the weather was great. We try to get there once a year, there is a lot to do. I spent many summer vacations in Coronado when I was a kid. Bobby Sherman was staying there, I must have been 12, and my dad had him come over to the dinner table and talk to me. I almost died of embarrassment, dads can do that to 12 year old girls. So maybe the sparkly stuff is pyrite? Also called fool's gold, we have a lot of it in CA so maybe. Your pics were fun to see.

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    1. I had to google Bobby Sherman, but once I saw his picture, I remembered him! What a hottie! I can imagine you just wanted to crawl under the table! And your poor dad probably thought he was doing the coolest thing ever for you, right?

      Pyrite - I hadn't thought of that either. That sand is so pretty!

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    2. You wouldn't have been born yet at the time he was popular! I just googled him too and read that he is a nice guy who volunteers and has made a useful life for himself. So nice to know!

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  8. hahaha I see you took of the word verification. I did too! (I think I did)

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  9. Gorgeous! Looks like you guys had a lovely trip! Thanks for sharing your pics! I really miss living in California... I don't know why I ever left!

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    1. It's interesting - the first couple times I went there I found it really disorienting, even moreso than some other countries I've visited! But now I really love it. I would LOVE to live out there!

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