Friday, December 30, 2005

Continued from Yesterday Cabrillo and Rosecrans

After the nice lunch at Point Loma Seafood we traveled up the hill to the Cabrillo National Park and the first stop was the tidepools to observe the behavior of humans in and around ocean cliffs observing ocean life in trapped pools of water called tide pools. Well needless to say the humans were running today as the Winter Tourist Season was in full bloom. Nice ocean view and lots of people milling about.

This woman and her daughter were a perfect example of east meets west when it comes to traditional dress.

Down on the lower reaches of Point Loma is the working lighthouse run by the Coast Guard a wonderful organization loaded with real heroes we rarely see praised but who save many lives every year and protect us in many and varied ways.

On the top of the hill at Point Loma is the old and no longer used Historic Lighthouse. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855 the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. What seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, had a serious flaw. Fog and low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891 the light was extinguished and the keeper moved to a new lighthouse location closer to the water at the tip of the Point.

Near the historic lighthouse is the Cabrillo ( pronounced CAB-RIL-O) Monument. Point Loma was discovered by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailing for Spain in 1542 as he led the first European expedition, a three vessel armada, to explore what is now the west coast of the United States all the way up to Oregon.

Point Loma is a peninsula formed by a rather high hill that juts around and encloses San Diego bay.

So the views are spectacular.

And the channel below the point sees all the traffic from the bay into the ocean. From small motorboats to Aircraft Carriers.

Across the bay you can see the Del Coronado hotel on Coronado and all the way into Mexico.

An old lighthouse lens makes for a cool picture....

Even better with a little boy's face staring back at you.

Immediately below is the Submarine base, to the right is North Island Navy Base and Airfield with the channel running in between ......

The high and long Coronado Bridge is very visible from 400 feet above the bay...

There are walks all along the point and at this rest area I took a picture and added magic mist to simulate a foggy day.

North Island Airstrip and beyond the Bay is Lindberg Field, the San Diego Airport.......

On the way back we passed the Fort Rosecrans National cemetery honoring many of those lost in battle.

This is a huge cemetery you are only seeing a small section

So many lost heroes are buried here that deserve our gratitude.

There is a lot of weird science going on at the Naval Base on Point Loma and I'm not even going to guess what this parabolic syclogenic sub-atomic laser enhanced phaser (PSSALEP) does but I like to imagine it has saved the world several times over since I first saw it 15 years ago.

Now back on the Mainland we saw an Old Town trolley and ......

......... the very successful metro trolley (As seen in the movie Little Nikita) Staring River Phoenix and Sidney Poitier. River Phoenix was born 5 months after my eldest son Steven in 1970 in Madras, Oregon and died October 31, 1993, just 5 years and 10 movies after making Little Nikita. The exciting finale of the movie takes place on this very same trolley run from San Diego to the Mexican Border. Also obscured in the background is the Kansas City BBQ used for some shots in Top Gun.

This shot looks a bit commercial like an artist's rendering of a project. It is a shot this humble photographer took while stopped at a traffic signal.

I also go a quick picture of Petco Park Baseball Field, home of the San Diego Padres just before......

Being hit from behind buy a guy who was pushed into me by a girl driving the car behind him. This all took place in front of this muraled wall outside of the convention center. While it felt very hard there was no real damage to any of the cars or occupants, we all lucked out. But then how much can go wrong when you are having another day in paradise.

No Scrabble Score.

Quote of the Day "I can't on my own change the regime in South Africa or teach the Palestinians to learn to live with the Israelis, but I can start with me." ~ River Phoenix Deceased Actor and older brother of Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin (Leaf) Phoenix (Walk the Line and Gladiator) may well get a well deserved Academy Award for his role of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Catching up to Today and it's already tomorrow

The first few pictures here are actually from the 28th of December but I was slow in getting them all online so forgive me. Wednesday started with a drive to Escondido for lunch and a few errands and to see Isaac who had driven down with a friend who had tickets for the Holiday Bowl (ended up they drove back that night) and see Jill and George. So we turned onto the 805 freeway past these amazing plants. They reminded me of the Franciscan staffs used in the Camino Real markers. We pass them most days and since Scrabble Queen was driving I got a picture as we went by this time.

When we arrived in Escondido I dropped Scrabble Queen off at her dad's place where she met Jill for a romp around Escondido while I got a haircut and took back a electrical noise filter to Radio Shack since it didn't correct the problem we were having with a little static on the TV. We met up at Dalton's and I got this picture of the girls laughing about how dumb we men are not being able to walk and laugh at the same time while not even looking where we are going.

Inside I got the picture of the bar at Dalton's Roadhouse Grill where a typical male (American Bison) had tried walking and laughing and ended up impaled in the wall.

For any rattle snake lovers (you know who you are) how do you like your whisky next to a diamondback rattler (in striking pose) fortunately he's stuffed.

Meanwhile on the corner outside Dalton's this guy was hawking a professional SPA-Facial-Wax Special so ladies if you go to a place for those services because a guy like this is twirling a sign don't blame me if you end up on a milk carton. These guys are on almost every corner in Southern California (better known as So Cal by those who hate to type) selling everything from $1,000,000+ homes to a full body makeover.

Meanwhile the Escondido Police decided to raid the McDonald's Playground to ferret out any kids playing on the jungle gym without first having removed their shoes and placing them in the convenient shoe cubbies at the entrance. I think they arrested 7 children aged 4-8 and perp walked them to the seven squad cars that showed up.

Laurel and Hardy got away clean from the perp sweep by posing as statues.

Well back to today Thursday and a trip to San Diego Bay. We passed the great (almost) mural of Charles Lindberg at the airport named after him.

And ended up in the Point Loma Seaport on the bay. It's a great place to just walk around, go deep sea fishing or ........... (drum roll please)

See the boat of either Tom Cruise or Randy "Duke" Cunningham... The SS Top Gun

Better yet to my mom's favorite eatery in San Diego (when she visited us years ago) Pt. Loma Seafoods. They serve really good seafood and also sell both fresh fish and lobster as well as smoked fish. The also have added a sushi bar for those inclined to dine internationally. It's a great place and usually busy.

Outside the gulls glide by effortlessly and feast on left-overs and food carelessly left on the table while you go to refill your drink.

This guy went right over my head - luckily for me he wasn't full.

This guy looked regal on a nearby roof and from a distance (1 mile) could pass for a bald eagle.

I have more from Thursday and a visit to Cabrillo Monument and the Pacific to be seen on a later blog.

Scrabble Score ~ The Almighty Scrabble Queen 387 - the contender 289 (yuck)

Quote of the Day -
"“Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most?"” ~ Charles Lindbergh quotes (American Aviator remembered for the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris, in 1927. 1902-1974)

Monday, December 26, 2005

The last few days in review

The last few days in review begins with a trip to the Chula Vista Farmer's Market in the downtown area. There was a good selection including smoked fish.

Beautiful cut flowers and fresh veggies including squash blossoms that when prepared correctly make for a wonderful Quesadilla. Needless to say we bought some. By the way this is the cut flowers and we didn't cook them.

On their way back to the car I took this picture because I liked the composition of the streetlight and the tree.

Christmas Day dinner was at Steven and Martha's home and took a few pictures there including this one of Chris making binocular eyes....

...and Samantha with her blinking red nose.

Scrabble Queen ate on the patio with the more mature boys.

The dinner table inside was beautifully set by Martha for the dinner.

After eating there was nothing to do but play with Chris on the slide...

and Kevin turning flips off of the monkey swing.

Kevin had made a mini fire ring like the one I showed him how to make at Gettysburg.

Then it was time for me to play with my camera taking flower pictures.

First a beautiful new bloom

...and this cone flower looking bud just blooming...

...and these delicate red blooms....

and finally one of my artsy pics of the wheelbarrow

That night we took a drive to Coronado Island to the Hotel Del Coronado but on the way stopped by the 101 dalmations house.

What a joy for the neighborhood kids to see and wonderful Griswold's Christmas Adventure.

The "Del" (what we locals call the Hotel Del Coronado) was as magnificent as ever. The hotel that became famous years ago and when "Some Like it Hot" was filmed became a San Diego "must see" attraction.

The courtyard gazebo is like a gem in the inner recesses of the grand old hotel.

Maybe the most nostalgic thing was seeing the Crown chandelier in the Crown room - It was a favorite of Scrabble Queen's mom Brunch Queen. Virginia loved the Champaign brunch at the Del as did we all. She is very missed especially at Christmas.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day
The Set-up
Jerry (Jack Lemon) has dressed as a girl to escape mobsters out to kill him and Osgood (Joe E. Brown) falls for Jerry and is proposing.

The Quote
Jerry : Oh, you don't understand, Osgood! Ehhhh... I'm a man.
Osgood : Well, nobody's perfect.


©Paul Viel