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Month: May 2014



more and larger images here.

On our final day in San Diego we visited the Midway Museum.

It was very similar to our experience during Fleet Week in NYC three years ago (on the same day).  The Midway has many different helicopters and planes crammed onto the surface.  We had the opportunity (this was unique to memorial day) to speak to some of the actual veterans who flew the planes.

We also took a tour of the interior and the sky bridge (or whatever it’s called).

Afterwards we ate at the restaurant next door and then slogged through the four hour drive home.

La Jolla

La Jolla

more and higher res photos here.

On Sunday we headed to La Jolla for a pre-purchased kayaking + snorkeling tour of the La Jolla coastal caves.

Unfortunately neither of us had slept that well because the AC unit in our hotel room made a jarring noise (a lot like a phone vibrating on a desk) every five minutes; at 3am I decided to time it.  Of course it took us till 3am and two calls to the front desk to figure out where the noise was coming from.

But, tired as we were, it was a beauiful day on what has been called the “diamond” of the California coast.  The sun was out and the water was clear.  It would have been a lot of fun if we’d had more than a few hours of sleep.  We made it to the caves and hopped in the water.  Underneath the waves the water was cold but not freezing.  We swam through kelp and seaweed forests and too many Garibaldis to count.

At one point we swam over to an area where the water goes through the coast to ….something… on the other side.  Our guide only let us swim into the middle of the tunnel so we never found out what was on the other side.

In some ways the snorkeling was more interesting than in Hawaii.  Although the water wasn’t as warm, the landscape was far more interesting.  On the rocks below us there were long grasses (?) moving back and forth with the water in a hypnotic dance.  Dotted on the grasses everywhere were the neon orange Garibaldi’s, not afraid of big mammals at all.

As we were swimming back to our kayaks from the caves a sea lion swam by underwater.  Neither of us could get t0 our cameras quick enough to catch it as it effortlessly zipped by.

A few minutes later I decided to swim over to where the sea lions were sunbathing on the rocks.  At that time there were a few that decided they wanted to be playful and hop in the water.  So for about twenty minutes I swam in the middle of a swirling sea lion hangout underwater.  Every time they’d swim by they would look directly at me, probably wondering if I was related to the idiots that had hiked down on the cliffs to harass their sunbathing friends above the water.

After we got back to the kayak shop we were ready for some food so we walked up the street for some Italian.

Later (after a shower) we headed to the gaslamp district, which is really nothing more than a SDSU hangout for college kids looking to get drunk.


San Diego day 1

San Diego day 1

more and higher res photos here.

For memorial day weekend Sam and I decided to take a trip to San Diego.  We first stopped in Newport Beach for a whale watching cruise.  It turned out to be an unusually cold and rainy (as in it’s not usually cold or rainy at all) day in Newport.  After being out on the water for an hour the boat hadn’t managed to find anything. Then, as we headed back to port, the captain heard chatter on the coast guard radio about a pod of dolphins off the coast.  In about twenty minutes we were in the thick of it, and we followed a massive pod south for about twenty minutes.

After that we ate at a nearby Thai restaurant (Mint Leaf) before heading down to Chula Vista.  We checked into our hotel and spent the evening walking around Coronado Island.

Sammy in the Sky

Sammy in the Sky

more and higher res photos here.

Saturday was Sam’s birthday.  She chose to have Korean BBQ for lunch and we noticed that there IS a Zion Market in LA, so we stocked up on Asian snacks.  Next we headed to Torrance for a flying “lesson.”  Really what they did is explained how everything works and then let her take the stick for most of the flight up until the landing.

We started in Torrance and flew over the port of Long Beach before heading up along the river to downtown.

Then we made a left turn over hollywood, flying over our own house at one point.

Then doing a loop around the sign and Universal City before heading down to the Getty Center and out to the coast.

We followed the coastline back down to Torrance.  The entire flight was about an hour.

Afterwards we headed to Eveleigh for dinner.   The food was slow, but it was all good.  The ceviche was probably the best as it reminded me of the poke we had in Hawaii.  The lamb meatballs were very good as well. The waiter must have put his hand on me close to twenty times and they also forgot that it was a birthday dinner until we reminded them.  For birthdays they bring out four donut holes dipped in brown sugar with berry and cream dipping sauces.  Even though the portions were small we were stuffed before the third “course.”   We also ordered the quail and fried artichokes, a glass of rosé and an orangy mixed drink. (all good)  It’s in the heart of Hollywood, very hipstery and “quaint” in decoration (think Cracker Barrel for Williamsburg), not my sort of thing, but Sam liked it and that’s all that counts for a birthday dinner.