Saturday, January 20, 2018

La Jolla, CA (1/17/2018)

I'm sure everyone is aware of La Jolla, that upscale suburb of San Diego that likes to think of itself as an independent city.  It certainly has its own identity, but I can't tell where it begins or ends. It's just part of the total metroplex.  I went there with the idea of getting some beach scenes, waves and water poring over rocks, and especially sunset photos over the rocky shore.  I started early afternoon getting a few shots of different sea gulls, some of which never visit the east coast.
Western Gull

Ring-bill Gull

Heermann's Gull
I also got photos of the famous pier at the Scripps Research Institute, part of the University of California at San Diego, and the cliffs at Torrey Pines, another exclusive community.
I then spent a couple hours walking the beach and getting photos of waves crashing and flowing across the rocks.  Wherever possible, I included some of the flowers growing along the shore. In one shot, you can see the remains of wood and concrete pilings once used to support a deck or walkway.

I also found a brown pelican willing to pose for me.

Down on the rock was an interesting inscription, revealed when the tide was low.  It asks an important question, but we can't know what the answer was.  And was the author someone named Beethoven?  And was this his first Symphanee, or his ninth?  We'll never know.
Driving around town, I saw lots of impressive architecture, especially with the churches.  My favorite, I think, was Episcopal.
I asked Gertie to find La Jolla Natural Park and she led me on a merry chase.  Up the hill, around sharp curves, narrow streets, signs stating "No Outlet".  There was no stopping her until the very end of the road, high on a hill overlooking La Jolla.  There was no park there, but many beautiful homes and a great view of the sea fog now rolling in.  It was worth the wild ride.

With the fog getting thicker all the time, I decided to move down the coast to Sunset Cliffs Park in San Diego proper.  There was no fog there, so I waited patiently for sunset.  It wasn't the best one I've seen, due to the marine layer on the horizon, but I tried to make the most of it.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

San Diego, CA (1/15/2018)

After a morning at Balboa Park, I drove to Old Town San Diego, recognized as the "birthplace of California).  It was settled in 1769 with only a fort and a mission.  It became part of the U.S. in 1846 as a result of the Mexican-American War.  Today it is a State Historic Park and a major tourist attraction.  I visit it every time I'm in San Diego.

I arrived at lunch time, so went directly to Casa de Reyes and had an outstanding Mexican meal.  After lunch, I walked around the plaza and checked out historic buildings and a few of the shops.  On my walk, I passed the Catholic church and the Museum of the Mormon Battalion that helped defeat the Mexicans.

There are many beautiful homes in the neighborhoods around Old Town, but I was particularly impressed with this one.
Next I drove to Sunset Cliffs Park, where surfing is a popular activity.  I was more interested in the rocky shoreline that characterizes the entire west coast.

Continuing out on Point Loma, I found a good spot to view the downtown from a distance.  It was also a good place to see Coronado and the famous Coronado Hotel.  The 1959 movie "Some Like It Hot" was filmed there, and I had the opportunity to stay there once on a business trip.  It's the collection of red-roofed buildings center left in the photo.
At the tip of Point Loma is Cabrillo National Monument, honoring the explorer who first landed in California while exploring the west coast.  It is unclear whether he was Spanish or Portugese, but he was definitely exploring on behalf of Spain.  There is also a lighthouse on the point, and very popular tidal pools.  Since admission to the monument was free in honor of MLK Day, the crowds were such that I couldn't get close to either.

Also on Point Loma, I visited the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, which must be one of the largest (78 acres) and certainly one of the most beautiful locations I've seen.  Its grounds have been completely filled, so casket burials are no longer allowed, only cremated remains can be accepted.