After having spent three and a half months crossing this big continent, we’ve finally arrived at our winter destination, San Diego, California. And will stay here for a couple of months. To think that just last year around this time we were in Fort Lauderdale, Everglades National Park and Key West, Florida.
And having started our westward journey at the northern end of Nova Scotia, it’s really exciting to have reached the opposite side of the U.S. And we’re so happy to slow down the pace of travel, a welcome change after a lot of shorter stays in recent months.
I was fully prepared for cooler temperatures than we had in South Florida since San Diego’s latitude is close to that of Charleston, South Carolina, but the weather here has actually been warmer than normal for this time of year. So we are very fortunate, especially in light of the awful weather that the rest of the country has experienced this winter.
Warmer days = happy tropical island girl.
And in our first couple of weeks, we’ve settled into the urban lifestyle. We’ve strolled and biked along nearby beaches and their neighborhoods: Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, and La Jolla.
The Ocean Beach neighborhood is a standout, parts of it frozen in time in the 60’s, with some rasta flavor added in.
At La Jolla, we spent a long time just looking at some adorable seals.
And were lucky to catch a glimpse of a mom nursing her new baby underwater. The lady standing next to us, who seemed to be in the know, informed us that the baby was one day old.
These guys make lots of funny faces and cute poses. We could watch them for hours!
And Pacific and Mission Beaches are just around the corner, so we’ve visited a few times. We watched some beginner and experienced surfers flowboarding at the Wave House, an artificial wave machine where you can watch the action up close.
And every morning and evening we walk Angel by the shores of Mission Bay right by our RV park. Angel is happy to be walking on soft grass and sand since some of those desert areas we visited recently were pretty rocky.
San Diego has lots of dog friendly parks by the water. Angel visited Fiesta Island across the way from our campground, where doggies can go leashless. And we went to the dog beach in Ocean Beach. A really pretty place for dogs and humans. Alas, the crab huntress found no crabs.
We also happened to catch the Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair. It’s a small fair run by the San Diego Chinese Center, which serves as a cultural bridge between Chinese and non-Chinese communities. The lion dances were especially fun and colorful.
San Diego also has lots of farmers markets, at least one every day of the week in various neighborhoods. We love farmers markets and visited four of them so far.
There are some small and some large ones and others that offer more arts and crafts than food. Our two favorites so far are: the Ocean Beach (most funky) and the Hillcrest (most elaborate) markets.
And being food lovers, we couldn’t resist all the great ethnic food offerings and have found tasty and inexpensive Middle Eastern, East African, Vietnamese and Indian food, most at the farmers markets. And yes, we also sampled the famous In-N-Out burgers.
Oh, and Hector and I are taking some group swing dance lessons. We’d been taking ballroom dancing lessons two years ago before we left Denver but had to stop because of my foot surgeries. So it’s fun to be back in the “swing” of things.
And the beautiful sunsets continue.
There is only one minor problem. Hector, who has an excellent sense of direction, occasionally gets thrown off course because the ocean is on the “wrong” side. Having lived most of our lives on the East coast, having the ocean on the west gets him turned around. And I’m no help at all, since I’m directionally challenged no matter where I am. But he’s getting used to it and becoming quite the California boy. Could bleached blonde hair be next?
We’re having a fabulous time in San Diego. This is an ideal spot to spend the winter. Even though the ocean is on the wrong side.
This sure looks like a wonderful place to stop… maybe even for more than a few months… I do love your photos Brenda, makes me feel as though I’m there with you…
Thank you, I love Hector’s photos too. He’s an aspiring professional photographer, and we’re working on setting up a new website for his photography. Of course, we’ll place a link to it once it’s completed.
Woe is the travelers stuck roughing it in San Diego!
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it 🙂
Fabulous! Every time I read post and see beautiful images of California, it gets me “sort” of homesick! Hector’s captures and your commentary makes it more enticing to head that way again. You are having too much fun in that awesome weather!
Thank you, we’ve been so fortunate! More than makes up for the single digit nights in November and December.
When did you arrive in SD and when do (did) you leave?
I’m with you, I could watch those cute seals for hours in La Jolla. Looking good…..enjoy beautiful San Diego.
They are too adorable and kind of mesmerizing. Thanks!
Looks like you’re enjoying yourselves for sure. LOVE the photos of the seals. Isn’t it great how they seem to be smiling at you! Have you been to the Little Italy Farmer’s Market yet? It ended up as our favorite. Enjoy the rest of your time in SD 🙂
The seals are just too much, I just love them! Little Italy Farmers Market is on our list, one of the vendors from Hillcrest recommended it to us. btw, don’t know if you noticed, but on the last day at Quartzsite we finally gave in and bought the flagpole and flag for the ladder. We used our existing pole to extend it so the windsock flies way high. Check out the photo in the post.
We love the San Diego area – wish we could be there instead of here in the ice palace! Enjoy your stay!
🙂 But you Canadians are so hearty! Me, not so much. After October of next year we are definitely sticking to the warmest states only: Arizona and southern California. This year we got caught up in some cold weather in November and December, but probably nothing like what you’re experiencing now. btw, if you get a chance check out the blog O’Canada (ocanadablog.com). Brett, who writes the blog, lives in Atlanta, Georgia but travels often to Canada and writes about your country. He just wrote a post about the cemetery at Annapolis Royal.
Thanks Brenda, I’ll check it out. My niece lives near Atlanta, and they have had a rough winter (for them). She’s a teacher, and I think she’s had more storm days off than the teacher’s have had here! We completely understand that they are not equipped to deal with winter. As for me, I’m completely ready for spring, but it doesn’t seem to be in the forecast! Hopefully we will be able to go to Tucson or San Diego for a couple of weeks next winter – we have relatives in both areas.
Yes, Hector and I lived in Atlanta in the 80s and they are definitely not equipped to handle snow, tough year for them. IF you visit San Diego or Tucson and we’re in the area, maybe we can get together.
Ohhhhhh! California dreaming …. Great pics and narrative! Enjoy your stay.
Soooo envious!!! Seal pix are adorable — will forward them to the kids. Angel, too, looks happy to be settled on softer ground for a bit. Enjoy the sun and your time together! Miss you! Joe and Jean
Great, I hope the kids like them. Weather’s nice for us AND Angel, not too hot, but not cold. Miss you too.
Love the SD area! One of our favorites and the pictures and the descriptions make us long for another visit! Save up and do the Del Coronado Sunday Brunch. You won’t eat again for a week! I do love the beaches in that area as well. Great place and great timing! See you soon???
Think it is time for CA VACA. Looks lovely and the biking looks so fun! Hopefully see ya sometime soon. Send us your Itinerary so we can try and catch up with you trip up the coast. : ) Karen
We’re just reserving some parks and will send you the itinerary soon.
Hector refuses to pay $170 for brunch no matter how much food there is. We’ll probably go have a drink there though. Sounds like we might see you in Miami.
Love the post and the pics! You’ve captured the area beautifully! So glad you’re enjoying our favorite city.
Thanks! We’re loving it.
Love that area! We spent last winter in the west. For some reason the ocean seemed on the correct side for me (I have no sense of direction). I keep messing up here on the east coast and I’m from the east!
The seals are way too cute! When we were there, I had to speak to a woman who was kicking sand at a seal to get it to move for her child!! Can you imagine! Shortly after that they put up a rope so you couldn’t get right up next to the seals. We have some awesome pictures of me talking to the seal right next to them with their cute little faces.
Hope the weather stays warm for you:)
We’ll be going back to look at the seals again for sure. Glad that people can’t get to them as easily now. The mom and baby were on swimming on the opposite side of the beach from where they are protected, and there was a snorkeler nearby. The lady we met was going to tell him not to get too close as he might spook the mom and baby and they might get separated. It just got foggy and a little cooler today, but I’m not complaining considering weather in many other .
Thanks, as always, for sharing your adventure through your writing and Hector’s images. Love and miss you!!!