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.