California Trip – Day 3 – 10/18/10

Yet another jam-packed day!  Unfortunately, it rained off and on all day.  In fact, it rained almost the whole time we were in Cali, which apparently, is incredibly odd.  We still made the most of it though.

Unbeknownst to us, the theme for today was “nature”. Or maybe “critter”? Either will work…take your pick!

We had a delish breakfast at Loews, both meals of which included Fallbrook avocados.  I never had one before, and it was extremely good…perfectly ripe and super creamy.  More on these delectable yummies later.  After b-fast, we walked around the resort again.  Even with the grey, misty weather, it was even prettier the than it was the night before.  We made some fun discoveries during our jaunt.  The hotel has its own herb garden!  We enjoyed identifying several of them and all of the flowers too.  Then we made an even cooler discovery….pomegranates!

I’ve never seen pomegranates still on the tree before.  The bonus in this picture are the morning glories that I was able to capture in the shot.  As we continued our walk, we found even more fruit trees.  First we found kumquats – tons of ’em!

David, being the daring fellow that he is, was able to reach one.  He opened it up and took a big taste.  It was apparently VERY bitter and I thought his whole face was going to squish up into his mouth!  His squish face amused me to no end and I laughed SO hard!!!  After the kumquats, we found lemons and limes!

Then oranges!

The herb garden and citrus tree’s weren’t the only neat things we saw.  This little guy (below) did a fly-by right in front of our faces.

We love hummingbirds and so enjoy them visiting our feeders at home in Georgia, but they have since migrated away since the summer is now over.  It was nice to see one again, this time on the west coast!

Speaking of critters, we saw one more when we were finishing up our walk.  As we approached the marina, we happened upon this:

Guard doggy!  He looks just like his sign.  🙂

I’m not done with critter-sightings yet either.  One more cool thing that the Loews had, was a beautiful, Victorian-looking birdcage that had cute little finches inside!

We checked out of the Loews and headed over to the historic Gas Lamp Quarter of San Diego.  It was an area that was really run down at one time years ago.  David told me that it was one of the first places to go through am urban renewal.  They even have trolleys. It really is quite pretty today…in spite of the rain!  This was the first place I really started to notice the bums/homeless people though.  There are a LOT of “bums” in Southern California.  David says it’s mostly because the weather is good all the time…not too hot and not too cold to live on the streets.  I sure wish I could experience this great weather, but we weren’t letting the rain get us down!

Our next stop was La Jolla Cove. David used to surf here many years ago. My friend, Stephanie, from work learned how to surf here too! We saw a lot of cool stuff…pelicans, seals, crabs and tame squirrels…oh my! You can see them all in the movie below (including snippets of David and I).

One other intriguing thing we saw was the an art piece outside the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.

I was stunned to see this crazy sculpture made entirely out of boats!   We then made our way over to Torrey Pines Gliderport.  While no flying activities were going on when we visited, there typically are gliders, paragliders and hang gliders all taking advantage of the winds that rise up the steep cliffs from the ocean beneath us.  Did David fly here?  Noooo.  He used to surf here though, at Blacks Beach below.  There were a couple of surfers out there when we came, but the waves weren’t very good.  Still, it was neat to see this place.  Here’s a video of what we saw:

From here, we headed up the mountains to Rancho Santa Fe.  David used to work at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe as a cook long ago (only for a short time).  It was beautiful.  I couldn’t believe how pretty all the people were in the little downtown.  We drove through the area rather quickly, but every person I saw was gorgeous and obviously well-off.   No bums here!

Back down the mountain we went.  We went into Carlsbad and stopped at Poinsettia Village Shopping Center to have some fresh made clam chowder from Pelly’s Fish Market.  David had their “Boston White” and I had their “Manhattan Red”, both done in “Loco Moco” style, which is a large helping of Spanish Rice on top of the soup.

I never heard of this before, but I was willing to try!   There was a food court outside the fish market.  It wasn’t warm outside, but it wasn’t too cold either, so the soup really hit the spot.  Ok, back on the road we went.  David showed me a bunch more places where he lived and worked in Delmar, Encinitas and Oceanside, among others.  We went back to Carlsbad and saw even more.  It was like watching Biography on my husband!  Oh!  You may recognize this one house David showed me.  He didn’t live here, but the character, Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood, of Top Gun fame, did.  I recognized it immediately even though it’s, sadly, in rough shape.

It has certainly seen better days, huh?  Hopefully it will be restored some day.

After this, we headed to our accommodations for the night, The Beach Terrace Inn.  Of all the places we stayed, this one was our favorite!  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The staff there were extremely nice and gracious.  They gave us a complimentary upgrade to a room with a GORGEOUS ocean view.  The room and the view were stunning!  Here’s a silly movie of us and the amazing room…and the ocean too!

We got settled in, but kept gravitating back to the balcony to watch the ocean.  It was so mesmerizing and beautiful.  I particularly loved watching the pelicans fly by as well as the sandpipers scuttle along the beach in their search for food.  There are so many neat birds to see!

I was excited about our dinner tonight.  We were going to meet up with David’s sister, Cindy and her boyfriend, Chris!  On top of that, we were going to eat at a restaurant that David worked at for 5 years when he was a young man (an amazing feat of longevity for him back then!).  Jay’s Gourmet Restaurant was only two block away from the Inn.

We went to Cindy’s house (also in Carlsbad) and toured her and Chris’ pretty home.  Then we all headed out to eat.  When we walked into Jay’s, the general manager, Debbie, recognized David immediately!  She was so happy to see him.  We all had a delicious dinner and David even got to go back into the kitchen to reminisce a bit.  I was so hoping that Jay would be there, but alas, he was not.  I was going to shake that man’s hand and thank him profusely for teaching David how to cook so well.  I told Debbie to thank him for me, ’cause I really meant it.

After dinner, we all went back to our room to hang out for a little bit.  We found a wonderful surprise left for us from the fine folks at the Beach Terrace Inn!  It was two wine glasses, a bottle of chardonnay, a bowl of fresh strawberries and blueberries and even some fresh flowers!  They also left a thoughtful, handwritten note congratulating us on our 6-year wedding anniversary and thanking us for being their guest.  I was totally WOWED!

Nope, your standard hotel would NOT typically be this kind.  It really was a nice gesture and we appreciated it immensely.

Cindy and Chris had to get up early to go to work the next morning, and we were pretty tired too.  It was good hanging out with them!

Before turning in for the night, David and I put on our bathing suits and got in the jacuzzi out by the pool.  We got to talk and listen to the ocean, which seemed only a few feet away.  It really was wonderful to soak in that warm water and listen to the waves.  After this, we went back to our room, showered, and hung out on the balcony.  We couldn’t get enough of that amazing ocean!

Believe it or not, there was a HUGE thunderstorm later that night.  I had earplugs in, and was still awoken by it.  We found out the next day, that apparently this storm was really big news, as it 1) rarely rains in southern California and 2) NEVER thunders!  Cindy told us that she didn’t think it thundered there in twenty years.  Yay for anomalies!

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