California Trip – Day 4 – 10/19/10

We awoke to more rain today.  Hrumph!  Oh well, time for breakfast.  One place that David used to frequent was a place called Beach Break Cafe.  It was a short walk from one of the places he used to live, many moons ago, and he used to get breakfast there often.  Of course, we needed to nosh there while in town!  B-fast was yummy, but one of the best parts was having big steaming cups of coffee in green mugs that had little pink flamingos with Santa hats on.  Cute!

After breakfast, we drove around Carlsbad.  I took a quick picture of the old Carlsbad train station.  It’s been nicely restored and is now the town’s visitor center.   (My dad will appreciate this!)

We went back to the Beach Terrace Inn and hung out and had coffee on the balcony.  Then, David saw DOLPHINS!  Oh my gosh!  I grabbed the video camera and got a glimpse of them.

How neat!  In fact, we took advantage of the lull in the rain, and went for a walk on the beach.  We walked all the way down to the lagoon at Oceanside and back.  We saw sandpipers and even a heron snacking away on their own funky brunch.  We saw pelicans too!  By the way, did you know that a group of pelicans can be called a squadron, a pod or a scoop?   Take your pick, we saw a lot of these too!  It was amazing to watch them surf the crest of the waves, just inches above the water.  Oh, the pier that you could barely see in the video was Oceanside Pier.

After our lovely walk on the beach, which I enjoyed profusely, we went back to our room to pack up and head out.  We very reluctantly checked out of the wonderful Beach Terrace Inn.  We’ll be back for sure!  Next stop?  We were heading inland to Fallbrook!  Why am I excited about this?  Well, it is the “Avocado Capital of the World”!!!  We were on the lookout for a farmstand.  We passed by a few that were closed and were growing worried, but then we happened on a wonderful stand.  The farmer, who spoke broken english, was so kind to us. He pointed us the in the direction of the ripest avocados.  We got a few of those and a few fresh oranges too.  Here’s David picking some out.  The farmer even introduced me to a fruit I had never seen or heard of before.  He let me eat one.  It was a small, yellow fruit with soft, sweet, flesh…sort of like a peach, but it didn’t taste like a peach.  It was unlike anything I’ve eaten before.  He called it a “wubba” but after some research, I found it to be a loquat.  Maybe wubba is Spanish for loquat?  Anyway, here’s is a picture that I took so you can see what they look like.

Come to find out, the number one producer of loquats is JAPAN!  How fitting!

With our newly acquired avocados and oranges, we headed back to the coast…to Laguna Beach.  We got some Starbucks on the way and, as a result, fit in well with the locals.  😉  We scrambled around Heisler Park through the walkways and the rock outcroppings, as you can see below:

You can also see that, especially with all the rain, I decided to go curly on this day instead of straight.  I’m on vacation, after all!  Curly is much easier. 🙂

Ok, back on track….after Laguna Beach meanderings, we headed for Balboa Island.  What a neat, but incredibly expensive place.  In fact, on the way from Laguna to Balboa Island, we saw not only a Ferrari dealership, but  a TESLA dealership too.  TESLA!!!  My head almost spun off my head when I saw that.   My fellow auto-enthusiasts “get” this.  Look at ’em all in there!!!  🙂

Balboa Island is made up of many neat, expensive homes, all packed tightly together.  Many small shops are there too.  It was fun to drive around and explore the place.  We ventured to the Balboa Peninsula, via car, then took the Balboa Island Ferry back to the island again.  Hey, it was raining and it was only $3 to take the trip…so why not!  Besides, now you get to take the trip for free:

After Balboa, we drove to Los Angeles and had a late lunch/early dinner at a place called Yoshinoya.  I never heard of it before, but it is a Japanese fast-food restaurant!  David knew exactly what I wanted and ordered it for me while I pottied.  He got us BEEF BOWL!  What a great surprise.  The first time I had beef bowl was a couple of years ago, with David and his mom, Mako,  at Japanfest in Atlanta and I’ve loved it since.  It’s not easy to find, so I was psyched to partake of it again…along with some Pepsi and pickled ginger too – yum!  (The dessert was merely meh.)

After enjoying our grub, we headed to our hotel for the evening, The Residence Inn at Long Beach Downtown. It was right next to the Queen Mary!  We checked in at the Marriott and went to our room.  The hotel was surprisingly VERY nice (and I was worried, because we were very close to the shipyards).  The room was nicely appointed and comfortably set up for longer-stays.   We used it to our full advantage and had some of our Fallbrook avocados and oranges in our tiny kitchen.  They were SO good.  The orange was so juicy that David squirt orange juice all over himself and the kitchen floor!  LOL!  We cleaned up, chilled out and relaxed for a bit, then went downstairs to take advantage of the “light appetizers” and beverages that the hotel clerk mentioned to us.  Well, I’m not sure what she meant by “light” but there was pasta, sauce, garlic bread, salad, and wine and beer too!  I had a glass of white zin.  David took a sip and said it tasted just like Boone’s to him.  It was Berringer…I used to love that stuff, but it was too sweet for me now.  My, how times have changed!  After our “light appetizers” we walked outside by the water.  It was night and we made our way up to the Queensway Bridge and discovered a “scoop” of pelicans swimming under the bridge.  We think they were fishing, perhaps using the lights from the bridge to their advantage.  What smart birds!  I’ve grown to really love them while on this trip.

After our rainy evening walk, we headed back to the room and settled in for the night.  We had a treat of watching HGTV in HD!  Yeah, I know… this may sound silly to you.  But, it honestly was a treat for us to see this since 1) we don’t have cable tv anymore and 2) we don’t have HD.  It’s ok.  We’re totally cool with that!

On tap for tomorrow?  Catalina Island!

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