Monday, December 31, 2007

The beginning or the end?

My uncle Tom asked me, on a scale of 1 to 10 whether 2007 was a good year for me. I thought it was a 7 or 8 - pretty good. Hope 2007 has been a good one for you and wishing you the best for 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

You are looking at Mexico

Tijuana, Mexico is just a short 20-25 minute drive from downtown San Diego. And as you can see from this photo taken from Coronado Beach, Mexico is very visible from San Diego. The islands in the background are called the Coronado Islands which are part of Baja California, Mexico and are mostly uninhabited.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Twi'lik & Troopers

We went to the Big Balloon Parade on Thursday, but because helium prices are so high there weren't as many spectacular balloons.
These Star Wars characters (including Darth Vader) were the highlight for us.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Commercial Restaurant kitchen

You can't have a meal at the Commercial Restaurant anymore, but in the 1850's a restaurant operated out of what was once a family home called La Casa de Machado y Silvas. Over time, the house also functioned as a boarding house, a saloon, an art studio, a souvenir shop, a museum, and a church. According to the brochure the restaurant served simple meals dominated by meats. On the brochure, there is also a short recipe for beef tongue in hot sauce given by one of the descendants of the Machado family.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

6th Ave. Dog Park

I didn't realize that dog parks were something that some other towns didn't have until recently. We took our dog on a trip. At our destination (a small-ish town in central California), I asked local dog walkers where dog park was. I was met with strange looks, confusion, and crinkled noses.
For those of you doing the same, a dog park is where they've fenced off a portion of a park, so you can let your dog run free & socialize with other dogs.
In San Diego, dog parks are very common. It seems each area has their own, and dog owners frequent different ones for different reasons (this one is more hilly, that one is bigger or smaller, or close to the beach, etc.). We're a pretty dog friendly town!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Balboa Park

Balboa Park is probably one of the most picturesque places in San Diego and I think half of this blog's photos are from there! See, here are seven views of the California Building in Balboa Park: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Wishing you all peace, love, health, and a joyous holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa sends peace

Some businesses have snowmen, holiday greenery, or presents painted on their windows but this was the cutest one I've seen yet. Hope you are having a peaceful day!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

An expat Christmas

Hey, we can't all be expats, but in case you are stuck here Expat Stu shares with us this photo and the place to get the goods:
Box of 10 christmas crackers: $10.99
1 lb figgy pudding: $14.75
80 Ty-Phoo tea bags: $9.25
A British Christmas in San Diego: PRICELESS!!!
All Goodies from the Shakespeare Corner Shoppe, every expat's favourite this season.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Now Dasher

Of course you recognized Rudolph from Thursday's post, but can you name all the reindeer? Here is the whole clan led by Santa in front of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Let them eat...

My friend June described to me how to make a buche de noel and the accompanying meringue mushrooms with chocolate dusted on top that she makes. Oh how I wish I had the time to experiment making a yule log! The next best thing would be to buy one from the French Gourmet. When I got there I was even more dazzled by their doll house sized gingerbread house. The cookies weren't bad either...nibble, nibble.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hanging by a string

I think many of us are feeling tied up and hanging by a string these days. Poor Rudolph has to hang out this way until after the holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mystery in Ocean Beach

Here's an excellent Christmasy contribution from Expat:
I took a rather boring photo down by the O.B. pier, and thought it wasn't worth posting. Then I thought: Hmmm, is this a chance to play around with all the "artistic" effects that Paint Shop offers?
So here's what the O.B. christmas tree looks like with the kaleidoscope effect and:
Horizontal offset 10%
Vertical offset 10%
Rotation angle 20°
Scale factor 4
No. of petals 15
No. of orbits 0
Radial suction (whatever that is) 0

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Blazin' bolt

The holiday season brings out the best and the worst, the most obsessive, and over the top displays and gestures. This light display has a little bit of everything: a Charger football helmet, little critters with nose & eyes, a deer drinking from a well with running water, and a 30 foot palm tree with a swinging stuffed animal monkey that does flips. ...And that is just what I saw at a glance.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jump in

The water temperature right now is about 57 degrees F. It's easy to surf, boogie board, kayak, swim or snorkel year round with these temps. Get your adrenaline pumping!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Watch it come down

An update on Sunroad from Expat: Remember the Sunroad Spectrum office tower, that was two floors too tall to suit our City Council (and FAA regulations, actually)? Well, the developer finally lost the battle and the tower's getting the construction equivalent of a crew-cut, thanks to this giant crane. Bet they wish they hadn't gone ahead with installation of all the elevator winding gear now....

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Electrical box #11 at Bali Hai

Probably the most famous thing about the Bali Hai restaurant is this wooden head called Mr. Tiki Man. Above you'll see another neat-o electrical box depicting the restaurant and the statue. Here are the other electrical boxes shown before: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bali Hai

The Bali Hai is a Polynesian themed restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking San Diego Bay. These busts grace the stairwell to one of the dining rooms. As you can see from the darkened areas on the female, people like to rub things for good luck!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Parade of Lights

One of my fond memories from my childhood is getting all bundled up and going down to watch the parade of lights each year down at the Embarcadero. The boats sail past, quite close to the shore, all decked out in lights. People shout words of encouragement from the shore, and the people on the boat shout back, and it's quite the merry time. It happens on two consecutive Sundays each year. The first was this past Sunday, and the next is this Sunday. Head down and be prepared for a good ol' pirate time, as there's a Pirate theme this year...Arrrrgh!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Boom! This arresting billboard sits at the exit to Hillcrest's University Avenue. The Thunder from Down Under show at Viejas features Aussie cowboys, firefighters, and pirates. Ah hoy mateys!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I saw these plastic cups on the ground and wondered what they were. Along came this roller blader doing her disco moves through the "cones". What would you do with 20 plastic cups? The most creative/ROTFL answer will receive a San Diego postcard.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Overhead sneaker art installations #3 & #4

Both of these were spotted in Ocean Beach. The paintbrush installation is very close to Poma's restaurant, whose extravagant sandwich was featured here recently. I have no clue who OACREW is...Here are the previous posts: #1 and #2. Whoever she is, OACREW, is now becoming an artist of note thanks to Expat for these photos and story.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Getting rusty

This is another photo from the Mission Beach boardwalk. In the winter or on cold days there aren't as many walkers, bikers, skaters, and skateboarders. But in the heat of the summer this place can be very crowded, so crowded that bikers aren't really riding their bikes as much as straddling their bikes and walking them along. The pier in the background is Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach (below).Cape Cod style cottages were built on the pier around 1927. Originally, at the end of the pier there was a midway/fun zone and a towered ballroom with a crystal disco ball, which is where the name came from.
Happy Birthday wishes to my aunt Julia!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Surf too big to ride

San Diego beachgoers are bringing their cameras instead of surfboards these days. Photo & story from Expat:
6th december, when this was taken, was the second day of "pier-scraping" surf at Ocean Beach. The pier's closed and, we hear, damaged. The surfers have gone elsewhere -- nothing you can do with this nasty stuff. Only the seagulls seem happy.

Friday, December 07, 2007

El Indio

I took this photo awhile ago when this expansion to El Indio Mexican Restaurant was still under construction.
I'm not sure if they expanded their seating or made a gift shop. Anyone know? Good thing for us is that they still have those great chips!
Happy Birthday to my cousin Honie!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Festive Street Sign

While walking my dog today* I noticed this sign which had been fancied up for the holiday season. The sign itself is actually rather oddly located, at the edge of someone's front lawn, along a street that starts at Monroe Ave., curves around and meets Monroe again. About halfway in, the name changes from Highland to 44th (I wonder what the street address is for the house that has the sign on it's lawn? Highland? Or 44th?). Doesn't seem there's a reason for the name change to me, except for general confusion, plus it leaves a street sign with no corner to sit upon.
*Yes, mom, I walked the dog, not just today, but yesterday too. :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's the Tops

Do you see the resemblance to artist Patrick Nagel's paintings that characterized 1980's art? I'm an 80's girl, so this wall advertising for Tops, a laundering and dry cleaning place, brought back happy memories of those glamorous times.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Festival of Lights

Happy Hanukkah! Tonight at sundown is the beginning of eight days of rededication, thanks, and celebration for Hanukkah. I thought these hanging lamps from a local restaurant would make a festive photo for the occasion.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Winter beach

I heard the weather forecast and it might actually reach 70 degrees F this week. The sand has been freshly raked and the lounge chairs await you. This stretch of beach is part of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. I didn't realize that it was private property until I saw a sign further down the beach. Ooops!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Angels grace the entrance to Our Lady of Angels church built in 1906. This is on 24th Street right around the corner from the 25th Street Musical Bridge. Its steeple is highly visible from the 94 freeway.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Theme Day - 25th Street Musical Bridge

The Daily Photo theme this month is bridges. Bring your big stick to the 25th Street Musical Bridge because you can be a musician as you walk along between the neighborhoods of Golden Hill and Sherman Heights. The bridge railing is a carillon, a set of chromatic bells that ring when struck, and this one plays the same tune no matter which direction you are headed. It was designed by Roman de Salvo and plays a song called "Crab Carillon" composed by Joseph Waters. See other bridges of wonder around the world: Boston (MA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Inverness (IL), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Stockholm, Sweden - Setúbal, Portugal - Brussels, Belgium - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Hyde, UK - Manila, Philippines - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - London, England - Austin (TX), USA - Toulouse, France - Weston (FL), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Selma (AL), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - North Bay (ON), Canada - Arradon, France - Paderborn, Germany - Durban, South Africa - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Portland (OR), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wichita (Ks), USA - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Grenoble, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Arlington (VA), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Cheltenham, UK - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Saratoga Spgs. (NY), USA - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Nashville (TN), USA - Toruń, Poland - New Orleans (LA), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Melbourne, Australia - Moscow, Russia - Trujillo, Peru - Château-Gontier, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Joplin (MO), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Baziège, France - Auckland, New Zealand - Wellington, New Zealand - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Subang Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Detroit (MI), USA - Riga, Latvia - Nelson, New Zealand - Budapest, Hungary - Cape Town, South Africa - Sydney, Australia - Dunedin (FL), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Radonvilliers, France - Turin, Italy - Montpellier, France - Kansas City (MO), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Wailea (HI), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Terrell (TX), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Budapest, Hungary - Montréal (QC), Canada - Sharon (CT), USA - Le Guilvinec, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - London, UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Orlando (FL), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Paris, France - Mainz, Germany - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Darmstadt, Germany - Naples (FL), USA - Torino, Italy - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - The Hague, Netherlands - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand