Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sailing away

My husband and I got married on the beach in the Virgin Islands where the sand is a little bit whiter and the water a little bit warmer than here in San Diego. I decided to post this photo because it reminds me a little bit of our wedding and today is our anniversary. The sight of the water, boat, and sand bring back good memories of that day. Hope you all are having a great Saturday!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Root beer anyone?

I had no idea that A&W fast food restaurants existed until I saw this one at the mall. A&W started out in 1919 as a root beer business and now they have a bunch of "All American" fast food chains around the world. And they are still making root beer too. I'm not a big fan of root beer but I could handle it with an ice cream float. How about you, ice cream or no ice cream with your root beer?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grant Park, Mission Hills

This beautiful park, small, but with a path through rolling hills, nice shade trees, & a playground, is located in a wealthier part of town called Mission Hills. Mission Hills is also one of the oldest parts of San Diego, getting it's name from the mission located at the northern edge of this neighborhood (used to be Mission de San Diego de Alcala before Alcala was moved further inland).

Years ago, this park was actually a cemetary. At some time, they removed all but a small portion of the headstones (left at a corner of the park). The memorial that was put up for the people that are buried here dates the inhabitants mostly from the 1800's, with a few from the early 1900's (in San Diego, that's ooooold!). Sounds like it could be creepy, and believe me, when I was a kid I thought it was! But it's really an increadibly peaceful, happy place.

Click here for a photo of one of the older trees in the park.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mud & manure

Can you imagine living in a house built from mud and manure? The house in the photo is called Casa de Estudillo and is made from adobe soil which could have some manure mixed in there to give it strength. The house was built around 1828 and is one of the historic buildings that you can tour in Old Town. Read a cool story here about a local preservation group that volunteers to repair and maintain old adobe structures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


These are from a nice touristy shop in Old Town with an assortment of inexpensive ceramic pots, general garden decor, and figures in the shape of pigs, donkeys, frogs, howling dogs, and many other animals. This is the cheap stuff, but elsewhere in town (or in Mexico) you can find exquisitely hand painted figures, pots, serving dishes and dinnerware. My grandma used to have a small lazy ceramic pig on her porch that everyone loved. Do you have any ceramic animals, gnomes, or pink flamingos in your yard ?

Monday, June 25, 2007


Ironically, there are some big old magnolia trees along Balboa Park's Palm Canyon. The shady canyon walk has more than 450 palm trees and winds its way to a cacuts garden.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

View from 12th Floor

Here is the view from the other side of the building atop Bertrand at Mr. A's restaurant looking onto Laurel Street. Please enlarge to see San Diego Bay and a bit of the airport in glorious detail. From the restaurant you can also see this view. The restaurant is in the "$$$$$" price range for dinner, but I'll have to try cocktails and snacks on their outdoor patio on a warm clear night to get a photo of the sparkling lights of the city.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Window washers on 5th

This is the view straight down onto Fifth Avenue from Bertrand at Mr. A's restaurant. I think this building is full of luxury condos. I thought the arrow at the bottom was some weird camera error, but it is a real arrow on the road to give drivers direction. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sweet tooth

Bertrand at Mr. A's is a fancy restaurant on the 12th floor of an office building that has panoramic views of downtown and the San Diego harbor. My birthday was last month, but I went there a few weeks ago for lunch as an extended birthday celebration. The older I get the more I think you've got to milk your birthday for all it's worth! ;-) It is hard for me to resist dessert when crème brûlée is on the menu and I couldn't wait to take a bite before I took the photo! What is your dessert of choice?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

All the world's a stage...

There are many, many unique and special things to be found in Balboa Park. This sculpture, located next to the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park, is but one of them.

Hidden in the bushes, many might miss it, so I had to make sure it wasn't overlooked. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bird Brain

It'd be nice to report that this is a crow's nest, but the stupid bird that built this contraption in the Quivira yacht basin is more likely a heron. Storks are famous for building huge nests on the highest place they can find -- in Europe, usually the church steeple. However, the stork is very uncommon here in S. Calif. Funny, that -- we seem to have babies, all the same.
Photo and story from Expat (Stu)...and check out these stork photos from Kris of Szentes, Hungary.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Stompin' at the Deli

We start summer early here in San is a photo and info on a local happening from Stu.
On summer Sunday afternoons, perennially barefoot music and beer lovers get together at "The deli" by the Quivira yacht basin, or to give it its official name, the Mission Bay Deli & Jake's Tiki Bar.
The place allows dancing -- the more inept, the better, it sometimes seems -- and attracts an improbable mixture of yachties, kayakkers, bikers, and Ocean Beach barflies. Dress code: as little as you can get away with. The over-forties outnumber the spring chickens by a long, long way -- this is not the MTV hangout. In the photo, the Charles Burton Blues Band is making noise in the foreground as draft beers are being poured in the background just as fast as the servers can make it happen. Burgers and dawgs are on sale, too.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Over the weekend I passed by this graduation for Springfield College at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Congratulations to all graduates! The Organ Pavilion has free pipe organ music concerts every Sunday at 2 pm. This week they are starting up their summer concert series called Twilight in the Park where there will be free organ concerts during the week.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

First school

For most students school may have ended already or will end in the next few weeks for the summer. Well, here's San Diego's first school which is one of the many buildings that have been preserved and that you can tour in Old Town. Click on the little photo to the left to see a list of punishments for acting out - more lashes for "misbehaving to girls" than for having a drink of alcohol! About the dunce cap at the front of the room, my 4 year old son said, "Mom, if you get all your letters right you get to wear the party hat!" If he only knew what they really used it for! Happy Father's Day to all Dads!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Coming together

This 38 foot sculpture is called Coming Together by Niki de St Phalle and greets visitors on the promenade near our Convention Center. It was completed in 2001. The building behind it is the backside of our baseball stadium Petco Park which was completed in 2004. The sculpture's name seems to represent the area well in that over the years the area has developed and shaped up to become a very nice place to walk and enjoy the city's attractions.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Old Town Mexican Cafe

This is inside the Old Town Mexican Cafe which is one of my favorite Mexican food places in Old Town. Everything is good. Some of the things I like best are their tortillas, beans, tacos, huevos rancheros, margaritas, and carnitas. Here is a photo that I posted before of the front of the restaurant that shows someone making tortillas. What do you like to order at your favorite Mexican food restaurant?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

San Diego River at Mission Gorge

The San Diego River has been known as "California's First River" (whatever that means!), and travels 52 miles, starting northwest of the town of Julian in the mountains, going through a reservoir (El Capitan), and ending at the Pacific Ocean in Ocean Beach (at dog beach).

Although there are many beautiful vantage points of this river along the way, this is one that I sneak a peak at each time I'm driving down Mission Gorge - and every time I think, "wow, that sure is neat. I need to get a photo of that!" (there are several other points where I have the same thought, and I'll get those captured too!)

Rest assured, there's no swimming in this river - it doesn't rain here enough to clear out the "gunk" from the water. But if it was clean, wouldn't it be nice to take a dip?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a historic district downtown centered on Fifth Avenue, bounded by Broadway and L Street. Not so long ago the area was a mostly undesirable place to visit with seedy hotels and x-rated adult shows. The district has been called Rabbitville, Flea Town, New Town San Diego, Davis' Folly, Stingaree, Chinatown, S.O.B. (South of Broadway), and finally named the Gaslamp Quarter. Buildings from the 1880s through the 1920s have been renovated and are now surrounded and occupied by hotels, trendy restaurants, sidewalk cafes, theaters, jazz and dance clubs, boutiques and other shopper-tunites. The photo is of a sign attached to a directory of businesses for the district.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I had two tired cranky kids on my hands by the time we passed the storyteller Joe Gordon at Seaport Village, so we didn't get a chance to listen to one of his tall tales. Read more about him here. I was so enchanted by this charming attraction and his seafaring appearance that I will definitely make a trip there again.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sailing on the Bay

This is the view from Seaport Village (in the downtown area) looking to the South. Here you can see the span of the Coronado Bridge. Click here to see a photo I took from this bridge.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You are here

I love studying maps and figuring out where to go. Since I've never shown the lay of the land here, I thought I'd show this small overview of the southern part of San Diego county and San Diego Bay. There is more to the north... Within San Diego county the population is probably over 3 million people.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

General Store

This is one of the storefronts in Old Town State Historic Park which recreates life in San Diego during the 1800's. The park includes historic buildings and homes, the first church, and the first one room schoolhouse. Further reading on long underwear can be found at Abraham's 720 pixels blog.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tea time

"Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things." ~Saki

This is Michelle Haymoz founder of Spiritea who offered tastes of organic teas at Rosecroft on the garden tour. I enjoy a nice cup of tea now and then, but I'm still addicted to my morning coffee! Will it be coffee or tea for you?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

La Mesa Train Depot

I once read in the Reader* that once upon a time, La Mesa was in serious competition for becoming the center of what was a newly developing phenomenon called "movies". Film companies were located there, as were sets. What really helped was that La Mesa had it's own train station to bring in people and goods that were needed -- it truly was the whole nine yards. In the end, Hollywood won that race, and La Mesa faded into history and turned into a suburb of San Diego. But it's history does help explain why La Mesa has character and charm, whereas many other suburbs in San Diego can be...well, less charming.

This historical train depot in La Mesa is a museum now, and the trolley rides on these tracks instead of the train. But visitors can come explore, learn about the history, and dream about a La Mesa that nearly was. Oh wait, we like it here because its *not* like Hollywood! ;-)

A few more photos: here, here, here, here

*The Reader is our local alternative free press.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

East meets West garden

This garden is the home of Deborah Szekely and was my favorite on the tour. Read a great story here that describes many of the flowers and plants and how this multi-level garden came to be.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Rosecroft was one of the stops on the garden tour organized by the San Diego Floral Association. This is the pool at Rosecroft, Alfred D. Robinson's home built in 1912. Robinson suggested and encouraged the creation of the Botanical Building in Balboa Park for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and was also one of the founders of the San Diego Floral Association. Click here to see an old photo at Rosecroft which includes Robinson as well as Kate O. Sessions known as the "Mother of Balboa Park".

Monday, June 04, 2007

Big asparagus

Gardeners in Southern California are lucky because the climate is ideal for growing a wide variety of plants. Over the weekend I went on a garden tour visiting 3 homes in Mission Hills and 3 homes in Point Loma. Over the next few days I'll show you some of the highlights of the wonderful gardens we saw. Although I don't have much of a green thumb, I was inspired to get to work on the patches of dirt in my own yard.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Running Elvi

This year in celebration of 10 years of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, organizers hoped to get more than 50 runners to dress as Elvis. Collectively the group is known as the Running Elvi. I saw at least 10 - some even took a short break to rock out with Stone Senses, the band playing at Mile 24. Congratulations to all the runners and especially to my husband and my friend Carla! Great job!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Squirrel killings

A squirrel controversy is brewing here. Due to infestation and aggressive squirrel reports in Balboa Park, the city used a pest control method where chemicals are put in the squirrel burrows to kill off the squirrels. Instead of dying in their homes, several of the squirrels came to the surface to die and caught the attention of passersby as well as animal activists. Read more here. On a happier note, Happy Birthday to my friend June, uncle Tom, and cousin Nathan!

Friday, June 01, 2007


Arrivederci is a popular Italian restaurant in Hillcrest known for its authentic cuisine. I had shrimp in a light red peppercorn sauce - I don't know if that is particularly Italian, but the parmesan cheese on top added to its authenticity. :-) What do you like to order at your favorite Italian restaurant? Buon venerdì!
It's Daily Photo theme day and other cities around the world are showing "the view from their bedrooms". To see a room with a view check out these participating cities:
Seattle (WA), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Toruń, Poland - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Madison (WI), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Cleveland (OH), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Omaha (NE), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stockholm, Sweden - Grenoble, France - Lubbock (TX), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Hyde, UK - Joplin (MO), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Kansas City (MO), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Manila, Philippines - Sydney, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - London, UK - Chandler (AZ), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Singapore, Singapore - Hamburg, Germany - Sydney, Australia - Tenerife, Spain - Moscow, Russia - Lyon, France - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Evry, France - Hayle, UK - Mumbai, India - Kitakami, Japan - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - La Antigua, Guatemala - Paderborn, Germany - San Diego (CA), USA - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Madrid, Spain - Lyon, France - Selma (AL), USA - Shanghai, China - Baziège, France - Cologne (NRW), Germany - North Bay (ON), Canada - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Stayton (OR), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Hong Kong, China - Trier, Germany - Joensuu, Finland - Paris, France - Greenville (SC), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Cork, Ireland - Bastia, France - Vancouver, Canada - Brookville (OH), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Mainz, Germany - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Torino, Italy - Montréal (QC), Canada