Friday, July 31, 2009

Seafood grotto

This is the entrance to Anthony's Fish Grotto in La Mesa. They have a number of locations around town, click here to see a photo of the one downtown.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Purple Bottle Brush

These really cute puff-ball flowers can be found all over San Diego, especially in the parks nearby Balboa Park. My kids love to get big bunches of them overflowing in their hands. I do believe that it's officially called a Malealuca, but commonly it's a purple bottle brush.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's alive!

I looked right over the sea wall at the Children's Pool/Casa Beach and saw this view. I think this may have been the first time I've seen a starfish in the wild before. : )

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sittin' pretty

Looks like a pretty sweet job huh? And it's a good spot for the lifeguard to watch over the area at Wipeout Beach because you can see quite a bit from this cliff. Click here to see another lifeguard post.

Monday, July 27, 2009

At your own risk

Although the water doesn't look so rough in this photo, there were definitely some strong waves coming onto the sea wall at the Children's Pool in La Jolla. Wipeout Beach which is south of here was probably named that way for a reason.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The wall

I thought I'd show you another view of the sea wall at the Children's Pool/Casa Beach. Philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps gave about $60,000 to build the wall in order to create a safe swimming area for children. The wall took about 10 years from its initial survey and design to its completion in the spring of 1931. You can see that there are steps built into the base of the wall which were meant for seating and for kids to climb around on. Click here to read more about the wall's planning, design, and construction.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wipeout Beach

Wipeout Beach is just south of where the seals are at the Children's Pool/Casa beach. Cliffs jut out between the two beaches, but I saw some crazy swimmers (with children!) navigating the waves along the cliffs and out behind the sea wall (where people were watching the seals).

Friday, July 24, 2009


These harbor seals are getting a break for the summer, and maybe longer. There was a state law designating this beach to be used by people, but over the last several years the seals have made it their home and some residents aren't happy about it. Just this week there was a court order to disperse the seals by playing an audio recording of barking dogs, but the Governor signed a bill which stopped the court order and turned the controversy over to the city to decide. Read more here. Click here to see a photo of the whole sea wall and Children's Pool/Casa Beach. Pretty crazy stuff huh!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cactus Through a Fence

This cactus poke (literally!) through the back of a local high school (Hoover High). I often walk by this time of the year fantasizing about wonderful glazes & jellys that can be made from the prickly pears. However the one time I tried it I had prickles in my fingers for days, and I didn't much enjoy the jam that I made. I guess it stands to reason, it was the first time I tried cooking with prickly pears.

That bit of yucky/bird-poop looking shmootz is actually from the Cochineal Insect. This insect is a non-native and was imported here on purpose to help control the cactus - it is supposed to devastate the cactus plant. I've seen it on this plant for years, and it doesn't seem to be harming it too much.

If anyone would care to share their prickly pear peeling & cooking tips, I'd be happy to listen!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Crawling off the page

Here is a surreal M.C. Escher inspired mural on the side of the College Bookbindery on El Cajon Boulevard.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I know how y'all like your dive bars and Nunu's fits the bill - dark, smoking patio, cheap drinks. Unfortunately, when I think of Nunu's I think of my dentist which is where I was standing when I took this photo. I think of "open, open, turn your head a little bit to the right, open", all with the evil clank of tools, the high pitched whirring noises, the suction tube thingy, the whole body clenched, especially the fists. I should probably go to Nunu's before or after the dentist visit!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Looking for a pay phone?

This funky building in Kearny Mesa is used for medical offices. The side of the building continues with the same motif of the arched (and barred) "windows". If the building's architecture doesn't date it, then maybe the working pay phone (with a phone book!) is a sign of its times.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's pink!

I know it is not the best photo, but isn't this was the cutest pink car? It's a Karmann Ghia by Volkswagon. I had a neighbor who owned a blue one which was in disrepair, so he used duct tape to hold it together. This pink one was in tip-top shape. Do you have any fond memories of a Karmann Ghia?

Postscript 3/1/12 news from Richard:
I recently heard of the demise of the pink Ghia. One of the regulars at Twiggs told me he saw it burn up at Trolley Barn Park. [He was taking a walk.] The car had pulled up by the West end of the park, smoking, then truly on fire. Three police cars stopped but all of their extinguishers were un~charged and no one had anything effective to do; originally just the engine, but eventually the whole car went up in flames. I am told this happened in early summer or late spring of 2011.

Is it true or urban legend? Post a comment if you have any information. Thanks!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

All colors of the rainbow

It is gay pride weekend in San Diego - our largest civic event and the 5th largest pride parade and festival in the US. Events started yesterday and will continue through tomorrow. Enjoy the parade and festival this weekend and show your support for diversity and equality.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Electrical box #16

A tropical themed electrical box in Imperial Beach. More here...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cooling off at the Beach

It's been pretty hot here this past week. Hot in a more humid way, which I know for people who live in real humidity is nothing, but for those of us who grew up in a desert/chaparral, it's really something! The garden is even kind of shriveling - I've been having to closely monitor the yard.

This heat leaves you looking for places to escape the heat. A few days ago we cried "uncle" and headed down to our favorite kid-friendly beach. We came back positively refreshed & renewed. I think we may need to head back down there pretty soon here!

What do you do to escape the heat?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Taking another crack at it

At random, I took this photo of a crack in the cliffs in Ocean Beach and then I remembered that Alexandra posted a similar photo a while ago. Well, when I went back to Alexandra's photo I realized that it is the same crack! Click here to see her photo and see how this fissure has changed in the last one and a half years.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some points

I saw this Century Plant (its scientific name is Agave Americana Marginata) in North Park and was stunned by its size - maybe about 10 feet tall. What a whopper!
I read that it only flowers occasionally and that the shoot can get up to 25 feet tall! Maybe next spring...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bleeding heart

Someone carved a heart into this tree and the sap ran down the trunk. I was so interested in looking at the rusty brown streak that I didn't really pay attention to what kind of tree it was. But by the looks of the bark, I think it might be the widespread eucalyptus tree.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What more do you need?

I just love this sign for the Live Wire bar on the corner of Alabama and El Cajon Boulevard. Much better to have cold beer and warm friends than cold friends and warm beer. I also read that they have good tunes at the jukebox.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


This sculpture on the San Diego State University campus is called “100 Years, 100 Stones” by Eve Andrée Laramée and was dedicated in1997 to celebrate 100 years of SDSU history. This is a super clever design where the artist "selected 100 stones collected from 100 sites within a 100-mile radius of the university, for use within the 100-foot circumference of the design. Each stone is identified as to its specific site of origin and its importance to SDSU history." See more here via the SDSU virtual tour.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A little bit of country

Who would have guessed that there is a French farmhouse in the middle of Kearny Mesa? Well, don't blink your eyes, because you might miss the entrance to the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant that sits on the edge of Montgomery Field airport. They serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch and have live music on Thursday nights, DJs on Tuesday and Friday nights.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Quail Botanical Gardens- New Children's Area

There's a lovely new area to explore at Quail Botanical Gardens for those of you with children 5 & over. There's a great tree-house, at the top of which is a crow's nest, with these birds waiting for the children to come find them. A stream is there for kids to cool off in, a butterfly garden, natural musical instruments, and a giant tic-tac-toe board are some of the things you'll find here. We had a blast checking it out recently during one of their free entry days.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quiet garden

No noticeable airplane or freeway noise, just butterflies and hummingbirds at this beautiful garden area at the Marston House. I wrote "quiet garden" because this place is amazingly quiet and serene for being right in the heart of the city.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Beach car

The wheels of this woodie twirl around when a gust of wind comes by. Click here to see another type of woodie caught in action.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Flat top or wipeblow out?

I only get my haircut maybe twice a year. I just get the same old style every time then let it grow until I can't stand it anymore. Nothing fancy. How about you? Here's a sign (surf)board for a barber shop in Imperial Beach.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Let's go surfing now...

Imperial Beach has a surfing theme throughout the town in honor of the city's surfing heritage. In the late 1990's (I don't know the exact date), the Portwood Pier Plaza opened which includes a number of other public art pieces and this archway made up of acrylic surfboard shapes by Malcolm Jones called "Surfhenge". Surf's up dude.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

'merican dessert

Today I geeked out and made this American flag cake with blueberries and's Jell-O underneath all that whipped cream. Now that I've posted the photo, we can all go and eat a little piece! Hope you have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Friday, July 03, 2009

IB pier

The first pier in Imperial Beach was built in 1909 and had a bunch of machinery called the "Edwards Wave Motor" that was hopeful in harnessing wave energy. Alas, that didn't work and anyway, it would have gotten washed away in the storm that took it all down in 1948. Another pier was built in 1962 which lasted into the early 1980's until it too was taken out by storms. The one above opened in 1989 and so far so good.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Elephant Odyssey, take II

We were able to fully walk through Elephant Odyssey yesterday, and I must say I'm impressed. We watched both the elephants and the lions get fed! Exhibits are nicely interspersed with things for kids to do - mostly fun climbing structures, but we also took a little break in the shade of an underpass to watch a film about elephants in the wild being shown on the wall.

I thoroughly enjoyed how close the elephants get to us viewers in their exhibit. I actually got splashed when the elephant pictured raised her trunk out of the water!

Here's more information about the new exhibit - you really should go soon!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Warm-up exercise

While we were at the Surf Dog competition in Imperial Beach, there also happened to be a pow wow being held over by the pier where this sand sculpture was displayed. I'm not sure if it's a common occurrence to build a sand sculpture for all events in Imperial Beach, but it seems natural to do so since IB is the home of the annual US Open Sandcastle Competition (coming up on July 18-19, 2009).