Making Connections ~ San Diego, CA

The beauty of being a full-time RVer is the ability to balance a healthy dose of solitude with lots of social gatherings.  Winter seems to be best for the latter, as many of us are stationary for longer stretches, giving ample time to catch up with those taking a respite from the road.  There are a handful of states where many RVers go to escape winter’s frigid nature:  California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida most notable.  So it should have come as no surprise that several couples we knew, via blog or previously met on the road, flocked to San Diego to bask in the sun and let the cool ocean breezes wash over them.

Being just a short distance away from the big city, we have been fortunate to visit several friends the past few weeks who were grooving to San Diego’s vibe.  I have spent many a summer vacation in San Diego so I was content to just spend time catching up with old friends and reveling in their exploits.

Balboa Park

After a few days of exploring Anza Borrego State Park with Eric and Laurel (Raven and Chickadee) in late February, we weren’t expecting to see them again so soon, but their travels took them to the North Park neighborhood of San Diego so we got together and wandered cultural Balboa Park with them.  If you have not been, this park is 1,200 acres of stunning architecture, graceful gardens, interesting museums, and a great artist colony.  Lunch on the patio at Prado was quite tasty and, as you can see below, Eric got his money’s worth.

We extended our visit into the evening over a yummy salad created  by Laurel from what we had scored at the farmers’ market earlier that day. What a lovely couple and how lucky we are to be seeing them again later this summer.

Tasty little flight

The infamous Nina and Paul (Wheelingit) also breezed into San Diego, landing at the popular Mission Bay RV Resort.  For those who follow Nina’s blog, and who doesn’t, they were on a mission to taste test their way through as many San Diego breweries as they could. So, where else would be meet them for lunch than a craft beer establishment, Stone Brewery at Liberty Station.  Although we did not have much time to catch up, as they had family in town, it was wonderful to see them again.  Mission Bay is where our paths first crossed three years ago and it is always a delight to see them again.

Terry, me, Paul, Nina & sweet pooch Polly

I’m sure we can all agree that Nina’s blog posts have enriched our lives and given us adventures we may not have anticipated.

Next up was Jim and Barb (Bounding the Borders), a charming couple we were introduced to last winter in Cedar Key, Florida, two whom we felt comfortable with from the moment we met.  They came to Jojoba Hills for a week this winter, after spending time at Mission Bay, giving us ample time to share good food, drink, and great conversation.  I can’t tell you how pleased we were to reconnect with them, and knowing we are planning to meet up again later this year puts a smile on my face.

I have found there is a sense of serendipity to this lifestyle.  We learned over a homemade meal that Jim and Barb had met the very couple we were planning to join for lunch later that week.  So the four of us wheeled our way back to San Diego to meet Hector and Brenda (Island Girl Walkabout) for lunch at the Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill, a knock-your-socks-off place to go for fish tacos.  We had lunched here with Hector and Brenda once already this winter but everyone seemed to need a taco fix so back to Blue Water.  With any luck we may see the Island Girl dwellers later this year as well.

The breeze off the ocean seemed just right for a stopover at Torrey Pines Gliderport, and by the looks of the skies, everyone with a passion for the sport thought so too.

When we began this nomadic adventure, I dreamt of all the magnificent vistas that awaited us.  What I have discovered is that this journey is made much more satisfying by the extraordinary people connections we’ve made along the way, those on the road, those whom we have met only through blogs, and those at our Jojoba Hills’ winter base.

I toast all who have enriched our lives and look forward to meeting many more of you as we renew our wandering ways in a couple of weeks.  I am eagerly counting down the days. 🙂

San Diego Vacation

Many of us have a specific food that, when brought to mind, elicits less than fond memories for us.  For me that is an eclair, that fried doughy dessert with a cream filling (yuck).  When I was a kid, I became ill when eating one.  Honestly, I think I was already working on getting a ‘bug’ before I ate it and to this day I associate the flu with eclairs.  By now you must be wondering what my ramblings have to do with San Diego vacations.  Bear with me and I will try to connect the dots.

Terry’s sister and niece had never been to San Diego and with spring break looming, a four-day visit to San Diego seemed to be in order.  Given that it was to be a short trip and they were looking at a 3-hour time difference,  jet lag was bound to be an issue but no one factored in (or at least me) the daylight savings time change the day before their arrival.  The weather in SD, which had been darn near perfect, turned cooler than their home state of Indiana.  To add insult to injury, sister Denise contracted a virus shortly after her arrival, which landed her in the clinic and on the sofa for the following day.   Even with all this, they seemed to be good sports and were able to enjoy a day at the San Diego Safari Park, giving it a two-thumbs up rating.

We had such a good time kayaking in the La Jolla cove that Terry and niece Sara decided to give it a go.  The weather was sunny but breezy, which made paddling a little rougher than what we had experienced earlier.  They were hopeful for dolphin sightings and with a feeding frenzy occurring just offshore (good sign of dolphins nearby we were told) they took off.

Alas, no dolphins, just a bunch of barking sea lions to entertain them.  They were both smiling when they returned, although they looked a little blue around the lips!  I must admit to wondering how warm they were, as I sat on the beach reading.  Everyone else in kayaks had donned wetsuits, everyone that is except Terry and Sara.

The water was too choppy for photos and for paddleboarding as well (which was also on the to-do list) but we did grab a few great pics of sea lions from the walkway above and got to catch a glimpse of passing dolphins!

California sea lions at La Jolla Cove
Slip-sliding away!
California Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove
It's been a tough day!

Sara was determined to have a bonfire and s’mores before she left San Diego so Terry stoked the fire that night.  Believe it or not, I had never had one before (s’more that is) and had to be guided through the process.  Tasty but unfortunately not to be an ongoing part of my diet.  Thankfully Denise had recovered enough to join in the fun.

Sara and Denise roasting marshmallows

So much to see in San Diego and only one day left so we decided to do a little sightseeing to give them a flavor of the area.   Lunch brought us back to Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill for fish tacos and they were just as tasty our second visit.

We all welcomed a stroll along the coastline, providing us a pleasing contrast of colors and shapes.

A playful little grey squirrel caught my attention so I gave him his own photo shoot.  He seemed to be enjoying it, posing for the camera.  Although these little guys are cute, they have become quite destructive along the coast, adding to bluff erosion.

California burrowing grey squirrel
You have no idea what these hands can do!

A quick stroll through Balboa Park and the grounds of Coronado Island rounded out the last day.

Balboa Park
Vibrant Watercolors in Spanish Village at Balboa Park
Hotel Del Coronado
Hotel Del Coronado

So, to finally connect the dots, given jet lag, time changes, cool weather and illness, I hope San Diego does not become an “eclair” for Denise and Sara.  I hope they decide to come back at a later date to enjoy all it has to offer.

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