Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

La Jolla, Mt Soledad, Harbor and Old Town San Diego

The La Jolla shores

It's that kind of shore, one to sketch on paper, and one to sketch in the memory forever

Ah yes, and for young lovers too!

It was a beautiful day, not much wind and in the mid fifties

And Torrey Pines Golf Couse, just above the La Jolla cliffs, site of the 2008 US Open, where Nancy and me volunteered.

And the hang glider/parasail port just south of the golf course.

Catch some wind, take a little run and jump off the 300 foot cliff; nothing to it!

Getting his gear ready for lift off...

Catch the wind and give a little jerk to the sail and hold on.

Many different colors and types, including the folks doing this...

Coming in for a landing...

Only hang glider we saw..

Packing it away till the next time...

Almost done...

One of the many corollary uses of a crutch..:-)

Mt Soledad Veterens Memorial; and from their website:
  • Six concentric walls will ultimately hold 3,200 black granite plaques purchased by donors and engraved with the names and photos of war veterans - currently more than 2,700 are in place

  • Each plaque 'tells the story' of a veteran's military service or that of a group’s military service

  • Unique memorial that honors U.S. veterans - living and deceased – that have been honorably discharged from any branch of the U.S. military

  • Includes uniformed members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard also Merchant Marine veterans who served during WWII

  • Originally dedicated as Korean War Veterans Memorial in 1952

  • Large American Flag proudly flies over the Memorial

  • 23 bollards honor community and veteran organizations (sold out)

  • Brick pavers honor veterans and supporters of Mt. Soledad  

  • There are hundreds of these plaques honoring veterens from all over our country.  They are very unique in that there is no place in the USA that has such an event, and the location:  Atop Mt Soledad with a 360 degree view of San Diego, La Jolla, Miramar and well beyond...absolutely breathtaking, yet very melancholy.

    Go to there website if you're interested in getting a service member added to the memorial.

    Retired Senior Chief Wilford Sturgeon who was "on watch" at the time, spends many watches at the memorial.  He is the volunteer tour guide, visitor's support and general "welcomer" to all visitors.  Senior has over 60 years of Navy and Government service, and yes, his plaque is among the many that are proudly displayed at the memorial.  If you are ever in San Diego, and you have a hankering to view some interesting stories told in plaques of many a veteran, don't miss this. 

    Looking north from the memorial

    Old Glory standing proudly over her warriors...

    San Diego Harbor, just south of Harbor Island

    The marina..

    The marina...

    Time for lunch at The Rockin Baja...great pomegranate margaritas ...
    Old Town just up from the Rockin Baja...

    Pretty neat place, mostly an open air eatery/drinkery...:-)

    In Old Town there many such vendor shops such as this looking to trap the tourist...

    Well, it's moving day for the RVing Beach Bums.  It's Thursday morning, and Nancy has put a load of wash in; I will empty the tanks and fill the fresh water tank, as we prepare for about five days of dry camping to the east...not sure exactly where, but somewhere in the vicinity of Yuma, AZ, El Centro, CA, and Quartzite, AZ.  That is kinda like a triangle of area, and any where in that triangle will be much better weather than what is being predicted here in San Diego this weekend.  Then, on March 1 we will pull into Scottsdale, AZ for 30 days, at the Eagles View RV Resort.  So, until next time, Joe & Nancy

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    San Diego and an old mining town

    Main Street, Julian, CA
    Well, we finally made it to San Diego.  We arrived around 3 on Monday afternoon.  Weather was clear, not windy, but still had a late winter chill in the air.  We still needed to where a long sleeve flannel or microfiber shirt.  Tuesday we decided to get out of town as was a bright and sunny day with temps in the upper 50's.  so we headed for the mountains east of San Diego, and more specifically, an old mining town.  From the Google wikipedia pages: 
    After the American Civil War, Julian experienced a gold rush. In 1869, A.E. "Fred" Coleman, a former slave, was crossing over what is now known as Coleman Creek, just west of Julian. Seeing a glint of gold in the stream bed, he climbed down from his horse to investigate. Having had previous experience in the gold fields, he retrieved his frying pan and began panning the sands of the creek. Learning of the find, others tried to trace the gold to its source. On February 22, 1870, the first "lode", or hard rock, mining claim was filed in the Julian area. Since February 22 was President George Washington's birthday, the mine was named the Washington mine. Soon hundreds of anxious men and families were rushing to Julian to stake their claims. Julian became a tent city overnight. In April 1870, the area's first saw mill was set up and Julian began to take on a more permanent structure.

    One of the things that makes Julian famous, at least from a visitor's perspective, is the Julian Apples and the pies that are made by several local artisans.  Julian Pie Company is probably the "anchor" for the apple pie, but we chose to patronize "Mom's Pie House", right on Main Street.  There was a line out the door when we left, so we must have started something :-)...Nancy had Pecan with vanilla ice cream, and I had Flaky Apple Pie with cinamon ice cream.  They warm the pie.  Yummy!
    On the outskirts of Julian, looking east at the western-most part of the Anza-Borrega Desert Park

    On the way there we passed through Lake Cuyamaca State Park recreation area. We saw several notices posted at various recreation areas that warned visitors of the mountain lions in the area.  We elected to not take any hikes in this area, as it is late winter/early spring and I'm sure these big cats are on the prowl looking for a warm meal.  And it wasn't about to be me or Nancy.  :-)

    An old iron workhorse of yesteryear; I was a little surprised this old boy was just sitting out in this field as back in the midwest, this would be a real collector's item.  I would think the old boy could be fixed up and made presentable by someone...oh well

    Looking back west over the Santa Monica mountains towards Escondido; As you can see, it was chilly up here around the 4000 foot level. They had about a foot of snow up here last week. 

    Well it is now Wednesday morning and I think we'll head over to La Jolla, Mt Soledad, San Diego Harbor and eventually wind up the day by visiting the Gas Lamp District of downtown San Diego.  Perhaps we'll have a late lunch or early dinner somewhere in the District.  Tomorrow is moving day and I think we'll head over to the Borrega Springs area and see what's going over there, and maybe we can miss some of the cold temps and rain expected here in San Diego Friday and Saturday.  Until then, Joe & Nancy

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    William Randolph Hearst Castle, and the Seals

    Hearst Castle

    Wednesday morning at the Wine Country RV Park and it was beginning to clear from the all night rain and howling wind.  So, we headed out for the Hearst Castle over in San Simeon on the coast.  I took almost 200 photos and several videos, but space will only permit me to upload a fraction of those.

    To the left of this VIP entrance is the main kitchen

    We took tour #1 and tour #2 and each took about 90 minutes, with a 45 minute break between them.  So we were busy most of the day.  I must say that tour #2 was much better than the overview tour #1.  We got to go on different floors and see much more.  We also saw Mr. Hearst's personal bedroom as well as many other guest bedrooms and the main kitchen.  It takes the large buses about 15 minutes to go up the 5 miles of paved road to the castle.
    Bus that transported us

    Original Hearst residence while the castle was being built

    Roman type pool, near olympic size

    Other end of the pool

    Overlooking a terrace towards the northeast

    One of many fruit trees on the sprawling landscape

    First of four guest houses built (we went thru this one)
    Rack of 29 newspapers Hearst owned in one of the halls

    One of the dining rooms

    Nancy going up one of the many spirals we walked

    One of the many guest bedroom; the guide provided a commentary of a long list of Hollywood and world renown VIPs that stayed in the various bedrooms.

    One of the studies

    Miss Nancy following the gang down a perimeter hall way where the bedrooms were located; they were on four different levels.

    More bedrooms on the right down this hallway

    Mickey Rooney's BR; one of four built in 1934 to honor Mr Hearst's 71st birthday
    The Castle, along with these newer bedrooms was designed and built by Julia Morgan, an architect and civil engineer. Mr Hearst entrusted her with spending his 10 million dollars to build the Castle over a 15 year period.

    Part of the large main kitchen

    Mr Hearst had several rules in order to stay in good graces.  One was do not pick fruit or mess with the landscapes, and do not drink to inibriation.  And do not just sit around.  He wanted folks to be active during their visits to The Enchanted Hill, as he called it.  Swim, play tennis, go hiking, go horseback riding, etc...

    First guest house

    3000 years old
    Most of the ornate statues, furniture, art, tapestries, fireplaces, and very ornate carved wooden ceilings were imported from Europe.  This one was from China.

    One of the terrace views

    Main entrance in the front

    Main dining room with silver from all over Europe

    One of the walnut carved ceilings

    One of the many imported fireplaces

    Mr Hearst's study, just off his bedroom

    Large indoor pool; both pools were heated, when guests were present.

    Mr Hearst's study

    Another view of the indoor pool

    Joe and Nancy at the outdoor pool; by the way, both pools can be rented for special occasions.

    About 4 miles north of the Castle, you'll find a vista that overlooks a breeding grounds for the Northern Elephant Seals.  We saw several bulls interacting, oe should I say discussing whose part of this beach really belongs too.  All the pups that were recently born within the past six weeks were resting next to their Mothers or with other pups.


    You want sumame?  This is my house!


    Most of the big bulls were loners, and were between the community and the ocean; I guess they served as sentries...
    Well, our stay in Paso Robles would not be complete if we did not visit a couple of wineries.  So, Thursday found us doing just that, as the weather was beginning to worsen.  It rained most of the night and the wind so fierce, we had to bring in a couple of the windward slides.  We went to the Eberle Winery first, which included a tour of their cool cavern storage area.  After the tour we tasted a few of their wines and bought us a few bottles.  Our next winery was J Lohr.  The gentleman serving us here (Nancy does not drink, so I was the only taster) was from Pittsburg originally (everyone living in California is from somewhere other than California, it seems) and so we chatted for a while, tasted about 20 wines and I bought a few bottles.  For those of you who have been to Napa/Sonoma and other noted wine places in California, Paso Robles is unique in that almost all of the wineries do not charge for tasting.  Perhaps a marketing chance?  Who knows, but I for one ain't complaining.  :-)
    Well, here we are in Oxnard, CA (parked in the Port Hueneme RV Park on the Base) Saturday morning (got here yesterday) watching the Nationwide race on the LCD.  I also got to mention the ride down 101 yesterday from PR to Oxnard:  It was wild!  Went thru dust clouds and violent rain & wind.  The motorhome was a handfull.  Guess we'll stay here a few days and head on down to San Diego Monday morning.  After that, we'll begin to make our way over to Scottsdale, via Borrego Springs.  Till next time, Joe & Nancy