Saturday, April 18, 2015

Last Days In San Diego



Our month in San Diego is nearly at an end, and although we’ve had fun here sightseeing, brewery hopping, and hanging out with friends, we will be glad to get out of the city.

We’ve been having some issues with the touchpad on our five month old Dell laptop, and Jim has spent much time on the phone with tech support trying to fix the problem. Finally they decided we needed a new touchpad, and wanted us to send the computer in for replacement. There is no way we were going to do that, since Jim is convinced it’s a software problem anyway, so he asked if they could just send us the new touchpad and he would replace it. We got an email back saying they would send someone out, even though we did not purchase the additional in-home warranty. Now that’s great service! And it’s a good thing Jim didn’t attempt to do this himself since the entire computer had to be disassembled.

Don’t try this at home.


Sadly the same problem has happened again once since the touchpad was replaced, but luckily a restart resolves it. Computers can be very frustrating.

That afternoon we took Suzanne, Jim, and Allison to the Ocean Beach farmer’s market for some interesting people watching, then to nearby Pizza Port for dinner, our third time there. After the excellent pizza and beer we walked off our meal along Sunset Cliffs. It was a beautiful evening.






The waves were pretty tame but there were still quite a few surfers out there .



Lots of crazy kids were jumping in the water above the hole in the rock. 



But that was the easy part. Getting out looked to be even more of a challenge.


This is a really beautiful stretch of the Pacific coast.




We hung out until it was over. 



Yesterday Jim and I decided to tour the waterfront area of downtown San Diego and stroll along the Embarcadero.








Our favorite part of the walk was watching the planes coming in for a landing at the airport, which is right next to downtown.

P1000381      P1000390

After our tour we met Jim and Allison and Suzanne at Slater’s 50/50 for our last brew pub experience. It’s been fun.

Then last night Suzanne and I took a sunset bike ride around Fiesta Island. It was another lovely evening on Mission Bay.



We’re glad we experienced San Diego, but I’m not sure even the breweries could lure us back. Tomorrow we move on to Jojoba Hills near Temecula, a much quieter locale.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

More Bike, Hike, Beer


Debbie and Kim left us Saturday for greener pastures, so Friday afternoon we went out for one last happy hour. Slater’s 50/50 is well known for its huge burgers, including a very good veggie burger. They also have over 100 beers on tap, so we were all able to find something we liked. They are located in Liberty Station, an interesting area of residences, shops, restaurants and galleries in what used to be the former Naval Training Center in Point Loma.

Saturday we took a walk along the bay and just took it easy while Suzanne visited with a friend. On Sunday we did a six mile hike in nearby Tecolote Canyon. It isn’t the greatest place to hike but we got a good workout going up and down all the steep hills, and even came to a cool riparian area along a creek.


We had a good view of the UC San Diego Catholic Church.


There is also a nice little nature center with a helpful volunteer who told us about several other places to hike. Just outside the building were these Matilija poppies (or fried egg flowers) full of bees. Jim managed to get some good shots without getting stung.


Check out the pollen baskets on their legs.



Jim and Allison arrived that afternoon and we had a long happy hour catching up. They are glad to finally be out of Tucson and are enjoying the much cooler San Diego weather.

On Monday we all rode bikes around the bay loop and along the boardwalks of Ocean and Pacific Beaches. It’s obvious spring break is over as the beach crowds are much smaller, and Mission Bay RV park is more than half empty. We’re ecstatic that the kids are back in school!


Suzanne was anxious to try Barrel Republic, an interesting high tech brew pub in Pacific Beach where you can taste as much or little of any of the beers and pay by the ounce. You get a wrist band which you hold up to a sensor and it opens the tap. There is an iPad at each one that describes the beer. Unfortunately we were early and they didn’t open until four so we had time to ride home, eat lunch, shower and go back in the car. Out of over forty beers we only found one we really liked, but it’s a neat concept and a good way to sample a little of everything.


Tuesday we all drove up to Poway, about 25 miles northeast, to hike the popular trail to Mount Woodson. About a quarter mile from the summit is what has become the much photographed Potato Chip Rock. Apparently this rock has been sitting here forever, but within the past five years or so someone noticed it, climbed on it, got their photo taken, posted it to social media, and it was “discovered”.




Since we waited for this hike until spring break was over, and did it on a weekday, there were not many people. We’ve heard during busy times you might have to wait 30-45 minutes just to get your turn on the rock.


Out of the five of us, only the two brave women, Allison and Suzanne, had the guts to get out there. In fact Allison was up and on it before we even knew it. She said if she thought about it she would never have done it. Good for her! I thought way too long and watched her and Suzanne jump across and slide down, and I just couldn’t bring myself to attempt it. Jim was having images of brain bleeds from hitting his head on the rock, and the other Jim is not crazy about heights, either, so we passed and took photos instead.

Allison couldn’t quite bring herself to stand up, but at least she got out there.



The long slide down.


Suzanne, on the other hand, hammed it up for the cameras.





We continued up to the 2800’ summit and had our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a much bigger, less precarious rock.


Even if Potato Chip Rock breaks off tomorrow (hopefully while nobody is standing on it), this is a great trail. We logged 7.5 miles with a 2,000’ elevation gain, quite a steep little trek. But the company and scenery helped make it such a fun hike.

A little trick photography.


Suzanne and Jim wondering if the climb is ever going to end.



Lake Poway, a surprise to see so much water in a California lake.



A playground for rock lovers.




I am the walrus.


Summit view.


Busy at the top.


We were all ready for a beer after the hike, and there just happened to be a Karl Strauss on the way home, and it just happened to be happy hour.

Jim, Suzanne, Allison and Jim, happy to be sitting after five hours on the trail.


We liked just about every beer we tried there, and the food was good, too.


Traffic was still pretty heavy when we finished, so Jim, Suzanne and I decided to make one more stop, this time at Alesmith Brewing Company. It’s one that Paul and Nina recommended, and we must say this is now our favorite brewery in San Diego. We got a flight of four different beers and they were all excellent.

Another fine day in San Diego.