Friday, 26 August 2011

La Jolla Cave

According to their website, this is the only known land access sea cave on the California coastline.

And below is the $4 view.

But let's start from the beginning. At the shell shop in La Jolla.

There is some parking out front and a walking trail out back.

Inside you will find clothing, jewelry, shells, cold drinks and a register right in front of the stairwell.

From the dark hole people emerge, one by one. Huffing and puffing. Children declaring how many steps they counted on the way up.

The stairs are wet. The hand rail is wet. Watch your step.

And down you go. 

And down. 

And down a bit more.

Till you reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

And watch from the inside looking out at the snorkelers and kayakers and paddlers.

I'm pretty sure that their view looking in is just as extraordinary!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Seasonal Confusion

It was 76 degrees in San Diego today.

And it is a full month till the start of Fall.

Yet the leaves on our backyard tree are starting to turn color.


Getting a jump on things?

Bit of an overachiever?

Or maybe the deciduous liquidambar styraciflua just woke up feeling Autumnal.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Dental Health

I went to the dentist this week to have my teeth cleaned.

And left with a bag of goodies to keep my smile looking sparkly.

Which got me to thinking about all the items I have invested in to keep these pearly whites looking their best.

A sonicare.

The first time I used it I thought, WOW, could a person be any lazier than buying a machine to brush their teeth. But I quickly caved and realized all the benefits – it does a better job, it runs for two minutes (much longer than a person would manually brush) and I trust the advice of my dentist.

Am pretty sure I am quoting her when I say ‘only brush the ones you want to keep.”

Then there is flossing, Listerine and ACT.

A new gadget has been added to the arsenal to get between those pesky back teeth and it looks like a miniature bottle cleaner.

Soon I will need to devote an entire medicine cabinet to my dental paraphernalia.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Lifeguard Drills in Del Mar

A group of lifeguards in bathing suits and helmets and flotation devices gathered at the park adjacent to the Del Mar Power House.

Along with two helicopters.

Panels stashed along the grass.

The lifeguards took off in pairs while the helicopters alternated pick-ups and drop-offs.

Flying above the palm trees and towards the ocean.

Out past the surfers.

Jumping into the chilly water below.

While spectators stood behind the caution tape and watched as they practiced rescue drills over and over again.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Shave Ice

Ubiquitous in Hawaii.

But you don’t have to travel to the islands to enjoy.

Across from the San Clemente train stop in Orange County is Kaylani Coffee Company, where the board is covered with every type of coffee and caffeinated concoction imaginable.

And the counter holds a shiny blue and white machine.

That takes a block of ice and turns it into dessert.

Pick out any three flavors (such as coconut, pineapple and mango) and dig in with a spoon.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Iceoplex in Escondido

Last Saturday, we watched a relative from Massachusetts compete in a figure skating competition in the State Games of America.

She was poised and graceful.

You would never know she was a bundle of nerves beforehand. Or that she brought a stuffed animal from home for good luck.

It was an eye-opening kind of evening for those of us that weren’t brought up with skate lessons and twirly skirts.

The age spread was incredible - little girls up to females nearing seventy were laced up and on the ice.

And the outfits, oh my.

There were a few vendors showcasing stretchy, sparkly costumes with gasp-producing price tags. $425, really, for what appeared to be nothing more than a bedazzled Danskin.

Performers included cowgirls and lobsters and everything in between. One competitor went for color from head to toe. Literally.

It was fun to cheer and shout and get the inside scoop on figure skating (apparently you need swarovski crystals to achieve high sparkle on your skating dress).

Hats off to all who dedicated hours to routines and jumps and have the muscle and toned thighs to show for it.

You put on quite a show!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Why I Love Cambria

Beautiful sunsets.

And places to watch them.

And natural benches.

A local restaurant, Sea Chest.

So popular that a line forms every night to get in.

It is a small town that offers lawn bowling.

And quaint architecture.

And one of my favorite 'beach' shops. I have never walked out empty-handed. Which is kinda funny since we live in San Diego.

But most of all, there is the coastline.

And driftwood.

Lots of birds.


The ever-changing sky.

A last look at the moon at the end of our trip.

Friday, 12 August 2011

No Room at the Inn

El Colibri Spa and Hotel

On our trip up the coast to Cambria we neglected to make hotel reservations.

Because it was a spur of the moment, no plan required, three-day get away.

But we did want to sleep indoors. So we started calling as we got closer to our destination.

We always stay somewhere along Moonstone Beach.

Our favorite is the FogCatcher Inn.

But they had no vacancy.

Instead we stayed at the El Colibri Spa and Hotel, which opened in 2010.

At the top of the stairs to the second floor.

 Modern and spacious.

It was possible to sit in the Jacuzzi tub and watch an old movie at the same time.

Because we had the fan on most of the time, we didn’t bother with the fireplace but I am sure that it is charming in the winter.

Best part was stepping out and onto the wooden planks… 

that lead to the beach.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

San Luis Obispo

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Knew this town very well while I was going to school.

And even after I graduated from Cal Poly.

Some changes over the years, particularly the increase in chain stores, don’t seem to fit the character of SLO.

But for every Victoria’s Secret, there is an unusual boutique.

And there are plenty of hidden treasures.

Like The Secret Garden Organic Herb Shop specializing in organic spices, tea blends and medicinal herbs.

Walk along the creek in the heart of the city.

And stop for a drink or tapas at one of the many eateries overlooking the water.

From the front door, off a busy street, it is hard to imagine the scenery out back.

Take the time to meander.

SLO will surprise you…