Sunday, 27 January 2013

Outta the Cold

Thursday January 17, we decided to head west in search of warmer weather. The drive through western Arizona and into California was diverse in its landscapes. We rolled past miles of sand dunes that glowed in the morning sunlight. The terrain was quite hilly and rock-covered in a variety of jagged and smooth boulders of all shapes and sizes. Windmill farms with their gigantic white monsters added a modern, sculptural element to the hillsides. We rolled in to San Diego and had our first view of the Pacific Ocean and homes piled up across the hills. We set up in Santa Fe Park and stepped out into gorgeous 80 F.temperatures.
                                                                            Dixie makes a new friend.

Naval gunnery training base.  

We stayed a week and hit a different tour spot every day. At the north end of Ocean Beach, is a great dog beach. Unlike many we've been on, it offers a huge stretch of sand and surf to doogies and their owners. Dixie had a great time in the surf and playing with a few new buddies. We were entertained by the surfers waiting for the wave, pelicans and dolphins.
All breeds of dogs and people played on the beach. The most overt exhibitionist was a "hoola-hooper"who stripped off layers of clothing until she stopped at her bikini. We headed back to the beach a second time later in the week and the surf was huge and the tide further out. Water is always so different each time you visit it, especially when they are affected by the tides!

                                                                          Gee, this is intimidating!
                                                                          Heh cutie, want to wrestle?

                                                                    Gee Mom, must you embarass me?

Balboa Park is an amazing place with picnic, jogging, biking, dog walking, strolling paved, grassy and dirt pathways. Incredible tree specimens grow throughout the 12,000 acres and exquisite cactus, succulent and flower gardens add surprising texture and colours to the grounds. Various traditional and modern sculptures and fountains are positioned throughout the property in quiet and grand locations. There are fifteen museums housed at Balboa and much of the architecture is in the Spanish Colonial Style. One building even had topless females within the frieze which really gives new meaning to the sculptural term:bust.

On our second trip to Balboa Park we watched some street performers and had a lovely fresh lunch in the funky surrounding of Prado Restaurant. We spent a few hours in the Natural History Museum where we enjoyed a special show called The Horse: a scientific, historical and cultural look at the grand mammals.

                                                                          Deborah Butterfield Sculpture

 Another show called Chocolate exhibited cocoa trees, beans, processing and uses through the ages. A giant chocolate box was a backdrop for three stools shaped like cupcakes where visitors could rest and take in the seductive odour of rich dark cocoa that filled the museum. We also watched Richard Attenborough in 3D present the history of Flying Creatures from the dinosaurs to modern-day birds.

We spent a day removing the desert dust from the interior of the motor home and had the outside detailed. We rewarded our hard work with some local fish tacos. Yay, we are once again in seafood territory!  The Embarcadero is a seaside walk with shops and restaurants dockside to fishing boats and harbour life. A seal wrestled a huge fish while gulls circled overhead. We strolled about there on a particularly warm afternoon 85F. looking up at the enormous USS Midway Aircraft Carrier and Aircraft Museum. There are a few solemn monuments to the Navy and other Military facets, one particularly unique one was a commemoration to Bob Hope entertaining the troops. A sound-bit played recordings of his jokes and the appreciative clapping of the audience. Now covered for protection, is a Historic Carousel, hand carved in 1895 and still taking the young-at-heart up and down and around on the 54 magical animals.