Tuesday, November 13, 2007

San Diego Trip: Day 2

We started out Friday at, drumroll please... breakfast at Denny's. I had a perfectly serviceable Grand Slam Slugger breakfast.

Nobody was really taking the initiative as to what we were going to do. There were a few things that some people wanted to see at some point during the trip. One was visit the Hotel Del Coronado, and the other was visit San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park.

We decided to hit the Del, but first we took a trip to Seaport Village, mostly because we couldn't find the damn thing on Thursday. It was okay, mostly tourist stuff, but in a pleasant enough environment. MizSplotchy got some earrings for my mother. The thing I liked most about the place was the nearby Marina Park, right off the water.

There was a guy flying some enormous kites there, and the park was filled with strange trees. I am sure I bored everyone with my constant out-loud musings, but I was fascinated by all the different foliage I saw around me. I probably asked MizSplotchy at least ten times (I'm not exaggerating) what she thought the root system for the palm trees looked like.

Aieeee! Kite Lobster!

Who doesn't love triangles?

I don't know what these trees are called.

It was cloudy in the morning, and as a result I still didn't quite feel like I was in California. The weather report called for "decreased cloudiness" in the afternoon, so I hoped for the best.

Our next stop was the lovely Hotel Del Coronado, a really beautiful old hotel, famous for being the place where Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot was filmed.

We spent most of the time out back, next to the Del's large beach. Again, a large part of our party spent their time just sitting outside downing beers. I would go down for a walk on the beach, then come back and hang out with them, then go back. I think I took something like five separate walks on the beach. I took a different person on three of the walks. I actually had a great time. There was much joy in my heart as my feet walked through the sand, then the freaking cold waves of the Pacific Ocean.

That brown sliver on the left is my jacket. It was cold.


Thank you, cleansing ocean waves!

The sun started to break through as the day progressed.

Note that bright sliver of sun on the ocean in the distance.

On one of my walks down the shore, I spotted some guys with pitchforks knee-deep in water. I asked what they were doing, and they replied they were getting clams -- pismo clams to be precise. They started pulling out some very large clams and dropped them into nets hanging from their belts. They said they had a limit of 10 per day, and they could only keep those greater than 4½ inches. I asked to take their pictures, and they said okay.

I had wanted to get a picture of the clams they were pulling out as well, but felt like I was already imposing. I decided I would ask them when I walked back down the beach. However, by the time I got back to their place they were already gone. This didn't surprise me, as in the couple minutes I watched them they pulled out three giant clams.

One thing that this landlubber thought was really cool was finding many, many sand dollars washed ashore. I picked up a few for the kiddies back home.

There was a constant stream of airplanes and jets, flying close to the ground to land at a nearby naval base.

On my last walk down to the ocean, I was accompanied by the lovely MizSplotchy. We went exploring some large rocks near the ocean, and saw a fair amount of wildlife.

I believe these were barnacles. They were squishy black things covered in bits of shell. I'm assuming the shell material was produced by the barnacles.

MizSplotchy completely creeped me out by pushing her finger on the barnacles. "Look!" she said. "They squirt water when you push them!" Oh, gross. MizSplotchy is deathly afraid of rodents, and I apparently am deathly afraid of squishy wet things.

We saw a starfish, which seemed to be dead, but I sure as hell wasn't going to touch it.

We also saw these things. I have no idea what the hell they are. They move when you drop water on them. Gross! Icky!

The miniature nature hike ended when MizSplotchy picked up a rock covered in seaweed and chased me around with it. You bet your ass I ran like hell. NO MEANS NO!

As the day wore on, the clouds dispersed. We watched a wedding get set up on the sand, then saw the ceremony. MizSplotchy's cousin said the bride looked like a porn star. I dunno, as long as she was a happy porn star, that's all that counts.

I got overcome by the retarded tourist urge to snap photographs at the setting sun over the ocean.





We were going to go to Old Town to eat at some wonderful Mexican restaurant, but for some reason, plans changed and we headed to the seafood restaurant Anthony's instead, which turned out to be my favorite meal I had in San Diego (and it was completely boob-free!).

Next Up: Day 3, where we witness fire devastation, see some "wild" animals, visit a model railroad train museum and hang out with the family.


lulu said...

I love beach walks and tidal pools. It sounds like you had a just about perfect day.

Distributorcap said...

they have the best beaches in San Diego ---

hope you make it to La Jolla and the Scripps Aquarium

Randal Graves said...

Very cool assortment of pictures.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Your travelogue has me spell bound. I can't wait for the next installment.

Sleestak said...

I don't believe you didn't let me know you were in San Diego ahead of time.

Splotchy said...

lulu, it was pretty damned nice.

dc, nope didn't make it, but I was happy enough with what I did.

randal g, thanks!

dr mvm, thank you! I'll probably get the last bit up sometime today.

sleestak, sorry! I didn't have a lot of control over the vacation regardless, as it was mostly a family-oriented vacation. I didn't even really get a moment alone with my wife until breakfast on the last day.

Diamond Dave Diggler said...

Those little round thingies are aggregating anemones.

That Starfish looks like an Ochre sea star, and it might not have been dead. They hang around out of the water at low tide sometimes.

I think the squishy thing might have been a bunch of dead anemones. They stick together. Can't be sure though.

I spent some time on the San Diego beaches in the Navy. Part of the beach you were on (down by the base) had signs that say. "Live ordnance beyond this point" or something. There were many a drunk night when we would see seals emerging from the water during training exercises. Navy Seals, not the swimming mammal. Well navy seals are swimming mammals too, I guess, but you understand... (sigh).

Catherine said...

Great pics! I have never been to San Diego. Makes me want to go. The kind of winter we get here in Chicago will help me decide how soon I want to go. ;)

Slave to the dogs said...

I luuuuuurv San Diego. Pacific Beach and La Jolla are both great spots if you have time.

Splotchy said...

CTC, thanks for your zoological expertise! I was hoping you would comment on the wildlife pictures.

cat, I predict the Chicago winter will make you want to go, even after the effects of global warming.

s_to_the_d, I guess La Jolla will be a must-see on a future trip to San Diego.

dguzman said...

sweet photos! I've only been to the Pacific once, and I didn't get enough time on the beach to take even one walk, much less see all that sealife. I was going to guess little jellyfish for the anemones. What do I know?

Moxie said...

I believe the trees are sycamores...but I could be wrong. So glad you hit Anthony's and enjoyed it! Eventually I will get back down there and nosh on their yummy shrimpies.

Anonymous said...

Those aren't sycamore trees. I believe they are coral trees.

Splotchy said...

d, you know as much as I do, if not more.

moxie, I'm sorry I missed the Mexican restaurant on this trip. Too much Denny's.

kirby, thanks for the tree ID.

Anonymous said...

Wow- pretty

So I do not know, if you had seen any tide pools with a large creatures population- if so you can fish for them with strings and like salami, the creatures. It is so fun_?

Anonymous said...

wow- pretty

so I don't know, if you had seen any tide-pools with a good population of creatures- well thosne cans be cought with string and like, salami-- sooo fun. smile