Friday, February 17, 2017

A Silver Strand "Vacation"

I feel like I have been on vacation this past week. OK, I know what you're thinking ... we are retired and travel around in our RV, so we are always on vacation. Well, you may be right. But nonetheless, our stay this week at Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado, California has turned out to be one of those scenic, relaxing, and fun destinations that bring out that "vacation" feeling. 

We originally ruled out staying at Silver Strand based on comments from past RVers. Yes, it is basically a parking lot, and yes, it backs up to a busy road ... all for twice the cost of most other RV parks in the area. But when we biked by here a few weeks ago and gazed upon the beach ...

we were hooked!

Let the Silver Strand Beach Vacation begin ... oh, and by the way, Doug ... there may not be as much lounging around on the beach as you would like!

Biking the Strand

With San Diego Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, there was endless beauty as well as activities to enjoy on The Silver Strand. A paved bike path leads you north into Coronado or south to Imperial Beach and around the bay into Chula Vista and San Diego.

Coronado, the "crowned one", is a famous vacation paradise located three miles up the bike path. Cute shops, tasty restaurants, beautiful homes and gorgeous views of the ocean and bay added to our vacation feeling.

We enjoyed walking around the flower gardens and along the beach behind the famous Hotel Del Coronado. The "Del" as the locals refer to it was the largest resort hotel in the world when it opened in 1888. Throughout its history many stories have evolved of movie star and ghost sightings ... but we saw neither.

For a crazy amount of money, Doug could have really spoiled his Valentine with dinner and a room, but he didn't. He knows the true way to my heart ... with some wonderful ice cream from Moo Time Creamery ... best enjoyed in the sunshine overlooking the ocean!

A little further down the street, I was able to return the favor and treat my Valentine to his favorite IPA at Coronado Brewing Co. What's this, they have Happy Hour specials Tuesdays through Fridays?? Let's just say that we took the bike path up to Coronado a few more times!

Walking the Strand

With the beach less than 100 yards beyond the Wildebeest's resting spot, we got our fair share of beach walking in. It is amazing how the sun, clouds, winds, and tides create a different beach walk experience each time.

With each walk we enjoyed ever-changing beach beauty including seashells and sand dollars,

... and a bat ray that accidently got hooked by a fisherman. We watched as the fisherman very carefully got the hook out and sent Mr. Bat Ray back into the ocean ... all the time avoiding contact with his stinging spine. 

Always lots to be discovered and fun to be found on the beach ... like Mr. Clam who unfortunately is not producing any pearls for me!

Relaxing on the Strand

Another reason that this week felt like a vacation is that we were able to just sit on the beach and relax while looking for whales, or surfers, or ... maybe a beautiful mermaid, 

... or watch the birds discuss among themselves which group of people potentially has the best "snacks" to steal,

... or enjoy the excitement of children as they watch the sun disappear over the horizon signaling the end of another beautiful day.

Some may define "vacation" as taking time away from work or school, but we have found a definition that fits our current lifestyle. For us, a "vacation" is simply being able to spend time in the beauty around you ... and enjoy that beauty with a special person in your life!

Until next time ... "vacation" with the one you love ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

We would love to see a photo of your favorite "vacation" place and partner!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

San Diego's Simple Pleasures

When we arrive in a new location, I am tempted to "see and do it all" ... usually in the first few days that we are there. But as Doug pointed out while following blogs of other full time RVers, "seeing and doing it all" can quickly tire you out. Most have found greater enjoyment in their travels when they slow down and integrate some "mellow-out" days in with the "sight-seeing" days. Since that philosophy fits in perfectly with Doug's relaxed personality, we have adopted it over the last few weeks and found joy in ...

San Diego's Simple Pleasures!

Simple Pleasures of ...

 ... urban artwork and fragrant flowers that line the boulevards in nearby neighborhoods.

Simple Pleasures of ...

 ... meeting up with Habitat friends and enjoying the "fruits" of our friendship with some delicious oranges and limes from their yard.

Simple Pleasures of ...

... reconnecting with California family while sharing a wonderful meal, family stories, and laughter!

Simple Pleasures of ...

... visits with Iowa friends who just happen to be in the neighborhood!

 Simple Pleasures of ...

... having that skilled repairman who can fix the "chips" in the Wildebeest's windshield while I relax with a good book in the sunshine! Yes, I am just completing David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize winning biography, John Adams. Interesting, especially in the context of the current political environment.

Simple Pleasures of ...

... walks on lakeside park paths or bike rides on urban streets.

Simple Pleasures of ...

... having these walks and bikes rides lead us to a new favorite hangout!

Doug's review for Iron Fist Brewing. The Snapper Wontons from
Mishmash next door were delectable!

Doug's review for Novo Brazil Brewing Co

Simple Pleasures of ...

... savoring another magnificent ending of RVenturous day from the Wildebeest's now "chip free" window to the world!

Until next time ... delight in Simple Pleasures ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

Doug better get in his share of "resting up" in before his friend, Dave, arrives in a few weeks, and the "wild touring frenzy" begins!
WooHoo! I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Exploring San Diego By Bike

We have been in San Diego for a week enjoying the views of the city from our hilltop campsite at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park. This large community park has good sized full hookup campsites, nice walking trails, and easy access to San Diego.

On our way to San Diego, we had our taste of winter as we traveled over Mt Laguna Pass ... and no, we do not miss driving in the snow. The Wildebeest decided to quit moving her windshield wipers just as we drove into some nice wet falling snow. A stop on the side of the road and some fiddling with fuses solved the problem ... just as the snow/rain mix also decided to end. Always grateful to have a mechanically-talented pilot, and a God who hears the prayers of the nervous co-pilot!

Brilliant sunshine and colors greeted us in San Diego. The recent heavy rains brought out beautiful palettes of green along the hillside. As the sun set, we started planning our strategy for exploring San Diego by bike.

Google maps shows many bike paths, bike lanes and bike "friendly" roads around the city. We started our first trip from the campground, but after coasting down a nice long hill and biking for a short distance on a bike "unfriendly" road ...

... we realized that it would not be as fun biking along that road and back up that hill in order to get home. Yes, as I walked my bike back up the hill at the end of the ride, I was determined to find an easier way. 

We found a shopping mall parking lot right across from the bike path that leads into San Diego. This can serve as a great launching point ... let the bike exploration begin!

Ten miles later,
we were in downtown San Diego.

The great thing about exploring a city by bike is being able to get a general overview of different areas of the city without trying to find multiple parking spots and getting caught in southern California's famous traffic jams.

Since we are going to be in San Diego for five weeks, we will have plenty of time to return for a closer look at some of our favorite sites like ...

The USS Midway Museum,
Balboa Park with its many museums
and beautiful gardens,

The Gaslamp District,

Mission Beach Boardwalk (after the sand
is all removed from recent heavy rains),

Old Town,

Seaport Village,
and Coronado Island.

The other joy of exploring by bike is all the "unintentional, but really neat" sites you see and pictures that you capture along the way like ...

Flowers in bloom,

Our first "selfie" along
the Pacific Ocean,

Sand dollars ... or in this case,
a sand quarter,

Unusual car washes ... yes,
that van ran into the fire hydrant,

And a brewery or two!

Looks like there is plenty of exploring (and a few breweries) in store for us in the coming weeks!

Until next time ... explore some more with the one you love ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

Thanks for following along!
We always love to hear your latest exploration stories and see your pictures!
Also, if you have been to San Diego, what are your favorite "must see" sites?