Thursday, August 24, 2006

San Diego: Day 2

A wonderful night's sleep in our Chinese wedding bed, followed by coffee, fresh fruit, juice and pastries delivered to the room, and we were ready for the next day of exploration. We intended to head straight to La Jolla, to the north, and started through Balboa Park, when Amy looked to the right, and said, "That's an interesting building. I wonder what that is?" I turned off to get a better look, and we found the magic that is Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is from the same vein as San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Built in the early 1900's for an Exposition (why don’t we have more of these now?), it is a monument to the combination of classic architecture, art, and soul-enriching spirit. It's HUGE, and the landscape is lush, meticulous, and a discovery around every corner. For instance, the seemingly innocuous parking lot disclosed a glimpse of an amazing architectural gem; we headed in, and found an incredible theatre! Through the courtyard, we could see even more: a lush meadow, broken up by what seemed to be an aerie, but was an incredible arboretum.

We parked, spent about an hour walking around, and vowed to head back the next day. We headed up the road to La Jolla, where we quickly found ourselves walking in a seaside delight. A lunch, high above the cliffs, had us looking down at the water, watching kayaks and snorkelers prowling the coastline. No, it wasn't much of a meal or service, but the warm sun and cool breeze as we looked over the Pacific made up for it.

As we headed back to San Diego, we stopped off at the Glider Port, to watch the sky sailers swoop over the coastline. We then took a detour to Old Town, where we found some surprising treasures:
- A shop, completely devoted to root beer, one of my favorites. The proprietor was friendly, and fun.
- A interactive Wild West shoot-out, with towering steel cowboys exchanging gunfire in the form of dueling water sprays.
- A cigar store (Racine & Laramie) with some of the most surprising short handmades I've smoked ever.
- A coffee and tea shop, with a dizzying array of both. Decaf Highlander Grog: yum!

We spent much of the rest of the day walking the streets of La Jolla, then headed back to the Inn. We relaxed on the upper deck of the Inn my father found, where he and I shared our surprising cigars (Fenna and Amy put up with us). Some rest, then off to Little Italy for a hard to find (and even harder to park!) repast at a surprisingly wonderful joint (review comes separately). We had a wonderful dinner, then retired back to Inn for the evening.

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