He was standing above me staring at me, apparently I had slept too long at least for his liking. He noticed my eyes opened and jumped on the bed excitedly, there was no going back to sleep. It was nearly noon when I rolled out of bed, the sun careening in through the windows, illuminating the empty house. I walked over to the back door and let him out, then headed to the fridge, which was inconveniently empty. Rocky, the dog of the people who I was staying with, came back inside and demanded my attention. After weeks of loneliness it was nice to have a friend, even if he didn’t speak and his idea of a good time was chewing his was through a variety of stuffed toys.
The afternoon was in full swing by the time I joined the outside world. Even with traffic I made it to Pacific Beach quickly, where I decided to talk a walk on the boardwalk. Pacific Beach, or PB as the locals call it, which constantly made me thin of peanut butter, is a younger beach community, known for it’s laid back youthful attitude. The boardwalk was full of colorful characters, a wonderful place to people watch. Dreadlocked kids sat on the walls smoking weed, one even had a sign that brazenly stated, “cops stole my weed, donations for replacement.” I laughed and sauntered along out on to the pier. A group of people were quietly fishing, enjoying the warm sun and the refreshing ocean breeze.
On the pier a successful fisherman cleaned his daily catch as a group of seagulls eagerly awaited him to leave so they could enjoy a lunch of fresh fish guts. The gulls had little care for the humans mulling about and bravely flew around the pier awaiting a quick easy meal. Having got a late start to my day I decided to head back to the car in order to optimize my time. On my way back a man with a rat on his shoulder stood laughing with a group of equaling interesting looking characters, sharing a few beers. “A person could spend a whole week just watching the characters that wander around PB,” I thought, as I entered a bathroom, where a man asked me for the time, and upon my answer, responded optimistically, “still plenty of time to get drunk!”
|Creeper shot of rat man!|
I decided to head over to Coronado Island, Takishia had told me about a hotel there that was evidently quite famous, it’s seemingly biggest claim to fame seemed to be that Marilyn Monroe had filmed scenes for “Some Like it Hot” there.
|I did not take this photo, you know, cause I wasn't alive and all.|
Hotel Del Coronado, which is the second largest wooden structure in America, was the largest resort in the world when it was built in 1888, and still maintains a magnificent level of grandeur today. The white facade and unmistakable red roof, standing out in simple elegance that still captivates over 125 years later. I walked around the hotel and headed out onto the massive flat beach behind it. On the beach a man had built an amazing sandcastle that stood in beautiful syncrasy. I strolled along the beach for awhile just watching the people, who were significantly less entertaining than the folks of Pacific Beach, walk by peacefully enjoy the calm laid back atmosphere of Coronado Island.
I headed back to the car, taking the main street lined with speciality shops and patrons meandering about, a completely different feeling from the hustle and bustle of life just over the bridge in San Diego.
The sun was setting so I decided to head up to Children’s Pool Beach, a popular attraction along the shore, where a rookery of seals could be found lying on the beach or swimming in the shallow protected waters of a small cove.
The cove is actually man made, having been created by the construction of a sea wall along the coast. For over 60 years this wall served as a way to protect the beach from crashing waves and created a safe area for families with children to swim, thus the name Children’s Pool Beach. However, in the mid 1990’s swimming was prohibited in the area due to high fecal level counts, caused by an increase in the local seal population. Controversy ensued, including talk of removing the seals from the beach, but since the late nineties the beach has become a popular tourist attraction.
When I arrived at the beach the sun was low in the sky casting a stunning palate of orange across the landscape. Most of the seals laid on the beach, periodically scratching themselves or sneezing, but otherwise not moving. A few younger seals frolicked in the water as the waves gently rolled in. It’s amazing how immobile the seals seem on land but how quick they are in the water. I sat and watched the seals as the sun set into the ocean, heralding the end to another day.
I headed back to the house, knowing that Takishia would be getting out of work soon. When I got back she was already there and we headed out to dinner. She had told me of this small snack shack, which was evidently popular judging by the line that stretched down the block. The name of the place is called Carnitas’ Snack Shack, named after the Chef/owners pet pig Carnitas. The Snack Shack serves a variety of pork-centric dishes, and I ordered the triple threat, which I am just going to steal the description for the menu of,
“A trifecta of pork stacked on a Kaiser roll from Sadie Rose Bakery: a chicken-fried pork cutlet, slow roasted pulled pork and slices of applewood-smoked bacon, topped with home made pepperoncini and pickle relish. It could be overkill; it’s not.”
This sandwich was one of the best I have ever eaten and it was surprisingly inexpensive. The Snack Shack has a small garden in the back where one can sit and enjoy there food, with a cold beer or glass of wine. The triple threat was, not surprisingly, voted as one of The Iconic Sandwiches of San Diego.
We headed over to balboa park, which contains most of the cities museums as well as being a stunning park on its own. The beautiful buildings reeked of european heritage, an ode to the Spaniards who had first settled this area, the wide boulevards were packed with people strolling and enjoying an evening in the soft glow of the lights from the gorgeous chandelier that hung above the walkways.
|If you are wondering why the pictures are at night, it's because I am a liar.|
Each building possessed it’s own splendor, yet adhered to an amazingly intricate congruency. The beautiful facades looked out over the sprawling plaza where a father danced with his daughter to the music of a lone violinist, the music echoing throughout the space. A closed outdoor stage was overtaken by a group of youthful skateboarders, there modern personas standing out against the timeless forum they used, couples walked through the meandering pathways hand and hand, enjoying the silence of the park. The night closed in time, hugging the oasis of light emitting from the parks buildings. Off in the distance the skyline of the city stood as a backdrop to the beauty that surrounded us.
Afterwards we headed back home, tomorrow I would be back on the road and was looking forward to getting a full nights rest before returning to a life of sleeping in my car and not showering. Tomorrow I would hit the Pacific Coast Highway.