Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Waking up to the first light over the Pacific and listening to the sound of the breaking waves! A long walk down a sandy beach in the early morning. What a great way to start the last day of 2009 -- a year that will go down as annus (or anus) horribilis for us and many of our friends and family. A year of loss, grief, sadness, bad news, betrayal, etc... Yet a year of new discovery, renewal, and new beginnings that ends on a good note with bright hope for better things to come in 2010!

We'll be traveling back home today and spending a quiet evening with our favorite canine friend! I saw this scene in an antique store the other day and thought I'd share it with all of you!

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for Happiness in 2010!

Woo hoooooo!

Somebody Stop Me!

Food, glorious food! We've been eating it like it's going out of style on this trip! Fish and chips, mahi mahi sandwiches, lasagna, taco salads, breakfast sandwiches . . . . Somebody please stop me! Oh well, that's why we all make New Year's resolutions!

Coconut shrimp and onion straws at Joe's Crab Shack.

A little boy was afraid the shark at Joe's was going to eat him!

Lunch in Old Town.

The Burrito Especial at The Coyote Cafe.

My Enchilada Suizas. (Sue's are much better!)

Fish and chips at the Green Flash in Pacific Beach!

My mahi mahi sandwich and fruit at the Green Flash.

Craig and I both had the Cobb sandwich and salad at Pacifica in Del Mar. Turkey, bacon, tomato, onion, avocado, and blue cheese dressing on a wonderful roll!

Sunday lunch at the Dana Point marina!

Craig had the fish and chips! I, of course, had a mahi mahi sandwich that was out of this world! Are you seeing a pattern here with the mahi mahi sandwiches and fish and chips???

We're sitting here watching the Holiday Bowl wondering what to eat for dinner our last night! I vote for a salad! And we have to remember to buy Tums!

The other thing we're wondering is where the heck were we when the earthquake hit San Diego this morning? I think we must have been traveling in the car since we missed it. I remember that phenomena from my earthquake days in Seattle.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Glimpses of Tuesday!

After one last gorgeous sunset from the room in Carlsbad, we checked out of the hotel this morning and headed south to San Diego to spend our last two nights on the ocean in Pacific Beach. First stop on the ride down the coast was Torrey Pines State Beach.

Torrey Pines was one of the beaches noted on one of the seaglass sights, so we decided to make a stop.

Craig and I have really been spoiled by our trips to Isla Mujeres. This was what we picked up during our hour plus hunt down the beach. Fairly pitiful by Isla standards! Seaglass is so scarce around here, I nearly wet my pants when I saw these green pieces in the sand!

We arrived early in Pacific Beach before our hotel room was ready, so we headed down the boardwalk to the Green Flash. I'll show photos of our food in another post. Craig had the fish and chips and I had a mahi mahi sandwich with fruit. Both were wonderful! The room still wasn't ready after lunch, so we decided to head to Ocean Beach to check out some of the antique stores.

The shops were wonderful, and now I'm regretting not buying a couple of items. We may need to go back! Aren't these cool old bottles with shell bottle stoppers beautiful!

Ocean Beach seems to be THE happening young place in San Diego. Here's the O.B. lampposts decorated for Christmas.

This place must have fantastic burgers. The line literally was a half block long!

Back in Pacific Beach, we were able to check into the room. We decided to head out on a walk down the boardwalk. I told Craig we really should deck ourselves out in these getups! I'd go for the tie-dyed peace shirt, but he'd never bite on that Old Guys Rule shirt!

The bait shop on Crystal Pier.

We took a stroll out onto Crystal Pier. This is the view from the end of the pier back to shore.

Look at this beautiful seashell wreath!

These Crystal Pier Cottages are fantastic!

By the time we returned from our walk, the sun was setting. So far, there's been a beautiful sunset every night! I should sleep like a baby to the sound of these waves tonight! : )

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Beachy Christmas!

Christmas has come and gone, but some of the decorations still remain! I've always wanted to spend the holidays at the beach so I could see tropical and Christmas mixed! I'm glad I got to see the beachy Christmas decor in Southern California this year!

This big beach chair's all decked out!

The Christmas tree in the hotel lobby is gorgeous!

The Del Mar Lifeguard Station is all decked out with Surfin' Santa on the roof.

Love this cute balcony decoration in Carlsbad!

This gorgeous tree is at the entrance to Solana Beach Park.

Love this little wagon full of poinsettias.

This Christmas display down the road in Encinitas is my favorite!

Guess it's time for those New Year's resolutions now! Mine is definitely get more beach time in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Little Beach Tour

Sunday morning was gorgeous with blue skies, so we decided to take a drive north on 101. We stopped at Starbucks in Carlsbad where I purchased a frappe for the road and Craig got himself a breakfast deal -- a breakfast sandwich and coffee for $3.95!

We started the trip following this 57 Chevy through Oceanside, then headed on north to San Clemente.

At San Clemente, we parked the car and walked the beach north towards the pier. What a gorgeous setting!

After San Clemente, we headed on north to Laguna Beach. Once out of the car, I immediately noticed the beautiful aloe plants. They're in bloom all over Southern California. Absolutely beautiful! The Southern California landscape is so lush, even in the winter!

The view down the Laguna coastline is extremely striking. We descended the stairs down into the cove and searched around the rocks for seaglass. Craig found one paltry white piece. So far, the seaglass pickings have been extremely slim on the beaches we've walked.

After Laguna, we headed back towards home. We decided to drive just a little south of Carlsbad to Encinitas. By that time, the afternoon skies had covered with haze.

It was only three o'clock, but the sky was beginning to color for sunset.

We walked a long ways down the beach here. Notice the stack of rocks below. Very Zen-like! I keep seeing these on all the beaches around here!

Birds of a feather definitely DO flock together!

After our walk, we headed back to Carlsbad. Tomorrow, I think we'll explore some of the beaches to the south! There's an antique mall in Solana Beach. I hope it's open on Monday!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a Day!

What a great day! We left home around 7:30 a.m., and just as planned, we were checked into the hotel in Carlsbad, California by early afternoon. After stopping at a little Mexican restaurant in the village for taco salads, we spent several hours beachcombing at South Carlsbad State Beach.

These birds had no intention of moving just because I was right next to them with a camera.

This is kind of the trademark California beach photo. Surfers getting out of the water!

I beachcombed all the way to the cave at the north end of the beach.

Sunset was early! Before 5 o'clock!

The view to the south was prettier than the actual sunset!

Another trademark California beach shot!

Back at the room, we admired the sunset view through the palms.

Strolling through Carlsbad village looking for a place to eat dinner, we happened upon a place called Jay's Gourmet that was packed with locals. That's always a good sign! Craig had the lasagna, and I ordered the Caesar. Both were excellent. We have to make a return trip there so I can have some of that lasagna! Yum!

We admired the Christmas decorations in shop windows on the way back to the car. All the beach cottages are decorated with holiday lights! It reminds us so much of our December trips to the beach in the Northwest.

What a great start to our California beach trip! Can't wait to get up tomorrow morning and explore some more beaches!