Saturday, July 6, 2013

Greetings from San Diego

View from the deck toward the misty San Bernardino Mountains
A few days after Nan returned from her visit home to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to see her mother, I left Isla Mujeres, Mexico (after two more trips to Immigration for the necessary paperwork) to travel to San Diego for a family get-together celebrating my father's eightieth birthday. Nan graciously stayed behind to look after the boat, and it's good that she did because she has reported daily rain and high winds.

My sisters Susan and Jane coordinated the rental of a large home in the hills of La Jolla, with great views to the north toward the San Bernardino Mountains. We have been mostly hanging out at the house because it has been difficult to coordinate twelve people going anywhere in three small rental cars, especially when nobody can agree on where to go. We did all agree to go to the La Jolla Cove beach area on Monday to see the surfers and the sea lions. Brother Stuart was the only one to take a swim and he reported that the water was a brisk 72 degrees or so.

Rhinoceros waiting for dinner at the San Diego ZooOn Wednesday, a group of us went to the San Diego Zoo. Growing up in Milwaukee, I always thought Milwaukee's zoo was the best, but it doesn't compare to San Diego's, partly because of the difference in climates. Milwaukee's harsh winters prevent the growth of the lush tropical vegetation that is so abundant at the San Diego Zoo. We were there in the late afternoon, at feeding time, and the animals were active. We watched the big cats and the rhinoceros pace around in anticipation of dinner. The koalas woke from their naps and munched on the eucalyptus shoots that were waiting for them. We would have seen the pandas and their new cub but the line was a half-hour long. Some in our group were able to spot them later from the aerial tram we took at the end of the day.

Koala munching eucalyptus shoots at the San Diego ZooOn Thursday, Independence Day, another group of us went to Old Town San Diego. I had not realized that it even existed, but the people of San Diego have done a remarkable job in preserving the original site of the city's settlement. We toured the buildings that housed the first settlers but are now excellent museums. We watched the Fourth of July parade around the Old Town square featuring descendants in period clothing. And we jumped at the boom of an historic cannon firing.

Friday, our last full day, was another beach day. We all drove up to Encinitas and spent the afternoon at Sea Cliff County Park. The nephews tried to body surf in the small waves, and Stuart again went for a long swim. The rest of us were content to sit in the sand and watch the surfers.

I took advantage of being in the United States and had a bunch of boat stuff drop-shipped to the La Jolla house for personal transport back to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. In addition to getting the delaminated skeg fixed, I now have what I need to complete a long list of additional boat projects. More on that later...

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