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San Diego

Home?

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We've been in San Diego for just two months and we've made three small trips already, two to LA to see my Mom and one to San Francisco to see friends, so we are closer to being tourists in San Diego than we are to feeling like residents. That will pass, of course, and we are in the process of changing our condo to make it feel more like home, but meanwhile I can talk about San Diego as if I was visiting.
To begin with, downtown San Diego is quite small, about one and a quarter miles square. You can easily walk from any corner to any other, which means that if you are staying anywhere in town, park your car and forget it. And like any city, you'll see a lot more and get more of the flavor of the town if you walk. By the way, I call it a town because that is the feeling downtown has. Only 35,000 people live in the area bordered by Interstate 5 even though the total population of the city is 1.2 million.
When you visit, you will want to walk down 5th street and experience the Gas Lamp District. While interesting during the day, night time is best as that's when the place comes alive. The restaurants are a bit more expensive than the rest of the city and the meals we have had have been pretty ordinary, but the atmosphere is something you'll want to enjoy.
The other night time area is Little Italy, a stretch of about six blocks on India Street not too far from the airport. As the name implies, you will find most things Italian including many restaurants. The food is better here but the selection is limited. Be in the mood for pasta.
During the day, our favorite stretch of downtown is the Marina area from Waterfront Park to Seaport Village. The village has a dozen small restaurants where you can grab lunch and almost always eat outside. San Diego has over 330 days of sunshine a year and even winter days are usually in the 60's. Unfortunately, Seaport Village is going to be torn down and replaced by a "resort". Chances are the charm will vanish with the wrecking ball.
If you enjoy ships, the waterfront has two ship museums: the Midway - a World War II aircraft carrier, and the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which has half a dozen different ships to tour including two submarines, a Spanish Galleon, and the Star of India, a three masted sailing ship. Either museum will take you at least four hours to see, and both are worth the time.
Downtown has an array of museums, shops, some interesting old buildings, and a set of new skyscrapers along the waterfront. The convention center is also located downtown, famous for its Comic-con.
You could easily spend two or three days without leaving the heart of the city, but most people are going to want to visit Balboa Park just a mile to the north. The park is large, famous for the San Diego Zoo, but also filled with museums, gardens, a lovely municipal golf course, and the Old Globe Theater: far too much to see in a day.
And there is more: Old Town San Diego, the birthplace of California; Coronado Island and the Hotel Del Coronado; Point Loma with its beautiful views, lighthouse, and early settlements; and many other places all still withing San Diego. Certainly more than we've been able to see even having been here 50 days.

Posted by randjb 12:49 Archived in USA Tagged san diego downtown Comments (0)

Moving to San Diego

Via Yosemite

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View Moving to San Diego via Yosemite & Wedding and move from Cabot Court on randjb's travel map.

Having a place to live in San Diego before we left for Europe was unexpected and brought about more changes. We had already planned to see Yosemite in May given that they turned the falls on this year, but that trip now needed to be part of our move to San Diego. We drove up on Tuesday, May 16, had a wonderful day of sightseeing on Wednesday, including breakfast at the Ahwahnee (don't ask me to call if the Majestic), and finished the day with dinner at the Wawona Hotel. Our room in the hotel was a visit to the past, perhaps a little too authentic as we had no bathroom. I guess the good news was that we had a short stay, waking up at 3 a.m. to begin the drive to San Diego.
Turned out that though I wanted the movers to come Friday, the best they could do was Thursday. I negotiated a starting time of noon, so we needed to get from Yosemite to San Diego before lunch. Not too many cars on the road at 3:30 a.m. but, surprisingly, we were not completely alone even while driving in the Sierras. We ended up in the LA basin just in time for rush hour and therefore turned east until we reached Ontario. From there, we took I-15 into San Diego, arriving at 11 a.m.
The movers worked hard an got all our furniture and boxes into the condo and storage area that afternoon. Debbie and I spent the next week getting most of the boxes unpacked and the furniture arranged, altogether making considerably more progress than I thought we would, especially as our contractor, Ray, needed us to make some decisions we hadn't planned on such as selecting the lighting fixtures and mirrors we wanted installed.
We got most everything done in the next week and flew to the Bay Area just long enough to pickup Chesirae and fly back to LA for Sharry's sushi party, which also provided us a chance to give Chesirae a surprise graduation party. Mom, Dan and Kim, Lysa and Todd, and Tyler all were also there, as well as Kasey and her girls.
Debbie and Chesirae returned to the Bay Area on Sunday while I took a train on Memorial Day back to San Diego. I spent the week continuing the unpacking and organizing of the condo. Dan became our first guest as he came down for an overnight visit. On Friday, I moved all the furniture into whatever spaces I could find that were out of the way, as construction starts Monday, June 5. With that, I flew back to the Bay Area, one more week before we begin our summer trip to Europe.

Posted by randjb 11:14 Archived in USA Tagged san diego yosemite moving Comments (0)

We bought a new home

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View Buying a new home & Wedding and move from Cabot Court on randjb's travel map.

We didn't really think we'd find someplace in San Diego so quickly, and with all the other changes, we didn't need to add this one. However, the place is right where we want to be, two blocks from the bay and easy walking distance to Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter.
We won't get to be there much before we leave for the summer, but now we have a beautiful place to return to.

Posted by randjb 12:17 Archived in USA Tagged home san diego condo grande Comments (0)

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