REVISITING HOME OF SWALLOWS & ETERNAL SPRING (SAN DIEGO AREA)

Point Loma_Panorama 3-28-14

Like the swallows whose return to Capistrano, California, inspired songwriters and singers like Pat Boone to croon about them, Elizabeth and I returned to home of eternal spring on Thursday of last week. We spent four days touring the areas in and around San Diego that we have seen before, and discovering new charms of Southern California. Here are some of the photo memories we made…

DAY 1 – March 27 – SAN DIEGO

Star of India 2 IMG_1289 IMG_1287 IMG_1286 IMG_1288 IMG_1299 IMG_1292

DAY 2 – March 28 – BALBOA PARK

Balboa Park main square

Balboa Park is one of the most attractive areas of San Diego. Located IMG_1313within steps of the city center, this sprawling park which houses the famous San Diego Zoo is evidence of the city planners foresight from over a century ago. They have preserved this area for enjoyment of nature-lovers in generations to come. Which now includes you and us.

And in 1915, they created a magnificent monument to the opening of Panama Canal. A whole new town designed in built in Spanish style, a true architectural gem. Take a look…

IMG_1330 IMG_1329 IMG_1331  IMG_1328 IMG_1327 IMG_1326 IMG_1323 Bob at Balboa Park 3-28-14 IMG_1317 IMG_1316 IMG_1315

DAY 2 – March 28 – DEL CORONADO

Few places in the San Diego area are as well known as Del Coronado, a beautiful beach-hotel which first opened its doors to guests in 1888. In part, that’s because of its rich history. Such as  that in April 1920, she, as Mrs. Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr., aged 24 (her first husband) and he as Prince of Wales, aged 26 (later King Edward VIII for less than a year) met at Hotel del Coronado for the first time. The occasion had been a social affair honoring the heir to the British throne.

And the rest is history, as they say. The royal history, in this case, including his abdication from the British throne over the woman he met and fell in love with at Del Coronado.

Del Coronado panorama 3-28-14  IMG_1338 IMG_1334 Eliz at Del Coronado 3-28-14

DAY 2 – March 28 – POINT LOMA

We next drove around the San Diego harbor to Point Loma. Which lies directly opposite from Del Coronado, across the bay. Here one gets to experience wonderful wide vistas. Like these…

Point Loma_Panorama 3-28-14 Point Loma Pacific Panorama Point Loma_Panorama1 USNS Guadalupe at Pt Loma 3-18-14

This is also where Elizabeth figured out that a Pacific whale is about 10 times her size… 🙂

Whale spine at Point Loma IMG_1357 IMG_1362 IMG_1363 IMG_1356  IMG_1350 IMG_1345 IMG_1351

We finished the day at Del Mar where we briefly visited the famous race track before turning in at a local hotel. IMG_1364

DAY 3 – March 29 – UP THE COAST VIA CARLSBAD, DANA POINT TO SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Another perfect morning.  A little chilly for us desert rats (58F), but crystal clear. As we headed up the coast, we discovered two new gems: Carlsbad and San Juan Capistrano. The latter was also the place where we went to a theater show (a play, “Bachelorette”) and had a delicious dinner.

But first, Carlsbad… Look at this charming old train station. If I were an artist, I would paint this picture:Carlsbad tran station

And then, as if on cue, a train passed by. The cutest thing was that the railroad crossing was marked by a rope which two young men strung out across the street. 🙂

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Some more charming Carlsbad scenes. One thing that struck us about this town was that it seems to be a great place to raise a family. There was a palpable community spirit as we walked the streets of Carlsbad.

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And then we went on to Dana Point, another delightful coastal town…

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Apart from beautiful scenery, this is where we also came across an antique car show. We reveled, however, in the scenes like these two, where antique owners watched their prized antique cars from their beach chairs… 🙂

Antiques Watching Antiques

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I had Elizabeth take this picture of me because my late father used to drive a powder blue Chevy like this in the early 1950s. It was not his car, of course. Nobody owned cars back then in the communist Yugoslavia. But it was a “business” vehicle he got to use once in a while. And I remember riding in it once in 1953 to a big soccer game. What a treat for a little kid!  (Another antique memory) 🙂

DAY 3 – March 29 –  SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Unwittingly, we saved the best for last. Spending the last part of our last full day in San Juan Capistrano and its magnificent Mission was a special treat. Like Carlsbad, this town in the interior valley FELT like a home to the people who live there, not just an address with a bedroom. Here we could also feel that the community cared about culture.  So after dinner, we attended a live theater performance of “Bachelorette” at the SJ Capistrano Playhouse.

Before that, however, we stumbled upon another wedding and attended another wonderful string quartet concert at the San Juan Capistrano Mission. Check it out…

The Concert
The Wedding

And now, here are the rest of the San Juan Capistrano pictures…

Mission CJ Capistrano Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 8.28.59 PMHome of Swallows  IMG_1390 IMG_1384 IMG_1388

 

And now, recapping the whole trip in a single video…

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