Adieu San Diego
“It often happens that when you look at familiar things through someone else's eyes you see them as you have never seen them before.”
― John Mole,
ADIEU SAN DIEGO
A month came and went too fast. We will miss San Diego, but know we will return, possibly for an entire winter, once our wandering ways have subsided some.
We both have differing memories of this fabulous city on the sea. The navy ships brought Reg here too many times to count. Broadway Pier. Black’s Beach. Bernie’s. These places defined his early years. Later in life his trips revolved around Admiral Baker Golf Course and even Torrey Pines. Arranging golf outings for him and his fellow shipmates became an obsession.
I often flew down to visit a friend. My trips involved rental cars, boogie boards, Baskin and Robbins ice cream, Del Mar dog beach, Belly Up Tavern and the Comedy Club.
No matter. We both fell in life-long love with San Diego.
This past month we managed to fit in as much as we could without pushing our aging bones to the limit. Reg got in a bit of golf. He stood on the newly-designed Broadway Pier and gazed across the street sadly at the new high-rises that have long since replaced Bernie’s. I managed to keep him away from Black’s Beach!
We walked along the shoreline at all times of the day and night. Gathered shells and sea glass and listened to the barking of the sea lions. I wasn’t brave enough to get my boogie board wet (this time!).
My 59th birthday gift was a dinner cruise around the harbor. Seeing the city at night from the water side was a highlight of the trip.
Not one to be satisfied with only one water tour, we found a half-price Groupon that we couldn’t resist. A two-hour daylight cruise around the harbor would show me yet another side of this city. Reg, of course, had seen it many times from this vantage point, but years had passed and things had changed. Coronado Island, military dolphin training exercises, navy ships of all shapes and sizes, planes still landing far too close to humanity for my liking, Seaport Village, Harbour Island and Cabrillo National Monument. Everything looks different from a ship.
Friends came to visit and we took in Scripps Aquarium.
We wandered around Balboa Park and I even got Reg inside a couple of museums.
The San Diego Zoo is world-renowned and took up an entire day and all existing energy.
Hikes included Mission Bay and Torrey Pines Natural Reserve.
Reg and our friend Gilles volunteered at Farmer’s Insurance Open golf tournament for almost a week so I accompanied them on pro-am day. In the pre-dawn light a golf course looks incredibly different, especially on tournament day. Every hole, it seemed, had someone working with only the light from their headlamp, mowing or rolling or watering. It was eerie walking the cart paths almost entirely alone.
Fort Rosecrans National (armed forces) Cemetery was a surprise stop. Never having heard of it, we drove past it on a very foggy morning en route to Cabrillo National Monument. The thousands of white grave markers on the rolling, ocean-sloped hills melted away into the thick white fog. The first place I stopped to take a photo turned out to be beside the grave of a CPL Watrous, who I share a birthdate with.
Shopping trips, biking, hockey games, dining out … ordinary things in San Diego seem somehow more extraordinary.
We will miss this place, but we will return. The ocean has a way of pulling people back. In the meantime, there are many more states to explore!
Until we meet again ...
Keywords: broadway pier, cabrillo, california, children's pool, coronado, destination, fort rosecrans cemetery, mopa, san diego, scripps, sea lions, shell beach, tiger woods, torrey pines, zebra, zoo
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