. . . With San Diego!
Who knew this was such an amazing city. And I mean CITY. It actually reminds me of Chicago!
It’s on the water, has some amazing architecture, lots of high rise buildings, a real downtown with real people living in striking apartment buildings, great restaurants, and museums.
The one thing it doesn’t have is Chicago weather. It has been in the high 70’s, low 80’s for our week here with sunny, blue skies. We actually can’t get enough of it.
Here are some highlights:
We visited the aircraft carrier, Midway. I particularly wanted to see this, since I have just finished reading the first book in a trilogy about the war in the Pacific by Ian Toll called the Pacific Crucible. It ends with the Battle of Midway.
The carrier Midway was actually commissioned in 1946, and was never part of the War in the Pacific, but, here was my chance to see something that resembled what I had read about.
Well, it is gigantic! I mean enormous. And complicated. Deck after deck, instrument after instrument; the concept of a city in the water comes to mind. According to the guidebook they served 13,500 meals a day. We barely scratched the surface but managed to visit the flight deck, which was filled with planes, the bridge, where the captain and those responsible for driving the ship stood, and some of the quarters for the men and junior officers. There is also a short video which was very interesting about the Battle of Midway.
One of the other highlights was the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista (where we are staying). It is one of three in the US (Lake Placid and Boulder are the other two). This was an amazing experience, since the 2016 Olympics are just around the corner. So there were lots of athletes at the Center which focuses on track and field, cycling, soccer, rugby, and archery. The setting, in the hills above San Diego, is just gorgeous, and it was thrilling to watch a pole vaulter and some cyclists practicing.
We also had an interesting (in the sense of somewhat spooky) experience at Balboa Park. We were walking through the Japanese Friendship Garden and I glanced at the wall of donors to the Park. And there were names I recognized: Toshika and George Asakawa. George Asakawa grew up in San Diego, but he and his wife Toshika and their two sons lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, our home town! It was amazing to see their names, 2000 miles from home.
And did I mention the food? We’ve been eating “French style”, with bigger lunches and small (or no) dinner. Some delicious food in this town.
We spent the day in La Jolla, which is a very nice town just to the north of SD. Sorta reminds me of the Hamptons, although not quite as chic. The real estate prices probably match, though. Here’s a view of the ocean from the deck of George’s, where we ate lunch.
Not bad, eh, for a day in February!
And last, but not least, was our day in Coronado, just across the bay from downtown San Diego. Just lovely, with a nice downtown, a beautiful ocean front with a great Pacific beach and the Hotel Del Coronado, built in 1888 and still going strong. We’re already planning our return visit and we’ll stay here.