March 27, 2016

California, Here I Come: Part 1

This is the life!
I’ve always wanted to visit San Diego. The photos I’ve seen have been enticing, but what I mostly thought I’d enjoy would be the year-round 72-degree daytime temps. When I found out I had to go out there for business, I decided to tack a couple of days onto the end of my trip to be a tourist.

After working five, 12-hour days, I was quite exhausted, so I didn’t see as much as I had hoped, but over the next few posts, I will introduce you to the places I visited. I did have a great time, but I was disappointed that the weather had been better in Atlanta than it was when I was there. And the fog can be crazy thick. My shuttle driver said this is early, but they refer to it as May Gray and June Gloom. Don't think I like the sound of two months of fog.

Sunrise (and a little sun flare) as seen from Coronado Island.
I was working on Coronado Island, and there were beautiful views from the hotel, but I wish I could have seen a bit more. I did get to take a short walk on Silver Strand Beach on my last day there, along with eating at a great restaurant called Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge (highly recommend), but I found that beach to be lackluster.

Shooting sunrises on the west coast can be challenging, but I do recommend shooting from the vantage point of the island. The views are over the bay and include mountains, the bridge, and downtown San Diego.

I didn't know pelicans can have such beautiful blue eyes!
The first place on my tourist list was La Jolla (pronounced Hoya) Cove. I thought it would be interesting, and after I learned there would be sea lions, I was sold. But I have to warn you, it’s a good thing photos don’t bring the smells with them because those creatures, along with the variety of birds that are sitting on the rocks in their own poo, were extremely smelly!

Yep, that's another sea lion he's leaning against.
As far as I know, there are no sea lions at beaches in the southeast—I've never seen them. I guess that these are a bit tame since they have tourists walking around them at all times; and although they are close enough to touch, I wouldn’t recommend it. That “growl” they make sounds like they wouldn’t hesitate to take a bite out of any of your appendages.

Even sea lions like to spoon.
What I observed is how much the sea lions enjoy each other's company. They snuggle with each other and even seem to kiss. And what a life—lounging around all day in the sun! I must say that it was quite a neat experience—better than seeing them in a zoo.

Kissing Cousins
And I was very lucky to get there at the best time to snag a parking spot as someone was pulling out. As I was leaving, folks were hovering like vultures for that very same spot. Parking is free—that was nice—although only two hours maximum during the day. Definitely a must-see for wildlife and nature lovers!

Coming soon - Part 2: Mount Soledad

Have you been to La Jolla Cove? What was your favorite experience?

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