My previous post inspired me. I often walk this boardwalk, spent my childhood vacations walking this boardwalk and in my life since then. So some of these photos are the same location as pictures from the previous post and many are not.
The first photo is off an octopus mural on the boardwalk at the end of Garnet Ave. So let’s start our walk:
This next photo is of the Baja Beach Cafe, formally Green Flash. A place where my Mom and I often enjoyed many meals.
Shark mural on the side of an ice cream stand:
These are called The Beach Cottages. I stayed here in a hotel room, at spring break, with my Mom and best friend, Dottie, when I was a Junior in High School and later stayed in one of the cottages in the front in the summer of 1975, after driving to San Francisco, from Tucson, AZ, then coming down the coast to see my Grandmother, in Van Nuys, for the last time before she died later that summer.
Next we are walking by the Banana Bungalow hostel
This is my favorite sno-cone stand, my guilty pleasure :)
Next we pass The Surfer Hotel and World Famous Restaurant. I have stayed at the surfer numerous times alone and with my Mother when she was alive, along with my son. I stayed here for 10 days in 1999, after being with my Mom during her death, then clearing out her house for sale. This was my refuge. I have eaten in the restaurant many times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is my favorite beach restaurant and it has great food.
Next is the Crow’s nest studio that sits on top of a 2 bedroom beach cottage. This and the house just to the east of it were owned by a woman who had worked on the Valley Religious Task Force board with me during the years of 1994-1997 when I did volunteer work with Central American Refugees…teaching classes, fixing up the homeless shelter we ran, giving massages to refugees, serving on the board, protesting against the covert wars in Central America and the poor treatment of the refugees, etc. The owner of this property let my son and I stay in the Crow’s nest, for free, for a week in the summer of 1995, after a horrible break up. I was exhausted and emotionally spent, so my son and I drove from Tempe, AZ to rest and heal here.
This is my favorite house on the beach. It reminds me of a house in Italy or France.
Next we come to Hamel’s, the store that looks like a castle. This is on Mission beach. I went in there for the first time on this stroll. I have an “adopted” Navajo daughter who has 9 children and I wanted to look at their t-shirt collection for kids so I could gift them all San Diego t-shirts, along with wanting to gift the two children of my ex-Seattle landlords.
Now we are at the famous Belmont Park and it’s wooden roller coaster. I spent so many fun filled days and nights here as a child. I was especially fond of the fun house with the wavy mirrors and the spinning wooden floor that would ultimately spin you off to the sides. The roller coaster was shut down for awhile but now has been repaired. In this complex there is now a miniature golf course I plan to check out, a wave house where you can surf the indoor waves, and a large salt water pool called The Plunge. It is closed for repairs. Darn!
From here, I left the boardwalk, took off my shoes and walked down to the ocean and walked back next to the water, enjoying the hard wet sand under my feet. Looking north at the end of my walk there was Crystal Pier and the private cottage rentals. Friends of my family used to stay in these many years ago. San Diego was such a popular destination for many families in my southern AZ hometown, so families would plan vacations together. This provided us kids other children to play with and company for our parents as well. I’m ready to leave San Diego now but it will always hold an important place in my heart.
As a child, I used to take my heavy canvas raft out beyond the waves and hang out for many hours, unafraid. My parents let me go, which was quite the opposite of the over vigilance in my hometown. I’d often sit on the beach at night, listening to the waves. I have many fond memories of this place from both childhood and adulthood. Some of the buildings along the boardwalk have remained the same, some have been torn down and replaced with newer buildings and some have been upgraded.
Come check it out yourself!!!