Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Archive for January, 2016

Christmas Day Walk About

Hello All….finishing off photos taken before I ended up in bed, sick, on the 28th.

I’m alone,  so I try to be creative on Christmas.  It started out as a cold, windy day.  I took myself to breakfast then walked out to the Pier at Pacific Beach. I loved the feeling of the cold wind and blustery day. People were friendlier than usual, wishing each other Merry Christmas. I’m like a Golden retriever out around people, so I’m always saying hello to everyone who  seems open to a smile.

Here is a photo taken looking north off the pier. The high rise is called Capri by the Sea, and are condos rented out by the owners.


Looking out at this water, it still amazes me to think back to my 8 year old self, on a canvas raft, out beyond the waves alone, hanging out for hours each day while on vacation with my parents.  Somehow, their normal hovering over me that I received in my home town was discarded on vacations and my days consisted of being in the ocean for hours, alone, then coming in and walking back to the place on the beach where we were staying, then coming out to the seawall at night to listen to the waves. The freedom was exhilarating.  Every summer vacation here was the same.  Freedom!!!!

The next one is looking south, taken from the pier.


Then I headed out, attempting to find a hiking trail I had investigated online the night before, called Los Penesquitos.  I had figured out tentatively that the trail head I was looking for was off of Sorrento Valley Blvd. east of I-805. I looked on an online map and it seemed to be just north of Mira Mesa Blvd. I still don’t know many of the areas here, so I ended up driving north on 805, not seeing the proper exit, taking one anyway and intuitively then turning east and weaving around looking for the correct road. I ended up back on 805 going south, took another exit and turned east, near Mira Mesa, trying this road and that, and finally, finally, found Sorrento Valley Blvd.   For a short distance there were no houses and my breath deepened, making me realize how much I miss being more out in the country and not in a city.

I felt excited to try this new to me trail as it seemed like I  would be able to hike as much or as little as I wanted to, it was mostly flat but there was a waterfall, some ruins, big boulders, and it looked interesting.  Then, I finally saw the entrance I had been looking for……and it had a bar across it so I couldn’t enter the parking lot to catch the trail head. I drove further east, hoping to find another way in and couldn’t, so ended up just turning around and heading back to San Diego.

I decided to just go to Balboa Park, good ole Balboa Park, and see if I could find some trails there that I hadn’t taken before.  I parked south of the Science museum and walked west to the area south of the Mingei and heading toward the hospitality cottages. I saw a trail from above.


So I headed a little north again, curved to the left and found these stairs to walk down.


Just after heading down the stairs and turning west to find the trails, I noticed this close up view of the powerful and extensive root system of a Eucalyptus tree.


I found a couple parallel trails so I took the north one until it dead ended, then circled back and caught the south one. I followed that one until the end and ended up coming out at the Automotive Museum on the west side of the main park.  I turned around and headed back onto the trail again and found a nice view spot to see the Cabrillo Bridge.  I had posted pictures on my blog before taken from on the bridge, so it was nice to see it from this view.


Even though I didn’t find the trail I was looking for, I still enjoyed the drive, exploring and having an adventure. Even though I’d occasionally see people on the Balboa Park trail, it felt more like I was out in nature and not in a managed park.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my Christmas adventure.

May the New Year be a very healthy and happy one, beyond even what we can imagine for ourselves and the world.




Rainy Trip to Old Town, San Diego, CA

I ended up sick in bed, out for the count, the Monday after Christmas, so this post kept getting delayed. There were visitors in the house over Christmas so I had much to do to get the place ready and things felt too hectic to attempt to write this before Christmas….then there was the post clean up and then….- – – \________ Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.

I headed over to Old Town, in the rain, on the 22nd of Dec., to buy just a couple small things for Christmas presents and to be out in the air. While living in Seattle, I got quite tired of the gray and mist, not enjoying the rain like I did while living earlier in No. CA. But here in San Diego, rain is a glorious thing, and I love the feel of the wind and cold. I miss snow, that I loved while living in CO years ago, so this windy rain here will have to do for now until my journey weaves me on to CO.

It felt quite sweet to be out walking before Christmas, enjoying the lovely decorations and the other visitors and shoppers out around me. There are many outside booths in Old Town and most of these were shrouded in heavy vinyl tents, closed up for the day.

I wandered in and out of some stores and found a couple unique small gifts, and enjoyed the conversations I often have with shop-keepers 🙂

When I was walking back toward my car, I took some photos of the gray sky and decorated buildings. Hope you enjoy these. Come along, you can share the walk with me……

First, heading west, we come to the San Diego Union Printing Office and then Casa de Pedrorena de Altamirano.


The printing office was a pre-fab building shipped from Maine, around Cape Horn, to arrive in San Diego in 1851. I’ve read a historical novel about traveling via ship around Cape Horn. It was quite dangerous weather wise and in many other ways. But this building arrived safely to be built and house the first office of the San Diego Union weekly paper. The first edition was printed on Oct. 10, 1868. It was 4 pages long.

You can still see the original print room with a Washington press, as well as the editor’s office. Entrance is free.

The Altamirano-Pedrorena House was built on a lot purchased by Miquel de Pedronena, from Madrid. He arrived here as a ship’s agent and later married one of the Estudillo daughters in 1842. He claimed this lot which is next to Casa de Estudillo. Sadly, he didn’t live to build a home on the lot as he died in 1850. The home was built in 1869, by his son, Miguel Jr..

In 1871, the home was transferred to Isabel Altamirano, who was Miguel Jr.’s sister, married to Jose Antonio Altamirano. The house remained a family residence until 1907. It is now a rock, gem and jewelry store.

Walking on, we come to the central plaza in Old Town State Historic Park. This park is where San Diego began. It is now a reconstructed setting of life in San Diego in 1821-1872. It became a historic park in 1968. This day it had a lovely display of a taller Christmas tree surrounded by other smaller trees. Pretty huh?


As we continue walking west we see the Robinson-Rose House, which is now the Visitor’s Center. It is free to explore, too.


This building was built by James Robinson, who came from Texas in 1850. He established a successful law practice and built this in 1853 not only to house family but also to house office space for the San Diego Herald, the San Diego and Gila Railroad and other private offices. He died in 1857. (ok….that’s 2 of the main inhabitants moving to San Diego and dying in less than 10 years. It must have been a challenging place to live then.). Anyway, Jame’s wife Sarah, sold the building to Louis Rose for a family home. The roof was destroyed in the 1874 fire and fell to ruins. It is now reconstructed and has various displays in it and admission is free.

As we turn right (north), we can see the Barra Barra Saloon. I loved the fire burning in the patio and the pretty decorations.



As you look ahead, you can see the entrance to Bazaar Del Mundo. As you first walk through this entrance there is a woman selling very yummy roasted and sweetened nuts. Inside the bazaar there are a restaurant, coffee house, stores, and a stage where various groups usually play, when it isn’t raining. I had started my trip here and found some great seasoning in the Temucula Olive Oil company that has a large variety of flavored olive oils, pastas, olives, bath and body products and other items. I found a couple little gifts, too, at the sweet garden shop that is at the north end.


Hope you enjoyed the walk with me on that gray rainy day. I held you in my heart as I strolled along, in and out of stores, breeze flowing across my face as I stepped outside.

Wishing you a NEW Year, a truly remarkable shift of a year, with the planet transforming into peace, love, abundance, health, joy, cooperation and support for all!

much love, katelon

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