Sunday, July 27, 2008

Travel Journal: San Diego day two

July18, 2008 San Diego California

A slightly overcast Saturday morning.
I want to go to the beach.
Laura had spent the night with me at my parent's house; following breakfast and some dilly dallying, we headed north to find an uncrowded beach.

Fletcher Cove, in the little coastal town of Solana Beach, seemed like a good place to go.

It is a tiny little beach park, down a long driveway.
A very classy beach...even the outside shower has interesting art to enjoy.

The driveway divided the beach crescent into two, with the water lapping close to shore.
We chose the beach on the left and set up our beach chairs next to a few other families. There was perhaps twenty of us on the beach. Maybe no one wanted to risk being bonked on the head by the active bluff failures?

Oh is after all just a calculated series of risks anyway.

I could spend hours shooting pictures of beached kelp and seaweed, the "flowers" of the underwater world.
More childhood memories: Popping the golden kelp pods with a sharp snap, and using the rope like strands for all sorts of imaginary play.
The translucent golden leaves were used to peer through, to see the world change color to a blurry gold.
And of course all of it was useful for dressing mermaids sculpted in the sand.
The tiny sea life that grows on the kelp reminds me of bead work on elegant fabric.

Even a random stone becomes a Zen like composition against the textures of kelp and sand.

The lights and darks of the wet sand add natural highlights and low lights to this God created composition, eons in the making.

There are so many types of sea weed!
Oh, this would be perfect for a mermaid's lace collar, don't you think?
Overhead the bluffs held together. The wall like edges take on their own painterly designs from moisture and vegetation.

On the other side of the driveway was an even smaller crowd of people.

I envy the owners of the house overhead, and wonder if they wonder when their house will at last tumble into the sea.

Four people with a beach all to themselves!

I'm itching to paint this...

Laura was also scampering about shooting pictures in the area.
I am always amazed at how we can be so close to one another and yet find different things to photograph.

Nice surf. For some reason I didn't go in....

Now I remember why I didn't go in: The water temperature was fine, but sting rays are in the water???

Uh...I'll stick to sitting on the beach today, thanks anyway.

(I have gone swimming with giant sting rays off the Grand Caymen Islands. It absolutely gave me the willies, and that was a few years before the tragic death of the Steve Irving, the croc hunter. I've too many memories of seeing people in agony after getting "hit" by a sting ray over the years. Including Mr. B.)

Overhead an old fashion prop plane skimmed along the coast line, seemingly hinting about the upcoming Twenties party for Laura, which was to happen the next day.

This baby tank was right in front of us; he had love handles over the top of his diaper! We just kept laughing at him as he crawled and dug and got totally covered with sand from head to toe, beaming with glee while his folks enjoyed the water.

These two little girls arrived at the beach in pristine white robes. They shed their robes, but retained their hats, little ladies mindful of their complexions.

Polka dots and ruffles: just the perfect combination for fun on little girl's swim wear.

The cliffs continued to hold up, and a few more folks arrived.

The yellow sandstone cliffs are always shedding a bit of sand and creating new patterns to enjoy.

After awhile we decided to head back to the car and find a place to have lunch. As I walked up the driveway I noticed the "pickle weed" (so named for the pickle spear like leaves) succulents that were mostly finished blooming, (and mostly of the lavender colored variety), but this one yellow blossom, (roughly the size of the palm of your hand) glowed like a sun landed upon earth in the morning.

When I stare at the picture, I swear the petals move!
And oh do I love that stamen.

More interesting plants. Several tourists were photographing this black beauty, so I felt like I should too, even though it is a rather common plant in local landscaping.

Another common succulent with gorgeously colored fleshy leaves. What a wonderful color combination!

I can't help but wonder who talked the City of Solana Beach into having bronze details added to the beach park curbing. It is a visual treat that I appreciate.
Solana Beach...with surprisingly little traffic.

They sure have interesting art every where, even art to be enjoyed at a stop light.

We headed to VG donuts, (short for VERY GOOD DOUGHNUTS) for a sweet nostalgic treat, but were TOO LATE to get any!!!


Our family used to camp on the beach across from the shop, and a morning VG run was part of the pleasure of beach camping.

So today instead we got fish tacos at the beach restaurant next door.

I noticed the bags of water suspended in front of each window. Even though I was pretty sure what they were for, I had to ask.

Seem there is an old wives tale/folk medicine/traditional cure that flies will not fly under waster, so if a bag of water is suspended in a window flies will not come in.

The restaurant worker sheepishly admitted that they wanted to give it a try, to be more "natural and ecologically friendly" but it actually doesn't work at all.

There were flies everywhere.

I had a suggestion for him: Try installing some window screens instead!

The geraniums were spectacular in the coastal area.

Laura and I amused ourselves next by going to open houses in Encinitas and Solana Beach.

All you need is around a mill (plus another million...or two...) for a house west of Highway Five, but you could definitely snap up a bargain on a house two miles inland for $750,000. good to see prices coming down. Southern California housing is affordable at last!

(yeah, right.)

A very unusual hibiscus.

And a WHITE passion flower!
How absolutely elegant!
So different from the typical purple passion flowers that I usually see.
What a visual treat.
What a lovely day it was, and tomorrow there would be even more fun to be had....
(To be continued tomorrow.)


Vicki said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip to the beach! I'd say that the people living in that cliff house must be light-sleepers during a storm...I wouldn't sleep soundly knowing that the cliff is slowing deteriorating!

As always, I loved the photos and the comments. I really like those bronze accents (starfish) - such a nice little touch. Oh, and your photo of the stone and the sand is fantastic!

Can't wait for the rest of the story...

Sara said...

Jill, I absolutely love this post! So many things you shared that I can relate to so well. You'd think, living where I do, this would be "old hat" to me...but the beaches in San Diego are different from my town's beaches....

I just love all the seaweed shots. Do you remember as a kid finding those tiny little starfish in the seaweed...the starfish with the round bodies and thread-like arms? I used to hold those big amber leaves up to the sun and pretend they were stained glass, and could even "hear" them tinkling together like a wind chime.

This is the first time, however, I've heard ice plant called "pickle weed" but I certainly see how that could be its nickname.

That photo you are itching to paint is fabulous! I really do love it, and can just see it in your painted version too.

That decorated wall for the shower is very classy....just my kind of thing.

I see the sign was recommending the "stingray shuffle" if wading in the funny that I was just referring to that on my meme post, though I didn't mention it directly.

I can't wait to see what's next! You are making me homesick for my San Diego days.

Miss Janey said...

Wow. What great pictures. Miss J lives so close adn has never visited Solano Beach. What a shame.

Lovella said...

huh. . I did miss this one. . thanks for the heads up.
The beach pictures are fantastic. . I wondered too what pictures I might take. . as you mentioned that you and Laura took different shots. I loved the little girls. . with their hats. . oh how sweet.
Oh ..and the bluff? Crazy. . remember the drive to Whistler? This happened last night ..
I hope that shows up for you. . in short part of the bluff did let go. oh yah ..we ready for 2010 games.