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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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March 24, 2017

San Diego - Thursday

Wow!  I am really being a bad tourist so far.  But I'm really enjoying myself too.  It is so beautiful here and so very different from my normal surroundings that I just walk and walk and walk.  I was sure I would spend an entire day at Balboa Park and it's Friday, we check out at 2:00 and get our flights to SF this evening so maybe next time.

In my own defense, rain was forecast I think for Wednesday and I figured that would be a good day to go to the park because I probably would skip the world-famous zoo (which is there) and visit several of the museums which would be a nice dry thing to do.  But no rain Wednesday, Thursday and now Friday and each day just has been brighter and sunnier than the last and I am loving it.  So, there now.

Yesterday I decided I had to find a good fish taco place because I finally had a fish taco the last time I visited my sister in Massachusetts and discovered that they were quite good.  (I had always thought "ooh, yuck, fish in a taco?")  I dithered around for quite a while checking Trip Advisor reviews trying to find one relatively nearby, etc. and finally gave up and asked at the concierge desk.  She told me about two and I picked the one that was an area I hadn't walked around in yet.  Found it and ordered two - one with deep-fried battered fish (I think beer batter) and the other with grilled mahimahi.  They were both quite good but the battered one was my favorite.  And every place you go has outdoor seating so that's what I did.

So when I was done with that, my map told me that I was just inside the Gas Lamp District which is one of the oldest areas of the current downtown San Diego.  A little info from Wikipedia - " Its main period of development began in 1867, when Alonzo Horton bought the land in hopes of creating a new city center closer to the bay, and chose 5th Avenue as its main street. After a period of urban decay, the neighborhood underwent urban renewal in the 1980s and 1990s."  It's a nice quiet district of 16-1/2 blocks with no stoplights or even stop signs.  STOP is painted on the pavement at each intersection and that's just what the cars do.  One of the very few pictures I took is of the Horton Hotel because it is just so pretty.  Reminds me very much of antebellum south.  In one of there windows there were photographs on the wall and one was a poster with "Save the Horton Hotel" on it so hopefully, we're now seeing it in its saved state. :)

One end of the hotel.  The picture below is the middle and then there's another one of these on the other side of it.

 This was a water display in a strange sort of park pretty much across a very broad street from our hotel.  I liked this scene mainly because of all the birds lined up on the "thingie".  And you can't really see it, but that whole big group of poles standing up in the pool are individual "fountains".  The park consisted of no grass, plenty of trees (as there are everywhere here), and big circles laid out by using curved pavement tiles I guess.  Outside the circle was sort of dirt (although not the kind that turns to mud I think) and inside the circle was dirt.  So, as I said - a little strange...
 Just another one with one of the many, many beautiful buildings as a backdrop.  I think that's why I find San Diego so lovely - downtown is mostly skyscrapers but they're not just towers of glass.  They are imaginatively styled and catch your interest.
There was no way to get a really good shot of this tree - there are a bunch of them in the landscaping outside our hotel and I love them.  They look like prehistoric relics or something.  They're an interesting color and they've got all those "warts" on them.  The flowers are interesting too.  There are the bright red "petals" and coming out of them a sort of pine cone shaped thing.  

Oh, I almost forgot to say - on my walk through the district I was stopped by two different groups of young people doing a scavenger hunt.  They needed a picture of a woman in a pink shirt and asked permission and were very grateful.  They were having a great time and I saw a third group of them asking someone for whatever they were looking for.  It's funny - when I posted about the Urban Trail in Asheville, I wanted to say it was kind of like doing a scavenger hunt but I could NOT remember the name so I just called it a treasure hunt.  

Heather wasn't feeling real good last night and so after they got out of their "sessions" and collapsed for a while, we left Heather to collapse a while longer and went and got a tasty pizza.

And that's about it.  Strange I realize, but as I said, I'm liking it.

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