But those three months weren't exactly a vacation. It was Marine boot camp, after all.
"I saw a lot of dirt," he said. "I did see the ocean once."
We decided to fix that. Kissy Missy and I took an extra day, and decided to explore just a taste of the place that really is the center of everything. We took the rental car, locked the radio on Classic Rock KGB-FM, and we unashamedly played tourist.
|First stop: Coronado beach, on beautiful Coronado Island in San Diego Bay. It's one of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast.|
|Up I-5, we stopped at Oceanside, a beautiful resort community.|
|Robert and Kissy Missy posed in front of the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort.|
|A young boy plays in the Pacific surf at Oceanside.|
|We headed out on the 1,954-foot-long Oceanside Pier, the longest wooden pier in the world.|
|On the pier, we met this pelican. He had an attitude.|
|And the pelican wasn't the only bird with an attitude out there. We enjoyed lunch at Ruby's Diner on the end of the pier, and kept exploring.|
|We met a young girl celebrating her Quinceañera. The pier is a beautiful place for photos.|
|On the way back, we took the Pacific Highway - Historic Route 101 - and stopped at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. It's 50 acres of beautiful color up on a hill. We declined to pay the $12 admission fee - but treated ourselves to strawberry lavender sundaes. They are to die for.|
|Back in San Diego, we made our way to Old Town San Diego. Things were hopping after dark.|
|The Cafe Coyote's mariachi singers serenaded the guests, and we enjoyed some really excellent Mexican food.|
|Soon enough, Robert will be back in Southern California. That's Camp Pendleton in the background - the hill called "The Reaper." But he knows now there's more to that place than just M-16s and drill instructors|