Saturday, April 19, 2014

Playing tourist in southern California

Pfc. Ranzenberger had spent three months in southern California.
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 QuinceaƱera. 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

No comments: