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The most surprising thing about La Jolla, San Diego, California to us was how fabulous the beach at La Jolla Cove was, with their big rock formations, where people, animals- i.e. sea lions, seals, big beautiful birds, small ones too, were hanging out on the rocks with all the folks that came to visit La Jolla. At sunset time, many folks, ourselves included  would hang out along the big path and the sea lions, and seals would be on the beaches with the folks too! The San Diego area  is mountainous , beautiful. The year was very dry in San Diego,. There are many trees that looked brown. Folks said that they would turn blue in the fall! But there are also very bright flowers and beautiful big cactus patches around!

I started the album with shots of the stores and fab places to eat. Our fave’s  in La Jolla were: Karl Strauss, The prep Kitchen(romantic at night!);  the 9-10 Colonade;, Cody’s for Brunch, , and The Brockton Villa Restaurant.(awesome fish chowder!) 

The Prado Restaurant in Bilbao Park, and Pietta (romantic. And Italian) in La Jolla Shores! The stores in La Jolla are fabulous and located on Prospect and Girard Ave, the area reminds me of Rodeo Drive!

We did every day a different outing; and started with a breakie on the roof top patio with ocean view. Our hotel the La Jolla Suites Hotel was great. There were different sizes of suites with different prices Most of the suites  had balconies with an Ocean View; Ours cost $250 US dollars per night.  Roger never wants to spent more than $400.00 US per night on a hotel…It was the only hotel with ocean view rooms, and it had been there for 35 years! It was also the only hotel under $500.00 US per night!… The location was perfect, right in the  centre of all action; perfect for sunset time at 5:00 pm! But San Diego and La Jolla are expensive, especially with our low dollar rate! I made sure we got a good nap before the night out!

Next the  pics of the big path, where we all walked to watch the sunset, unless you wanted to sit on the big rocks with the animals  that you could see from the big path, but not from the hotel. Then we shopped one morning and we run into a very beautiful Catholic church right in the centre of La Jolla Centre. It was a very fun thing to do. We moved on to La Jolla Cove Beach, where we enjoyed a lunch of a very fab fish chowder, the best I have tasted in a long time at the famous Brockton Villa Restaurant . We got the recipe! It is an awesome place!

The most fun thing to do at about 5:00 pm. is to watch the sunset. You can see on the pictures   how everyone enjoyed strolling along the big path looking at the sea lions, seals and many beautiful birds hanging out on the amazing rock formations on the beach. We went also for a drive to check out a residential area. We are a pioneer couple after all! Our next goal was to visit the famous Bilbao Park. Many things happened in the park on the day that we were there; A wedding was happening; folks were romancing; a Spanish young girl was were showing off her national beautiful dress; other folks were having lunch on the patio of the Prado Restaurant..

The botanical garden at Bilbao Park is so gorgeous. The landscaping and buildings are impressive. There was not much new growth, as San Diego had a draught, but it was still beautiful. We visited several Art Museums. Lunch this time was at the Prado Resturant.

The next day we went out to La Jolla Shores Beach. There was much energy out there and many young folks were surfing. The La Jolla Shores Village is a very cool place. The same day we visited the Pacific beach as well. It was hot while we were there about 27-30 degrees Celcius, and the air was very dry. There was much less pain in my bones!

The next art trip was to the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla Town. It was a much fun and surprising visit i.e. there were various quilts from Ghana detailing how criminal people got punished by having them killed and eaten by crocodiles and snakes…; there were also beautiful painted ceramic tiles by Alvara Blancarte, a well known Art Prof of the University of San Diego; A very old Mennonite Chair; right next to a chair made horns! And a display of Japanese and Chinese art.

Our visit to the San Diego Contemporary Art Museum consisted of three display areas. The first one was by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. His exposition was based  on his sick baby son. It supposed to reflect a Mother’s Body emotional densities, for the alive temple time baby son. The monumental Installation features hanging polyp shaped sculptures filled with fragrant spices such as cloves, ginger and turmeric stuffed into skin like Lycra fabric, and suspended throughout the gallery, engaging senses of sight and smell.

The second display by artist Robert Irwin called Light and Space, did not turn me on. It was simply too dull….

The third display was an agricultural video, that started with an iced landscape that turned almost to crystal; slowly a big truck drove on it and the effect was very challenging and our  time was well worth spent.

We enjoyed our visit to the Bernardo Gallery. It was a very relaxed and fun affair. Lunch was at the Merlot Cafe, and it was a big event…The wine tastings were a cool happening too. You were offered a chocolate after each tasting! There is a jazz trio playing every Friday and Sunday aft on the outside patio and folks were dancing!

We also visited the Del  Coronado hotel on the Island and it was a true treat! It  gave you the Great Gatsby experience. Lunch was fab. And there were several great sand castles on the beach.  There is a great Boat House Restaurant in the Harbour. And folks make bonfires on the beach at night. Dogs are very welcome anywhere in the San Diego area. The shopping area reminds me of Armand Square in Sarasota, California.

It took us 5 hours to visit the  San Diego Zoo. We did not cover more than half of the place. There is a double decker bus ride included with your ticket that goes all around the Zoo. There are also buses called Kangaroo buses that go for shorter rides. All animals we saw have great spaces to hang out, except the giraffes. It seemed too small for them to me. I was thrilled to have visited the  Zoo!

On our last day we took a selfie in front of our hotel and then we headed off to La Jolla Shores  Beach and Village. We ended our trip with a scrumptious dinner at the very romantic spot “Pietta”.

Erica Horst-Van Der Linden

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