Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our California Adventure / San Diego & The Pacific Ocean

Yes, I am changing the format of my blog post titles for this trip.  It's because "Day 1" and "Day 2" tell you nothing about what we were doing.  I want to look at this blog title and KNOW that this is the day I first touched the Pacific Ocean.  And since I am more than a little OCD about things matching, I can't change the title format of our trip blog posts and not comment on it.  Okay.  I feel better now.

So.  On to our Adventure for the day.  My mother really wanted to take us to San Diego, so we loaded up in the car Saturday morning and drove down, despite the forecast for rain.  Despite the fact that it was sprinkling when we left, and raining while we were in the car on our way there.  It didn't matter.  We were going to San Diego.

Our first stop was the San Diego Temple.  Not to go in, but just to SEE it.  Beautiful, isn't it?

By the time we left the temple, the rain had subsided to little more than a mist - if even that.  So we decided to make a visit to La Jolla Cove (pronounced "La Hoya Cove") while the weather was cooperating.  We got back in the car and headed to the ocean on the other side of the country.

And this is where I'm going to have to apologize a little for all the pictures I'm going to show.  It was so beautiful - despite the cloudy gray sky - and I just can't help myself!

La Jolla Cove is an ecological preserve.  That means that no one can mess with the animals or plants there.  Which means there is a lot to see, despite being a relatively small piece of coast.  If you are ever in San Diego, I highly recommend a visit.  See all those little black dots?  They are birds.  Hundreds of birds.

The wider view of the coastline off to my right.

The girls took the stairway down to the beach while I waited at the top for Grandma Crews to catch up. (Can I just say here that I love the zoom on my camera?)  Fortunately for us, the tide was on it's way out.  I didn't realize it at first, so I had a few minutes of nerves thinking the girls were going to get trapped on the other side of the stairs and have to wade through water to get out.

 Olivia and Kelsey came armed with plastic bags, hoping to find some shells.

Little did they know, it was a wasted effort.  There aren't any shells for gathering at La Jolla Cove.

I was trying to take this picture of Kelsey, and my camera focused on the pine needles instead.  It's one of my favorites.

It was so beautiful with the waves crashing against the shore.

After a few minutes, I heard the unexpected sound of seals barking.  I craned my neck, looked way to the left, and saw them.  Amazing!

Eventually the girls made their way to the left side of the cove where the "caves" were.

By this time Grandma Crews had rejoined us, and she and I went down the other stairway to join them by the rocks.

The girls and I walked through this tunnel in the rock to get to the other side near the seals.  I think the rocks we were walking on to get there are under water during high tide, because we saw some great barnacles growing on the rocks.  At least, I think that's what they were!

Once through, I was able to get some better shots of the seals.

While I was busy taking pictures of the barnacles and seals, Kelsey had started off on an adventure of her own.  She had decided to try to make her way to this big rock "island" so she could get closer to the seals.  You can just barely see the rock she was heading for on the left side of the picture.

Fortunately, she got stranded on a smaller rock before making it very far.  That girl has no concept of how close she was to landing in the ocean.  It makes my heart stop every time I think about it.

Fortunately, Olivia was close by and on her way to save her.

Kelsey was a little freaked out.

And there it is... the rock island she was after, surrounded by water and waves.

After we came back through the tunnel and rejoined Grandma Crews, it was time for some posed pictures.  This one is me and mom near a crevice.

And this is me and the girls posing by the tunnel we climbed through.

While we were there, this guy came to go swimming.  In the mist.  When it was 50 degrees outside.  I'm questioning his sanity.

Olivia noticed some yellow flowers with big, thick leaves growing in the cove.

I noticed the daisies.

We left the cove as the rain was picking up.  We drove down to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site, and the girls changed clothes since they had both soaked their shoes and pants in the ocean.  Before our tour, we decided to walk down into Old San Diego and get some lunch.  It was Mexican, of course.  As the rain picked up yet again, we headed back for our tour.

The Mormon Battalion Historic Site was amazing.  I knew a little about their history, but had no idea about the roles that the Mormon Battalion members had on the settling of California, and the gold rush in particular.  As we went through the tour, the missionary sisters that were our tour guides asked for a volunteer from among the kids that wanted to be dressed up like one of the Battalion members.  Kelsey volunteered, of course!

Here she is with her hat, bedroll, backpack, and canteen.  I didn't get a picture of her gun/bayonet.

After the tour, we went back outside (where the rain had petered off again) so the girls could do a little panning for "gold". 

Kelsey refused to believe it wasn't real.

While the kids were panning for gold, I snuck this picture of my mom taking pictures of them.

Afterwards, we climbed up into the tower to get a good look at Old San Diego.

And the parking lot.

We got home from San Diego wet and exhausted, but we loved every minute of it!

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