Jul 19, 2021

Spring Drive to McCall

It's baking hot and smokey in Idaho, so I'm backing things up on the blog to a drive from Boise to McCall last month (gosh, was it just last month?!)

I tried to take some photos of the central Idaho rangeland and a few of the old barns as we whizzed by in the car, so this is literally our view from the car in spring going to our cabin after the snow melts and everything turns green.


Stay cool!

Jul 13, 2021

San Diego Vacation

[If you don't like looking at other people's vacation photos, now would be a good time to walk away. ]


This post is from a four day trip we took to San Diego in June with our daughter and son in-law. They made all of our travel and hotel arrangements, had reservations at all their fabulous favorite restaurants, rented a big comfy car for the four of us, and chauffeured us all around town. It was the most relaxing and stress-free vacation we've ever had!

We were so happy to realize upon landing at the airport early Sunday morning that, while masks were still mandated in airports, the city of San Diego had lifted their mask mandate that very day. Having all been vaccinated, we were totally okay with not wearing masks. That fresh ocean air was smelling SO great sans masks!


We picked up our rental car and headed off to Balboa Park. We all made wishlists for where we wanted to go, and my daughter's list included the Spanish Village Art Center. There are tons of little artist shops and galleries around a colorfully painted courtyard. The combination of the lifting of the mask mandate and a sunny beautiful Father's Day filled the park with people and a fun party atmosphere. Everyone was so happy, and it was wonderful to see all the smiling faces!

We walked all around the park enjoying the sunshine and beautiful flowers. (Can you spot the couple dressed like Idahoans? Hah!)

San Diego is a foodie's dream destination. There are so many fabulous restaurants to be found in every part of town. Brody and Jessica are definitely connoisseurs, and we were more than comfortable handing over restaurant choices to them. One of their favorite sections of the city is Little Italy, so we headed there first for lunch at Filippis.  

After lunch, while the guys enjoyed a beer on the patio, Jessica and I walked across the street to Blick Art Materials. I'd received a gift certificate there for my birthday, and it was so exciting to be able to spend it in person instead of online. I checked out every square foot of the store, upstairs and down - an artist dream store - and had no trouble spending my entire gift certificate!

We headed over to the harbor to check into our hotel, the Marriott Marquis.

The grounds around the pool are tropical and resort-like, with lots of families and kids.

It's right on the harbor and across the street from the Gaslamp Quarter.

Our fifteenth floor balcony looked out over the bay, with a view of Coronado Island, the Coronado Bridge, and Point Loma.

Dinner was just steps away at Puesto in Seaport Village. The tacos there are amazing!

If it seems like food played a big part in our trip, it's because it did! We brought donuts back for breakfast poolside the next morning from the Donut Bar, the place to get donuts downtown, and we had people stopping at our table to ask where to get these donuts they'd all heard about. The pink sprinkled donut is called the "Homer." He would approve!

I donned my new Anthropologie packable sun hat ;) and off we went to La Jolla Cove. On the way there, we showed the kids the canyon neighborhood in baja La Jolla where we lived after we graduated from college.

Tons of people pushing strollers, jogging, and walking cute dogs made for fun people - watching. Huge sea lions and seals barking from the rocks and lots of pelicans zooming by made water life - watching fun, too.


Lunch at George's at the Cove. I highly recommend special reservations for a table with a view of the cove and all the way up the coast.

Next on our list was the Scripps Birch Aquarium. This sculpture was one of my favorite things!

We worked up a good appetite at the aquarium, just in time for dinner at Tom Ham's Lighthouse on Shelter Island. This time our spectacular view was of the lights coming out in the city across the bay. I'd forgotten how delicious seafood is in San Diego. From raw oysters to paella to bouillabaisse, the food was delicious.

We skipped breakfast the next morning and headed off to Ocean Beach. 

We had an early lunch at the Wonderland Ocean Pub, located at the site of the old amusement park. I loved the Ocean Beach vibe there. Once again, the seafood was delicious, and the view of Ocean Beach and the pier was fun.

After we drove around looking at the cute beach cottages of Ocean Beach we wandered over Sunset Cliffs to Point Loma and the Cabrillo Monument.

It wasn't low tide, but climbing around the tide pools was fun.

Cabrillo Monument

Hiking around the old lighthouse on Point Loma

We went back to the hotel for a nap before the others walked over to Petco Park for a Padre Game, which was on Brody's wishlist. This stadium sure is fancy compared to the old Jack Murphy stadium where we went for Padre, Charger, and Aztec games and Beach Boys concerts in our old days. How time marches on!

I've actually never been much of a baseball fan. (I just used to take a book and work on my tan at the baseball games to keep Chris company.) So I ordered room service instead and enjoyed hanging out on our balcony at the hotel. I was mesmerized by this huge container ship making a u-turn and parallel parking along the wharf, and the semi trucks lining up all night to have the containers loaded on.


The view from our room was truly spectacular, and the weather was so warm and balmy, I could have sat there outside all night. 

It was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. And the Padres won their game against the Dodgers, so we all had a great evening!

On my wishlist was visiting San Diego State University the next day, where my husband and I met as students. It was pretty fun seeing it again and showing the kids where we went to school. 

And of course we filled up on Aztec gear at the bookstore.

Then it was back down to Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, our old stomping grounds. The beach is always on Chris' wishlist. Memories just came flooding back of our free and easy beach life there. Mission Beach hasn't appeared to change at all since we lived there, and we just loved that. I must have been enjoying it so much I can't believe I didn't ask anyone to take our photo there! I guess we'll just have to go back...

Our last dinner before returning to the airport was back in Little Italy at The Crack Shack where I had the best fried chicken ever. No view, just great chicken. LOL!

Right up to our last drink in the airport bar together waiting for our flight home, this vacation with our kids was a complete blast and a lifetime highlight for us. We'll always cherish the memories!

P.S. I gave up trying to format this post for consistent font size, so oh well. (Does anyone even use blogger anymore? lol!)  

Jul 10, 2021

Post Covid Vaccine Oregon Coast Road Trip

I'm finally getting around to posting some photos of a trip I took with my husband last spring. We signed up early for our Covid vaccines last February and once they were effective, we were in the car and on the road to visit the Oregon Coast. 

Vaccine Day - February 2021

Hood River

Overnight stay in Portland

Pittock Mansion

Snowy drive through the forest and over the pass to the coast

Our condo rental view

Our vacation weather

Windswept sand

Gearhart Beach

Teaching baby to fish

Another bald eagle!

Stopping at beaches all down the coast

Arch Cape

Hug Point

 Sunset from our condo window

Heading home again - Multmomah Falls

Columbia River Gorge - lots of rain 

Bridge of the Gods from our hotel

Our night view in Cascade Locks

A bit of history at an Oregon rest area


Eastern Oregon

We were so happy to be out and about and on the road again after spending a year cooped up at home in Idaho. We missed the ocean so much, and being on the coast during a gale force storm was a fun and exciting experience for us.