Saturday, June 9, 2012

San Diego Vacation May 2012

Jim's military reunion group (veterans who served in Berlin, Germany) had their annual reunion in San Diego this year. So we went along, alternately participating with the group and doing our own thing.

We happened to be there when the jacarandas were blooming - really pretty purple flowering trees everywhere we went! This is a shot outside the Mission San Diego.

On our first day, we met my niece and her family and they took us to see the USS Midway, now a museum at the port. It also happened to be Memorial Day, so there were special events and decorations on board. Then they took us to a local vegan restaurant, and we had a great lunch!

 My dad was a Naval Reservist for 25 years, and every summer he went somewhere to serve for two weeks. One summer he was a dental officer on the Midway, so I was excited to find the Medical/Dental area. It was cool to think of him being right there where I was standing! Here's a picture of equipment like that I'm pretty sure he used.

 The next day, we took a San Diego bus tour with the group, one stop being Balboa Park. Many of the buildings were erected for two World's Fairs, and now are museums and other cultural centers. Beautiful grounds.

Another stop was Coronado, where we were able to walk around the grounds of the famous old hotel and go into the lobby as well.

 We also went through LaJolla, where we were taken to the beach where many seals live - here's a few.
 We went to Mount Soledad, which is a memorial to all US veterans who have served in wars. There are small walls around it with plaques put up by families of the veterans. We found President Eisenhower, actor Cliff Robertson, Benny Goodman, and many other familiar names. I found it touching that some were plaques of husbands and wives who had both served in World War II.


We often rode the San Diego trolley system. There was a station just behind our hotel, along with the city buses. We used both to get around, and got to pay half price ($1.25) as seniors!

One day we rode the trolley to Old Town, which we realized when we got there that we had already seen a lot of when we were here several years ago. Oh well. We visited the Sheriff's Museum, which of course Jim liked. (Lots of gun exhibits) We had a nice lunch too.
On Thursday we joined the group again and were taken to the San Diego Zoo, which we had also seen, but it's so large that it didn't matter!  We were expecially interested in the elephants, because our Tucson zoo (where Jim is a docent) sent our two elephants there when they opened a brand new elephant exhibit here. One of the keepers told us how they were doing, and all is well for Connie and Shaba. This picture is a bull Indian elephant - absolutely huge - who is dumping a bin over to get to some grass. His tusks are amazing, even after being cropped, it appears. Had lunch again, and managed to get lost a couple times.

On Saturday, we went to see the Arizona Diamondbacks play the San Diego Padres. Nice coincidence that they were there when we were! We had pretty good seats in the first row of the upper deck - and they won the game! 4-2. We were pretty cold, though, since the stadium is right at the ocean and temp was in the 60's.

On our last full day, we took the trolley to the Mission San Diego. It was originally settled near the downtown area, but moved here in 1775. It's been lovingly restored, and they're still excavating some areas of it.
We had a nice time, although the weather was cool. I'm not sure the temp made it to 70. At least we had a few days when the sun came out around midday. In Tucson while we were gone, they had a couple days around 107! Good timing.

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