February 10 was my last full day in San Diego. My plans for the day had changed rapidly. Originally I was to meet Judy and Lisa, two women I knew from our mutual love of Owen/Cristina, in the morning. Lisa was taking the train from LA and Judy would pick up both of us and we'd eat. But then Judy's kids got sick and so did she.
So Lisa and I tried to figure out how to meet up - and I tried to figure out what to do with the rest of my day. When Judy started feeling better, it became more complicated. Part of me wanted to see more of San Diego, but honestly, I had been doing a lot of walking and exploring and didn't really feel up to figuring out the bus system. I could have rented a car, but the California freeway system looks pretty complex and intimidating.
Judy felt better so we eventually settled on meeting for supper. I decided I would make things simpler by not exploring San Diego. Polina suggested that I walk to the Mission Trails Regional Park nearby, and that turned out to be a great idea.
So I walked half an hour to the park. I found the environment very interesting - most of my life has been lived in northern climates. (I checked Google Maps - San Diego is actually the farthest south I have even travelled).
The park has a visitor's centre. A volunteer encouraged me to follow a path around the centre, which he said he could do in 45 minutes and he was "an old guy". He also assured me it was safe for a lone woman to be walking on and suggested I visit the Grinding Rocks.
He also gave me a guide to native plant life around the centre. This is made in the tradition of the Kumeyaay and was on the grounds.
February 9 was another beautiful day in San Diego. By this point, I'd forgotten what bitter cold feels like.
We went to a restaurant with a gluten-free menu - 's daughter is celiac and was thrilled to have another GF person visiting. The GF cinnamon roll pancakes were awesome.
Before heading out to the zoo, I took pictures of clover. Because I was in love with all the greenness of San Diego.
One thing that Calgary has over California is the Northern Lights. I've long admired a coworker's photography and wished I had the nerve to chase Northern Lights like he does.
Normally, there's a cloud cover when an aurora watch is issued. Tonight there wasn't. And I decided that for once, I'd go for it. I grabbed my trusty Lumix and a tripod and set off for a nearby park area.
The original reason to go to San Diego was the Mermaid Marathon. I thought it would be a good reason to get up and start moving after surgery in the fall. I chose the 5K race because I wasn't sure how much stamina I'd recover by race time.
What makes it a "mermaid" marathon is that 99% of the entrants were female, from a grand and wise mermaid in robes to lots of giggling mini-mermaids.
Since P lured me to San Diego for the marathon, she walked it with me. Starting early in the morning.
Surrounded by women in colourful tutus and mermaid leggings, we felt a little underdressed. :-) I did tie-dye my t-shirt for the race.
This is how it will go - I'll post a recap of each day, with photos to illustrate, but I won't post all of the photos from each day at once. I will post the others one at a time, later, so I can still share them but not overwhelm one post with too many.
Note: the Jedi camera doesn't want to turn on, I tried it with two fully charged battery packs. I'll take it into a shop - it may be as simple as the date/time battery needing to be replaced. My point is, all of my photos were either taken with my Lumix or my cell phone.
I arrived in San Diego on February 6. My first flight, from Calgary to Los Angeles, was great. I watched Gravity then chatted with the older couple seated next to me. They were going to sightsee for a day, then board a cruise ship that would take them through the Panama Canal to Florida.
LAX is huge. And overwhelming. With the kindness of helpful people, I found my terminal for my next flight. When I went in search of my gate, I got whisked into a shuttle bus and was driven across across the airport to a smaller terminal with one fast food restaurant and no WiFi. #firstworldproblems.
My next flight was in partnership with WestJet. It was an American Eagle flight and cramped. My seatmate and I agreed that we should pull the window shade down and try to nap. This was definitely an economy flight.
P was at the San Diego airport, with her kids, Victoria and Andrew. I've known P for so long online that it wasn't weird settling into her minivan and talking as we drove through San Diego. San Diego is beautiful, by the way.
The next morning, everyone was at work or school. I had breakfast with a beautiful view of her backyard, and canyons and hills. And a hummingbird hovering around these flowers.