I always think of San Diego and Los Angeles as being fairly close together. Maybe they are if you're a crow, but not if you're a driver. The Los Angeles basin is about a hundred miles north to south, and then it's another hundred to San Diego. And then there's that freeway traffic.
We'd spent the weekend in Oxnard, at the northern tip of all those freeways. That put us into the LA traffic on a Monday. PERFECT planning. We spent about an hour covering five miles on the infamous 405; apparently one exit lane isn't sufficient for all those cars trying to get onto busy Santa Monica Boulevard. How do people live with this commute every single day?!?
On the plus side, I was enjoying our first trip with Mike's new smartphone. Google Maps traffic RULZ!! We used those little green, yellow, and red lines to navigate the fastest route around the city of San Diego to our RV park. Even with the delays in LA, Mike managed the entire two-hundred-plus miles without a break.
The industrial-park streets leading to the Chula Vista RV Park were not promising, but the park itself is probably the nicest we've ever seen that's in an urban setting. The spaces are large and manicured, and the place is right against San Diego Bay, looking across to Coronado. We had a good space near the end of a row, with an empty space to our right.
After we got registered and settled in, we took a walk to look around. The RV park is fenced for security, but there are gates giving access to the next-door marina and a public park right on the bay.
That evening we planned to make burritos from some leftover chicken. We searched high and low for the tortillas I was certain I had brought from home. Must have spent a half-hour looking. Nothing. *Sigh*. We settled for a different menu. All part of getting used to a new "house". I wondered how green they would be when we finally found them.
Taking it easy on our first day here, we drove a short distance to Coronado, a beach resort area on a long skinny peninsula between the Pacific and San Diego Bay. Coronado has a lot of history and one particular historic building, the Hotel del Coronado. Built in 1887, it is still today providing beachside luxury to its guests, and its famous facade is a recognizable symbol of California.
We drove into the parking area at the hotel, thinking we'd just pay to park. Until we saw the prices. I just had to document the sign. We quickly retreated and found street parking not too far away.
The first thing we saw was The Oxford, the first hotel built in Coronado. The building has been moved and restored, and now serves as administrative offices for the Hotel del Coronado.
As we walked up the driveway, we noticed a workman high overhead, at least seven stories up on the steep slanted roof of the cupola. What was he doing? Surely this isn't how they raise and lower the flag!
The hotel lobby is all mahogany and chandeliers.
In the back of the hotel is a large terrace with many covered tables and chairs, overlooking the spectacular beach.
We took a break from the very warm day in the air-conditioned ice cream shop, and had a cone. The cool air was delicious; the ice cream, sadly, was not as good.
On our way out, we stopped to admire the unusual Dragon Tree which sits in front of the cupola. And we took one final look (and a few more snaps) of the grand old lady.
We returned early to the RV park and took a stroll in the lovely park alongside San Diego Bay. Mike was fascinated by the dozens of ducks inhabiting the park and couldn't take enough pictures of them.
There was one particularly cute group of ducks that practically lived inside the RV park, a ring-necked mother and her flock of ten near-grown ducklings. They followed us everywhere, looking for food I'm sure. We walked the length of the park and found a shipyard where a tugboat and a luxury yacht sat side-by-side on huge blocks, waiting for refurbishing.
Although they don't get free rein like the ducks, the cats seem to be adapting to RV life in their own fashion.