Biking San Diego Bay Part 2

– After biking on the ocean side of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, my husband and I went over the the bay side. Mission Bay used to be a saltwater marsh, the city started dredging it in the 1940’s to make a huge, beautiful water park with peninsulas and islands.

It would take an entire day or two to bike around the entire Mission Bay. We only biked about half of the bay. We started out on the southern most point. There is a path to ride, bike, skate, walk, etc…, as far as the eye can see. Further on, the path parallels the San Diego River jetty which is a wonderful place for bird watching. In the lower, right corner is a picture of me holding up the city of San Diego in the background.

There are so many beautiful flower to see in the gardens of the the homes and hotels you pass.

Our lunch was spent watching the fishing boats and the sail boats coming in from the ocean.¬† When we first sat down on the bench, the water was thick with birds. It wasn’t until a fishing boat came in that we figured out why. Off flew the raucously loud birds. It was crazy seeing how many birds were following the returning fishing boats. The area abounds in Brown Pelicans which were once on the endangered species list.

If you ever visit our beautiful city, you need to do a bike ride around the bay. From Mission Beach you can ride to Ocean Beach, La Jolla, Old Town, etc… ūüôā

Should Be Paddling The Birds!

~Al, the Koupon King, has struck again. Barb’s hubs finds the best deals! This time it was a twofer for kayaking in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Hurray! My hubs, Alan, and I were invited. Note: Barb and I both married Allan/Alans and both got married in September of 1972! This is sort of a 40 years celebration. Her hubs is Al mine is Alan. Anyway……. both my hubs and I have wanted to kayak so this was exciting. But, I have a confession – I’m apprehensive around water. One of my earliest memories, at age 2, was being fully dressed with a wool sweater on walking at the beach in Santa Barbara, Ca. I was walking by the water when a wave knocked me over and I was pulled along as it rushed back to the ocean. I can still feel that terrifying moment ¬†being dragged to the sea with parents laughing. That feeling does stay with me. When I was in my pre-teens, my parents had a pool installed. I did swim in it, but I’m not a strong swimmer, unlike sister Barb. So…. yesterday when the first wave hit us I almost had a heart attack telling my husband we had to go back. He talked me down and once we really started going I had a blast! I did wear a life vest the entire time, they aren’t required on kayaks. Al did too! You can tell who the safety conscience ones are!

While braving the wilds of the ocean in double kayaks, ok the bay, Barb and Al were in one and Alan and I in the other. Their friend had a single which we all tried. The single is really easier to maneuver. In the morning it was overcast and windy with the tide rushing out making it easy going out towards the ocean, but a lot of arm muscle was used paddling back against the wind and tide. After lunch, Barb and I kayaked together keeping close to the shore as we followed/watched birds. Barb’s Al is waving goodbye to us as he proceeds to venture out into other parts of the bay.

After our grueling trip around the bay, totally fun, we had a picnic. The minute we sat down with our food, we were surrounded by gulls! Noisy, squawking gulls! After about 10 minutes, all but one flew away to try and find better pickings – we weren’t feeding them. All but this “baby” gull who remained the entire time looking at us. He’s saying, “Feed me.”


My Alan was on the “protect-the-picnic-area-from-the-gulls” duty after lunch. The rest of us were going back out. Barb and I wanted pics so he came down for the beach launching. A huge herd of gulls came swooping past us heading for our picnic site. HUGE! By the time Alan rushed back, they had already emptied an almost full back of tortilla chips. You can see the empty bag, on the right, which the birds had dragged away from our area. I’m lucky they didn’t try to drag away our lunch bag. There wasn’t even a crumb left in the chip bag! It was a hit-and-run for most of the birds had flown away by the time Alan got back to take a picture. These gulls needed a paddling!


It was a wonderful day. I’m ready to do it again. Well, maybe not until my sore muscles feel better. ¬†Knowing how I feel about water, Mom had checked up on me a couple of times before I went. Thanks mom! I made it!¬†Conquering one’s fears!

A Day at the Bay

¬†–¬†Al, my coupon wizard, surprised me with a day of kayaking at San Diego Bay. He bought 2 kayak day rentals at a fantastic price. What a wonderful surprise. The weather was great great great.

We took a lunch and found a spot. We sat on the lawn and watched the people go by. Then off we went to explore another part of the Mission Bay. What a great day it was. I have had a great time going to new places to eat and to play, but this the best so far.

A Study of Aeonium

 Sometimes you have to see through the eyes of a stranger to notice bits of your hometown that are too familiar. Ever since A Little Bit of This and That published her piece about Eggplant Cactus on her blog referring to a plant she photographed while visiting San Diego, since then I have become acutely aware of how widely grown the family Crassulaceae, Stonecrop, is here. I mean it is every where! In the family, there is a genus commonly called Hen and Chicks, which refers to a large plant, Hen, which has smaller plants, Chicks, popping up around it.  In our hike around Quail Gardens,we found quite a variety of plants belonging to the genus Aeonium, which the Eggplant Cactus belonged too.  Technically, these are succulents not cacti.

Although, Aeonium are not sold as the Hens and Chicks plants they belong to the same family and are quite similar. ¬†In quite a few pictures you can see the Hen surrounded by the Chicks! ūüėé Such a wonderful description. There are about 35 species of Aeonium. I’m sure Quail Gardens must have had a majority. ¬†I didn’t take pictures of all the species because by the time it registered that I was seeing quite a few, I had passed by many and wasn’t going to circle back. ūüėé

Some are medium sized and grow low to the ground.

Some stay greener.

Some stay quite small and creep along the ground.

Then there are the high rises! Look at the chick in the sky.

Green high rise with chicks on the ground.

Fabulous yellow flower with stunning eggplant-colored leaves.

Smaller sized growing tall.

Look at this tall one which has yellowish chicks.

Amazing dinner plate sized! That’s their common name.

Another dinner plate picture with a daisy-type flower to give scale.

Just a sampling. My favorites are the purple-green colored ones. Now, it’s time to try and recreate some dye samples from the “Eggplant Cactus”. ūüėé

Dragon Boat Race

– Dragon Boat Races are highly competitive. On Saturday, San Diego hosted it’s third annual Dragon Boat Race on Mission Bay. ¬†Read all about the history of this unique event and the history of San Diego’s Dragon Boat Race at their web site:¬† The date of the race is referred to as the “double fifth” since Duanwu is for the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which often falls on the Gregorian calendar month in June, but it sometimes falls in May or July. This year Duanwu fell on May 5.

The boats are rigged with a decorative Chinese dragon head and a tail. The dragon’s eyes are covered until the monk whips them open.


 There is traditional dancing all day. A wide variety of vendor booths are set up.  There is an overall feeling of a festival!

This was the second time that my husband, Al, competed in the race. Last year his team took second place. As the race has become more popular, more teams and tougher teams have entered. Saturday there were about 30 teams of all ages.¬†This year the teams were a lot harder to beat, so, unfortunately, ¬†after 3 races Al’s team was out. ¬†For each round, two boats are race against each other, after two losses a team is out of the race.¬† Each boat has a drummer who’s pulsation of the drum is the “heartbeat” of the dragon and sets the rhythm for the rowers.


Above are two pictures of Al’s team. The picture on the left shows his team in their dragon boat. Al is the one looking at me with his paddle up. In the right photo he is the team member kneeling on the bottom left.

This is how I watched the races! I am busily hand-knitting as I attach a lace border to my machine-knit circular sweater. This is the circular sweater  I will be using for demonstration in Large Blocking Projects Part Two. Since my ankle was still swollen, I did my knitting and took pictures from my chair. Luckily I had a front row seat directly in front of the starting line, so it turned out to be a perfect spot to watch the races begin. With the water in front of me it was easy to view the race and take pictures!  Primo location!