When I left off here, we were in El Centro, CA. We had stopped around 11:00 pm at a hotel because I was road-weary and exhausted after driving for 3 days straight. When I called Tina to tell her I wasn't going to make it all the way that night I could hear the frustration in her voice. They were living in a hotel room on base waiting for me to get there. The plan was for them to go look for a place to live as soon as I got there with their car and I had already been driving for 2 days while they sat in a hotel room waiting. I understood their frustration but I also knew I couldn't drive any further.
When we got up the next morning and got back on the road we were surprised at what the scenery looked like. We had been driving in darkness for hours before stopping the night before so we had no idea what it looked like up until this point. Dakota called it "an arid wasteland" LOL. Nothing but brown, brown, brown for miles and miles.
Guess what? We actually saw tumbleweeds blowing across the road!! Haha
We had to go through a mountain range from El Centro into San Diego. Most of the mountains were Indian reservations. Dakota took pictures (while I drove) of the mountains because they were just these huge rocks. It wasn't until we got closer to San Diego that we finally started seeing some trees and greenery again. What a depressing place!
We finally made it!! Yes!! After leaving FL on Sunday we arrived safe and sound in San Diego, CA on Wednesday afternoon with only one speeding ticket. First thing I did was grab hold of my precious grandbaby who was only 4 months old at that time.
We were all staying in one hotel room together at the Marine Lodge. The next few days consisted of Bryant going to work and Tina and I trying to find them a place to live. Tina didn't feel comfortable driving out there on the CA freeways yet. Me, being the Nascar driver I am, had no problem with this and actually fell in love with CA driving! I had never been to CA before so I was enjoying learning my way around this small part of San Diego that they were going to be living in. When they were affected by the wildfires in October I knew all the areas Tina was telling me about and I was hearing about on the news because of my time I spent apartment shopping there with her in March. I like that familiarity.
Bryant isn't much for doing anything when he gets off work. He likes to just come back to the house (hotel room) and rest. Since Dakota and I were visitors and would be leaving soon we wanted to explore the city. We borrowed the car one afternoon and headed out...to find the Pacific Ocean. This was actually a hard task. Where we live in FL you can go to the beach (Gulf of Mexico) and park in huge parking lots and the beach is right there. It's not blocked by house after house, condo after condo or hotel after hotel. We don't have signs everywhere telling us "private property, no parking." We had to drive for over 2 hours to find somewhere that we could actually park (without paying an exorbitant fee) and get to the beach. Even then we had to walk about 6 blocks.
Dakota asked if he could go swimming. I gave him permission but as soon as he put his foot in the water and realized how cold it was he changed his mind.
It was nice to see, but I prefer our beach back home...the nice sugar-white sand! There's nothing like it in the world!
This was March 11th, Sunday afternoon - a beautiful warm day...you can see there are lots of people out enjoying the last bit of day before the sun sets. We spent about an hour here walking the beach, collecting shells (rocks?) before heading back to the hotel.
When Dakota and I had gone out the day before we went to Cabrilla National Monument State Park in Point Loma first before going to see the Ocean. The time of year that we were there was the annual migration time for the Pacific Gray Whales as they travel from the Arctic to Baja, CA. They pass right by Point Loma and the park. So we wanted to go whale-watching. Unfortunately we got there as the park was close to shutting down for the evening and there was lots that we wanted to do (and since I have to pay to get in) we decided to come back the next day with Tina and Bailee.
Although we didn't see any whales while we were at Cabrilla, we DID get to explore some tidepools. This was great because Dakota and I had just studied this in school and neither one of us knew what these were!! I was so excited to be able to walk down in this area and see what it was all about.
Dakota, Tina w/ Bailee in the pack getting ready to walk down to the tidepools.
Tide pools from above - it was low tide (obviously!)
When the tide is in, this area is full of water...
I know this picture doesn't do it justice, but there were so many neat little critters and creatures in these little pools of water! I loved this!
In the walls behind me are embedded hermit crabs, shells and other small creatures from when this area is full of water (high tide.)
We were back up top near the lighthouse now....this is looking down at the tidepools where we had just been.
Out in the Pacific Ocean, there are these small islands w/ mountains sticking up everywhere. I wish I had a boat...I would LOVE to go exploring!
Dakota and I stayed another day or two and then we rented a car and started our trek back to FL. It still took us three days to drive home. The neat thing about our return trip is we were able to see areas that we had missed the first time because we went through them while it was nighttime. I was hoping that Greg and I could make this trip together before Tina left CA. We love to travel and there were so many places I saw that I wanted to stop along the way and visit but I didn't want to do it without Greg since he's never been to CA either. It doesn't look like we are going to get that trip in because Tina is moving to GA in about a month. For this though -- I am ecstatic!!