Escondido, CA Sunday Nov. 16
Warm weather is back again after yesterday’s mountain coolness. San Diego, (eighth largest city in the U.S.) and an hour away from Escondido, was our destination for two activities and it was primarily shorts weather. Chris and I have been here before and we have done the Zoo, Balboa Park, Torrey Pines, Gaslight District, etc. The destinations today were Cabrillo National Monument and the San Diego Botanic Garden.
Juan Cabrillo was an explorer for Spain. He and his crew were the first Europeans to set foot on the west coast of the U.S. In September 1542 he landed on a stretch of beach on the San Diego harbor. Unfortunately for him, an infection led to his death in January 1543. His vessels continued on and claimed the land in this area for Spain.
The monument is located on a spit of land shared with the U.S. military, a military cemetery, and a Coast Guard lighthouse. It is about 400 feet above the ocean and provides dramatic views of San Diego and the ocean. It is a great gray whale watching area in January and February. We spent our time at the monument, old lighthouse, and sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean and the birds flying by.
There are two lighthouses here. The first one was in operation from 1855 to 1891 and is open to visitors. Its location on the high land was actually a draw back. Heavy fog occurs here and the lighthouse was too high for its beacon to be seen through fog banks. A new lighthouse was located at the bottom of the cliffs by the ocean.
From Cabrillo we drove north to Encinitas and the San Diego Botanic Garden. Once again, our Como Park pass allowed us free access. The gardens here focus on plants from similar climes; Mediterranean, Africa, Australia, Central America, Canary Islands, etc. The garden has the world’s largest collection of bamboo; but how many it has of the 1000+ varieties that exist, I could not say. We wandered through citrus fruit collections, herbs, cactus, cork oak, and other low water using plants.
The day was pleasant, and like Cabrillo National Monument, many families were out enjoying the day. Of course, there were a lot more people and cars at Qualcomm Stadium watching the Chargers and Raiders play football today. (We drove by the stadium, luckily we could stay in the left lanes of the freeway and avoid the backlog of exiting cars.)
So, just a quiet day enjoying a few locales.
Ed and Chris Nov. 16th. 10:15 pm