NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Persistence Pays

The last hike that I took while I was in San Diego in April was on the Piedras Pintadas trail in Escondido.

Mountain biker cresting the hill

I didn't know how long the trail was, or how far I wanted to go, but after I climbed a really steep hill  I decided I'd go as far as it would take me.

Another hiker enjoying the morning

Not much farther along I was surprised by the last of the spring bloom. The purple and yellow blanket lifted my spirits and spurred me to continue and see what was around the next bend.

Piedras Pintadas means "painted rocks", and interpretive signs along the way explained the petroglyphs that are found on some rocks in the area.  That portion of the park is now closed to protect what remains due to vandalism, but I enjoyed the coloration on these rocks nonetheless.

As I wound my way through the boulders I saw the 3.8 mile lollipop loop trail would end overlooking Lake Hodges.  My persistence paid off!

I can almost hear the birds that were on the lake calling to each other and feel the heat of the sun on my shoulders...

Knowing that the majority of the return hike was downhill was a relief as the sun rose in the sky and the temperature started to climb.  Perfect weather for lizards to sit on a fence!

It still isn't as warm here in Newfoundland at the end of May as it was in San Diego, but we have had sunny skies and comfortable temperatures for two days in a row and I'd say summer is on its way.  Except for murals I'm caught up blog posts, so get ready for sunsets over oceans and maritime fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

US Grant Hotel - A San Diego Flashback Post

This post is from my trip to San Diego in 2018

Created by Ulysses S. Grant Jr., the hotel opened its doors in 1910.  It underwent extensive renovation in the 1980's after being saved from the wrecking ball in the '70's and being added to the list of National Historic Sites.

In 2003 it was purchased by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Indians whose ancestral land the hotel was built upon.

Chairpersons of the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay

Down below the main floor I found this large safe.  I wonder if it was for the hotel's business use or for the guests?

And then found myself in the Crystal Ballroom, admiring the painted ceiling.

The times when attention to detail like this are unfortunately long gone.

There was a collection of historic items on display, I won't spoil it for you by showing it all, but I adored this old postcard!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Goobies Murals

I took these pictures back in December, but when I drove past them at the Goobies exit on the TCH in Newfoundland last week they looked exactly the same!

Goobies is an unincorporated community of under 200 residents, known mostly for its rest-stop style Irving gas station and the large moose statue looming nearby.

I don't remember if I posted this picture of my cousin and I goofing off in Goobies last December, but it's one of my favorites so worth revisiting if I did!

Linking up to Monday Mural

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Morning Visitor

When you come to Newfoundland you know it's likely that you will see moose, but there is other wildlife on view if you pay attention.

I wonder what our cat Celia was thinking as she stared it down on her morning walk around the campsite?

Celia on the far left, fox on the hill 

The diet of the red fox consists mainly of small mammals such as voles, lemmings, squirrels, hares, rabbits, and mice so while they eyed each other with interest I wasn't concerned about our cat's safety.

We were thinking the fox must have just had a snack because it even laid down and closed its eyes!

In the Spring they will also eat nesting waterfowl and in summer snack on berries and plants. They are also known to eat young birds, eggs and lake trout, so all the B'ys out fishing now better keep an eye on their trout.

It is finally warming up a bit more here, and today the sky is blue and the sun is blazing.

The fox stuck around longer than I thought it would, but eventually had to get on the move.

We will be on the move from the campground ourselves on June 17th; we finally found a place to call home permanently yesterday!  I wonder if I will get any backyard visitors there?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Iceberg Hunting

I know it's been two weeks since I posted anything, but internet has been so scarce that I figured it could all wait.  But then...icebergs!

This has actually been the first year I have been home at iceberg time so I was pretty excited to finally see them!

It's a big year for icebergs in Newfoundland, no trouble to find them in any of the northern coves and bays.  We found these just driving up the Port de Grave peninsula near Bay Roberts.

As you can see, May in Newfoundland is not the same as anywhere in the United States.  Things are still looking a bit like early March around here.

But it's been above freezing at night and consistently between 40F and 50F so nothing really to complain about.

Taking these pictures made me realize that maybe it's finally time to invest in a REALLY good zoom lens.  I have moose and caribou to find yet this summer, after all.

But first we need to get a house. That's right, still no home.  We were outbid on the first home we wanted, the second house we made an offer on was overpriced and they wouldn't budge.  Tomorrow we see the last house on the list of what is suitable and available. 

Then we will make a decision on the last two we are considering.  Both have renters in them at the moment, and here that means 90 days notice from the first of the month before they have to leave.  

Thank goodness we have a camper!  We might not be in a home of our own until October...

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Casa del Prado - the Missing Balboa Park Post

This post is about my trip to San Diego in 2018-
Catching up at last!

When I visited San Diego in 2018 one of the things I did was go stroll through Balboa Park which was home to the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The Exhibition introduced Spanish Colonial Revival architecture to Southern California and to millions of visitors. The buildings were meant to be temporary, but San Diegans did not want to let them go and through a mix of public funds and private fundraising they have reconstructed some of the buildings and the arcades, filling them with museums, performing arts venues and lovely gardens.

photo credit: Chris Jennewein - from Times San Diego article

I already posted about Balboa Park previously, but somehow neglected to include a post about The Casa del Prado which was the first replacement of an Exposition building and was completed in 1971.  The ornamentation on the exterior of the building was completed with the aid of private donations.

Somehow I forgot to get a photo of the exterior of the building, but here is what I found when I went inside. The original Exposition building stood for 50 years and was used for a variety of purposes after the Exposition including temporary barracks, post office, hospital ward and Red Cross during World Wars One and Two for the US. Navy.  It was even home to the Public Library while they constructed a new one for two years in the 1950's.

I was delighted to discover a sculpture display in its shady walkways around the open courtyard. The Conquistador vignette replica above was a pendant beneath a sculptural group on the Varied Industries building.

 original building image from sign 

While the Conquistador was a replica, the Indian head below was an original, showing the softness of time. 

Plaster models designed in 1924 of famous 17th century Spanish painters Velazquez, Murillo and Zurbaran were used to cast sculptures above what is now the San Diego Museum of Art.

And Seraphim, the highest order of angels, were resting in a peaceful corner with a view of the gardens.

There were more, but it would spoil your adventure to see them if I showed them all!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Annie's Canyon Mini-Hike

In search of a new hike close to my home base in Rancho Bernado I decided to head over to the San Elijo Conservancy and check out Annie's Canyon. If you go, make sure to park at Rios Avenue because the other trailhead is currently closed.

Once the prone to vandalism the trail was restored and opened on June 21, 2016. It is named Annie’s Canyon Trail in honor of a 30-year resident of Solana Beach named Annie.

Birds only beyond this point

Annie’s Canyon Trail is a moderate-to-strenuous ¼-mile loop trail accessible from Rios Avenue trail. It was probably half a mile from the trailhead to canyon loop entrance.

No climbing on the eroded sandstone please, and of course no vandalism either.

I was smart and got there early, it may have been my first time in a slot canyon, but I know how it is on popular trails.

It only takes a few minutes to maneuver your way through, and even though it's a slight incline just forge ahead with confidence.

There was a metal ladder at the end, and a panoramic view of the salt marsh with the ocean as a backdrop was the reward.  I even got to enjoy it by myself for a few minutes before the families started arriving for their weekend adventure.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dave's Rock Garden

After my morning at the San Diego Botanical Gardens I drove over to Encinitas to grab an iced Dragon Pearl Jasmine tea at the Lofty Coffee Company.  From there it was a short stroll to the public beach, and along the way I came across Dave's Rock Garden.

There are so many rocks here that passersby have painted that I would have had to spend an hour to get a good look at even most of them.  When I went to their Facebook page every photo I saw was of a rock I didn't even see!

Paint supplies and a sign encouraging you to paint your own were handy, but I didn't see any paint brushes so I wasn't able to contribute.

The creativity of other people never fails to amaze me!

If I'm in the area again I'll have to bring my own brush.  I wonder what I should paint?  I have plenty of time to think about it, that's for sure.

I continued on down the hill toward the beach where families were setting up for a day in the sun.  Beaches themselves don't appeal to me much since I'm not much of a sitter and I tend to burn so I headed to the overlook.

That's the way to enjoy the beach for me - from afar!

Given a comfy chair and some shade I could've sat there for awhile, reading a book and stealing occasional glances at the ocean.

Just behind the overlook there was this darling house for rent so someone could do just that if they wanted, and paint a rock a day during their stay!