California Dreamin’ (Part One)

music notes

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey.  I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day. I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA. California dreamin on such a winter’s day.

This 1960’s song by the Mamas and Papas flashed through my mind early this morning as I woke up in a Winnemucca, NV. KOA campground (picture above). Brrr…   

I’ve had a deliriously good time visiting family in California, but now I am on my way “home” to spend Christmas with the Colorado clan.  Along the I-80 corridor, Lady Winter gave me the perfect excuse to stop in my tracks, hunker down for a day, shop at Walmart,  visit the local library, and connect with you.  IMG_3446

Terns gathered along the Coronado shore.  

About a month ago, I arrived at my son and daughter-in-law’s (Jason and Cara) house in San Diego to celebrate Thanksgiving.  They just moved from their suburban Allied Gardens home to a lovely downtown condo.  Since I had time and no immediate plans, I offered to help them organize an estate sale to clear out items left behind when they downsized their household to fit into the new space.

The sale was fast, successful and great fun!  (Let me know if you need help getting rid of your stuff!)  The extra time gave me the opportunity to get more acquainted with the area, so with the help of the Hidden San Diego website, I set out to discover as much as I could.

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My first stop was the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas, CA. Colorful flowers were sprinkled among plants and trees from around the world as volunteers and employees worked diligently to keep this 37-acre wonderland in tip-top shape.  The 4,000 plant species support birds and insects while offering an opportunity for young and old to enjoy nature.

Another day I visited nearby Mission Trails Regional Park.  This 7,000-acre wilderness boasts 60 miles of trails, boating on Lake Murray (see below), camping, and a beautiful interpretive center.  The artwork shown above is a sample of the quilts that were handsewn and donated to the center to help raise funds.

Here are a few shots of Lake Murray – one of my favorite places to visit!

I discovered the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve accidentally when I made a wrong turn one day.  Maybe it wasn’t accidental after all.   

Santee Lakes is a 190‐acre Park featuring seven beautiful “reclaimed water” lakes that are stocked with fish year-round.  You can rent a cabin, park your RV, fish, float your boat, walk along several groomed trails, or watch for any of the approximately 230 bird species. It was a magical place.IMG_3452

And then there is Harper’s Topiary near Middletown.  This unusual yard treatment was created about 15 years ago when the couple living here decided to create these green scenes based on others they had seen during their world-wide travels.  It is located on a quiet, narrow street high above the hustle and bustle of the valley below.  I decided to walk up (instead of drive) to this site for a closer look.  The climb was surprisingly steep but worth every step!

No trip to San Diego would be complete without visiting Balboa Park.

It would be easy to spend two or three days visiting all the attractions at this 1200-acre preserve in the heart of San Diego.  Beautiful 100+-year-old buildings, lush vegetation, the zoo, and museums galore all started with a vision of San Diego leaders back in the 1860’s. Put this jewel on your bucket list – you won’t be disappointed.

Another must-see attraction is the San Diego Bay near downtown.  This lively area includes Seaport Village, the Star of India (pictured above), Waterfront Park (pictured above), the USS Midway Museum,  and nearby Little Italy neighborhood.  As luck – and good planning on their part-  would have it, all of this is within walking distance of the new Casseday home. Thank you, Jason and Cara, for making this Thanksgiving one to remember! Love ya lots! IMG_3526

This beautiful Christmas Tree is a preview of the upcoming northern California trip where I get to visit cousins, my Aunt Betty, San Francisco and the redwoods – California Dreamin’ (Part Two). 

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and the very BEST in 2018! 


2 Comments on “California Dreamin’ (Part One)

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