Tuesday, 24 May 2016

From Disney to San Diego to LA hold-ups

Friday 13th May to Friday 20th May 2016

Capristrano Beach, California

We now had a week away at a resort further down the coast at a place called Capistrano Beach, and that meant that we needed a car, so we had already arranged for that through Enterprise, which were just down the road, so it was an early pick up, back to load the luggage and we were away.
We had enjoyed our time in Anaheim and the hotel was very good.
The coast road beckoned, so that we could see a bit of the sea and just the places along the way – we knew it would take a bit longer but we had time and didn’t need to rush it.
The views were quite spectacular and it was the right decision – we arrived about 2:30 and there was immediate check-in; the suite was great, although the views out to the background hill were a bit low on substance – the hill being about 20 metres away, so couldn’t see much at all.
We were ready to just do a bit of relaxing with just a couple of trips planned for the week.

We were one side of a major road but on the other side was the beach, but it was not a particularly friendly one, with warning signs about strong rips and holes and that swimming there was at your risk. Luckily we are not really beach people, but it was nice to walk along and we found our way to – wait for it – a marina – no, there were no narrowboats, but there were some very pricey other types moored there.
Lovely to sit and dream about owning one day, whilst we enjoyed our coffees (lattes).

Boats and more boats - which one shall we buy?

The weather was sunny at times but a lot of the time there was plenty of cloud cover but still warm and t-shirt and shorts weather.

This little fellow was after a free fish dinner from the fishing charter - but sadly
for him it was nothing left for him

...nor for this one...

...or this one either
Took him a while to get it right, but looked fun
We had been advised by Mitch that it might be a bit cold and a coat each would be advisable – suffice to say that we haven’t used them yet and feel that it may have been additional inclusions without use – will see how it turns out.

Our thoughts before arriving here were that a visit to San Diego would be the order for one of the days – we are situated about midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, so it was just over an hour’s drive down the I-5.

Diane checked out the maps and saw a section called the Old Town which read as being an historical area and with plenty of parking, so as it was on the northside we headed to there.
It is an area where a lot of old and original-settlement buildings have either existed or been moved and rebuilt here to give people the opportunity to see them all and also to be able to properly preserve them.

We gained some history of the origins of San Diego from looking through the area, but for creating an area with some authenticity there was a little too much concrete paving around which detracted from it all.
Anyway, that aside, it was nice and after ensuring that the car was safe we caught a trolley (tram) into the city itself – just $5 for an all day ticket (plus a $2 charge for the travel card) – a lot cheaper than parking and the driving hassle.
San Diego harbour, bridge and fish place

The sculpture is named as a Sea Dragon, which I jokingly said
to Diane that it reminds me of her mother... a lady standing
nearby overheard and couldn't stop laughung

Fishing "fleet"in the foreground; larger and more ominous vessel behind

Hey Paul, just the Crocs for you - spotted on a Japanese tourist in San Diego

SD is just a few miles from the border with Mexico, but unfortunately we had not brought the passports with us (nor did we feel that we would do that this time), but it is also a Navy city and one of the exhibits available to see up close was the USS Midway (WWII aircraft carrier – actually commissioned a week after the end of the war).
The cost was just $20 each and it was worth a lot more than that -  we had a full tour through the entire ship.
USS Midway 

Hangar deck

Fo'c'sle with the winching gear for the chains and anchors - might be an overkill
for Ferndale on the Thames

For misdemeanors over the last 30 years... alas I had to let her out

Not really at the controls but she enjoyed the thought of it

Referred to as the "Island" this is the command centre

And a view from the bridge

It is rather cramped up there, as our guide explained

...didn't stop Diane from assuming command 

Afterwards we continued through downtown SD and found ourselves in the GasLamp district where we had a lovely meal at a convenient sports-bar.

San Diego GasLamp historic district
Dinner - usual small servings
Sante Fe trolley station in San Diego

On the drive back we passed these buildings and coupled with the
heavy power cables coming out of it suggested it was a power station
of some description -
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

Mitch and Sara came down to visit for a couple of days and we simply relaxed by seeing a few things and at the same time not doing much but we had a great time with them.

Happy, happy and happy 

This fellow was quite comfortable on the pier railing
and not the least bit concerned about anyone walking past

Sara is quite the competitor and wasn't letting Mitch in at all

Back in the unit and a game of cards

We had one more day on the Disney 3-day pass, so naturally we drove up to Anaheim to have a final day there at both parks – arrived early and by mid-afternoon we had exhausted ourselves and so had an early mark, finally leaving around 6pm. It was a relatively short 40 minute drive back and we gave the spa-bath in the bedroom another try-out to ease the tired bodies.
Her favourite ride - just one more time
Our final day was one where we didn’t do anything at all – virtually spending it either alongside the pool or in the hot-tub or reading. In hindsight we were perhaps preparing for the unknown.
Found these little beauties at a local supermarket and the price was not too bad -
but they stayed on the shelf
Friday was leaving day and we had arranged for an early departure which we did about 6am – wanting to try and beat the LA traffic to make it to Hollywood to drop off the car – Mitch and Sara were to drive us to the airport.
Well, we were OK until we reached downtown on the I-5 but the I-110 and I-10 interchange stopped the traffic dead in its tracks – we adjusted our route and managed to get around and through the major roads to the west and got to where we needed to.
Car dropped off (no problems with Enterprise – yet again) and after a little more time with Mitch and Sara we were dropped off at the airport about 10:30 am for a 12:25 flight – we had forward knowledge that the flight was delayed by a couple of hours but the airport was the easiest place to wait.

Having flown between England and Melbourne a number of times and experiencing long flights we are used to long travelling, but with the US being only slightly larger than Australia we didn’t expect that a normal 5-hour flight would turn into 13 hours.
Nothing else to say - delayed and more delayed
The flight was delayed by 6 hours with little information flowing from the staff at American Airlines – we were a wee bit tired when the plane finally landed in Miami at 2 am on Saturday…..


  1. "San Diego" in your title caught my eye... been there, done that, etc. Son has lived in the San Diego area for quite a while and we have made many visits. Isn't Midway fascinating? And all that shipping in the harbour/harbour... There are many more visual treats in store if ever you get back to San Diego. If ever we meet we could share an American Airlines story too! Enjoy the rest of your US trip.
    Sue /Boatwif /nb Cleddau

    1. Sue, we will not ever be flying with American Airlines again; absolutely loved USS Midway and it was extremely interesting; we will be back in LA in the future and no doubt we will be back down to San Diego again - we loved it there as well.