A Visitor From the East

San Diego, CA

One of the main reasons for our visit to San Diego is the proximity of a good airport.  Our daughter, Jessica, has flown from Pennsylvania to wherever we are for a holiday visit each year since we began full-timing (this is her fifth visit).  So on Christmas morning we drove just a few miles south of our park in Mission Bay to pick her up at nearby Lindbergh Field.  One of the interesting things about San Diego is the location of this airport, just north of San Diego Bay and right next to the downtown.  Landing from the east takes the planes right over the city.  As we approached the field, Jessica’s plane came out of the cloudy sky right in front of us.

The princess charter (OK, it’s a Southwest flight)

As the picture above shows, it was overcast and rainy when she arrived.  But the skies soon cleared, so we headed out to visit one of our favorite places in this area, the old Del Coronado Hotel across the bay in Coronado.  The old hotel lobby was nicely decorated with a large tree and the beautiful beach was almost empty due to the earlier rain.

During the last couple of years, Jessica has become an avid runner and ran her first full marathon in Baltimore in October.  So when she read about the second running of the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon being held during her visit, she felt compelled to sign up.

She had one of her best times in this race but was a bit hampered by the lack of serious training (she only signed up for this a month ago) and the eight mile hike up to Moreno Butte we did two days before the race!

OK, we’ll take a rest the day after the race, right?  No, no, no!  Jessica had read about a hike up to Potato Chip Rock that a friend of hers had done during a visit to San Diego.  The hike is on the Mount Woodson Trail and begins next to Lake Poway.  It is about four miles one way, all of it uphill, some of it a bit steep, for a 1500 foot gain in elevation.

We’re going where?

The start: a nice stroll along Lake Poway

Up through the rocks

Lake Poway

We were warned that this was a very popular hike so the trail would be crowded.  But when your visitor has a limited stay, you go when you can.  The trail itself had many hikers, but crowding was not a problem.  But when we arrived at the top, we were dismayed to see a long line for a photo op on Potato Chip Rock.

We decided not to wait an hour in line to get on the rock, so we opted for a picture with Potato Chip Rock in the background.

Most of the time during Jessica’s visit the skies were clear and the temperatures in the high sixties or low seventies.  But the day of her departure dawned cold, cloudy, and windy, just like the morning of her arrival.  We braved the cold and the winds to visit the Cabrillo Monument on Point Loma.  The point is high over the entrance to San Diego Bay with a great view of Coronado and San Diego.

We had a great five day visit, but all good things must come to an end.  So we dropped her off at the airport around noon for the flight back to the east.

Goodbye Jessica!

With two more weeks remaining in our stay at Mission Bay we have some more adventures in our plans.  The weather is calling for cool temps and rainy skies for the next couple of days but after that it looks like sunshine and warm temps return!

Sunset over Mission Bay

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36 Responses to A Visitor From the East

  1. Looks like a wonderful and active visit with Jessica!

    We sure could use some serious exercise after the past week or so of social engagements instead of intense exercise!

    See you two soon!

  2. Sherry says:

    Just love that picture of Jessica with her half marathon medal. It’s great that Jessica visits you each year wherever you are. Carrie loves having a great place to be during December even though she too can only come for a few days. Looks like you had a wonderful time but it sure is sad to put them on those Southwest Flights. Love the “princess charter”. 🙂

  3. Sheila says:

    The clouds look like they are making hearts. She is beautiful!

  4. pmbweaver says:

    Cool shot of the airplane over the city.

    Jessica looks so good. Wonderful news about her best time. Must be the good weather!

    Potato Chip Rock is pretty cool looking. There would be no way Paul would wait of a photo op.

    Did Jessica ever think of performing on the balance beam? She loves to show us her balancing

    Sounds like y’all had a wonderful time together. Nothing better than Christmas day with family. The mother/daughter photo is so pretty!

    Gorgeous sunset….I look forward to seeing some of the sunsets when we get out west. Happy New Year to you both!

    • placestheygo says:

      Haha! It does seem that Jessica did a lot of balancing in the photos:)

      We expected there would be a line for a photo on the “chip,” but the line went down the trail. Totally crazy! And every person or group had to do many different poses so that added to the wait time. Thank goodness Jessica didn’t want to wait.

      The sunsets out here are the best. We’ll have to catch one together:)

      Happy New Year to you and Paul!

  5. LuAnn says:

    I have been wanting to hike Mt Woodson but am disappointed in the hour wait for a photo op. It sounds like you had a fabulous visit with Jessica. Happy New Year to you and John. Hope to see you both real soon! 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      Hiking Mount Woodson in late January might be a better time. The colleges will be back by then. Almost everyone on the trail was in their 20’s and 30’s. Maybe then you could get a photo!

      Happy New Year to you and Terry!

  6. Rick Doyle says:

    Great shot of Jessica’s plane coming in for a landing! Looks like a fun and active 5 day visit!

    Happy New Year!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Rick! We were tracking her flight so we thought we might just be on the road as it went over.

      We sent one tired daughter home to recover!

      Happy New Year to you and Paulette!

  7. Very nice that you were able to visit with your daughter and the weather was good for the most part!

  8. Ingrid says:

    Always a special time to savor with our adult children. Seems like you managed to get in some great hikes. Happy New Year!

    • placestheygo says:

      We had to plan our hikes around the Half Marathon but so glad we were able to get two good ones in. This is the first time we got to hike with both of our children, special times, for sure!

      Happy New Year to you and Al!

  9. Laurel says:

    What a fun visit! It’s wonderful that all of you enjoy hiking and being outdoors. That’s my idea of great family time. 🙂 Love the mother/daughter photo! Happy New Year!!!

  10. Gay says:

    What a real treat to be able to share time with Jessica and do such fun and healthy things. You are making me “homesick” for San Diego. Playing in the tide pools at Point Loma is so much fun! That was one beautiful sunset you captured!

  11. Jodee Gravel says:

    Princess charter indeed 🙂 Special cargo right there!! Running a half marathon on “vacation” – wow! It’s a good reminder that you have to keep going even after you reach a goal – good for Jessica!! Love the pic of dad and daughter looking over the lake 🙂 So glad the weather held for her visit, I don’t think this little bit of snow would impress the Pennsylvania girl!!

  12. Great visit! Great pictures with Jesscia! Have a Happy New Year!

  13. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Love that sunset photo.
    Happy New Year!

  14. Suzanne says:

    What fun to get to hike with your daughter! She is adorable! So glad the weather held out while she was there. And I think the the photo of the line to get on the rock is even more astounding than the rock itself. 😉

    Happy 2015!!

  15. pam says:

    This might be the first post of yours that I’ve read right away, I’m caught up on most blogs since everyone seems to be posting less. I spent a few of my younger years living in the San Diego area in Tierrasanta. My dad was in the US Navy and my mom worked at the Hyatt in San Diego I think. I keep threatening to fly out there with my mom to do a nostalgic thing, maybe next year since you’re making it look so worthwhile!

    • placestheygo says:

      It is hard to keep up with all the blogs. Glad we can share some of the San Diego area with you. You would love the hiking that is about an hour from here. So worth the drive. Right now all our latest hikes are snow covered! I think you should do the nostalgic trip with your mom!!

  16. Im so glad you got some hiking done during the holidays, perfect bonding time and the trio looked so happy together. I would not wait for a photo op, that is crazy. I wonder if the line is also long on regular days.
    John only you can come up with the “princess charger” complete with an airplane photo!
    The sunset is gorgeous!
    Sending you our new year wishes from the cold, dreary Texas.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Mona Liza! We knew we were in for a crowded hike to the Potato Chip since people started posting it on You Tube and putting photos on Instagram. Jessica is the one that told us about it. One of her friends hiked there during a visit to San Diego. Thank goodness Jessica didn’t want to stand in line!

      We aren’t dreary here but we are very cool. It is freezing if you want to sit out to watch the sunset. We’ve been in the 30’s at night for over a week. Hope you warm up soon and see the sun!!

  17. Nancy says:

    What a beautiful visit with your beautiful daughter. The hike up to Potato Chip Rock looked fabulous. Fun! Fun! Fun! that she got to run and you witnessed that too! Woo Hoo!

  18. rommel says:

    Urgh!!! We were gonna go to Potato Chip Rock before I leave California, but my car broke. Grrr. Beautiful end to an amazing cool city. I’m biased, I know. 🙂

    • placestheygo says:

      While the trail up to Potato Chip Rock was very busy, it was still a fun hike. The “chip” was very neat to see. Too bad the line was so very long to get a photo taken. Hope you get back to hike up there someday.

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