Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Everything’s more exotic in San Diego

This is my first visit to San Diego. While the general layout of the city—and of course specific places and buildings—are unfamiliar to me, I don’t feel like a complete stranger. After a couple of days I think I know why. San Diego feels like an amalgam of cities I do know: a little bit of Monterey and Santa Barbara, a dash of Los Angeles, and a generous portion of Tucson.

In many ways, San Diego is the idealized essence of California: its rich history (Spanish, Mexican and U.S.), its architecture, and its climate. San Diego has 300 days of sunshine a year, much like the Sacramento Valley where I live, and the average temperature is 70°F. On our city tour yesterday, the trolley driver was joking that San Diego has two seasons: daytime and nighttime. No wonder people move here in droves. I hope the city will be able to cope with this steady influx and won’t be loved to death.

Here’s a fairly random selection of photos from yesterday, taken all over the city. There are no lengthy explanations of the locations because I want you to focus on the visuals. They reflect my initial impressions of San Diego. I’ll have plant-centric posts in the weeks to come.

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Seaport Village

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Manchester Grand Hyatt

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Hilton Marquis and Omni Hotel

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San Diego skyline from Coronado Island

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Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Island

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Bottlebrush, Seaport Village

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Ornamental banana, Seaport Village

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Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae), Hotel Circle

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Giant bird of paradise (Strelitzia nicolai), Hotel Circle

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Dragon tree (Dracaena draco), Balboa Park

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Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), Desert Garden, Balboa Park

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Quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma), Desert Garden, Balboa Park

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Aloe marlothii and Euphorbia ingens, Desert Garden, Balboa Park

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Desert Garden, Balboa Park

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Agave parryi and Senecio serpens, Desert Garden, Balboa Park

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Queensland bottle tree (Brachychiton rupestris), Desert Garden, Balboa Park

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Casa del Prado, Balboa Park

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El Prado, Balboa Park

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El Prado, Balboa Park

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Pink trumpet tree (Tabebuia impetiginosa), Alcazar Garden, Balboa Park

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Old Town State Historic Park

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Old Town State Historic Park

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Fiesta de Reyes, Old Town State Historic Park

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Old Town State Historic Park

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Old Town State Historic Park

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Church of the Immaculate Conception, Old Town State Historic Park

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Euphorbia ingens, Old Town State Historic Park

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Opuntia ficus-indica, Old Town State Historic Park

Related posts

2015 Spring break trip to San Diego

16 comments:

  1. Great photos!! And all those wonderful plants in Old Town and Balboa Park...! The San Diego Tourism Authority should pay you for posts like these, making us all want to visit...

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    1. Wouldn't that be nice!

      San Diego is beautiful, that much is certain. We only scratched the very surface.

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  2. Enjoy your visit to my favorite place. San Diego.

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  3. Hi, Gerhard -- I wish I'd known you were coming this way...I'd love to have you visit my garden!

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    1. I was traveling with family so I knew that I wouldn't have much time for plant-related activities. But I'm planning a solo trip in the winter. Would love to visit your garden then!

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  4. "loved to death"...so true! Back in the early 2000's I briefly visited San Diego with my brother. The company he worked for in Phoenix had sent him to Temecula for a job that also had him spending a lot of time in San Diego. He fell for the city and took me there on a vacation because he thought it was the perfect blend between Seattle (where I'd been living) and Los Angeles. I don't remember much from that visit, other than learning about how many people were moving there. For some reason I've never had the desire, as beautiful as it is.

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    1. It's the traffic that gets me. Not as bad at the L.A. area maybe, but still bad enough. Now if I lived in Tucson, San Diego would "only" be a 6 hour drive...

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  5. Thank you for waiting for warmer weather to arrive here (for me) before taking this trip, because these photos would have me longing to get someplace warm! Looking forward to seeing more of what you experience! Oh, and I'll take one of those Quiver Trees. Or a Dragon Tree.

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    1. Oh, those dragon trees! They were selling them at Lowe's in the Sacramento area last summer, but they're so tender, it would be next to impossible for me to protect one enough (and long enough) for it to ever become a tree. But I'm still tempted...

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  6. I've never actually visited SD for any length of time--just brief jaunts over the years. For somewhere so close it has a very different vibe than LA and OC. You've found some beautiful locations; hope you and your family are having a good time.

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    1. My favorite part of SD was Old Town. I'm a sucker for Mexican architecture. We simply didn't have enough time to do all the exploring I wanted to do. Next time!

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  7. Stunning! We know a couple who absolutely adore San Diego and we wondered why before, not anymore!

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  8. I'm a recovered San Diegan Gerhard; I grew up in LA but lived almost 10 years in SD from the early 70's to the early 80's. Old Town Tavern pinball was our preferred social event. Wonder if that bar is even still there ?

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    1. I'm sure if the Old Town Tavern isn't there anymore, it's been replaced by something very similar. Old Town looks to be perfect for bar hopping on the weekend (heck, any day of the week).

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