2019 Sandy & Bill's West Coast Adventure travel blog

U.S. Grant Hotel

Front of the Hotel Del Coronado

Residence on Coronado Island

Sandy by a fountain on Coronado Island

Front of the San Diego Museum of Art

Outdoor Pavilion that has the largest pipe organ in the U.S.

Hilltop houses near Old Town San Diego

Grand Salon of La Casa Estudillo

Star of India - merchant sailing ship

Sandy at the wheel of the Star of India

Dinning Room of La Casa Estudillo

Soviet submarine B-59 - a participant in the Cuban Missile Crisis

Torpedo of Soviet sub B-59

USS Midway - Decommissioned aircraft carrier


Today we did a sort of Grand Tour of San Diego. Before doing so, we met a charming couple, Mike and Barbara who are from Victoria, British Columbia (Canada). Mike is retired from the Canadian Navy (after 30 years). We thoroughly enjoyed their company.

Along our tour route, we saw the place where Wyatt Earp and his wife owned a gambling establishment and bordello, located on 4th Avenue in what is now the Gaslamp area. We also saw the U.S. Grant Hotel, an imposing edifice built by Grant's son. This is the first picture.

Next is the front of the Hotel Del Coronado, the world's largest hotel completely made of wood. The place is imposing, large, and ornate. It's also expensive to stay there, but it fronts the Pacific Ocean. This is the next picture. The following picture is of a residence on Coronado Island. Sandy and I were quite taken with the island and are conceptually thinking of renting a house there for a month sometime in the future. The last Coronado Island picture is of Sandy sitting by a small fountain. Near the hotel are some sand dunes that were built to spell out Coronado from the air.

We visited Balboa Park, a huge urban park area. One picture from there is the front of the San Diego Museum of Art and another is of an outdoor pavilion that has the largest pipe organ in the U.S. and where there are concerts on Sundays.

Old Town San Diego, the original spot where the city was founded is a combination of tourist spots (aka trinkets and trash), restaurants, and examples of older architecture. For example, the Whaley House is reputed to be a haunted building. The La Casa Estudillo is a 170 year old example of Spanish type architecture. There is a picture of the home's Grand Salon and the Dinning Room. Oh, after I took the picture of the latter room, I remarked to Sandy, who I thought was standing next to me, that I thought the picture came out well. Only thing was that the woman was not Sandy, who actually was several feet behind me. When the unknown woman beat a hasty retreat, Sandy was laughing a lot at my expense. Considering I kidded her about the airplane cookie mess, this was "fair play."

We visited the Star of India, a merchant sailing ship that circumnavigated the globe numerous times. Its cargo ranged from Alaskan salmon, textiles, and emigrants to New Zealand (a darn long way to go on a sailing ship). There are pictures of the bow of the ship and Sandy standing at the ship's wheel. On the latter picture, you can see a Soviet era submarine (more on that next).

Much to our surprise, there is an old Soviet era submarine docked in San Diego. It is the B-59 (Foxtrot type sub). This particular one was a participant in the Cuban Missile Crisis. When the sub's commander was surrounded by U.S. warships on the surface, he thought the USSR and US were at war and nearly launched a nuclear tipped torpedo at a US aircraft carrier. Fortunately, when his vessel surfaced to charge its batteries, he found out there was no war when US ships asked if he needed assistance and even sent coffee and other supplies to his ship. Talk about a near miss!!

Thanks for reading.

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