On the move again; this time to California to visit family and friends V

What a wonderful, fun and festive day!!

Today we are off to check off one item on Vilma’s list of things to do and one on mine.  The first stop will be to attend the San Diego Festival of the Arts at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego and then on to the Gaslamp Quarter.

Our day started enjoying a light breakfast on the back porch and sitting around the table chatting away the morning.

The skies were a little cloudy but no rain was forecast so off we went to the Festival.  Jim and Randy dropped us off at the festival and they went off to find something to do down by the waterfront.

The Waterfront Park covers 12-acres in front of the County Administration Building.  There is an 830 loot-long interactive fountain with 31 jets that can reach 14 feet into the air. Evidently, this is one of the favorite places for children to frolic in the water.

“Guardian of the Water” sculpture by Donal Hord in front of County Administration Building

As soon as we walked through the entrance, we were immediately happy seeing so many white-topped tents in our vision.  According to the program, there would be over 200 fine artists at the festival covering a multitude of disciplines.  On display were beautiful ceramics, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, photography and more.


We walked leisurely up one row of tents and down the next stopping once in a while to admire something beautiful.  Vilma was mostly interested in the jewelry on display. Me, I wanted to see as much as I could.  I eventually purchased a beautiful pair of earrings.  Vilma purchased several pieces of jewelry that she really liked.


“Serpent Tree” sculpture by sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle


We walked and talked for almost two hours. All the while  the sounds of very nice jazz wafted through the festival ground from the main stage.   There were so many people meandering through the festival grounds, groups of women, husbands and wives and mothers with little ones in strollers.  There was a also a food court with restaurant tents, food trucks and beer and wine gardens on the festival grounds.  They were all very busy.

Mary, Vilma and Susan

With so many people milling about it was quite a coincidence that we ran into two of Vilma’s friends.  We stopped for a while chatting with Susan and Henry before continuing on our way.

Once we had walked the entire festival area, we called Jim and Randy to see where they were and to set up a place to meet.  When we finally caught up with them we learned that they had spent their time down by the harbor next to the aircraft USS Midway Museum.

“Unconditional Surrender” sculpture by J. Seward Johnson

They did not go on a tour of the ship but had a great time walking around the grounds and enjoying the various sculptures.  One was of the “Unconditional Surrender” statue by sculptor J. Seward Johnson of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day.

The statue was right next to the Bob Hope Memorial Plaza.  The area contains, “15 life-sized bronze statues, arranged as if attending a Bob Hope show. Each figure represents a serviceman from a different conflict. The scene is completely open, allowing visitors to wander between the figures, and pose with them in reverent or irreverent pull-my-finger positions, or join the frozen crowd to cheer on Bob Hope’s one-liners”.  “How wonderful was that,” I thought as I looked at photographs they took.



Next stop was the Gaslamp Quarter.  I had read a little  history of this area of downtown San Diego and was intrigued about the architecture and some of the folklore surrounding many of the notables in history who had spent time here.


The Quarter covers 16-blocks.  Vilma and I were a little tired so we all decided to just walk around a little and then find a good place to stop for happy hour.

I loved the street lamps, the buildings and the constant buzz of people enjoying a variety of foods and libations at the many sidewalk cafes we passed.  I made a mental note that the next time we venture out to visit Jim and Vilma we would return and take our time stopping in some of the historical buildings and museums in the area.

Vilma had mentioned that she had been to the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoyed a restaurant called The Garage Kitchen + Bar.  We walked over to the bar, looked over the menu posted and decided we would stop in.

What a great choice! The Happy Hour menu included all appetizers and selected drinks.  What caught Randy’s eye immediately was the 34 oz. stein of beer.  The happy hour price was $3.50.  Randy was in heaven.

We decided to choose a variety of appetizers and share tastes with each other.  Jim and Vilma were intrigued with the “Wild” Meatballs made of wild boar, lamb, bison, spicy marinara and shaved pecorino and were sold. They loved them!  Randy and I ordered the Margherita Flatbread.

We sat for quite a while just talking about our day and all agreed it had been a wonderful day. The evening was waning so we finally made our way back to the car and headed home.  We spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Tomorrow we are off to look in on a car show and walk around Old Town San Diego.

Inside the festival grounds was another El Camino Real bell. I love these bells! In the background you can see the “Star of India” the world’s oldest active sailing ship.




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3 Responses to On the move again; this time to California to visit family and friends V

  1. Vilma colon says:

    Great write up!

  2. Judy says:

    Looks like you had a very enjoyable time. We were at the exact same spot at the harbor next to the aircraft USS Midway Museum just about six months ago. Spectacular pieces of history displayed in those statues. Love your Blog.

  3. Randy Chartier says:

    We had a great time in the harbor area. The Bob Hope memorial was very impressive and some of the acts that he talked about(live sound) reminded me of his trips to entertain the troops. The Midway is a historic Carrier that I had read about during WWII and beyond. Very nice to see in person. The Gaslight district was really fun. So many places to see, eat and drink. Sidewalk cafe’s were everywhere advertising their happy hour prices. The Garage was a fun place for us to land, but would like to try others some other time.

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