Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Let's All Do Like the Tourists Do

When I was living in Austria, Thatboy came to visit me for a week. Even though I was sick as a dog for most of the time he was there, we did as many touristy things as we could. AND we had such a great time we decided to do touristy things when I got back to the states - in our own backyards.

When we moved to San Diego, the first thing we did was buy a guidebook - filled with activities and events and information about San Diego. So now whenever we're found with one of those "what do you want to do? I dunno what do you want to do" days, we pull out the book and pick out an adventure.

Last week we found ourselves both with a free afternoon and started flipping through the book. "Hey - we still haven't been to the Birch Aquarium yet!" headed us on our way to La Jolla. But as I ran back in to get a coupon (yup, I've got coupons for just about every activity in San Diego) Thatboy flipped through the book himself, and asked how I felt about going to the sea caves. Since we hadn't been there either, we decided to check them out - after all, it was already probably 3:00, not giving us much time for any activity.

The seacaves are located on the northern most point of La Jolla Cove, and while I was familiar with the cove because it's where Prez and I used to go for our after school/after work walks, I hadn't ever made it as far north as the sea caves - when we weren't eating at a restaurant overlooking them.

All the sea caves are accessible by water, but only the largest, Sunny Jim*, can be accessed by land.

Hope your not afraid of the dark....or heights....this staircase reminded Thatboy and I of the Salt Mines in Salzburg.

After you descend the dark and very narrow stairway, you're greeted with a view of Sunny Jim himself! I'll admit that I didn't even see the face till Thatboy pointed it out - not the Queen of Observation, apparently.

Looking throught the cave gives you a great view of La Jolla Shores, and the many kayakers and snorkelers who were taking advantage of the unusually warm water.

The snorkeling by the sea cave was really good. How do I know? Because we could see these giant orange fish once we went back up and stood on the cliff overlooking the cave. FROM THE CLIFF!

After the seacave, Thatboy and I decided to walk along the cove, like Prez and I used to. We stopped to examine the tidepools which housed little fish, crabs, and my favorite- anemones!

I'm devastated by the legislation concerning the seals/sea lions that once made their home at Children's Beach. For those of you who aren't San Diegans, these animals have been here for years, but local La Jolla-ians have decided it was time for them to go and lobbied for legislation to dredge the beach, taking away the sand the seals/sea lions would sunbathe on. There used to be seals and sea lions by the dozens, but when we went, all that was left was this one little guy along the sea wall.

We did see some sea lions further along our walk, closer to the sea caves, so I'm hopeful that they'll stick around, and just move on down the way.

We came home and had an "end of summer" kind of dinner filled with fresh produce. I picked up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle again and attempted to give it another shot.

The cantaloupe salsa was a hit. I served it over chicken, and Thatboy thought both the salsa and the chicken were excellent.

The "blackberry crumble" however was not as popular. Unable to find blackberries at my local farmer's market I decided to substitute raspberries (we ARE going with fresh and local, right?) Like the rhubarb crisp from an earlier chapter, this also ended up tart and unbelievably watery. I'm beginning to think the baked dishes in the book are better labeled as "soup."

Melon Salsa (recipe available at animalvegetablemiracle.com)

Local ingredients used:

cantaloupe (La Jolla farmer's market)

red bell pepper (La Jolla farmer's market)

red onion (La Jolla farmer's market)

Basil Blackberry Crumble (recipe available at animalvegetablemiracle.com)
Local ingredients used:

raspberries (from the La Jolla farmer's market)

*Trivia! "Sunny Jim" was also a nickname given to Thatdad by one of his teachers.


  1. Sighing in jealousy.... want to come visit my corn fields? No? how about the cows who hang out behind my yard--my kids love 'em!

  2. It's fun to be a tourist in your own town. San Dieogo looks like a beautiful place. I am headed to San Francisco for the first time at the end of this month and am so excited. I wonder if I should visit Napa Valley or Sonoma:D

  3. That is so cool that you can see the dude's face in the opening of the cave! What a fun afternoon adventure.