Thursday, May 3, 2007

Panama Cruise, Day 16: San Diego

I’d like to start with a message for any folks who live in San Diego and read this blog. Before you start to snigger and guffaw about me writing a post on San Diego, consider three points: 1. Lots of my readers do not live in SD and might be interested in seeing what is here. 2. Since I live in Palm Springs, and only spend weekdays working in San Diego, I don’t usually spend a lot of time exploring this area on my own. 3. Sailing into San Diego on a cruise ship afforded a unique perspective of the city, and was new to me.
A Brief History of San Diego
San Diego was named by Spanish explorers when they arrived on their feast day of “San Diego de Alcala”. A number of Spanish missions were developed, which started its population growth. After a brief insurge of Gold Rush hopefuls in the late 1800’s, the “Panama-California Exposition” was held here in 1915 to compete with larger cities on the West Coast. The Exposition drove substantial development of mission style architecture, many of which still exists today.

During the 1920’s the US military built bases for the Navy and Marines, which had a significant impact on the economy and further residential development of San Diego. The pleasant climate, seaside location and revitalized downtown areas make San Diego one of America’s favorite cities. Today San Diego has over 1.2 million residents, and a very healthy business in tourism.

Exploring San Diego
I decided to explore San Diego as a tourist. After all, I was walking around with a group of family members who knew very little about the area anyway. The views of downtown and Point Loma were very scenic.

We walked around the harbor and marina areas, Seaport Village, the Embarcadero, the Convention Center and the Historic Gas Lamp Quarter.

Aside from the natural beauty of the waterfront, one of the things that impressed me was the variety of beautiful architecture, old and new.

There are quite a few public works of art and sculptures, which I always think indicate the culture and values of a city.

We also walked past PETCO Park, home of the Major League Baseball team, the San Diego Padres. Since I mentioned a Major League Baseball, what a convenient time for me to once again mention that last summer I had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at PETCO Park at a Padres Game. It was very cool (see photo left). I'm quite modest about it. I only keep this photo on my blog year round and have the framed photo in my office at work. So you see I really am very low key about it. If you ever need a Major League pitcher, let me know- apparently I have quite the arm. But I digress...

Meanwhile the women in the family spent time shopping in downtown San Diego. I think we explored every shoe store downtown. What is it with women and shoes? Case in point: one of the ladies here on this 18 day cruise brought 15 pair of shoes! I brought 5 pair: 2 pair of sandals (1 black and 1 brown), 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of casual brown shoes and 1 pair of formal black shoes for my tux on formal nights. I probably could have brought just 1 pair of sandals, but I didn’t want to look tacky. Anyway I think it’s genetic. For gosh sakes, my 3 year old niece is already into shoes.

Back on the ship, we waved farewell to San Diego as the Sun Princess majestically sailed away from the harbor.

For dinner this evening the formal dining room served fresh Alaskan King Crab Legs. Nearly everyone at our table ordered them. Our waitress brought five additional platters of crab legs to our table. We ate like Kings.

The All Important Dessert Update
This evening I had three desserts: Bananas Foster, Black Forest Chocolate Cake and Napolean with Caramel drizzle

Martini Madness
After dinner I went to the Vista Lounge for one of Jose’s delicious “Washington Apple Martinis”. OK, I had two, I was ever-so thirsty, practically spitting cotton, and they hit the spot. Tomorrow I plan to profile all of the daily martinis and drink specials throughout the cruise. Benwu/Todd/Shannon- the Ascot is for you. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading...especially to Jennifer.
-Rick Rockhill
Welcome members!


Jennifer S. said...

Can I guess who brought 15 pairs? My mother, Peg. If you think that is a lot, you should see her closet (or both closets - WI and CA)! Your blog makes me really hungry every time I look at it!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

do you ever eat breakfast at judy's? i think it is called the big kitchen or something like that. she is our daughter's best friend. we went there once, it was really good!

smiles, bee

Palm Springs Savant said...

Miss Bee- I don't think I've ever been there before...I'll have to look for it sometime


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