Sunday, October 23, 2011

First stop: San Diego!

My husband had to attend a business convention in beautiful San Diego two weeks ago.  He also had a business engagement in San Francisco scheduled for the following week. So instead of flying back and forth we decided to take some vacation time and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, California State Route 1, between the two cities.



This was the second time I visited San Diego. I went there in 2008 and some of my first blog posts were about this wonderful city, which you can read under the San Diego label on my blog by clicking here.  This visit was shorter, but also quite memorable!

Everything about this city seems to be blue -- between the bright blue bay water and the cloudless blue sky. The scenes above were taken along the embarcadero and includes the statue “Unconditional Surrender,” which represents a famous photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a Sailor kissing a nurse in Time Square, New York City 1945, after the announcement of V-J Day. The statue is owned by the Sculpture Foundation of Santa Monica, Calif., and is on loan to the Port of San Diego.


There is a strong US Navy presence in the big bay and many decommissioned ships are on display for visitors to view.  It is amazing to see how large the Navy Aircraft Carrier Midway is! The U.S. Aircraft Carrier, "USS Midway" served 47 years, from the end of WW II to Desert Storm.  By the time the Midway was decommissioned in 1991, more than 225,000 men had served aboard. It was virtually a floating city on the sea!  Presently, The US Midway Museum has sixty exhibits and twenty restored aircraft on it to visit.



As this trip was so soon after our 37th wedding anniversary, we had a special dinner to celebrate at Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar, located at 802 5th Avenue in the historic Gaslamp quarter of San Diego.  Our wedding song was "Time in a Bottle," written and sung by Jim Croce. Croce was sadly killed in a plane crash in 1973, and his wife opened this restaurant soon afterward.  It was a very nostalgic place for us to dine and reminisce.  My husband ordered the grilled free-range chicken with forest mushroom risotto, asparagus and rosemary vodka sauce with fried leeks, and I had the shrimp carbonara fettuccini with Italian pancetta, kalamata olives with basil in a white garlic cream sauce, everything tasted absolutely exquisite! Croce's Jazz Bar has live music every night of the week and on Saturday and Sunday mornings for Brunch.  If you visit San Diego I highly recommend a special dinner at Croce's.  

Come back for my next post where I'll show you some of the beautiful gardens in Balboa Park in San Diego!

I'm linking this post to Mosaic Monday on Mary's blog Little Red House and Blue Monday on Sally's blog Smiling Sally.  Thank you to both hosts.



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57 comments:

The Gathering Place said...

San Diego and San Francisco are both beautiful, charming cities. How fun to get to visit. Your romantic dinner sounded perfect!

Carol said...

One of my favorite albums was Jim Croce's! Glad you managed to get a vacation in between the two business trips, sounds wonderful to drive up the coast. Very blue, such pretty mosaics, Pat.

Ginny said...

Beautiful blue pictures. And Croce's wife, is she still alive and running the restaurant? Did she re-marry?

pam said...

That restaurant sounds wonderful! Happy Belated Anniversary!

Lovella ♥ said...

Pat. .what gorgeous pictures of the west coast. To think you drove the same highways we have ourselves traveled. .so fun. I love the story about the special restaurant and the song immediately started playing in my head.
I'm so glad you got a little vacation time between hubby's business.

Cheryl D. said...

I can't wait to hear about your adventures in my part of the world! San Diego is such a fun town to visit!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Ginny - Yes, Ingrid Croce, Jim's wife, still owns and runs Croce's Restaurant in San Diego. I don't think she ever re-married.

Pondside said...

San Diego is very high on my list of places I'd like to visit. We were planning on a week there when TGD became ill in January. We'll get there! It has always held some mythical magic for me because some of my dad's family went there during the depression and settled, while my dad's parents stayed in cold and foggy Nova Scotia.
Your photos are, as always, beautiful.

sonya said...

What memories for you both! Beautiful cities! The food sounded mouth-watering delicious.
Happy Blue Monday.
Sonya

Cafe au lait said...

Beautiful pictures!

My Blue Monday.

Riet said...

Bbeautiful trip and photo's Pat. We have been to both cities many years ago but I still remember the time we spent there and how much we loved it.
Have a nice day.

Shirleyanne said...

Amazing photos Pat!
Such romance to celebrate your anniversary! Very meaningful. Sounds like an excellent time for you both!
Enjoy your week!

Ola said...

yes, it is a blue city!:) And I can see you enjoyed a very good weather!

Old Kitty said...

Oh I do like the Unconditional Surrender statue!! What a great way to commemorate an even greater classic but oh so romantic and triumphant photo! I love it! Yay!

Wow - San Diego is very blue!!!!

I have to admit, I've never heard of Jim Croce - shame shame on me but my interest is now piqued and I'll be youtubing him when I get home. I'd love to hear your wedding song! Yay!! Now that's romantic too!!

Thanks for making my Monday full of romance!! :-) Take care
x

La Petite Gallery said...

Time in a bottle is a favorite song of mine for years now..
Enjoy your trip, looks great. yvonne

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like a special trip Pat! The pics are pretty, so different from the Fall we're having here-enjoy:@)

CailinMarie said...

gorgeous! I love that you drove between the cities. That seems like such a lovely thing to do. And your dinner together sounds very nice. Happy Anniversary.

GrandmaK said...

Jim Croce is one of my favorite artists!!! We were living in San Francisco when he died. But your pictures are just wonderful as always!!!! Well done!!! Cathy

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I love your photos and SF is one of my favorite places to visit.

Gracie said...

I so like Croce's songs.... I didn't know there was a restaurant with his name, thanks for the updates. It must be fantastic to be able to take some time off when you feel like it and just wandering around....

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, As always, this is a wonderful post. I loved Jim Croces music and how special to be able to celebrate your anniversary in such a meaningful way. You are such a romantic couple! I have been to many areas of California but never San Diego..it is now on my list for next time.
♥, Susan

Veronica said...

Hi Pat. As always it is lovely to tour with your pics and mosaics. Love Jim Croche as well and hav not heard it in a long time...

Veronica
Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a surprise to see photos of San Diego this morning! How gorgeous! Looks like you had blue skies and a wonderful trip! ♥

SmilingSally said...

What a beautiful blue trip!

Thanks for sharing your blues.

Happy Blue Monday, Pat.

Pamela Gordon said...

Beautiful photos! Our friends are there right now for their anniversary and they love the city. Croce's sounds like a wonderful restaurant.

Snap said...

I've been to San Diego several times and I always enjoy my visit. I enjoyed my visit with you. Glad you took some extra time to enjoy the coast! Great shots!

LV said...

Enjoyed you letting us join you on this fabulous trip.

Tracy said...

Oh, so good... as always a taste of everything here, Pat! Loved seeing/hearing about your trip. I would love to see San Diego... and eat there too! ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

Kris said...

Happy Anniversary! These are sights that are very familiar to me!!!! Isn't the California coast line just stunning?!!!

ellen b. said...

Pat, How wonderful that you could visit San Diego and San Francisco with a road trip in between! A belated Happy Anniversary to you. That restaurant sounds great. I love that statue of the Sailor and his girl!

Yvette said...

I'm swooning over that food, Pat.

...sigh!

And I'm loving your trip. I haven't been in California in a hundred years - well, about fifty. I visited Big Sur and lived in Monterey for about six months.

Never did get to Southern Cal. My daughter did though.

A beautiful state.

You're very fotunate to be able to spend three weeks there. :)

Thanks again for a wonderful post.

Theanne and Baron said...

Don and I loved San Diego...our last vacation trip ever was to this beautiful city. The first and only time I dipped my feet in the Pacific Ocean was at a San Diego beach! Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories!

Vee said...

Exquisite blue skies...

I didn't know that Jim Croce's wife had a restaurant. How nice. How meaningful for you and Vinny.

Grandmother said...

I spent some wonderful time in San Diego while living in the Bay area of Northern California. They have a parade of ships for Christmas that was spectacular. Nice photos.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

San Diego is such a beautiful spot and that drive up the coast is exquisite. You manage to travel to some lovely places Pat.

Ebie said...

This is a great photo tour. I am a hundred miles away, but I have not explored much of San Diego.

H said...

Your photos give me the impression of a city which is clean and fresh. I'd be fascinated to tour the bay with all of the naval vessels!

Linda said...

Glad you enjoyed your time in San Diego...both of my sons live there...so it is my home away from home!! Great pictures!!

The French Hutch said...

How great you were able to plan this little time for you and your husband between business trips. Your photos are gorgeous and I enjoyed the history on the ship.
Happy Anniversary, I'll look forward to your gardens photos.
Hope your week is great.

~Emily
The French Hutch

Riet said...

Hi Pat. You asked on my blog what setting I used. To tell you the truth, I always have it on auto and I had my telelens on.Some photo's were blurry because of the humidity so I couldn;t use them. I have no macrolens, I just cropped my photo'sand for the rest I use them like they come out of the camera.
Hugs from Riet

nanny said...

Route 1 is top on my bucket list! And now I can refer to this post for places to see!!!
Happy Belated Anniversary!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Hi Pat, such beautiful photos! I love San Diego, I've only been once, but it was fantastic! Thanks for the tip on Croce's restaurant, I'll keep it in mind if hubby and I get to the West Coast!

Mary

betsy said...

It is fun to travel with you, even if it is vicariously! I do hope you show us San Francisco.

chubskulit said...

Simply Beautiful!!

Blues at my page. Have a great week!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

You never fail to take us to the neatest places, Pat. I love to armchair travel with you.

XO,

Sheila

Willow said...

Pat, you were so so close to where my daughter works when you were dining on 5th! And of course you know how much I love San Diego!

Did you realize how close you were to my home when you drove between Malibu and Santa Barbara!??

Annie said...

Lovely photos.

Cindy said...

Gorgeous photos! Everything is very blue, you are so right!
Congratulations on 37 years, Croce's sounds like a wonderful place to dine.
I have never been to San Diego, I enjoyed seeing your photos, I look forward to the next ones.
Hugs, Cindy

Oliag said...

Happy Anniversary Pat! What a wonderful way to celebrate!

I know I am going to love going with you on your vacation through your photos!

My Little Home and Garden said...

I have "Time in a Bottle" playing through my head. I really like Jim Croce's music.
Great shots of San Diego. A friend of mine loves the beauty of the city and has often visited. It looks great.
-Karen

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Pat honey,

Well heck, you visited one of my home towns. Isn't it wonderful? You MUST go to the Point Loma Lighthouse. It is great and had a huge impact on my life.

Enjoyed this!

Love,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Those photos bring back good memories of our most recent visit to San Diego. Love that city!

Belated Happy 37th Anniversary to you!

Cathy said...

Great post, Pat. I love San Diego. The ocean is so beautiful and the weather is perfect. What fun to drive up the coast to San Francisco.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

You get to go to some great places with your husband, Pat! I love San Diego too. So much to see and do and the weather is, well, much better than here :)

We got to tour the Kitty Hawk when it was docked there years ago.

Claudia said...

Love San Diego - we have family there and have been thinking it's time to visit them. Maybe in the winter? Jim Croce was so wonderful and I did not realize his wife had opened a restaurant. What sweet memories you evoke.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

hi pat...it was so good to hear from you..yep...you went right through san luis obispo...i would like to meet you too...

i'd like to have your email, if you wouldn't mind....

i will be in touch

love,
kary

Vittle me this... said...

Pat! What an awesome trip! I just started to twitter and now am following you! Yay!