Friday, September 19, 2008

A Day On The Town With Blog Friends!

I met two of the nicest bloggers last week while I was in San Diego, Cori of Gingerbread Crumbs & Company, and Joanne of My Cottage In The Making. They had both contacted me by e-mail when they read I was going to be in Southern California, and offered to drive down from Orange County, CA to meet me!

Joanne of My Little Cottage In The Making is on the left, and Cori of Gingerbread Crumbs and Company is on the right in the photo above.
Both Cori and Joanne live within 15 minutes of each other, but never met before or even read each other’s blogs, so this was a three way introduction of bloggers meeting for the first time!

We met on Wednesday, as I knew my husband was going to be in meetings all day from breakfast until dinner, and I would be alone, so it was a wonderful way to spend the day instead, by being with friends.

We met outside The Marriott and Cori offered to drive Joanne and I around to see some sights, as she once lived in San Diego and knew it well.
First stop was “Old Town.” Old Town San Diego is considered the "birthplace" of California. San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. It was here in 1769, that Father Junipero Serra came to establish the very first mission in a chain of 21 missions that were to be the cornerstone of California’s colonization. Father Serra’s mission and Presidio were built on a hillside overlooking what is currently known as Old Town San Diego.
In 1968, the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation established Old Town State Historic Park to preserve the rich heritage that characterized San Diego during the 1821 to 1872 period. The park includes a main plaza, exhibits, museums and living history demonstrations.

We saw just a small part of the town that morning, as we were there early, and so much was not opened as yet and we were having too much fun chatting about ourselves, our blog, people we knew in common, and just generally getting to know each other!

We browsed around as many of the stores as we could and saw many beautiful things, many with a Mexican folkloric flavor. I think I’d love a chance to go back someday to really explore this section of San Diego more as there was a lot to do and see
We stopped for an al fresco lunch at Casa de Reyes which had a lovely garden courtyard with lively cantina ambiance.
I asked the waitress to take our photo together. That is Cori and myself on the left, Joanne on the right.
We strolled along the courtyard and visited fascinating shops one called "Design in Shell" had exquisitely decorated bird eggs, many made into Christmas ornaments.

Another shop called Casa de Serrano had delightful Mexican folkloric figurines.

After lunch and shopping we had a short car ride to Heritage Park . This 7.8-acre county park is dedicated to the preservation of San Diego's Victorian architecture. Expansion downtown after WWII threatened these structures with demolition on their original sites. Public and private funds paid for the acquisition, relocation, and restoration of these buildings. Now owned by the county, the structures are leased to private and commercial entities responsible for interior renovation and operation in keeping with the park's Victorian theme.”

Temple Beth Israel, below, is San Diego's first synagogue, constructed by the Congregation Beth Israel, also became temporary quarters for many religious sects before they established churches of their own. This was a very sentimental place for Cori as she was married in a Christian ceremony here 14 years ago.

The McConaughy House, below, is named after it’s original owner who founded the first scheduled passenger and freight service in San Diego County. We stopped to take photos on the pretty autumn decorated porch and especially because the stone rabbit in the middle of all the flowers reminded us all of Dana of The Stone Rabbit blog!

Dana, did you know your stone rabbit took a trip to San Diego to meet us?
We also went into the Burton House, a Classic Revival home decorated with pediments and dentil cornices where the absolutely darling Mrs Burton's Tea Room is located! We spent a lot of time taking photos and looking at all the wonderful rooms and decorations and objects for sale. It looks like the most enchanted place to have tea!

Their are many different teas available, from Friendship Teas, to Red Hat Teas, and bridal and baby shower teas.

The view from the front porch:
Because Cori knew I loved lighthouses, from reading a “six things about myself” tag I once did, she drove Joanne and I up to see The Old Point Loma Lighthouse. This lighthouse was only functioning for 36 years, as there was a flaw in it’s location as it’s position was prone to low lying fog and clouds which covered the light, and a new lighthouse was constructed in in 1892.

The view was spectacular at 422 feet above sea level, overlooking the bay and the ocean and I was so amazed by the very blue San Diego water – very reminiscent of the Mediterranean sea.

We could see the skyline of downtown San Diego framed by the Cuyamaca mountains in the background. To the south, we could see Mexico across the shimmering waters of the bay and, to the west, the Pacific ocean extending to the horizon and beyond.

Can you see the three amigas in the photo below?
The interior of the lighthouse was refurbished by The National Park Service to its historic 1880’s appearance.

The Cabrillo National Monument, established in 1913, commemorates Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo's voyage of discovery, as he led the first European expedition to explore what is now the west coast of the United States. A heroic statue of Cabrillo looks out over the bay that he first sailed into on September 28, 1542.

Finally, as the day wound down we all drove over the long Coronado Bay Bridge to the city of Coronado, CA. where we parked and went inside the beautiful the Hotel del Coronado. Del was built in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The beautiful wooden Victorian structure faces the pacific Ocean.

We entered the elegant lobby and perused the gift ships and boutiques. The hotel was originally designed to cater to the well-to-do, and attracted quite a notable legacy of guests. L. Frank Baum was said to have written “The Wizard of Oz” during his stays, and the Hotel Del was the setting for Marilyn Monroe’s comedy “Some Like It Hot”.

Look at these delicious pastries in the hotel coffee shop:
We decided to have coffee and sit under a table umbrella on the long porch outside where we spent an hour relaxing, enjoying the sounds of the surf, and each other’s company. The time flew by!

This was the view we had of the magnificent Pacific Ocean! It was a perfect day.

A last look at The Hotel Del in Coronado as we drove away to go back to The Marriott Hotel in San Diego, so I would be able to join my husband for a dinner we were both invited to by one of the companies at the convention.

It was sad to say goodbye. I felt as if Cori and Joanne were old friends that I've known for a long time! We had so much fun together!
I really appreciated that they both took the time to drive down for the day and that Cori drove us all over to show us the special sights in the area.
I hope to be able to return the favor and show you some sights in New York City someday, ladies.
There is nothing like having bloggers as friends, and sisters at heart!


Joanne Kennedy said...

What a fun post. I got relive the whole day with the two of you. My gosh! I am one huge momma! That's it, I'm getting my rear on a diet when I get home from my cruise! Gee, I should go ahead and take pictures more often because when I don't I never get to see what I really look like.

I know my meds packed on 60-80 lbs but YIKES! LOL

I had to laugh at the one picture that lady took of the three of us. Could she have gotten any further away. LOL

It was fun seeing how all three of us took pictures of the same place and to see what shots we got. It looks like you and I took a lot of the same type of pictures. Cori got some different looking ones.

I had so much fun! I so wish we were neighbors. I'm sure we would be hanging out all the time and having a blast.

Hope your daughter is feeling better!

I'm still dog sitting and the dog just ate my glasses! I can't believe it. Hope I can get new ones before my cruise or I'm going to be in big trouble! I'm blind as a bat with out them.

Big hugs,

Marcia said...

A really, really lovely blog. The music made it so serene. I'm going to Washington DC next week, you have inspired me to take my camera and see what will be. Thanks

Judy said...

Wow...what a fun day you ladies had! Thanks for sharing all those neat places with us. Aren't blogging friends just the best?

dana said...

Hi Pat! Thanks for letting me know where The Stone Rabbit was! I knew he was out of town for a couple of days, but didn't know he went to California! ;-)
Your trip just got better and better--how fun to meet up with fellow bloggers!!!
I will be glad when this sale is over so I can read all about your amazing trip! Dana

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day you've shared. It must be great to actually meet a blogger you have got to know over the years.

What a lovely tea room. That porch is gorgeous. I've always liked porches and verandahs too.

It does look like a wonderful place to visit.

CatHerder said...

OH MY GOSH....what a wonderful trip...those victorians are so gorgeous...and i just love visiting historic places..glad you had a good time

Rhonda said...

What a fun trip you had, I've always wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo! Thanks for sharing your trip and how nice to meet up with fellow bloggers.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Wow! You gals really got to make a day of it. I'd like to hear even one minute of your conversation! :D

The lighthouse looks so New England until looking out at the views, which are marvelous.

Glad that Blogger is being a little better. Still not back to 100% for me, but getting closer.

Pat@ Back Porch Musings said...

I enjoyed this post so much! I think it's wonderful when blogging friends get together. Looks like you all had a great time!

Tara said...

Hi Pat!

I was waiting for this post to see what you three were up to in CA! What a fabulous day and what great vistas...the sea nad the food (hee-hee!). I am so glad you were able to meet up and spend time together, what a great experience!


Cori G. said...

Hi Pat,
What a fun day that was! I was afraid we wouldn't get to do everything and yet the day just seemed to roll along at a peaceful pace. I don't know if you remember the winding street down to Old Town and the structure to the right...that was the mission. Why didn't we stop?
All your pictures came out so beautifully that now I really think you should write travel guides! I gotta run. Just got a call from the car dealer and need to go see about replacing the mustang.
XO Cori

Lisa B. said...

What a fun day! So many beautiful things. I really love the lighthouse and the hotel!!

Judi A. said...

Pat, I am so glad you got to "Old Town" and the Coronado Island and the gorgeous hotel. Looks like you had the typical wonderful SanDiego weather. :-) I am so enjoying visiting everything again through your eyes and words. Wow, you give more and better information on everything than anyone I know! I think Cori is right, you should write travel guides, providing both the descriptions and photos. You certainly have a gift for it. sounds like the three of you has a fantabulous day together. Such fun. I'm sure I'm not the only one that wishes I could have tagged along with all of you. Thanks, again, for sharing with all of us. :-)

M.Kate said...

Hello Pat...I am so I wished I was there, having tea and lunch with you :D
What a lovely visual many beautiful pictures and great explanation. Have a great weekend Pat, much love and hugs:D

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

How wonderful that the three of you met and spent the day together! It looked like so much fun, I wish I could have come along!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

FUN! I love San Diego (almost as much as NY :-) and haven't been there in years (8 years?) so it was good to once again enjoy a trip vicariously through you!

I also love that you met other bloggers!

Strider said...

Glad you had a nice time and met some fellow bloggers. I love the Hotel Del and Old Town. I haven't been there for 10 years or so. Is El Torito's still in old town? I thought that maybe it had changed names and became the place you guys has lunch at.

Tricia said...

Ii so enjoyed my fun with you girls. The eggs and shell place were my favorites. AND, this was my first visit to a lighthouse.

Picket said...

What a great day that must have been! Oh I bet y'all had some great laughs! Loved the tour...and that Revival House was beautiful...oh that was a good one for Dana about the Stone Rabbit! lol lol As always you never fail to give me more history and insight to places I have never been! Have a great weekend friend!

Camille said...

We lived in CA for 5 years and a couple hours east of San Diego (29 Palms USMC). About once every 6 months my husband would go to the base at Coronado for a class or conference. My boys and I always tagged along. On our last visit to Coronado (we knew we were moving back east) we splurged and spent one night at the Del. It was heavenly!! We didn't even have a luxury room and we felt like royalty. I'll never forget that weekend for my boys were 4 and 6 years old and we had such a magical time. I guess it was all the more special since we knew it would be our last visit for a long time.

I enjoyed all your photos. Thank you for bringing back good memories. And, I'm so glad you had a good time. I think it is fantastic when bloggers get to meet.

(BTW, my younger one still loves making those paper-cut decorations that were at the Casa de Reyes.)

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to meet up with blogging friends :)

Tracy said...

Hi, Pat! This is the most delightful post...I've got tears in my eyes, just happy for you that you had this wonderful trip, and had the chance to meet in person blog friends...who are sister of the heart indeed! Sooo wonderful! And you've meet so many blog friends this year! Thrilled to seeing all the photos...such beautiful places, each one unique. That tea looks such fun...and the lighthouse & views are breathtaking! A day of memories to savor...FANTASTIC! Happy weekend, my friend. Thanks so much for your note :o) ((HUGS))

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Such gorgeous colors throughout this post! I love the liveliness and FUN that comes through...and I *love* blogger meetings :) Wish we were closer!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Oh what a fabulous time you had!! I'm so glad you got to meet Joanne and Cori (I will check out Cori's blog) and got such a wonderful tour. It's such a treat to actually meet someone you feel connected with in blogland! The photos were great!! Thanks so much for sharing this incredible experience with us!!!
Big Hugs, Sherry

steviewren said...

Pat this post proves how many new friends you have because of your wonderful blog. I bet you could visit all fifty states and find one of your blog follower/friend that would love to spend the day with you sight-seeing and chatting. Count on me if you ever make it to Alabama. I start working on our itinerary right now....

ROHIT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GMG said...

Hi Pat! After a short break but a long absence, I’m finally back to the blogosphere and found a great post here! And also loved to see the San Diego pictures!

Alex said...

How cool to have gotten to meet blogger friends!! :) You sure did have a great time. Thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day you had with your friends. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Mama said...

Hi Pat, you all had a wonderful day and you saw so much of San Diego, the views and the old town are beautiful, I have moved now, hugs, Kathy

jeanne said...

Pat, Your post is outstanding. I have never been to San Diego but I know some people who live there. How fun to meet some fellow bloggers and spend such a wonderful day together. I feel like I have been on a tour of old town San Diego. Great photos and awesome text. Thank you for sharing your fabulous trip.

Hugs, Jeanne

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Pat! I finally got to read all your posts and catch up. What a great trip you had! Considering your husband had a convention to attend, you really packed some fun things into your trip. All that history about the wizard of Oz and Marilyn Monroe, how cool! You're so good at explaining history and facts, you're a natural tour guide, I'd hire you!!Oh, and I loved the polar bear swimming, so cute!
Meeting up with your blogger friends is awesome, it was so nice to be able to do that. I hope some day we can meet too, how fun would that be?
Hugs, Marie

Willow said...

Pat, What a great visit to San Diego! I recognized Old Town in your first photo. My dd lives in Chula Vista and I go to SD to visit as often as I can.

We go to the military beach at Coronado and can see the Hotel Del off to the left from the beach.

It sounds like you had so much fun with your new blog friends. Isn't it wonderful to meet people face to face?

aliceinparis said...

What a wonderful day you had!!! I love tearooms. The lighthouse was quite interesting too.

MedaM said...

I have found your blog is interesting and so beautiful. This post is great. I really enjoyed watching how you ladies had a wonderful day.
Thank you for visited my blog. I do appreciate it a lot as well as your nice and kind comment.

Donna said...

Wow, what an amazing time you must have had! I love seeing all the wonderful places you visited! Thanks for taking us along!


Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful tour of the town...and what a wonderful way of meeting new friends.
I have met lots of people in real life through blogging - wherever I go in the world it seems there are blog chums to meet up with.
So we New Yorkers must get together too!

MuseSwings said...

What an enjoyable post! I just got a free trip to several of the lovliest spots in San Diego thanks to you and your bloggie reunion. I visited San Diego a few years ago to train employees on new software. When the weekend came and I was free to roam I came down with such a terrible cold all I did was go out for some chicken soup. :-)
Stopped by to see you via Stevie!

Marina Capano said...

Hi my friend Pat! always, I love your post witch a lot of information and nice pictures! I love information about Victorian´s building. and what a nice meet with your blogger friends! I would meet in person too!

congrat for your wonderful trip!

one big hugs from Argentina


Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Stop by, I'm having my 100th post giveaway!!
Hugs, Sherry

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
It looks like the three of you had lots of fun. I love all your pictures and comments!

Also enjoyed you San Diego zoo post a day or so ago.

Blogger is working better for me now! But my posts are still missing...guess they won't be found!

Lavinia said...

Lock up the credit cards.....soooo dangerous to go shopping amongst all these beautiful goods when one can just whip open the wallet and kiss a sizable chunk goodbye....

Everything looks so clean and much pride here....this restores my faith in America, just looking at your posts and seeing how much hard work and effort go into making every corner of America so beautiful and bursting with national patriotic pride in history and land.!

Nihal said...

How great time all you had during the meet up in CA. My eyes were locked on those pastries, ohh yummy! Maybe more than yummy... You know I'm a crazy lover for cheescakes! Cannot resist even seeing a photo...
Exactly, I'm w/ you abt friends. I think that truly great friends are very hard to find, and impossible to forget when you found. No matter even on blogosphere or real life.

My special thanks for editing such a great article that proves the meaning of friendship, that's how vital.


Gina said...'ve taken in so many wonderful sights!..really love the egg decorations and how lovely to catch up with blog friend IRL and to introduce the 2 of them!! Gxx

Mrs. B said...

Hi Pat! It looks like such a wonderful day! I just love San Diego. The Hotel Del is one of my favorite places there, it's just so beautiful! How fun to meet other bloggers, and how funny that they'd never met each other but were so close! Now you've got me missing So Cal.