Well, we hit the ground running last Tuesday, as we landed at the San Diego airport. We started off with a big adventure, which was my first cab ride. Harold was our driver and he has been a cab driver in San Diego every since he moved here form Turkey 35 years ago. So as you can imagine he knows the roads very well, and thus drives as such! We went through part of the six lanes of downtown traffic, going 85 – 87 miles an hour while switching lanes and using on and off ramps! Needless to say, when we arrived “alive” at the hotel, we were quite thankful, and I felt bad about leaving the scratch marks in the seat where I was holding on for dear life!! I did tell Harold that if he would’ve been my drivers Ed. teacher, it sure would’ve been a more adventurous class!
It was a happy reunion as artists attending the SAA 50th anniversary show started arriving. Many arrived in time to enjoy the whale watching cruise on Wednesday. It was a gorgeous morning as we headed out of the port, and were able to enjoy watching and photographing the many Sea Lions and birds that were enjoying some of the floating platforms. Since they were holding the tall ships festival last weekend, we were also able to see several beautiful large to small sailing ships. We got many great photos of them, so I’m sure there will be several more miniature ship paintings in the future. It was a beautiful and pleasant ride as we went out in the Pacific on our search for whales. With lots of eyes and cameras poised, it happened, and we were able to see a beautiful Fin Whale, as it came to the surface several times, and even blew once, sending water spraying into the air! Soon after that, we found ourselves enjoying observing one of the beautiful Coronado Islands, which was teaming with wildlife. While Sea Lions were enjoying the lovely sunshine as they lounged about on the rocky areas at the bottom of the island, the various Seagulls and other birds flew above. The air was filled with the conversation and chatter from all of the island inhabitants, making the setting an amazing one to behold. At one point there is actually a hole that goes completely through the island that one could swim through, although our captain said it wasn’t recommended. After eating a yummy lunch I enjoyed the ride back lounging atop a cushioned platform while watching the islands slowly disappear as the Seagulls followed behind us. With the slow listing of the boat, back and forth, it felt like laying on a big float at the beach while enjoying the relaxing motion of the waves. When we were joined by a pod of Dolphins however, it was time to stand up and watch admiringly these amazingly beautiful and graceful mammals. For almost an hour we were graced with their presence, as they amazed us with their grace and agility as they glided through the water. There were several precious babies in the group making the experience even more wonderful! One of the highlights was being able to feed the Seagulls as we cruised back to port. The Seagulls truly enjoyed that part as well, and it was really neat to watch them catching the bread in air as we went along. The day came to a perfect end as we enjoyed a lovely dinner with a gorgeous view of the sunset over the water, with several of our artist friends.
The next two days were spent at the Animal Park and the San Diego zoo, which were also great fun. The SAA show opened in the beautiful Natural History Museum in San Diego on Saturday, with great attendance. The exhibition looked fabulous and I personally really enjoyed going through the dinosaur exhibit there. We enjoyed a thought provoking speech from Bob Bateman as he talked of his concerns with much of modern days society’s lack of interaction with the natural world.
Wes and I have enjoyed spending the past couple of days in Sequoia National Park. I will share highlights from the wonderful visit in this park as well as our upcoming one to Yosemite, on next weeks post. I apologize for not including photos, but since we don’t have the right program, we cant download them on the IPad yet. So get ready for lots of great photos to enjoy next week!
Until next time – Rachelle 🙂