Saturday, November 1, 2008

UPDATE: La Jolla Daycation!

This post marks (excuse the pun, fellow employees) the launching of the new SHILOH RANCH RATING SYSTEM ... and quite possibly the pre-inauguration (is there such a thing? There is now!) of a unique sort of "Travel Blog." OK, here goes the "trial edition!"

We invite and welcome YOUR comments and would especially relish hearing how YOU rate these places!

The Shiloh Ranch Rating System is comparable to "thumbs up/thumbs-down." In keeping with our site's Ranch theme, thumbs have been replaced with "bullets" (for now, horseshoes later.) Ratings scale: 1-5 bullets.

Peradventure (is that not a great O.T. word?) Ahem, as I was saying: Peradventure any of you Ranch Readers contemplate visiting one of the spots where we have day- or vay-cationed; you can now do a quick search by location or subject.

On to the post:
Last July (2008), I was blessed with a whole day off to spend with one of my 13-year-old grandsons. SP and I ventured over the hills and through the woods to the COOL SoCal coast. A nice respite from the scorching heat of our desert!

Our first stop
UPDATE! California Surf Museum/Oceanside - Rating withheld until moved to new Location
Since our visit, CSM has updated their website. Their is much more good information. Well worth checking it out for anyone into Surf History! The museum has been very busy and evidently the place we saw was just a temporary location. It was indeed a worthy work in progress, thank goodness! After the move to their new quarters, we will re-visit and report.
Worth a look-see, if in the area - disappointing as a destination. This tiny museum houses some very cool vintage plank boards and a few vintage long boards.Regrettably, it has a fair way to go with design, display and memorabilia. Too much expensive/generic surf-themed/tourist-junk made in China; not enough locally handcrafted surf goodies. Would like to see a more traditional representation of the SoCal surf culture. Hopefully, it is a work in progress. Easy access, educational, free!

Across the street
Longboarder Cafe/Oceanside - 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤•

Highly recommended, GOOD food, BIG portions reasonable prices, easy access and kid-friendly. Service, mmm... "relaxed. "Gargantuan breakfast! YUM!!! Interesting/fun sayings painted on walls, GREAT surf decor!

Unexpected Treasure
The Vintage Sanctuary/Oceanside 5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤¤

A must-visit when in the area (unless you have serious claustrophobia)! Cozy, friendly atmosphere, CRAMMED with vintage goodies!! It's ALL there and at reasonable prices! This TINY little store has a HUGE inventory of vintage everything! LOTS of ultra-cool clothing, accessories and fun stuff from the 40s to the 80s! The owner obviously loves the Beatles and proudly still flies hippie banners and buttons! Peace, Love, No War! It is indeed a sanctuary in time!

SP and I arrived in La Jolla too late for kayaking the caves along the coast, as was our plan (Plan A.) NOTE: Reserve that adventure for a next summer!

Plan B:
Casa/Children's Pool Beach/La Jolla - 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤•
This location is a 5 bullet adventure, WHEN the seals are allowed their natural space!!!!

Kid-friendly, only access to beach is by stairs, easy access to benches above for observing the seals, educational, free!
The tide was low enough to explore one of the sea-caves by foot. VERY cool, neat acoustics, old inscriptions, hot pink and lime green colored moss, waves lapping at both entrances. Tunnels carved further back into the rock by the tides. Seaweed and sand covers the cave floor. Good-sized creepy crawly crabs live in the many holes in the rocks.

Local pigeons were curious about us; a few even flew into the cave to get a closer look. There was also an abundance of brown pelicans, gulls and other sea birds.

Harbor seals offshore kept bobbing up and down waiting, and waiting, for the noisy/pestering tourists to leave or step aside so they could come ashore and bask in the warm sun. They need to re-energize and balance out their body temperatures periodically. But alas, that did NOT happen until almost dark! Poor things were exhausted! Man can be so self-centered and inhumane!

In the evening local seal protection groups showed up to "police" the area and remind visitors that it is a violation of Federal Law to harass the seals. A watchdog group stays the night in shifts to watch over them - the Sea Shepherds. What a blessing that God has put it on the hearts of these people to be diligent in "standing in the gap" for these creatures of His.

For years the seals have had, at the least, a third of the beach roped off for them. Casa Beach is designated an official breeding site (rookery). One of only two along our Pacific coastline! People come to La Jolla, from all over the world, to watch and study these seals in their natural habitat.
La Jolla rookery during pupping season.

The Grandson and I were shocked how totally thoughtless some people were. Some would actually run at the seals and scare them back into the cold night water. Some were vehemently nasty and agressive about their anti-seal opinions. Scary, seals are SO beautiful, gentle and harmless; but many of their enemies are NOT!
Recently some "genius" has filed a lawsuit and succeeded in getting the rope taken down and plans set to dredge the beach to rid it of the seals!

PLEASE LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD, concerning this beach and perhaps a safe-haven in YOUR part of the world! YOUR LETTERS AND E-MAILS REALLY DO COUNT!

The sun set and we drove up into town (a nice walk also.) La Jolla is a beautiful town to walk around, day or evening!

: Hard Rock Cafe La Jolla - HRC Locator
No rating - Now Permanently Closed

The swan-song supper: Once a dazzling seaside HRC, it was disappointingly quiet and sparse of memorabilia on this day. The grandson even dubbed it the "SOFT Rock Cafe!" Much of their inventory had been moved after recent storm damage ... little did we know that the HRCLJ doors would be shut PERMANENTLY within two months! Bummer! We shared a slab of yummy baby-back ribs, good conversation and camaraderie! Looking back, we were incredibly blessed to eat there one last time! We are also glad to have taken some farewell pictures.
Shown above and below: before :) and after :(

Directly upstairs for dessert:
Cold Stone Creamery/La Jolla 3 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤••
Ever been? A very unique ice cream experience. And very good ice cream! Yu-ummm! You choose your own mix of ice cream flavors and toppings. Their freshly-made ice cream is "mixed" on chilled slabs of marble. Oh yeah! Kids of all ages LOVE it! I found this particular location to be very small and rather impersonal. Try one in YOUR area! Definitely kid-friendly, fast service, moderately priced.

A short walk up the block (north): we spotted an inviting art gallery that drew us right in to look around: Thomas D. Mangelsen's IMAGES OF NATURE Gallery/LaJolla 5 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤¤

A most WONDERFUL experience! This nationally acclaimed photographer has 15 galleries across the country! The bright, airy, friendly atmosphere beckons you to come back again and again. 'Images of Nature' showcases the largest display of beautiful, clear, sharp, colorful photographs of wildlife in their natural habitats that I have ever seen! This very gifted photographer captures God's creatures in the most beautiful, unlikely, lovely, humorous, and touching poses! If you don't have a gallery near you, check out his website and order a catalog. Mannered children-friendly, educational, easy access, low to moderate and up prices (something for everyone!)

Then back over the hills we went. Some construction on the Ortega Highway, but a beautiful drive, as usual
Our final stop-over: DeJong's Cash and Carry Dairy/Wildomar - 4 out of 5 bullets ¤¤¤¤•
Located just south of Lake Elsinore,. This is the last family-dairy in the area. The milk is FRESH and delicious; PLUS there is a little petting zoo of farm animals! What a delight! A wonderful glimpse into the Valley's rich rural heritage. A GREAT place to take visitors from out of town. The dairy produces milk without growth hormones and the herd is reportedly 100% from their own breeding stock. Their chocolate milk is particularly yummy!. They also sell fresh eggs, hay, feed and grain. Definitely kid-friendly and educational, easy access, prices low to moderate.

WHEW! As I read over this blog, I realize just what a HUGE blessing God gave us to spend quality time in this many special places in just ONE day!!!

I hope you enjoyed coming along on and sharing the sights. Getting away from our routine lives, even for ONE day, is fun and so refreshing! Sharing that special time with your loved ones is absolutely priceless!

....... Happy Trails .......


His Girl said...

wow! what a lot of fun things, and great memories our SP will have of adventures of his Gramma!

Thank you so much for taking him, and sharing with him your keen eye for exploring :) what a blessing!

GateWay said...

hey... just read your doggie story... and went to "his girl" site to get the FULL STORY!!! oh my goodness... I KNOW exactly what you felt... I had an oh so similar experience with my white sheperd and my daughter's boxer, Rusty... emergency room... blood everywhere, and Scarlett WOULD NOT BE CALLED OFF!!! it was like as the boxer was lying under me bleeding and shaking, Scarlett looked into my eyes and said... "I HAVE to do this... I have no option"... VERY scary! and yes, I remember the craziness of complete separation and crates in the same room, and making sure no door was open when one was in and the other out.. we now do it with the yorkies and the sheperd... oh my, won't it be good when "the lion lays down with the lamb"? my youngest daughter has a site too

my oldest doesn't yet... but since I got to "meet" "hisgirl"... please meet my youngest daughter (who is not really regular about updating, but has wonderful things to say. Thanks for sharing your story. (couldn't find a place to comment on the doggie site.. sorry)