Salmon Glacier

Salmon Glacier
Salmon Glacier, BC, Canada

Monday, April 25, 2016

San Diego, Visit with old friend and Hollywood

We came to Twenty-nine Palms so we could make a weekend trip to Sothern California along the coast. During my time in the Navy(many moons ago) I served as a Hospital Corpsman at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. I also had a good friend that I went to Chiropractic School in IL that has been practicing in Encinitas, CA since we graduated. We saw him about 35 years ago when we came to S. California to visit Glenda's brother when he was serving in the Navy. We also wanted to see Hollywood, the Walk of Fame and the Hollywood sign on the hill. So this last weekend we decided to rent a car(didn't want to drive the Big truck), got a hotel room in San Diego and drove there to accomplish our goal. We stayed at a Courtyard Marriott that was convenient to the thinks we wanted to see and do. After checking in we took a drive to La Jolla and had lunch at a Mexican Seafood joint called Oscar's. This is an eat outside type of place that is very informal.

You go inside and order and then eat at tables of benches along the sidewalk. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere. Then we drove to LaJolla Park and checked out the Pacific Ocean. It just so happened the seals we pupping so we got a good look at several of them. People were milling around the seals as they laided on the beach.

I was able to get very close and hear the seals as they barked at each other. They were not afraid of the crowds and just wanted to get some sun.

The landscape was beautiful and a nice change of pace from the desert. The waves crashing the shore were thunderous and inviting. The water was very cold but folks had wetsuits, goggles and fins and were swimming around. We did not.

After our viewing and getting our fill of seals and scenery we headed back to the hotel and relaxed the rest of the evening. We had plans to see my old friend from Chiropractic school on Saturday afternoon so we got up and made a quick trip to Balboa Park and walked on what was left of the hospital grounds that I knew while there. That was about 45 years ago. We found out that they had demolished the old hospital and built a new complex. We had a nice view of downtown San Diego from oour vantage point.

Japanese Garden in Balboa Park

Administration building now a Veterans Musuem

One of the new hospital buildings

View of Downtown San Diego

Entrance to old Naval Hospital


It was disappointing to see how things had changed but of course all things do especially after 45 years. We only had a short time to spend there so we went to the visitor center in the park and I got a T shirt and we  got some good information on the Naval Hospital changes from a volunteer.

We headed back to the hotel to freshen up and then off we went to my friends home on Fallbrook, CA. About an hour drive from the hotel. He sold his home along the coast and bought a nice place in the hills. Many winding, steep switch back roads to get there. Once we pulled up we saw he had a nice home with a lot of land. Dr. Chris Miller has plans to grow avocado's on his property in the future however he already has several orange trees, tangerine, olive and lemon trees. There are several types of agave, cactus, a corral for horses that he rents out and a nice barn. The views of the area are spectacular. We had a great tour of the property. Since our last visit with Chris, he had divorced and remarried so we met his new wife, Thalia, of the last 20 plus years.

View of the valley below the house

Century Agave

Naval Orange Tree

Lemon, Tangerine and Orange trees

After some catching up and relaxing on the back patio it was time to prepare dinner. We thought we might go out to the wine country but Chris wanted to cook out so who am I to argue. We prepared and salad, beef and turkey burgers, and grilled veggies. Dinner was on the patio.

We got our fill of food and wine and conversation. Then it was time for some picture taking. Chris's son Matt happened to be there so we were able to get shots with all of us in them.

 Click on the photos to enlarge for better viewing
Me and Chris

Glenda, Me, Chris and Thalia

Chris and Thalia

It was getting dark and we wanted to be sure to find our way back to the hotel so we said our goodbyes with hugs and handshakes. I'm so glad we took the time to make the trip. Thank you to Chris and Thalia for their hospitality and friendship. We look forward to getting together again asap. That might be next spring after we leave Phoenix. We'll see. Side story....when I attended Chiro school, Chris and a couple of buddies used to weightlift after classes so one day I asked if I could join them. They said yes and I started working out with them through our time at school (3 1/2 years). I started with a bench press of 70 lbs. and ended with 250 lbs. Probably one of the most fit times in my life until I started biking, running and swimming years later. Anyway that's how Chris and I  met and became friends.

Well the last day we had in the area we wanted to go to Hollywood. Glenda wanted to do the Walk of Fame and see the Hollywood sign. So we drove in the crazy L.A. traffic to the downtown and found a parking lot for $20. We walked to Hollywood and Vine and the craziness started. People everywhere. What a tourist trap. People wanting you to take their Hollywood bus tours, homeless folks wanting your change and food and interesting clothing choices. I had to go to the bathroom badly so we found a coffee shop with a bathroom however they have locks on the doors with codes so you have to buy something to get the code to go to the bathroom. Only in Hollywood. I also found out they do that in Chicago and Italy too.

Once I was refreshed we hit the streets and viewed the Walk of Fame.

Remember the Skipper?

The crowds

People were even selling rides in Porsches and Ferraris along the street. We saw a guy getting arrested for panhandling and maybe harassment. Homeless folks on the street.

Homeless guy laying on the sidewalk

Selling rides in a Ferrari

Street performers

Interesting dress up for walking Hollywood Blvd.

Then it was time to see the Hollywood sign. That is harder to do than you think on limited time. We finally found a street that we could drive up and got a good look from afar.

It was time to get back to our home which was about another 2 1/2 hour drive and it was near dark.

Another side story of our trip.....We took the Coast Hwy from Dana Point to Long Beach on our way to L.A. that morning and had lunch at a nice restaurant next to a marina in Long Beach called the Crab Pot. We didn't have crab but I had shrimp tacos and Glenda had Coconut Shrimp and a salad.

We drove through Laguna Beach too in hopes of seeing my cousin but he and his wife had plans that day. I knew they had some plans in the afternoon from an earlier call I made to them and we thought we might be able to make a quick stop in the morning as we passed through but when I called they didn't answer. I did get a call back later and we hope to make another trip there before we leave Twenty nine Palms next month. Keeping our fingers crossed. It's been a very long time since we had the chance to 30 years maybe. Anyway that's how we spent last weekend. Reminising, sightseeing and enjoying our adventure.


  1. Don't know if I could deal with all the craziness in that area. Reconnecting with old friends is one of the great benefits of the mobile glad you had the chance to reconnect with your friend.

  2. That was our first and last visit to the area(L.A.). Not our kind of place either but we had to go. Seeing Chris was fabulous and getting a tour of his ranch. We loved driving on the coast highway through the beach towns too. Thanks for your comment. Be safe.

  3. What a busy time! Nice to visit with friends. How much was the Ferrari ride?

    1. It was a whirlwind visit to the CA coast. The Ferrari ride was $89. I don't know how long or how far you could drive it. Entrepreneurs everywhere.