“Red” was sad to know that this was its last day in La Jolla because there was so much more to do and so little time! Further sight seeing with the escort was aborted due to the continued outbreak of fires. So “Red” decided to visit a few local attractions on his own. First was the fabulous, “fishy” Stephen Birch Aquarium where “Red” saw the feeding of the sharks and posed with two of the largest bronzed inhabitants.
Having heard that La Jolla is noted for it’s cuisine and five star restaurants, the “Red Chair” decided to lunch at one of San Diego’s finest, fun restaurants, The Herringbone, ( envision olive trees growing out of the floor ). The restaurants manager, Brian Lee greeted “Red” at the bar with a complimentary signature cocktail followed by a lunch of fish and chips and dessert. Finally that evening “Red” managed to find time to take a final stroll at sunset along the La Jolla shores. It was a magnificent sunset and the end to a rather exciting adventure filled with unexpected surprises.The Red Chair was grateful that the fires were finally being contained, the winds were dying down and friends were safe and sound. The Red Chair’s little red heart went out to those who were damaged by the fire and thankful that so many homes were saved by the sheer determination and unbelivable courage of the fire crews who battled without stop for days on end. To them he says “Job well done! Thank you.”
The second day got off to a good start. Following a three course breakfast at the Inn, including mimosas, “Red” walked over to visit the ” Sunny Jim Sea Cave ”
named such by Frank Baum, author of Wizard of Oz, because the opening bears a resemblance to a 1920′s cartoon character and mascot for British Force Wheat products named “Sunny Jim”. The entrance to the cave is a manmade tunnel which originates in the La Jolla Cove Store, allowing visitors access by land. The caves were breathtaking and worth the trek, 145 steep steps down into the bowels of the earth along the narrow hand hewn corridor. ”Red” was thrilled with the photo opportunity and a chance to finally see some seals. Out of breath, and having to stop to rest a few times on the trip back up, “Red” was happy to be top side once again. The next item on the agenda was kayaking.
Kayaking was provided by the “La Jolla Kayak” rental company whose kayaks are located at La Jolla Shores Beach. ”Red” found kayaking to be exhilarating and great fun,
but quickly realized that kayaking took a bit more skill and partice than originally thought. When the time came to return to shore catching a wave was a breeze, but manuvering the shallow craft proved to be more difficult. Instead of leaning back in the kayak as the craft crested, “Red” made the mistake of leaning forward – and you gussed it – Wipe Out! Once again “Red” found itself submerged in the briny blue.
Hence, “Red” decided to stay on dry ground for the remainder of the day.
Realizing that there is so much more to San Diego than just Sea World and the Zoo. “Red” decided to take a road trip to North San Diego County. A member of the Inn’s staff was assigned to be “Red’s driver and guide. On route to the Safari Park, they decided to stop off at one of the best known local wineries, Orfila Vineyards, whose wine is served on special occassions at the Inn. Here “Red” had an opportunity to meander through the vast vineyards and sample the fruit of the vine. ”Red” decided the Pinot Blanc and the Syrah were divine. Because of “Red’s” celebrity status, the Sommelier, honered “Red” with a complimentary bottle of each.
Animal Park was fun and exotic and “Red” especially enjoyed the winding drive up the mountain to Julian in anticipation of enjoying a piece of hot apple pie. And much to the “Red’s” surprise, Julian is not only home to the delicious “ Julian Apple pies” but to Chef Charles’s Chocolate Bombe for which the Candied Apple Bakery is famous. Julie, a baker from the East Coast and “Red’s” home town of Woods Hole in Massachutes, presented “Red” with a complimentary sample of this chocolate dream of a pastry.
On the way out of Julian, is one of the most charming and oldest, still operating school houses from the 1890’s, Spencer Valley, where “Red” was invited to join the children in a creative class room assignment making masks for a production of Julius Caesar.
All the characters were portrayed as different animals and “Red’s” character was portrayed as a Giraffe.
The children and their mascot the “Bee” found the Red Chair to be a novelty and “Red” got a little giddy with all the attention.
A little further outside of Julian, in a pastoral setting, is The Camel Dairy consisting of 22 head of camel.
The Red Chair absolutely adored the camels. Cleopatra, the grande dame of the herd, and her young handsome companion were like big puppy dogs. They loved being petted and followed “Red” every where, eager to be included in the spotlight.
And contrary to belief, they did not spit, even once. Interestingly, the Camel Dairy makes lush beauty products and chocolates made from the camels’ milk.
It was getting late in the day but “Red” didn’t want to miss out on a little Air Sailing at Warner Springs since they were so close. “Red” soared like a bird. But by the time “Red” landed, the Santa Anna’s had really picked up and were blowing so hard it was impossible to even talk as the words were lost in the wind.
But it was decided that they could visit one more winery before the day ended. ”Red” was enjoying the sunshire relaxing in the vineyard when suddenly the escort took off in the car without a word and in a billow of dust. How could this be happening, abandoned in the outskirts of Julian, in a vineyard with no means of transportation? Oh well, what else is a “Red Chair” to do but stay put, hug a vine, and wait to see what is going to happen. Within 20 minutes the escort was back, barreling up the road. Coming to a screeching halt the escort jumped out of the car in a fit of panic, begging for forgiveness. “I am so sorry, so so sorry. It was an emergency and I completely lost it ! I was half way down the mountain before I realized you weren’t in the car, and I immediately turned around and rushed back. I am so, so sorry. She proceeded to explain the reason for her abrupt departure. As “Red” had been basking in the vineyards, the escort had received a number of cell phone messages from friends and family wanting to know where she was because fires were breaking out all over San Diego, North County, and one was burning dangerously close to her house in Carlsbad. Residences were being evacuated. There were also fires to the north in Pendelton, and fires were breaking out in Escondido and San Marcos. She apologized that they would have to abort any further sight seeing and try to get back to Carlsbad as quickly as possible. The escort attempted to out run the fires and find a way around them while the black smoke plumes filled the skies. Luckily, the Del Dios highway was still open and they were able to make it to Carlsbad to reunite with family members. The “Red Chair” stayed with the escort and her family through the night rather than returning to the Inn. Through it all “Red” was a comforting companion; a silent presence that was a source of strength. Be sure to check back next week for more travels of ”The Red Chair’s” and the last day in La Jolla and the outcome of the San Diego fires.
Aaah! Finally! The Red Chair reaches the Pacific Coast. Over a 3,000 mile journey from it’s home , Woods Hole, MA on the East Coast. The first stop for the “Red Chair” here in San Diego was the 1906 Lodge in Coronado where it enjoyed the company of Sue Nelson, Innkeeper, and the Lodge’s wonderful staff. Then it was off to San Diego’s premiere beach community, La Jolla Village by the Sea where “Red” was the guest of The Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla.
Following a respite of wine and cheese in the charming Inn’s peaceful gardens and catching a few rays on the the bougainvillea drenched sun deck , ”Red” quickly got into the beach scene and blended right in!
- “Red” was also eager to visit the famous, or should we say “infamous” seals, who have taken over the “La Jolla Children’s Pool” acquiring national media attention! So, “Red” headed off to the pool to get up close and personal with the seals; but low and behold, there were no seals since mating season had long since passed. Understanding that all does not go perfectly as planned when one is having an adventure, “Red” was not to be discouraged and decided instead to take in a little art and culture at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art just steps from the Inn. At the Museum, ”Red” was impressed and awed by the hugh sculptures located in the museum gardens also offering one of the most dramatic ocean views of the La Jolla coast.
- Next was a visit to the nearby La Jolla Tide Pools. Determined to thoroughly explore and photograph the tiny, fascinating creatures that inhabit the tide pools- which range from very shallow to quite deep- “Red” boldly ventured further and further out onto the, slippery, moss covered, craggy rocks.
- All was going splendidly, until, when to “Red’s” surprise, it’s legs were suddenly going out from under it and “Red” was submerged legs over seat – along with it’s expensive digital camera- in a tide pool the size of a bathtub. Unable to get purchase on the slippery rocks “Red” splashed and thrashed about like a beached whale as a young man and his son ran to it’s rescue. “Red”, upon being uprighted, began laughing rather hysterically out of embarrassment, claiming it was not injured and was absolutely fine. But the young father, thinking it may have hit it’s top slat when it fell, insisted on assisting “Red”, lending a hand and even lifting it up over the rocks until it was safe on sandy, flat ground. Unfortunately, the camera did not fare as well. Even though the chip was not ruined the camera was totally destroyed. “Red’s” original plan for the end to it’s first day was to do a little hang gliding and para gliding at La Jolla’s Torrey Pine Gliderport. However, conditions were very poor for gliding due to the sudden appearance of the un-seasonally hot, dry Santa Ana winds. So after taking in the view from the Glider Cliffs , wet, soggy, and covered in sand from the unexpected dip in the tide pools, “Red” decided to call it a day. “You can view the entire adventure of The Red Chair’s journey across the U.S. by going to www.redchairtravels.com And be sure to join us next week on our blog to hear more about the Adventurous Travels of The “Red Chair” during it’s stay with us. – THE SAGA CONTINUES for 2 more days including the San Diego Wild Fires.