A Small Time Mariner’s Voyage- Day 1: California Musings

October 11, 2014, San Diego- I set out for San Diego on Friday night, actually, from this point in a town called Chino Valley,

AZ, where a few of us played musical instruments and sang as a send-off for what I hope is my last journey out of the Four Corners region, for a while.  I love the journey, but have a hard time with the backlash from those who don’t get that I actually care about them.  The fact that these are family members doesn’t make it any easier.  Maybe once they see that I am staying close to home, and am working as hard as they are, things will get better between us.

Now, back to the subject at hand. My friends, the Brehmers, were hosts at the jumping-off gathering.


As I drove across Arizona’s Outback, it was notable that two towns with which I am familiar, Wenden and Salome, had been drenched by the remnants of Hurricane Simon.  These towns in the western Sonora Desert are normally bone-dry.  Yesterday and today were different, though.

I got to Blythe, on the Colorado River, and stopped for the night, at Relax Inn.  It was a bit sultry, as the AC had quit, but I slept well, anyway.  This morning, I got up, ate a quick breakfast at Steaks and Cakes, and blazed to San Diego- getting into town around 3 PM.

This weekend, America’s Hometown celebrates Oktoberfest AND Italian Heritage Days, so rooms were at a premium, and scarce.  I got a spot at Premier Inn, on Pacific Coast Highway, near Old Town, and set out for Little Italy, taking my first ride on San Diego’s trolley.  One of my favourite Italian restaurants, Filippi’s, awaited, as did the Chalk Art Festival, stretching from India Street to Amici Park.






The presence of lilacs, and of Italian cypress trees, adds a grand ambiance to the already bellissimo Little Italy.



After an especially fabulous meal at the never-disappointing Filippi’s, I ended the evening with a walk over to Horton Plaza, in the heart of downtown.  The shopping mecca now has its own obelisk.


San Diego is never a disappointment.  The day ahead  would bring me to another city which holds out promise in that regard:  Honolulu.

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