Cruise Day 4

San Diego is our favorite city to embark on a cruise. Whether we rent a car or fly, either way it is a very short taxi ($10) from the airport to the cruise pier that is in the heart of downtown.

norsun-4

 

norsun-3-2

Downtown San Diego

norsun-8

Escorted out of the harbor by the US Coast Guard

Today is the first day that we definitely feel like we are in the tropics as it is very sultry with a steamy haze over the ocean.

Our first port day will be tomorrow in Huatulco, Mexico after four days at sea. Although it has been a relaxing four days on the Norwegian Sun, we are ready to visit the many new places on the itinerary.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Pages have already been written about the mission and the famous swallows so I won’t repeat everything that can easily be found on the internet.  Briefly, construction began in 1797 of a grand church with a domed ceiling that was completed in 1806.  An earthquake destroyed it and 40 lives in 1812.

IMG_7758

As you can see above, it was never rebuilt.

IMG_7759

This bell wall was built to replace the bell tower that had collapsed.

IMG_7749

The bell wall and a courtyard from the opposite side.

IMG_7745

Since the church was never rebuilt, the Fathers moved into the adobe chapel which some think may be the oldest building in California.

IMG_7716

The mission complex covers 10 acres.

IMG_7710

There is a museum and another room that is kept fairly dark that has a chalice, vestments, old books and more.

IMG_7723

Hallways of arches…..

IMG_7747

Many flowers and even a vegetable garden (keep in mind that this is January).

IMG_7731

Probably what the mission is most famous for are the swallows that leave every year on October 23 to fly to Argentina and return again March 19th.  People come from all over the world to see the swallows come back and the town has a fiesta.  Their nests, called condo’s, are built under the eaves of buildings and are constructed from mud and saliva.  It takes the birds between 900 and 1400 trips to built one nest.

The entrance fee of $9 each was worth every cent and more. 

Leaving The Coast

As you can tell, I haven’t written a post on the last mission we visited, San Juan Capistrano.   Pictures have been culled down to 12 so that is progress.  Here is one for now:

IMG_7741

                                    The ceiling of the little chapel

This morning we are driving towards Quartzsite and don’t know if we’ll arrive there today or in the morning since we have to get groceries and maybe wash the View.  There are 40 other Views and Navions signed up for the rally and I’m sure all will be shining.  We are not looking too good right now.

And Steve did apply for a job in San Diego county.  It is a 6 week temporary job but pays very well.  When Steve talked to one of the managers he found out the company is moving to Colorado Springs (which is right next to our town of Manitou Springs) in June.  After looking at property taxes in this area we are not so enthused anymore.  I like to be able to have control over our outgo by cutting back on utility usage, higher deductible on insurance, bargain shopping for food etc., but property tax is one expense that you can’t do much about.  I thought ours was high in Manitou Springs but California is double that.. 

Doheny State Beach

This is where we stayed last night and maybe again tonight.  Who knows?   Sites on the beach front are $60 and non-beach are $35.  We chose a $35 site (#36) that is on the corner of the creek with lots of wildlife and the ocean so it’s even better than having an ocean front.  We liked San Elijo State Park night before last too because we could hear the crashing waves all night.  These pictures come to you hot off the press – taken just moments ago from our site and the one next to us.

IMG_7775

IMG_7771

IMG_7777

IMG_7780

IMG_7781

This is the campground.  The sites have a fair amount of privacy between them and are good sized.