Last days in San Diego


Well, this is it—my last day in San Diego County. I’m spending the night in a hotel in Carlsbad, before my Portland friend Daniela picks me up tomorrow and drives me to LA. (She’s been staying in Imperial Valley for the past week or so, and will be driving all the way back to Portland, so I’m lucky to catch her on this early leg of the trip.)

I had initially planned to take the Greyhound to LA two days ago. I bought the nonrefundable ticket several days ago (oof, $32 down the drain) because I believed it was my best—actually only—option, and I also believed that if I didn’t jump on the purchase, the price would increase. (Pretty sure I was correct about that, and when I did later try to push it back by a day, the additional cost to change the ticket date was going to be $35. Argh!)

But then—of course!—severe rains came to San Diego (complete with flood warnings) and I feared getting completely drenched on the 6.3-mile bike ride from my sit to the Greyhound stop, which would not have made for a fun ride.

I further feared having to wrestle the sopping-wet rig into the cargo hold of the bus. (It would have cost me an extra $30 to go by the book and pay for the trailer, so I had decided to try my luck sneaking it on, which was a successful strategy a few weeks ago when I last took the Greyhound to LA. But my fear-mind couldn’t help envisioning a torrential standoff with a cranky driver—as faithful readers will know, this has happened twice recently—and ending up forfeiting the bus fare anyway, plus being stranded at the transit center, having already locked the house key inside when I left.) Rain was also forecast for LA that day—including flood warnings—and I would have had to bicycle a significant distance there on the other end of the Greyhound ride, including a formidable hill at the end.

So, I sprang for a $67 nonrefundable hotel ticket for tonight here in Carlsbad, and took up my affable and generous cat sitting host, Steve, on his offer to stay the previous night at his place. This way, I could catch the ride with Daniela, since she was to be coming through the area Tuesday.

I’m glad I did this. It gave me two more days in the San Diego area. I admit I was somewhat chagrined to discover that I actually probably could have made it to the Greyhound stop just after the day of rain stopped (literally, about half an hour before I would have needed to go) but given everything I was juggling, I can’t have any regrets: I made the best decisions I could given the circumstances. (That is what this lifestyle is all about! And I always choose not to have regrets; I know I’m always doing my best.)

Anyway, this morning I packed up my things and said goodbye to Steve and the kitties, and had a gloriously sunny and leisurely ride through Mission Bay over to the Old Town Transit Center. This was the same place I would have caught the Greyhound, but this time I caught the Coaster (which was running!! Yay!!) and decided to take it past Carlsbad all the way up to Oceanside. I had about three hours before check-in time at the hotel, so I moseyed my way south to Carlsbad, stopping to rest and relax at every park I passed.

Actually, back in 2021, when I was still planning my year of travels, it occurred to me at one point how cool it would be if I made a “policy” of stopping to rest on a bench in every single park I bicycled past. I didn’t end up doing that—sometimes I was on a tight timeline—so today I thought back on that idea, and realized that with my current lifestyle of cat sitting, I am more able to take the time to do so.

I’m so happy to be living this life!

Tomorrow, after the ride to LA with Daniela, I will spend the night at my cousin Nathalie’s place in the Highland Park neighborhood. Then I’ll spend the following week on a new cat sit in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood, just south of Griffith Park.

I will leave you with a new picture gallery. First (including the “cover photo” of one of my favorite buildings on the Prado) are scenes from Balboa Park over the past few weeks. All my previous posts have been too full of other photos to include these, but I have to share pics from my beloved cactus garden.

And, on this visit I also explored the eastern edge of Balboa Park for the first time, and loved the spring-tree feeling there, as well as a view of one of San Diego’s many canyons, just east of there.

I also want to share some scenes from yesterday’s stroll through the Pacific Beach neighborhood, where Moppet and Mittens live.

And lastly, a few shots of those two cuties. I’ll miss them.

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