Double takes and a heartfelt San Diego welcome!

Tourists take the Coronado ferry across the bay to downtown San Diego. What will they see?
Curious tourists take the Coronado ferry across the bay to downtown San Diego. What will they see?

Yesterday I bumped into a few unexpected sights. No different than any other day. A walk through the world with open eyes can tickle both one’s funny bone and heart.

A pedicab advertising marijuana delivery!
A pedicab advertising marijuana delivery!
A walking, smiling iced coffee!
A walking, smiling iced coffee!
Upside down visitor information!
Upside down visitor information!
A heartfelt welcome on the bow of the USS Midway. Welcome home to the troops.
A heartfelt welcome on the bow of the USS Midway. Welcome home to the troops.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A colorful spring walk around Coronado.

Looking across San Diego Bay toward downtown from Coronado's beautiful Centennial Park.
Looking across San Diego Bay toward downtown.  A spectacular view from Coronado’s beautiful Centennial Park.

Spring will soon become summer. I had to wear shorts for my long walk around Coronado today. A very warm sun was shining and the island was abloom.

Walking west through Centennial Park. Flags line the pathway for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Walking west through Centennial Park. Flags line the pathway for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Gazing from a sheltered area with benches across green grass. The skyline of downtown San Diego rises in the background.
Gazing from a sheltered area with benches across the green grass. The skyline of downtown San Diego rises in the background.
Words on one bench. Don't be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of its glories, and take care of each other.
Words on one bench. Don’t be afraid to lean into the wind, love the earth in all of its glories, and take care of each other.
Gazing north along the bayside beach toward Navy ships docked at North Island.
Gazing north along the bayside beach toward Navy ships docked at North Island.
Roses bloom near the old ticket booth of the original Coronado ferry.
Roses bloom near the old ticket booth of the original Coronado ferry.
A spring bloom in Coronado.
A spring bloom in Coronado.
Some patriotic art on a wall by the Little Club on Orange Avenue.
Some patriotic art on a wall by the Little Club on Orange Avenue.
Walking west along Orange Avenue. Coronado is pleasant, friendly and inviting wherever you roam.
Walking west along Orange Avenue. Coronado is pleasant, friendly and inviting wherever you roam.
Bench near the front of the Coronado Public Library.
Bench near the front of the Coronado Public Library.
Plaque on the bench. In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
Plaque on the bench. In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
Flowers in front of the stately but welcoming Coronado Public Library.
Flowers in front of the stately but welcoming Coronado Public Library.
The big Torrey Pine on the left of this photograph is a Coronado Heritage Tree.
The big Torrey Pine on the left side of this photograph is a Coronado Heritage Tree.
Flags by the library fly proudly on a spring day.
Flags by the library fly proudly on a spring day.
A plaque on a boulder by the flagpole. The Stockdale Tribute. Vice Admiral Stockdale and his wife Sybil were distinguished Coronado residents.
A plaque on a boulder by the flagpole. The Stockdale Tribute. Vice Admiral Stockdale and his wife Sybil were distinguished Coronado residents.
A shining, kinetic sculpture by the library turns in the breeze.
A shining, kinetic sculpture by the library turns in the breeze.
A flower vendor brightens Orange Avenue.
A flower vendor brightens Orange Avenue.
A life-size Marilyn Monroe by an Orange Avenue shop in her iconic pose. She starred in the classic movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at the nearby Hotel del Coronado.
This life-size Marilyn Monroe by an Orange Avenue shop is in her iconic pose. The famous actress starred in the movie Some Like It Hot, which was filmed at the nearby Hotel del Coronado.
Flowers along fence of a pleasant house in affluent Coronado.
Flowers along fence of a pleasant house in affluent Coronado.
Looking out across the wide beach toward Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean.
Looking out across the wide beach toward the Point Loma peninsula and the Pacific Ocean.
On the beachfront, at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, you'll find one of two historic Spreckels Mansions--his "beach house". John D. Spreckels' more impressive "bay-side house" is now the Glorietta Bay Inn, across from the Hotel del Coronado. The successful and very wealthy businessman helped to transform San Diego into a bustling city and center of commerce. One of his business ventures included the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.
A peek at John D. Spreckels’ “beach house” on Coronado.

On the beachfront, at 1043 Ocean Boulevard, you’ll find one of two historic Spreckels Mansions: his “beach house”. John D. Spreckels’ more impressive “bay-side house” is now the Glorietta Bay Inn, across from the Hotel del Coronado. The successful and very wealthy businessman helped to transform San Diego into a bustling city and center of commerce. One of his business ventures included the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.

Concrete sidewalk in front of the Spreckels "beach house" is stamped 1898.
Concrete sidewalk in front of the Spreckels “beach house” is stamped 1898.
Heading south along the beach toward the Hotel del Coronado, one of the world's finest, most famous resorts.
Heading south along the beach toward the Hotel del Coronado, one of the world’s finest resorts.
Coronado has one of the best beaches in the United States. It is regularly rated in the nation's top five.
Coronado has one of the best beaches in the United States. It is regularly rated in the nation’s top five.
Hotel guests and visitors enjoy the San Diego sunshine on a broad white beach.
Hotel guests and visitors enjoy the San Diego sunshine on a broad white beach.
This cool sand sculpture was built near the Hotel del Coronado by The Sandcastle Man!
This cool sand sculpture was built near the Hotel del Coronado by The Sandcastle Man!
The Hotel del Coronado is an architectural gem. Numerous world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities have stayed at the resort over the years.
The Hotel del Coronado is an architectural gem. Numerous world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities have stayed at the resort over the years.
Sign by the beach. Hotel del Coronado continues to safeguard this magnificent stretch of Southern California coastline.
Sign by the beach. Hotel del Coronado continues to safeguard this magnificent stretch of Southern California coastline.
This is paradise.
This is paradise.
Biking down toward the Coronado Shores.
Biking down toward the Coronado Shores.
Old and new maps of Coronado Island on a portable restroom.
Old and new maps of Coronado Island on a portable restroom.
The Hotel del Coronado's old boathouse, on Glorietta Bay, built in 1887. It's now home to the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.
The Hotel del Coronado’s old boathouse, on Glorietta Bay, built in 1887. It’s now home to the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill.
Bicyclists ride down Glorietta Boulevard, part of the Bayshore Bikeway around San Diego Bay.
Bicyclists ride down Glorietta Boulevard, part of the Bayshore Bikeway around San Diego Bay.
Golfers enjoy a sunny spring Saturday at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Golfers enjoy a sunny spring Saturday at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
Photo taken beneath the San Diego- Coronado Bridge, which opened in 1969. Locals often call it the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Photo taken beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, which opened in 1969. Locals often call it the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Boats moored between Coronado and the bridge. San Diego's shipyards can be glimpsed on the other side of the bay.
Boats moored between Coronado and the bridge. San Diego’s shipyards can be glimpsed on the other side of the bay.
Colorful boats piled on the sand near Coronado Tidelands Park.
Colorful boats piled on the sand near Coronado Tidelands Park.
A silly bench by the playground at Coronado Tidelands Park, created by sculptor Douglas Snider of Studio 15 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village Art Center.
A silly bench by the playground at Coronado Tidelands Park, created by sculptor Douglas Snider of Studio 15 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.
I believe this fellow down by the water is a great blue heron.
I believe this fellow down by the water is a great blue heron.
My walk will soon come full circle. What a perfect spring day.
My walk will soon come full circle. What a perfect late spring day.

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Photos from a short hike through Sweetwater Marsh.

A group begins a nature hike down a trail at San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
A group begins an easy nature hike down a trail at San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

On Saturday I visited Gunpowder Point, just south of where the Sweetwater River empties into San Diego Bay. The marshy area is a wildlife refuge. It’s part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, to be exact, and home of the popular Living Coast Discovery Center.

After visiting the Living Coast Discovery Center, I enjoyed a guided nature hike down a short trail through the Sweetwater Marsh.

I was pleasantly surprised by the bare natural beauty. I didn’t see a whole lot of wildlife during this visit, but I know our region’s marshes and estuaries are often teeming with birds. San Diego is part of the Pacific Flyway, a major route of migratory birds that stretches from Alaska to South America.

A map inside the nearby Living Coast Discovery Center show the location of the Sweetwater River and the marsh where it enters San Diego Bay.
A map inside the nearby Living Coast Discovery Center shows the location of the Sweetwater River and the marsh where it enters San Diego Bay.
Hiking through Chula Vista's protected Sweetwater Marsh on a sunny day. It's mid-May and the once green and flowering plants have begun to dry out.
Hiking through Chula Vista’s protected Sweetwater Marsh on a sunny day. It’s mid-May and the once green and flowering plants have begun to dry out.  In this photo I see some prickly pear cactus.  During the hike I also recognized black sage and coastal sagebrush.
Our guide shows us saltbush. It is adapted to the type of salty soil in this marsh on San Diego Bay. Its leaves taste salty!
Our guide shows us saltbush. It is adapted to the type of salty soil in this coastal marsh. Its leaves taste salty!
Sign by the trail. This area is called Gunpowder Point. During World War I, Hercules Powder Co. extracted potash and acetone here from kelp harvested offshore in the Pacific Ocean. These were used to make cordite, or smokeless gunpowder for the British.
Sign by the trail. This area is called Gunpowder Point. During World War I, Hercules Powder Co. extracted potash and acetone here from kelp harvested offshore in the Pacific Ocean. These were used to make cordite, also called smokeless gunpowder, for the British.
A sail on the bay beyond a drying field of San Diego Sunflowers.
A sail on the bay beyond a drying field of San Diego Sunflowers.
The short, easy hike is ideal for families.
The short, easy hike is ideal for families.
Some sunflowers are still yellow.
Some sunflowers are still yellow.
The San Diego Sunflower, or Bahiopsis laciniata, is often found in a coastal sage scrub environment.
The San Diego Sunflower, or Bahiopsis laciniata, is often found in a coastal sage scrub environment.
The Silver Strand and Coronado Cays can be seen across San Diego Bay.
The Silver Strand and Coronado Cays can be seen across San Diego Bay.
We've arrived at the wildlife reserve's narrow sandy shore. Birds could be seen here and there in the distance.
We’ve arrived at the wildlife refuge’s narrow sandy shore. Birds could be seen here and there in the distance.
As the group continues on, I linger to take in the sunshine and wide views. I notice what appears to be remnants of the potash manufacturing operation from years ago.
As the group continues on, I linger to take in the sunshine and wide views. I notice what appears to be remnants of the potash manufacturing operation from years ago. Some benches allow rest and meditation.
Stones and debris on a beach in the wildlife refuge.
Stones and debris on a beach in the wildlife refuge.
Some mysterious (to me) concrete ruins on Gunpowder Point.
Some mysterious (to me) concrete ruins on Gunpowder Point.
I arrived at a bird observation lookout. All was very quiet. I saw a California least tern hunting small fish along the water's edge. Few people seem to come out here.
I arrived at a bird observation structure. All was very quiet. I saw a California least tern hunting small fish along the water’s edge. Few people seem to come out here.
Depending on the tide, the area near the shore can be open water or a mudflat that supports shorebirds searching for food.
Depending on the tide, the area near the shore can be open water or a mudflat that supports shorebirds searching for food.
Bird's beaks are specially designed for feeding. Some beaks filter plants from the water, some grab flies out of the air, and some probe the mud.
Bird’s beaks are specially designed for feeding. Some beaks filter plants from the water, some grab flies out of the air, and some probe the mud.
The tide must have been out, because this platform stood above a drying mudflat.
The tide must have been out, because this platform stood above a drying mudflat.  I believe that might be bright green eelgrass in the shallow pool of water.
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, or crystalline ice plant, is salt tolerant. My hike through the marsh produced some beautiful surprises.
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, or crystalline ice plant, is salt tolerant. My hike through the marsh produced some beautiful surprises.
Hiking through an expanse of green in San Diego's South Bay.
Hiking through an expanse of green in San Diego’s South Bay.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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A short hike along Lake Poway Trail.

Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.
Bronze sculpture of a mountain lion and cub near the Lake Poway concession building. Pride of the Wilderness, Richard Becker, 2007.

This morning, before checking out the new Tony Gwynn statue, I took a short hike up the Lake Poway Trail.

Here are some photographs…

Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
Sign near beginning of Lake Poway Trail shows how to continue on to the summit of Mt. Woodson, location of the famous Potato Chip Rock.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
On a Sunday morning some people along the shore are trying their hand at fishing.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
Starting up the Lake Poway Trail. The natural scenery is beautiful.
A trail marker.
A trail marker.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
I believe this is wild mustard. Various flowers could be seen along the trail.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Bright green foliage above silver water.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Hikers climb the Lake Poway Trail on an overcast weekend morning.
Looking back at how far I've come so far.
Looking back at how far I’ve come so far.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
Several boats containing fishermen were floating on the lake below.
More hikers climbing skyward.
More hikers climbing skyward.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sun comes through and touches a hill.
This is as far as I came. I enjoy a breathtaking view as a ray of sunshine comes through and touches a hill across the lake.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
As I head back down, my eyes feast on more beauty.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
A small bunny is out on the trail.
Almost back to lake level.
Almost back to lake level.
Some kids were fishing.
Some kids were fishing.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake's shore.
These kids who are fishing huddle together to check out something on the lake’s shore.
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
Someone caught a huge fish! One of the kids runs over to see!
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It's dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.
During my short hike I turned around at this bench. It’s dedicated to John Finley McMinn, naval aviator who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A crazy, daunting maze of caution!

A maze of yellow tape. That's what you call an abundance of caution.
A maze of yellow tape. That’s what you call an abundance of caution.

Here’s something funny I saw this morning as I walked through downtown. There was so much yellow caution tape wrapped around this building, it looked like a crazy web or a funhouse maze . . . or some sort of daunting, unsolvable puzzle!

A terribly tangled web. Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here!
A terribly tangled web. Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art in breezeway by Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

Art on a wall in the breezeway between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Santa Fe Depot.
Art on a wall in the breezeway between the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Santa Fe Depot.

This morning I walked past the downtown location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. In a hurry to catch the trolley for work, I passed through the breezeway between the museum and the Santa Fe Depot. And look what I discovered! I was pleased to encounter some new art on a wall that I hadn’t seen before!

I didn’t see any plaques, signs or explanations. I assume this artwork originated at MCASD.

Take a look and interpret as you wish!

Someone was walking the opposite direction through the breezeway, toward Kettner Boulevard.
Someone was walking the opposite direction through the breezeway, toward Kettner Boulevard.
Creatively drawn map includes parts of San Diego County and the Mexican border. A variety of messages can be read.
Creatively drawn map includes parts of San Diego County and the Mexican border. A variety of messages can be seen and read.
This panel of artwork contains bold swaths of color.
This panel of artwork contains bold strokes of color.
Inside all of that color is a complex, detailed collage including abstract faces.
Inside all of that color is a complex, detailed collage including abstract faces.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

One of many benches around Mission Bay in San Diego. Most feature a small plaque remembering loved ones.
One of many park benches near the beautiful water of Mission Bay.

My walk today took me a good distance around Mission Bay.

Benches can be found at intervals along the pedestrian and bike path that circles much of the bay. Most of these benches feature a small plaque dedicated to a beloved person or memory.

I paused on several occasions to read these thoughtful plaques. One really touched me for some reason. I found it at the base of a quiet bench next to Riviera Shores. It is dedicated to Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

There are so many stories, and so many lives. There’s much love in this world.

While I sat quietly on the bench, runners flew past.
While I sat quietly on the bench, runners breezed past.
I gazed across the beach at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
I gazed across the sand at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
1999 - In Loving Memory - Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.
1999 – In Loving Memory – Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!