Day Twelve Meeting Friends

Have you ever had one of those days where everything just went right from start to finish?  Well this was one of those days.  It started off with a drive to the ocean both north and south and a walk along the beach to get some sand in our toes.  Now that’s fun and although it was cool in the early morning it was nice warm sand.  We went to North Beach (which was actually south of the city) and then went to Torrey Pines State Beach and saw some of the best breakers we’ve ever seen.  There were a few surfers but because it was the middle of the week there weren’t too many out there.  The wind was fierce though and that would have made for good surfing or wind surfing I would expect.

We had a lunch date at noon with some friends here in San Diego that my brother introduced us to.  Vic and Roe are retired and live in a beautiful home near where our motel is and we went for lunch after visiting for a few minutes at the house.  The cafe we went to is a favorite haunt of theirs as well as my brother and sister-in-law.  We had lots to talk about regarding issues happening within the family and it was all a great way to enjoy some new friends on our trip.  They drove us down to Old Town in San Diego where Maggie and I were meeting our tour guide, Julie Kremen at 3:30.

When we arrived at Old Town, Maggie went into a store and was duly impressed with everything in there and I sat in the sun and waited till Julie arrived.  Along came this little person who is simply knee-high to a grasshopper and we figured it must be Julie.  She is tiny and beautiful in every way.  We were
enchanted immediately.  Julie is a registered tour guide for San Diego and a professional photographer as well so it’s a winning combination.

We chatted for awhile and talked about our mutual friend Phil Steele.  Phil is a photographer and a teacher of photography using the on-line medium.  He was to join us at the Santa Fe Train Depot later in the evening so that he could play with my 70-300L lens.  In the meantime Julie took us all through Old Town and explained the history of the area and the unique and interesting characters that put the place together.  There is so much to see there and a highlight was a special presentation of Mexican dancers with twirling skirts and exposed pantaloons to add some spice.  They were amazing to watch and the colours and movement were fun to capture.  There was so much to learn and do there and Julie is an excellent teacher and guide.  It was also fun to spend some time learning her unique compositional techniques and some of the tricks of the trade that I had either forgotten or become too lazy to use anymore.

After Old Town we went to the Santa Fe Train Station and had a chance to photograph some of the most beautiful mosaic creations I’ve ever seen.  Then Maggie spotted Phil and we got to meet finally.  Phil is a tall person and very commanding in his stature.  He’s quiet though but easy to talk to and well informed.  I loaned him my lens to play with and he kept it for the rest of the evening.  I think he wants one now.  I don’t blame him.

The sun was setting and we went down to the waterfront to look at some of the ships that were berthed there.  The USS Midway is there in all its military might.  I can remember sailing alongside that huge

ship while on exercise in the 60’s during my time in the RCN.  It just towered over our destroyer.  Another one is the famous Star of India, a full rigged windjammer that was built in 1863.  She is beautiful and in amazing shape for a ship that old.  We had the opportunity to get shots of her in the best possible light during “Golden Hour” just at and after sunset.  The lighting was spectacular and we didn’t waste any time getting the shots that we wanted.  Across the street was an amazing building that was beautifully lit up.  We spent about 20 minutes there working the angles and creating some pretty nice stuff.

Then it was time to eat as it was nearly 8:30 PM and we were all hungry and ready to enjoy a good meal.  We were close to the Elephant & Castle and wandered in there to enjoy some outstandingly good food and a wonderful evening with our new friends. We laughed and laughed and had a great time and we swore to be good friends from here on with it sealed with a toast.  These people are definitely great ones and they walked us to the Trolley station and we parted.

After a few minutes on the Trolley we were back at our station and the long walk to the motel.  All was well.

I must say that Julie and Phil went out of their way to make us feel so welcome and it will be a long time before we have as nice a time with anyone as we experienced with them today.  Julie asked me if there was anything that I was able to learn from her and I assured her that I learned a great deal and appreciated what she did for Maggie too.  It pleased her because she admitted that she was a bit nervous as to whether I would get anything out of it or would I be bored.  I assured her that I always learn something and enjoyed myself immensely and I know Maggie did too.

So tomorrow we’re off to Phoenix and the beginning of the long drive home.  It’s been an excellent day today and we are exhausted but satisfied that we have lived life to the fullest and look forward to more and more.

See you tomorrow…

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