March 1 - 5: San Diego

3/2 - San Diego (0 miles 0 total)
another beautiful day. peter fixed oatmeal, which we enjoyed for breakfast with lots of toppings & some fresh grapefruit. sari even bought some silk (soy drink), remembering that i like it. i put some chocolate silk on my oatmeal/granola/banana combo. yum.
after breakfast we changed into our biking togs & got the bikes out of the garage. here are shari & me ready to take off on the first ride of my pre-trip training. how 'bout that new eye-splitting-orange custom bike shirt i'll be sporting on this trip?? a friend arranged for me to buy the t-shirt through iowa city's street maintenance dept, then my friend judy cut off the sleeves & shortened it, doing the stitching in purple (;->). it has that nice pocket for a tissue or 2, & it's a wicking fabric. no one can complain any longer that i'm not visible on my bike!
we'd picked up my bike saturday evening from the performance bike shop. when we got to the shop last night, i noticed that a piece was missing from the mirror, & they also hadn't installed the kickstand. we found the kickstand in the bike box. i suppose the mechanic who had put my bike together earlier in the day figured no reputable biker would be using (oh no) a kickstand. but the mechanic that evening was very nice about installing it anyway, & he even got a new handlebar mirror & installed it, too.
but that was last night, & when i got onto my bike sunday morning & started riding, i found that i had only a couple of gears on the right (rear) that worked. we decided that i could ride as far as the performance bike shop, 12 mi away, which was sort of on the way to point loma, the destination for today's ride. with my limited gear setup, i did fine on uphills, but had to settle for mostly coasting on downhills & flats.
our first stop, however, was at the home of sari's close friends, hans & elizabeth. my oh my you should see elizabeth's gardens. here are sari & elizabeth standing amidst the beautiful, lemon, apricot, passion fruit, & other fruit trees, & a variety of gorgeous flowers.
hans picked a blood orange & cut it for me to sample---just delicious. before we left elizabeth gave me a passion fruit to take along. she had sent to sari's the night before a basket of delicacies from her gardens & kitchen, including home-baked bread & lemon marmalade, which we enjoyed for breakfast. what lovely people they are & how fortunate i feel to enjoy their friendship.
back on the road, i managed to get to the bike shop, & the mechanics checked the bike immediately. they recommended that the gear shifters be replaced & were pleased that they had my exact shimano shifters in stock. sari, peter, & i had lunch at a nearby "food court" while they replaced the shifters. our lunch was a far cry from the seafood meal we were planning on point loma, but this schedule worked best. we selected a thai/chinese place; sari & i each had a bowl of seafood gumbo. the cook was out of rice, so used japanese udon noodles with the shrimp, okra, & spicy tomato broth---definitely a cross-cultural dish, you might say, but tasty.
then back to the bike store. i was very grateful to the performance folks for again taking care of my bike so quickly. my bike had such a tough trip to san diego. i'm hoping we've finally discovered & remedied all those owies that it suffered en transit.
peter led us on a beautiful tour of lovely spots in the area. we had to revise the itinerary because we needed to be back to sari's by about 3:30. we rode along the shores of the ocean & of various bays. people were outside everywhere, engaging in every sort of sport imaginable, including lots of walking & kite-flying (does that classify as a sport??). but then there were also the unique activities that just shout "california lifestyle!"
for instance, as we biked on fiesta island we saw these fellows doing something that must be called "para-boarding" or close to it. this fellow is rigged to that huge sail & is riding on what appears to be a snowboard. we stopped to watch him & others sailing across the water, managing to dodge the para-sailers & others also sharing the same surface. in this area, regulations govern which bays are ok for various sports. so the jet ski guys, for instance, zoom around their own bays, separate from the swimmers in another bay. what a smart idea!
peter then led us along some bike paths & streets to the long road that would lead us to the to the top of mount soledad, about a 5-mi climb to the top, which is some 800 vertical feet above sea level. on the way up, peter & i stopped along the street where a homeowner had put a big pail of grapefruit that s/he was hoping to get rid of. no problem ;-> i'm no newcomer to food rescue, after all. peter stuffed some into his backpack, & i filled my trunk bag.
here at the top of mt. soledad, you see sari & peter & me with a breathtaking view of the coastline behind us. note also the grapefruits in my trunk bag. there were lots & lots of people up there. & no wonder: there are magnificent views in all directions.
the ride down the hill was fast & easy, & we were soon back at sari's, where we had 15 mins to shower & change. then we were off to balboa park, where sari's potter's guild was sponsoring a show that evening. sari has been a potter for a long time; she has a studio in her home, & her lovely creations are everywhere.
here's a photo of sari with some of the beautiful pots that were part of the show we attended. i'll take a closeup of some of sari's pots here at her house & send them before i leave later this week so you can all see a sample.
outside the gallery in the courtyard of the artists' colony, the members of the guild had set up some tents & tables, on which they put lots of food they'd brought. we made a delicious supper of the many scrumptious snacks there. & i loved getting acquainted with many of sari's potter friends. it was mostly dark when we left, but we took a long walk amongst the beautiful buildngs of this section of balboa park before returning to the car. perhaps mark can find a link to place here that will let you know more about this fascinating area.
even tho' this is only the end of my second day in california, i feel settled in & well-acquainted & look forward to further california adventures. when you're around sari & peter, there's no end to the adventures!
If you would like copies of the original, full-size photos, feel free to e-mail my son Mark with your request. Stay tuned....

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