30 October 2019

Something Different

Thought I'd share a few images from my recent trip to California, in no particular order.

For as long as I can remember I'd had people encouraging me to go to California - usually to either San Francisco or San Diego.  I knew it had to be a worthwhile trip, despite the earthquakes, wildfires, need of a car, and other things that set my anxiety to astronomic levels.  I did want to go.  But when I had only a couple of vacation weeks I didn't want to 'waste' my time, not to mention my tiny travel budget.  Plus, I'm a bit obsessed with London, if you haven't noticed, and try to get there as often as possible. I knew a few people who lived in different parts of California, and would love to see them, but again, limited time and money.  When my friend Cathy (Bathy) moved to San Diego earlier this year, though, I had a feeling I'd find my way to the West Coast.

Bathy and I had intended to go back to London in September, but our plans didn't seem to work.  Too many little obstacles.  But I'd had the week off scheduled, and realized this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.  

Thankfully, California met my expectations, and sometimes exceeded them.  San Diego surprised me in that it was much more walkable than expected.  Plus, add good weather, happy dogs everywhere (and two friendly neighborhood cats), and a proliferation of Little Free Libraries, and I could probably live there.  But no rush.

Outside the Blackmarket Bakery, where I had breakfast (and tea) a few times. You're nearly always guaranteed outside seating weather.

La Jolla Cove - some of their best residents.

Pacific Surfrider - the best way to get to LA!

Pitchoun! near The Last Bookstore.  Excellent break.

I mean, at least one duckie! (Balboa Park)

Hotel Del Coronado.  Legendary.

29 October 2019

Don't You Fly to California to Shop For Books?

I made it to California at last! 

Honestly, I never thought it was going to happen.  It's not like I didn't want to see the West Coast, and I've heard good things about San Diego for years (and San Francisco;  but perhaps another time.)  So it's been on my travel "bucket" list, but I am the reigning queen of travel procrastination.  However, when my friend Bathy moved to San Diego, and opportunity presented itself that was too good to pass up: the chance to take a nice trip and visit someone I've missed quite a lot!

Now, even this staunch New Yorker/indoor girl had some fun in the sunshine, and I'll be sure to share some of those experiences.  However, true to character, I had to see some of the more bookish offerings, and Bathy loves a good bookshop roam, so we fitted in time to do just that.

Verbatim Books was a beautiful place in the North Park neighborhood.  One side of the shop is shelves and shelves of reasonably priced books in all genres - I spotted tons of Doctor Who books, but didn't get any this time...

The other side looked like this:

Imagine the events! I'd love to attend a reading here.  Or sing some Phantom of the Opera music.  That chandelier!

I've never had a strong desire to visit Los Angeles, but the train ride up the coast makes it worthwhile in itself.  Of course we had to go to The Last Bookstore.

It was everything I'd dreamed it would be and more!  Endless shelves of books, and like Verbatim, quite good discounts.  The building was a large one, so there were rooms with galleries and shops, a guy walking around playing guitar, that kind of thing.  Books arranged into tunnels (the most crowded part, of course, because it's Instaworthy, and there were records for sale, and did I mention books?  Just a joy.

I would have liked one or both of these shops to have a cat and/or a cafe, thus satisfying the Catherine Trifecta, but really they were complete in and of themselves.

If you're in Southern California, go!  These places need to be supported.