Bill and Kit’s 2017 Excellent Adventure, Journal #10

As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man, I have chalked up many a mile; Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks, and I learned much from both of their styles.

Jimmy Buffett


Sunday, February 12, 2017:  Up to sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60’s…enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, broke camp, and rolled out at 1125 hours.

Since we were on our holding tanks these past four days, decided to drain the extra weight at the waste dump as we exited the RV park.

I mention this rather mundane and necessary chore of RV’ing because this “dump station” is one of the better designed we’ve seen.  Plenty of approach and departure room, and the road is graded to tilt to the left which facilitates quick and efficient draining of all three waste water holding tanks.  In addition, there is a hose for connecting to our onboard Sani-Flush system to hydro clean the black water tank.  OK, I know…TMI…sorry!

Maneuvered the rig through the village of Potrero and eased onto US-94 heading to the northwest.

Within a few minutes, we came upon Otay Lakes Road and headed due west, through the town of Imperial Beach before turning north and driving up the Silver Strand toward our next stop, Fiddlers Cove RV Park.

Co-located with the San Diego Navy Marina, Fiddlers Cove is situated south of the town of Coronado and sits between the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Diego Bay to the East where the marina enjoys a protected anchorage.

This military RV park is very popular, and therefore very difficult to get into.  It was extensively updated and remodeled three years ago, and has become one of the most popular campgrounds in the military system.  Since we rarely make advanced reservations, we usually are locked out…but not this year!  Kit and I were able to eke out a five-night stay, presumably due to a last-minute cancelation…road magic at work again!

Spent the afternoon and early evening setting up camp, walking about the grounds, and basically relaxing.


Monday, February 13, through Thursday, February 16, 2017-Fiddlers Cove RV, Coronado, California:  Woke to a beautiful San Diego day on the shore of Fiddlers Cove with America’s finest haze-grey warships peacefully at dock across San Diego Bay.

If you look really close at the photo above, you can just pick out the superstructure of the one, and so far, only DDG-1000, the USS Zumwalt…a fine Bath (Maine) Iron Works product!  Here is how she appeared when conducting sea trials in the Gulf of Maine last year.

Yep, looks unlike anything the Navy has ever developed…almost spacecraft like, which is good considering the vessels first commanding officer was Captain James Kirk…true, look it up!

The 600-foot-long DDG-1000 class of warship has an unusual tumblehome style hull and corresponding superstructure to reduce its radar cross section…in fact, it works so well, the Navy had to design an electronic signal that makes the ship look much larger for use while in friendly waters during nighttime operations.  This state of the art warship features many new and innovative systems in machinery, electrical, combat systems, and habitability.  The electrical power is based on an Integrated Power System that can generate up to 80,000 watts of electricity and can be proportioned to the systems that need it at the time…propulsion when steaming at high speed or combat systems while in battle.  In addition, the ship features upgraded radar, sonar, weapons, missile defense, and electronic warfare systems.  In addition, automation has reduced the crew manning to a level never seen on a Navy ship of this size.  Why only three being built?  Cost…four billion dollars apiece!  The tried and true DDG-51 Ships go for less than half that, which is why the program has been restarted…at Bath Iron Works!

Since we are camping right next to a marina, and they offer boats of all types for rent, I selected a small kayak to paddle about the bay in.

This 9 ½ foot sit-on style boat turned out to be an excellent kayak for protected waters.  Very stable, and although not very fast it tracked well and paddled easily.  The online reviews indicated it was a very good all-around kayak that performed well in river whitewater and ocean surf!  I was so impressed with its performance that I may search out a pair of these for use out at camp this summer!

There is a nice little beach which made launching the kayak a breeze.

Speaking of a breeze, as you can tell…there weren’t any!

Decided to paddle about the various boats that were tied up at the slips, or further out hanging on moorings.

Of the dozens of sailboats in the harbor, this beauty was my favorite!

A Vagabond 47 according to my nautical grandson, Joe.  He also shared that he may crew an identical boat this summer during a transit from the Caribbean up the East Coast of the US.

After checking out the boats, I decided to leave the protected small boat harbor, and venture out into the bay toward the Coronado Bridge.

About half way there, the winds picked up from the northwest, and the bay started to chop up a bit, so I decided to reverse course and head back to more sheltered waters.  Nearing the breakwater, I was startled by this fellow.

The California Brown Pelican, flew right over my head and made a perfect landing on the floating breakwater buoys.  I did notice it inbound and on flightpath, so I had the camera ready…just didn’t know it was going to buzz me in the process…good thing this kayak is as stable as it was!

On Valentine’s Day, Kit and I decided to spend the day in the village of Coronado, where we were married on June 4, 1965.  More than 52 years ago, here is what we looked like on Valentine’s Day 1965.

An original “selfie”, the above photo was taken in one of those photo booths that were popular in stores and amusement parks back in the day.  A strip of four black and white snapshots for 25 cents, which was about the cost of a gallon of gas!

And here is what we look like when we returned to the scene of the…um, event!

What was the Coronado City Hall, is now an office complex for a community theater group…unfortunately the door was locked so we couldn’t visit where it all became legal.

After some shopping, we walked the oceanfront toward the world-famous Hotel del Coronado.

Opened in 1888, the seven-floor hotel features seven restaurants, and 680 rooms.  As the second largest wooden structure in the United States, the Del, as it is known locally, is registered as a National Historical Landmark.  The ornate lobby is paneled in stately mahogany.

And the ceiling was built using wooden pegs.

No mechanical fasteners were used, and it’s held up pretty well over the past 119 years!

The Del was illuminated by gas lamps, 2,500 of them…then a few years after opening, electrical wires were strung along the gas pipes so if the newfangled electric thing didn’t work out, the hotel could revert to reliable gas lighting once again.

Kit and I decided to enjoy lunch on the beach patio of the Del where we enjoyed an excellent view of the Pacific Ocean and Point Loma.

Keeping with our “eat plenty of authentic Mexican food before I leave the Southwest” effort, we each ordered the fish taco plate.

While Kit enjoyed a fine Zinfandel, I choose a Ballast Point Brewery IPA.

Which tasted so good, I had another!

Many places have wait staff that roam the restaurant with carpet sweepers to brush the crumbs from their floors…this restaurant has resorted to a more natural method.

Like young puppies, the little fellas where skittering about on the hunt for dropped morsels.

Following a great meal, we strolled back toward the beach to watch a talented builder of sandcastles.

He is Bill Pavlacka and is known as “The Sandcastle Man”.  A mason by trade, Bill became unemployed during the sub-prime mortgage debacle of 2008 and turned to sand art to support his family.  He has won numerous awards, and commands top dollar to design and construct sculptures in front of the Del for corporations that hold functions there.

Walking back to the truck through town, Kit and I decided it was time for coffee and dessert so stopped at a local café where we enjoyed a fresh brewed cup and a fantastic sundae…Cinnamon Bun Carmel!!!

Nearing sunset, we strolled hand in hand as the sun set on a wonderful Saint Valentine’s Day in beautiful Coronado, California.


While Kit and I were enjoying this fantastic Southern California weather, we kept a watchful eye on the Nor’easter that was bearing down on our Maine hometown.  By all accounts form family and friends, the storm was one for the ages.

Yep, that’s our home with snow drifts mid-way up our front door!  On the left side of the driveway, is a car buried under feet of snow!  Fortunately, we have a plow guy that takes care of the bulk of the snow for Kim, and Joe comes by to clean up the rest with the snow blower!

Thanks Joe, for helping your mom out!

During our stay on Coronado, I was notified that my 23andMe DNA report was ready, and as promised…here is the main news!

As I suspected, nothing exotic…well except for that 97% Neanderthal Variant!

Guess that explains a lot!?!?

Anytime we are camped by the ocean, there are open spaces and consistent breezes…which equals great kite flying.  So, on a day that Kit wanted some quiet time, I struck out on my bike with a couple of kites in a backpack and went searching for a suitable flying location.

The ocean side of the strand had the best winds, but unfortunately it also had people…beach goers and low flying high performance sport kites don’t mix well.  So, I crossed the road to the bay side and found a perfect spot.  Setting up a traction kit, as well as a medium sized delta, I spent hours entertaining myself…and the seagulls whirling about overhead.

Back at the camper, it was cocktail time…after which we enjoyed a nice meal as the city lights danced on San Diego Bay.

Then after some reading we turned in for the evening.

A few days before we intended to move on, some RV friends from Maine called from the California Desert and said they were inbound.  Fortunately, as popular as this park is, we were able to reserve a spot for Jeff and Catherine so they could camp with us!

As you can see, they scored a primo waterfront site!

Speaking of Maine RV’ing friends, there are at least four couples meandering about the countryside, one of which are at the extreme Southeast part of the country!

Vince and Candy winter over in Key West, Florida and keep their own very interesting blog.  They plan on heading home before us but hope to see them a few times this summer…travel safe folks!

Also on the road are Frank and Pat who split their time between Florida and Texas.

Looking forward to seeing you folks this summer as well!

Well, this has hit my self-imposed journal length…stay tuned for next edition; “Fun Adventures with Jeff and Catherine in Bill and Kit’s Ancestral Hometown”!

One never knows what mischief we can get into!

Kit’s Bit’s:  With the beautiful San Diego weather, we’ve taken the opportunity to see many places we’ve never had the opportunity to explore.  Playing ‘tourist’ in your home town is altogether different than living here.  One of these days, we should think about the other cities we’ve lived in and never had time to see all the sights; Key West, Charleston and Virginia Beach.  All on our bucket list…

18 thoughts on “Bill and Kit’s 2017 Excellent Adventure, Journal #10

  1. Thanks for including Pat & I. We will be heading back to Maine the early part of next week – just in time for a scheduled snow storm

    • You are certainly welcome! Have a safe and enjoyable trip north…please make sure all the snow is gone before we hit Maine in June!

  2. We decided to leave rainy Washington and take a 6 week vacation in sunny California also. Last minute reservations and we lucked out! 4 nights at Point Mugu, 10 nights at Fiddlers Grove, 12 nights at San Onfree and 11 nights at Delmar Beach. It was like someone cancelled just as we were making! We really need to coordinate our travels. Today we’re reluctantly returning to rainy Washington for 8 weeks, 3 of those we’re flying to N.Y. Then gonna spend the summer in Canada and Alaska. Safe travels! Are you on Facebook?

    • Wow, so close! We are heading up to Del Mar Beach on March 13th!?!? You are correct, we need to stay in better touch so we can hook up at some point during our respective RV Adventures! Kit is sending you a Facebook friend request.

  3. Didn’t get a chance to comment on your “colorful” previous blog in El Centro with the interesting eccentrics. Really fun blog. Having also grown up (with Kit) in San Diego I always enjoy your SD blogs. Still eventually headed for OR and WA coastline? Would love to have you to our abode for dinner! How does my signature family beef stroganoff recipe sound?

    • You had us at “Beef Stroganoff”! Not sure of our path home, but if we get anywhere near Central California, we will certainly stop by!


    • They were great…few places do Mexican cuisine like the American Southwest! Stay safe, and warm, and THINK SPRING!

  5. What a beautiful spot Fiddlers Cove is! Loved your pic of the sailboats with their mirror image reflecting on the water! Great shot! ….Cap’n James Kirk of the USS Zumwalt?! Chuckled on that one! ..The Vagabond 47 is indeed a beauty…I would not mind living on that for an extended period of time! …..LOVED the pic of you two taken on Valentine’s Day in 65! What a sweet pic! Both of you have “seasoned” very well. ..Stunning interior of the Del. If those walls could talk! ….Your DNA results are VERY interesting. I don’t see
    the family resemblance to your ancient ancestor other than I’ll bet he was an adventurer and very handy!

    • And, we both sported facial hair…the Neanderthal and I, not Kit and I…however….!!??

      We have more of those “photo booth” pictures…I’m tempted to drop one in a travel journal every once in a while!

  6. Ok guys, the fish taco and the brown pelican were my favorite photos. Still having fun I see. Thanks for your efforts on your blog – be safe in your travels.

    • Thanks for the comment! I hear you folks may not visit your ancestral hometown this summer…we will miss seeing you!

  7. 3/10 Another great log ! Daughter Sally and I will be going to LA the 25th of this month, and Sally will also be going to San Diego to see her son Ben, who is going to college there (?) studying computer sciences, I will be staying with granddaughter Chelsea in her apartment, also with daddy Jeff. She is at her 2nd year at UCLA Law. As many times as I have been to CA. I have never really “done” LA. So son Jeff has promised he would take me to all the high spots,like Art Galleries/museums . He loves it………
    This last travel log has got to be the best !And Kathy, no wonder you grabbed that handsome Dude !! Look at the life you two have given each other . You both are very special indeed ! XX Mid

    • And you are special as well…its a pleasure to know you as a friend and an accomplished artist! Hope you and Sally have a safe and enjoyable trip to the left coast and that you both enjoy the beautiful weather and interesting sights!

  8. Love it all! Enjoy your time with Jeff and Catherine…….then write about it so we all can enjoy it, too!💕

  9. Always so enjoyable to travel the sunny southwest with you… even if only vicariously. All the unusual places, people, photos, facts, and writing are wonderful entertainment – adding to my “mini vacation”. I especially enjoyed your anniversary date! How cute it would have been to see you two strike the same pose as your 1965 photo booth pose. To a great couple, happy anniversary!

  10. Hi, great to hear from you and thanks for the very nice comments left on our website! I really like your idea, we will have to work on recreating that pose from 52 years ago! I’ll let you know how it turns out. Take care, hi to Tom…hope to see you both at some point this summer!

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